Earth day 2019, a Limerick and some thoughts on why we need more CO2

It’s time for the annual Earth Day

to celebrate Lenin’s old birthday.

CO2, it is clean

Makes more food, makes it green.

Rejoice! Let us have a green mirth Day!

We are called to take care of ourselves, be good stewards of the Earth, and strive to leave it a better place than we entered it.

To do a good clean-up job takes a lot of energy. That is true for the whole Eco-system as well as the toilet bowl.

All our energy comes from the Sun in one way or another, except for nuclear energy. If the cosmic radiation changes, or the total energy output from the sun changes, or our polar orbit and attitude changes, all of these factors will lead to climate change. 95 percent of the time the earth is in an ice-age, interrupted by short warm periods. We are now at the bog-building phase of an interglacial period, which means, the next phase is another ice-age.

This warm period is unique since we are experiencing rapidly increasing levels of CO2. Will that cause a rise in temperatures rendering the earth uninhabitable, or will it prolong the warm period, or – will it hasten the arrival of the next ice-age?

According to 75 out of 77 ( the origin of the “97% of all”…. ) Climate Scientists that in the previous 5 years had published multiple, peer reviewed papers, paid for by their respective academic institutions, which in turn was paid for mostly by their governments, claim “The science is settled”, and we will experience a rapid climate change, rendering parts of the world uninhabitable, and a series of other calamities will befall us unless we take strong, immediate action to reduce the output of CO2 from burning fossil fuels.

But there are in excess of 30,000 other scientists that have signed up “Science is by no means settled” and CO2 is not a pollutant, but a life giving gas that is only a minor contributor to the temperature rise. Other factors are at least as important and we should concentrate on real pollution, clean air and clean water.

So, who is right?

The last ice age had lasted for over 50,000 years. The ice stretched over most of North America down to the Finger Lakes. Western Europe down to Mid Germany and extending into Western Siberia were also under heavy ice. For some reason Eastern Siberia and Western Alaska was not under heavy ice. The sea level was about 400 feet lower than today and then suddenly temperatures rose, and after a 300 to 500 years delay C02 levels rose from about 185 ppm, barely sustaining life up to about 280 ppm, after which CO2 levels stabilized and remained in a slight decline until recently.

I grew and went to school in Sweden. At that time the way Sweden exited the Ice age was taught in all schools, the signs from the ice age were everywhere. We learned the exit from the exit could be expressed with the acrostic BYAL, signifying four phases in the deglaciation. Here is the timeline (after the pictures of the Baltic)

10,000 years ago: The Baltic ice lake. Outflow through Oresund, Rapid ice melt, temperature about the same as today, CO2 280 ppm.

9000 years ago: The Yoldia Sea. As ice recedes, salt water enter for a short while until land rises to again form a lake. CO2 280 ppm. Temperatures slightly higher than today.

8000 years ago: The Ancylus lake. The outflow is first through Svea Alv, then as land rose the outflow switched to Oresund. Temperatures were higher than today. CO2 level 280 ppm. River flows at the emptying of the Ice lakes causes formation of  “giant kettles”,  an example of which is shown in the figure below:

The largest of Brobacka’s “jättegrytor”, with a diameter of 58 feet. This particular giant kettle might have been mostly formed by a stream under the ice cap while the ice was melting.

6000 years ago: Most of the inland ice has now melted, and the Oceans have risen to today’s level, so the Belts and Oresund open up and the Litorina Sea is formed. temperatures are higher than today, CO2 level was 280 ppm.

3500 years ago: The Minoan warming period. Temperatures much warmer than today. Elm, Hazel, Oak and Linden grew way up in the Bothnian bay, today the northern limit is about 250 miles further South. The CO2 level was 280 ppm.

2000 years ago: The Roman warming period. Great times up North. Wine grapes grew in the British Midlands, the Scandinavian population grew rapidly. CO2 level was still 280 ppm.

1500 years ago: Climate is turning colder, migrations out of the Nordic and Germanic countries. Harvest failures. CO2 level was constant at 280 ppm.

1200 years ago: Rapid depopulation, Bubonic Plague, failed harvests, mass starvation, climate turning much colder. CO2 level 280 ppm.

1000 years ago: Medieval warming period. Climate about one degree warmer than today. Leif Ericson sails to America. Cheese farms established on Greenland. CO2 level 280 ppm.

500 years ago: Little Ice age. Climate much colder than today. The Swedish army, including artillery crosses the Belts on ice in 1658. CO2 level 280 ppm.

Why am I going through all this? All these climate changes occurred with the CO2 level being constant at 280 ppm. The land in Northern Sweden is still recovering from the Ice age, and land is still rising out of the ocean at the rate of up to three feet per century. The temperature is still recovering from the little ice age, but is not yet back to the Medieval Warming period, much less the Roman warming period, not to mention the Minoan temperature optimum. The CO2 level has risen to 405 ppm, but CO2 is only a minor player in affecting Climate change.

As I have mentioned in a previous blog: https://lenbilen.com/2017/04/10/thanks-to-clouds-the-temperature-governor-is-alive-and-well-on-planet-earth/ clouds are the temperature regulators, and it will do us well to concentrate on the real threats to our earth on Earth Day, such as clean air (CO2 is clean air) and clean water.

When you celebrate Earth Day 2019 look up to the sky. If there are any clouds, especially cumulus clouds, look how they form, change and dissipate, and marvel that they are the regulators of the climate so we never have to worry about a thermal runaway, no matter what level of CO2. We will have another ice age though, but more CO2 will delay its onset.

When the real cool-down occurs, we will have to produce a lot more energy than now, otherwise we will all be doomed. Increased CO2 levels only slows town the onset of the next ice age. In addition there is not enough free carbon left in the world to carry us through. Only Thorium based nuclear energy ( https://lenbilen.com/2017/07/14/twenty-two-reasons-to-rapidly-develop-thorium-based-nuclear-power-generation/ )

or maybe fusion energy will have a chance of carrying us through.

What is more precious? Babies, Eagles or fighting climate change?

When I was a little boy is Sweden my father had a dear old friend that was so in love with birds and they with him that he had a great horned owl that came down and sat on his shoulder when he called. I was only three years old at that time, but the sight of this giant bird coming down from the big spruce tree is a sight I will never forget. Since then I have always enjoyed watching birds, especially soaring hawks, but especially eagles, rare as they may be.

Later in life I got gloriously saved and started reading the Bible, and one verse from the prophet Isaiah stands out :Isaiah 40:31 But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.

I am now at the stage in my life where walk and not faint seems pretty good, but following what goes on in the world is still exciting, even watching the birds.

The big talk is fighting climate change, and one belief is that rising CO2 levels has something to do with it, so no expense is spared to find renewable energy in the form of wind power, but at what cost?

The Eagle has landed in aerie

on top of a windmill – that’s scary.

Doesn’t know she will die,

whacked right out of the sky

from rotating blades unawary.

The idea of wind farming is to create sustainable energy.

Will the population of eagles and other large birds be sustainable?

Image result for eagles and wind turbines

They like to build their aeries on top of wind turbines, the highest structure in their territory.

It is estimated that the total bird kill by the year 2030 is going to be 1 million three hundred thousand birds. And that is if the Green New Deal is not implemented.

Is the large bird population sustainable even now?

Image result for eagles and wind turbines

In parts of Ohio they have forbidden the turbines to run at night to protect a rare bat.

The allowable yearly limit for killing bald eagles by wind turbines  was upped from 1100 to 4200 on Jan 17 2017, still under the Obama administration. The allowable limit for golden eagles is still 0. If the bird-kill exceeds the allowance, heavy fines are imposed, but that is just the price of producing clean energy. in 2013 Duke energy paid a 1.9 million dollar fine for killing 14 golden eagles and 149 other protected birds.

If you as aperson poaches an eagle egg, see this picture

And it takes energy to produce energy. The cost of de-icing the average airplane is $1500. And that is without the helicopter.

And I am not sure about the former.

 

The Presidential Commission on Climate security (PCCS). A Limerick

Commission to study what’s best:

The Climate Security quest;

CO2 keeps alive

plants and animals thrive.

The end of the world? No, it’s blest.

Item: March 20, 2019. A federal judge temporarily blocked new oil lease auctions in Wyoming on Tuesday after finding the Department of the Interior “did not sufficiently consider climate change” when proposing the lease sales, The Washington Post reports.

Washington D.C. District Court Judge Rudolph Contreras ruled the government violated federal law and did not fully study the environmental impact of oil development on 300,000 acres of federal land.

Meanwhile, a massive coalition of environmental organizations, activists, and think-tank leaders signed a letter to President Donald Trump supporting the proposed Presidential Commission on Climate Security (PCCS), as well as the work of Trump climate and national security adviser Dr. William Happer of Princeton University.

A small excerpt from the letter:

It (the commission) would be charged with conducting an independent, high-level review of the Fourth National Climate Assessment and other official reports relating to climate and its implications for national security. Serious problems and shortcomings have been raised repeatedly in the past by highly-qualified scientists only to be ignored or dismissed by the federal agencies in charge of producing the reports. Among major issues that have been raised and that we hope the commission will scrutinize: the models used have assumed climate sensitivities to CO2 concentrations significantly higher than recent research warrants; the models used have predicted much more warming than has actually occurred; predictions of the negative impacts of global warming have been made based on implausible high-end emissions scenarios; the positive impacts of warming have been ignored or minimized; and surface temperature data sets have been manipulated to show more rapid warming than has actually occurred.
The letter is signed by over 150 scientists and organizations.

 

Water vapor and CO2 – why nearly all climate models fail.

The candidate Beto O’Rourke

on Climate change is but a dork.

He does not understand

that the world will not end.

Fake News! – Only New Green Deal pork!

Quote from Beto O’Rourke:

“The scientists are unanimous on this. We have no more than 12 years to take incredibly bold action on this crisis, can we make it? I don’t know. It’s up to every one of us. Do you want to make it?”

I beg to differ.

We live in only one world. As a concerned citizen I realize we have immense environmental challenges before us, with water pollution; from plastics in the ocean, excess fertilizer in the rivers, poison from all kinds of chemicals, including antibiotics, birth control and other medicines flushed down the toilet after going through our bodies, animals fed antibiotics, pest control, weed control and so on. Increasing CO2 is not one of the problems, it will in fact help with erosion control, and allow us to feed more people on less agricultural land with proper management, and require less fertilizer and water to do so. In fact, proper water management is a larger problem, with some rivers no longer reaching the ocean. All water is already spoken for, especially in the 10 to 40 degrees latitude, where most people live.

Allow me to be somewhat technical and give the background to why I know we will never experience the thermal runaway they are so afraid of.

Many years ago I worked at Hewlett Packard on an Atomic Absorption Detector. It was a huge technical success but a commercial failure, as it was too expensive to use for routine applications. However it found a niche and became the detector of choice when dismantling the huge nerve gas stockpiles remaining from the cold war. I was charged with doing the spectrum analysis and produce the final data from the elements. One day two salesmen came and tried to sell us  a patented device that could identify up to 21 different elements with one analysis. They had a detector that divided the visual band into 21 parts, and bingo, with proper, not yet “fully developed” software you could now analyze up to 21 elements with one gas chromatic analysis. What could be better? We could only analyze correctly four or five elements simultaneously. It turns out the elements are absorbing in the same wavelength bands, scientifically speaking they are not orthogonal, so software massaging can only go so far. It turned out that the promised new detector was inferior to what we already had and could only quantify three or 4 elements at the most.

In the atmosphere the two most important greenhouse gases are water vapor and CO2 with methane a distant third. Water vapor is much more of a greenhouse gas everywhere except near the tropopause high above the high clouds and near the poles when the temperature is below 0 F, way below freezing. A chart shows the relationship between CO2 and water vapor:

Image result for h20 and co2 as greenhouse gases

Source: http://notrickszone.com/2017/07/31/new-paper-co2-has-negligible-influence-on-earths-temperature/

Even in Barrow, Alaska water vapor is the dominant greenhouse gas. Only at the South Pole (And North Pole) does CO2 dominate (in the long winter).

All Climate models take this into account, and that is why they all predict that the major temperature increase will occur in the polar regions with melting icecaps and other dire consequences. But they also predict a uniform temperature rise from the increased forcing from CO2 and the additional water vapor resulting from the increased temperature.

This is wrong on two accounts. First, CO2 and H2O gas are nor orthogonal, that means they both absorb in the same frequency bands. There is three bands where CO2 absorb much more than H2O in the far infrared band, but other than that H2O is the main absorber. If H2O is 80 times as common as CO2 as it is around the equator, water vapor is still the dominant absorber.

Secondly gases cannot absorb more than 100% of the energy available in any given energy wavelength! So if H2O did absorb 80% of the energy and CO2 absorbed 50% the sum is not 130%, only 90%. (0.8 + 0.5×0,2 or 0.5 + 0.8×0.5). In this example CO2 only added one quarter of what the models predicted.

How do I know this is true? Lucky for us we can measure what increasing CO2 in the atmosphere has already accomplished. For a model to have credibility it must be tested with measurements, and pass the test. There is important evidence suggesting the basic story is wrong. All greenhouse gases work by affecting the lapse rate in the tropics. They thus create a “hot spot” in the tropical troposphere. The theorized “hot spot” is shown in the early IPCC publications. (Fig A)

Fig. B shows observations. The hotspot is not there. If the hotspot is not there, the models must be wrong. So what is wrong with the models? This was reported in 2008 and the models still assume the additive nature of greenhouse gases, even to the point when more than 100% of the energy in a given band is absorbed.

How about Methane? Do not worry, it absorbs nearly exclusively in the same bands as water vapor and has no measurable influence on the climate.

But it will get warmer at the poles. That will cause melting of the ice-caps? Not so fast. When temperature rises the atmosphere can hold more water vapor, so it will snow more at higher latitudes. While winter temperatures will be higher with more snowfall, this will lower the summer temperatures until the extra snow has melted. And that is what is happening in the Arctics

https://i1.wp.com/ocean.dmi.dk/arctic/plots/meanTarchive/meanT_2017.png

As we can see from this picture, the winters were about 5 degrees warmer, but starting from May through August temperatures were lower. It takes time to melt all the extra snow.

These are my suggestions

  1. Do not worry about increasing CO2 levels. The major temperature stabilizer is clouds, and they will keep the earth from overheating by reflecting back into space a large amount of incoming solar radiation. Always did, and always will, even when the CO2 concentration was more than 10000 ppm millions of years ago. Ice ages will still come, and this is the next major climate change, maybe 10000 years from now.
  2. Clean up rivers, lakes and oceans from pollution. This is a priority.
  3. Limit Wind turbine electric energy to areas not populated by large birds to save the birds. Already over 1.3 million birds a year are killed by wind turbines, including the bald Eagles that likes to build their aeries on top of turbines.
  4. Do not build large solar concentration farms. They too kill birds.
  5. Solar panels are o.k. not in large farms, but distributed on roofs to provide backup power.
  6. Explore geothermal energy in geologically stable areas.
  7. Where ever possible add peak power generation and storage capacity to existing hydroelectric power plants
  8. Add peak power storage dams, even in wildlife preserves. The birds and animals don’t mind.
  9. Develop Thorium based Nuclear Power. Russia, China, Australia and India are ahead of us in this. Streamline permit processes. Prioritize research.
  10. Put fusion power as important for the future but do not rush it, let the research and development be scientifically determined.
  11. When Thorium power is built up and do  replace coal and gas fired plants, then is the time to switch to electric cars, not before.
  12. Standard Nuclear Power plants should be replaced by Thorium powered nuclear plants, since they have only 0,01% of the really bad long term nuclear waste.
  13. Start thinking about recovering CO2 directly from the air and produce aviation fuel. This should be done as Thorium power has replaced coal and gas fired power plants.
  14. This is but a start, but the future is not as bleak as all fearmongers state.

 

 

Climate Change – or a remarkably stable climate? A Limerick.

It’s freezing around the North Pole.

Let’s implement climate control.

No more milk, no more beef

double speak, our belief.

Global Governance is our goal.

Yesterday, March 8 the Great Lakes ice concentration hit 80 percent

Lake Superior and Lake Erie both had an ice cover of over 95%, Lake Huron over 90%. Only Lake Michigan and Lake Ontario lagged with 60% and 40% ice cover.

This has happened only seven times in the last 45 years that the maximum ice cover has exceeded 80%. And if one looks at a graph, there seems to be no trend whatsoever.

But we just had a bad tornado outbreak in Alabama, and one more is expected. Isn’t that a sign of climate change?

Historically, strong tornadoes are declining.

And until this week the trend was down even further

So, tornadoes are down. How about wild fires?

Wildfires used to be much worse before modern forest management (Smokey the bear was the symbol) was initiated. Recent environmental concerns has led to a reversal of proper forest management “to save the environment”.

What else does increasing CO2 bring?  Take a look at all disasters.

Image result for disaster statistics

There seems to have been a strong increase in reported disasters. Could it be that the reporting got better after year 2000, after which we see a slightly declining trend.

Image result for death rate from disasters

We seem to be able to handle disasters better. It was much worse a long time ago. Or – the climate is getting more stable.

Could it be that increasing CO2 is good for the climate?

Check out https://lenbilen.com/2017/04/20/earth-day-2017-real-climate-change/

Or maybe https://lenbilen.com/2016/11/22/climate-change-is-on-balance-good-a-limerick-and-explanation/

What do you think? We have enormous environmental challenges, and pollution. CO2 is not a pollutant, but will help delay the coming of the next ice age.

 

Where is spring? Punxsutawney Phil promised an early spring. A Limerick.

How wrong was old Phil Punxsutawney?

This winter is long and outdrawney.

With the climate change lie

and no shadow came by

he believed, but it was just balawney.

Does this look like spring to you?

Image result for today's current temperatures

And the cold snap has just started. Look at the Great Lakes Ice!

https://coastwatch.glerl.noaa.gov/glsea/cur/glsea_cur.png

Lake Superior may freeze over totally!

And look at the snow pack!

https://www.nohrsc.noaa.gov/snow_model/images/full/National/nsm_ave_temp_24hr/201903/nsm_ave_temp_24hr_2019030405_National.jpg

When will we be ready for electric cars?

Are we finally ready for the electric car?

Boy are we advancing in leaps and bounds:

Here is the Roberts electric car, built 1896.

It gets 40 miles to the charge.

Let us see, where does our electricity come from? In 2017 the sources were:

Coal, oil and gas 62%, Nuclear 20%, Hydroelectric 7%, Wind 6%, Solar 2% and all other sources, geothermal, wood and other biomass 3%.

Coal, and natural gas are the staples of electricity generation and will remain so for the foreseeable future until a suitable replacement has been developed.

Hydroelectric power is mostly built up and will not provide much more generation capacity. However, many dams can be augmented with peak storage capacity to even out the supply. Many of these improvements are highly profitable since they buy surplus power at low cost and sell back peak power at peak power price.

Wind power is at 7%, but there is a cost associated with that. The annual bird kill associated with wind turbines is about 1.3 million birds, the bald eagle and other large birds may again be threatened or endangered if we increase wind power substantially. Already some rare bats are endangered. The Audubon society has given it its blessing, after all, in their opinion climate change is more of a danger than the extinction of bird species.

Solar power shows some promise. The large solar concentrator power plants kill all birds that come near the hot spot, and have some other problems. Photovoltaic cells on the south facing roofs fulfill an important role. In a case of failure of the grid they can provide a limited emergency power and  they are already important for people living off the grid like the Amish and mountain dwellers. Putting up large solar farms in the desert seems like a good idea, but they need a good supply of water to be cleaned or they will be dirtied up, lowering their efficiency. Fully built up solar power can supply up to 10% of the electricity needs but that is about the practical limit.

Geothermal provides less than 1/2% of our power supply. Unfortunately geothermal energy is most abundant in geologically unstable regions.

Wood and biomass power is no real solution if you are concerned about CO2 emissions. It is better to build houses from wood, trapping the cellulose forever.

There is an old technology we can learn from the North Koreans. They enclose the cow dung and other compost and use the generated Methane for stove fuel. Recovering Methane from landfills can produce 0.1 to 0.4% of our energy.

Why am I down on electric cars? First, the energy to drive the car must have been produced somehow. As long as we use coal to produce electricity there will be more CO2 in the air with electric cars than with diesel powered cars. Second, electric cars are heavier than corresponding gasoline powered cars and have less room. Third, it takes an awful lot of mining to produce all the rare materials that goes into a modern battery. The energy used  to mine and refine all the raw materials that goes into an electec car is more than can be saved during the lifetime of the car. This too takes a lot of energy and leaves scars on the landscape. Finally, batteries last only so long and are expensive, leading to a much more expensive car to purchase and maintain.

The same arguments can be raised against solar and wind power. It takes more energy to mine and refine the materials than the equipment generate since they generate the electricity when they want, not when the need is there.

Are we doomed? Not at all. As oil and gas is becoming depleted, we should build up the nuclear power plants, not with old Uranium based nuclear plants with all their nuclear waste, but with small, distributed Thorium based plants.

Why Thorium?

We are a net importer of Uranium, even before we sold 20% of our Uranium ore to Russia. With Thorium there is a million years supply available, and it requires no extra mining since it is found in rare earth metal ores, which will bear the mining costs. They have 0.01% as much nuclear waste as uranium based plants and are earthquake safe and much less vulnerable to sabotage. They also respond much better to demand fluctuations. As the plants would be more distributed it would lessen the need for an expanded electric grid, which is unbelievably vulnerable to sabotage. The long and short of it: Go Thorium and when that is fully built up, then develop Electric cars!

In the mean time develop trucks with electric backup so they can accelerate faster in stop and go traffic and regenerate energy when braking rather than use jake brakes. In confined spaces they could then use only electric for maneuvering. . Other candidates: Buses, trolleys and delivery vehicles would also benefit from this technique.