The Moffat tunnel, Continental theft of water. A Limerick

What flows through the tunnel of Moffat?

It’s water for Denver’s own profit.

When South-West tries to sue.

Will they win, get their due?

I never was much of a prophet.

The Moffat tunnel in Colorado, built in 1928 is a six mile railroad and water  tunnel that goes under the continental divide. The water tunnel carries up to 105 acre-feet of water per hour to the City of Denver. The water is taken from the Colorado river watershed, which leaves the South Western states with nearly one million acre-feet less water per year.

When the tunnel was built this was not much of a problem, Nevada had less than 100, 000 inhabitants, Arizona less than 350,000 and California about 3.5 million people. Now Nevada has 25 times ans many people, Arizona 15 times as many , and California 10 times as many people, all thirsty for more water.

It is time to stop robbing the South-west of water. Yes Denver has its own water problem, but the South West has much greater problem.

Lake Mead water level is now 140 feet below full capacity, and has been dropping about 10 feet per year, and will run dry unless drastic measures are taken.

Yes, thanks to this year’s rain, Lake Mead has recovered somewhat, but the long trend is still ominous.

And by the way, this has nothing to do with Climate Change.

 

 

Oroville Dam, a disaster in waiting? A Limerick.

The water from Oroville dam

comes down like a battering ram.

They skipped maintenance, when

it was drought. That was then.

Repairs? Always bill Uncle Sam!

On May 31, 1889 The South Fork dam failed and unleashed 20,000,000 tons of water that devastated Johnstown, PA.  The flood killed 2,209 people, and is remembered as one of the worst dam disasters to have ever befallen innocent and unaware people.

The dam was small by today’s standard, releasing only 16,220 acre-feet of water. Compare this to the water behind Lake Oroville Dam, 3,500,000 acre-feet, and another 370,000 acre feet of rain expected in the next few days.

920x1240

Right now the dam is releasing 80 to 100,000 cubic feet of water a second, or about 2 acre-feet per second, about 6 times the capacity of the power station, which is rated at 835 MW. This means the release is about 5.5 GW of power rushing down and eroding the new spillway channel carved out by up to 7.5 million horse-power of destructive force. Normally this energy is absorbed as heat in a functional spillway, but if unleashed, much of its power is erosion force. The new channel of water, mixed with debris choked the normal water outlet from the power station and its diversion pool, so the power has been turned off since the emergency began.

For now, the main dam seems to be undamaged, but if more rains come, and there are 2 more major storms lined up coming from Japan and Taiwan with torrential rains, so this scare is far from over. Meanwhile, residents downstream are told to have their bags packed, and listen to emergency radio every hour, if the spillway gives way much further, this is going to be big.

The repair bill for damage done so far is probably a quarter billion dollars, not counting the cost of the evacuation. Proper maintenance would probably have cost less than 20 million dollars. This is about par for  California politicians.

The original spillway is now totally diverted by erosion.

la-me-lake-oroville-spillway-pictures-105.jpg

oroville

The spillway while it was still functioning as planned

Death Valley rains lead to super bloom! A Limerick.

The desert and the parched land will be glad;
    the wilderness will rejoice and blossom.
Like the crocus, it will burst into bloom;
    it will rejoice greatly and shout for joy.
The glory of Lebanon will be given to it,
    the splendor of Carmel and Sharon;
they will see the glory of the Lord,
    the splendor of our God. (Isaiah 35:1-2)

living_prairieIt rained cats and dogs in Death Valley.

Find passable roads, Rand McNally!

See the desert in bloom;

not the feeling of doom,

a wish that is right up my alley!

In 1953 Walt Disney came out with a ground breaking movie. The name of it was “The living Desert” and showed time lapse photography of wild flowers bursting out from what looked like bare rock. My father took me as a little lad to see it in a movie theater in small town Sweden, and I was blown away. Ever since then I have wanted to see Death Valley in full bloom. Now it has happened. Death Valley is in full bloom. But, as with all blessings it comes with a price. Reading the park bulletin I see the following alerts:

Scotty’s Castle CLOSED until 2018 due to flood damage.  Alert 1 , Severity ,closure ,,Scotty’s Castle CLOSED until 2019 due to flood damage. Flooding in Grapevine Canyon from a severe thunderstorm has destroyed the road to Scotty’s Castle, damaged infrastructure and some out-buildings in the Castle complex. more

Closed Roads: Alert 1 , Severity ,closure ,,Closed Roads Titus Canyon, Emigrant Canyon, West Side, and Scotty’s Castle (also known as North Highway) Roads are closed due to snow and mud. Artists Drive is also closed. Please visit our Alerts & Conditions page by selecting “more.”  more

Weather conditions for 2/18 : Rain so far today in Death Valley, 0.66 inches, and more is expected.

For now I am reduced to admire the pictures some other people have taken:

600_447397036death-valley-super-bloom-california-03-blooms0316

 

 

The spillway at the Oroville Dam fails. Blame Climate Change, not the politicians. A Limerick.

The spillway at Oroville Dam:

The “permanent drought” was a scam.

“No more need for repairs,

if it fails,  no one cares.”

“It’s Climate Change. Blame Uncle Sam.”

In May of 2016 California Gov. Jerry Brown made some of the state’s temporary water restrictions permanent. The executive order, in response to the state’s drought, permanently bans wasteful practices like hosing sidewalks and washing cars with hoses that don’t have shut-off nozzles.

“Californians stepped up during this drought and saved more water than ever before,” Brown said in a statement. “But now we know that drought is becoming a regular occurrence and water conservation must be a part of our everyday life.”

Meanwhile, the concerns for the existing dams faded. They would never be filled to capacity again, so why worry about emergency spillways? Regular maintenance and repair work, not of an emergency nature was delayed yet another year, and resources were diverted to other priority items, such as a Satellite program to monitor Climate change  if disaster should strike and Donald Trump, perish the thought, would be elected.

This was in the middle of the last El Niño, and temperatures had only one way to go, up, and with that increasing capacity to hold water vapor. Now the El Niño has been replaced by a La Niña, the temperature are getting back to normal, the 19 year pause is back, and now the excessive humidity is raining out over the Pacific West.

k_street_inundation_of_the_state_capitol_city_of_sacramento_1862This should not have come as a surprise. The Great flood of 1862 was worse. The Oroville Dam spillwater empties out in what is Sacramento river, and flood control by building dams has been successful to avert major flooding like that. Politicians have short memories and even less sense of history. The climate changes all the time. We are now raining out from a very temporary temperature rise, and we know that eventually our descendants will have  to face another ice age. More CO2 may delay that inevitability by a few hundred years, but the long term trend is down. 2016 was still on of the 1000 coldest in the last 10000 years.

 

Thermal runaway or the beginning of a new ice age? Opinions are poles apart. A Limerick.

The Arctic warms up when it snows,

and Greenland gains ice, yes it shows.

Snow comes down from the cloud

like a mid-winter shroud.

The Arctic blast blows, burr, it grows!

In November the global land temperatures had its steepest 8 month drop recorded.rss_8_monthAt the same time the Arctic icecap temperatures were unusually warm, spiking one day at 36F above normal.cxujniquuaexqfWhat happened? Look at the Greenland ice cap

smb_combine_sm_acc_en_20161205The total ice accumulation over Greenland is now over 300 Gigatons, about 60% above normal since the season started.

That was over land. How is the accumulation over the Arctic ice cap?cice_combine_thick_sm_en_20161208   After a summer that will go down in history, where the Arctic suffered not one, but two devastating storms, equivalent to category 2 hurricanes, breaking up mush of the outer ice rims the, ice volume has recovered at an above normal rate. The total ice coverage still lags, but the gap is narrowing.

So, is this climate change, and if so, is it getting warmer or colder, or is this just weather?

The climate change alarmists seems to selectively report the weather news showing it is warm somewhere and ignore a more balanced picture. The science is by no means settled, the climate modellers still grossly underestimate the importance of clouds, not only the average coverage, but what time of day or night they appear, and how much thermal energy they carry, and, most important of all, if they come through dry or result in snow or rain.

Finally here is the current snow cover, about 10% above normal for this time of the year. And it isn’t even astronomical winter yet!

snowcover

 

Scott Pruitt nominated head of EPA, a Limerick:

After the incredible incompetency and gross irresponsibility shown in the Gold King Mine spill and pollution of the Animas river the EPA is in dire need of an overhaul. Hopefully Scott Pruitt can do a better job of cleaning up the EPA than the present administration.

Yes, Trump seeks advice for his picks,

While “experts” like Gore take their licks.

Pruitt’s new EPA

has to change, come what may,

and end CO2 politics.

The reactions are predictable: From The Energy and Environment Legal Institute (E&E Legal): scott-pruitt_2014

“We are delighted with President-elect Trump’s selection of Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt to head the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). ….”

Meanwhile, from Oakland, CA – In response to news reports that Trump will nominate Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt as EPA Administrator, California League of Conservation Voters CEO Sarah Rose issued the following statement:

“The naming of a climate denier like Scott Pruitt to head the EPA is nothing less than an effort to undermine the agency’s core mission to safeguard our environment. On the campaign trail President-elect Trump vowed to break America’s commitment to the Paris Climate Agreement, to open our public lands to drilling, and to dismantle the EPA. By nominating Scott Pruitt he’s making it clear he intends to follow through on those promises….”

Climate change is on balance good! A Limerick and explanation.

The Epoch named Anthropocene:

Man’s fire appeared on the scene.

CO2, it is good

makes it green, grows more food.

To call it THE threat, that’s obscene.

We live in a new geological epoch, the Anthropocene, where Earth faces the immediate danger of runaway heat catastrophe. So says Science Advances  09 Nov. 2016: Nonlinear climate sensitivity and its implications for future greenhouse warming.  The paper claims that as temperature increases due to increased CO2 levels the climate sensitivity also increases leading to global heating runaway. To prove the point it provides the following graph:

globaltemperatureIt was timed for the day after the U.S. election to highlight the necessity of complete adherence to the Paris accord. This accord is one of  the accomplishments of the Obama administration, as President Barack Obama said April 22, 2016: “Today is Earth Day — the last one I’ll celebrate as President. Looking back over the past seven years, I’m hopeful that the work we’ve done will allow my daughters and all of our children to inherit a cleaner, healthier, and safer planet. But I know there is still work to do.

Can this really be true that implementing the Paris agreement is our only chance to avert this disaster?

I still remember well the first Earth Day, April 22, 1970, the 100th anniversary of Lenin’s birth. It was in Philadelphia, and Ira Einhorn,Earthday1070IraEinhorn later known as the Unicorn killer was master of ceremonies. At that time the great fear was that we are heading for another ice age because of all the acid rain the coal burning electricity plants spewed out, and having just visited Pittsburgh, I totally agreed and was ready to jump in and help. The acid rain was said to wipe out the trouts in the Northern, acidic lakes, and pollution was seen everywhere. Being from Sweden and having just 6a00d83451580669e2019b01ece999970bimmigrated I was appalled at the lack of concern for the environment, and the imminent threat of the coming ice age. Even Time Magazine jumped into the fray and wrote about the rapid increase of the Arctic Ice cover and other signs of the onset of a new Ice age. Average temperatures was to be maybe up to seven degrees colder by the year 2000, so prepare!

Having been raised in Sweden, born in a town on the granite covered shores of lysekil-swedenSkagerrak there were signs of the last ice age everywhere. Sweden is still recovering from it and is rising out of the ocean at a rate of up to three feet per century and has been doing so since the inland ice began to melt. Of course this contributes to sea levels rising in the rest of the world.  The Ice Age left evidence of cataclysmic events as the climate switched from cold to warm. I still remember when as a lad my father took me to a place in Western Sweden, called “Brobacka” where there are  around 40 “jattegrytor” (giant kettles),  including the biggest giant kettle in the Nordic countries, measuring 59 feet  wide. They were formed when large rivers formed under the rapidly melting icepack. We learned in school about ice ages, and that we are at the end of the interglacial period, and we narrowly avoided a new ice age in the 1600’s and are thankful it didn’t happen then.

The normal climate for the earth is that we are in an ice age, which is a very stable period, but for  some reason an imbalance occurs and the climate switches abruptly to an interglacial period. After a few thousand years we go back into an ice age and stay there for around 100000 years and the cycle repeats. The question is, what mechanism is ruling ice ages and interglacial periods?

antarctic_icecoreTDoes CO2 concentration drive climate change? From the chart above it seems so. Properly plotted there seems to be a near perfect alignment.  But to find what is cause and effect we need to expand the time scale as is seen in the figure below:

end-of-ice-age-edWe can see from these charts that CO2 concentrations and temperature follow each other closely, but, and this is important:  Air Temperature rises first, then comes the increase in CO2 and finally the rise in ocean temperature. As ice melts and the ocean temperature increases it releases CO2, and this leads to a further temperature rise.  But at some time the temperature stops rising while CO2 levels still rise.  Since about 10000 years ago the temperature has been slowly decreasing and so has the CO2 levels. The Coral reefs make carbonates, the bogs make cellulose, the oceans revert to cooling and start to absorb CO2 again.

Give thanks for “the pause” and clouds. A Limerick.

What is the reason for the cooling? Could it be volcanic eruptions?

Maybe, but volcanic eruptions are temporary and does not cool the climate for more than a few years. Meanwhile enjoy the vegetation during this interglacial warm period.leaf-areaIt is true that CO2 is a greenhouse gas,  second only to water vapor in importance.It is responsible for about 9 degree Celsius rise in global temperature, and if CO2 increases, so does its greenhouse effect. The increased temperature leads to more water vapor in the air, and water vapor is the strongest greenhouse gas, so there is a risk of reaching a “tipping point” when we could experience a thermal runaway of the planet. All of this is true, so U.N. and many governments around the world have sponsored studies to model  climate change, over a hundred models have been constructed, they all come up with rather gloomy forecasts. The research is so intense that over 3 billion dollars of government monies are spent yearly on climate change research.

All models show a similar pattern, a fairly steep and more or less linear rise in temperature as CO2 increases. There is only one major thing wrong with them. They do not agree with what is happening to the global temperature. We have now had 224 months (Sep 2015) without any global warming. Since then there has been a rather strong el nino, much like the one in 1998 and global temperatures have been at new record temperatures after adjustment of old temperatures.

Back to the climate models chart

CMIP5-73-models-vs-obs-20N-20S-MT-5-yr-means1What is wrong with the models? They all assume a passive earth, where there is no negative feedback to the changing environment. It turns out, the earth has a “governor”, and it can be expressed in one word, albedo, which means “whiteness” or how much of the incoming sunlight that gets reflected back into space. The major albedo changes of the earth are the appearance of clouds. How do the models do on clouds?

CloudmodelsNone of the models agree with reality when it comes to clouds. It also matters what type of clouds there are, and when they occur. Night clouds keep the warm in and increases the greenhouse effect. Daytime clouds reflects the incoming sunlight and the result is a net cooing effect.

Other albedo changers are the amount of ice around the poles, but even land use changes such as forests cut down and replaced by agriculture and urbanization.

When there is snow or ice on the ground, more sunlight gets reflected and it gets colder still. Urban heat islands are warmer than the surroundings, airports are warmer than its surroundings. Interestingly, that is where we are placing our new weather stations. (This is great for pilots that have to evaluate take-off and landing conditions, but is less than ideal for climate research. But then again, climate research has moved from the realm of physical science to political science, where different rules do apply.)

The most important albedo changers of the earth are clouds. Without them no land based life would be possible since clouds serve both as rain makers and temperature stabilizers. If there were no clouds the equilibrium temperature at the equator would be around 140 degrees F.

Over the oceans, in the so called “doldrums” where there are no trade winds, the mornings start with a warm-up, and when the conditions are right a shower or thunderstorm occurs. The ambient temperature is usually between 84 and 88 degrees when this happens. As CO2 concentrations increase thunderstorms occur a few minutes earlier and last a little bit longer, but they are no more severe and as a result the average temperature stays the same.

See the following chart. It is divided into five regions, Arctic, North temperate, tropical, South temperate and Antarctic.uah-lower-troposphere-temperatureThe next region is the North temperate. This includes the desert areas. In desert areas of the world this temperature regulator doesn’t work well, so deserts will receive the full force of temperature increase which is 1.6 degrees Fahrenheit per doubling of CO2 levels.

In the temperate region the temperature increase will be somewhere in between. Dry days will be warmer, cloudy and rainy days will have the same temperature as before, since the cloud regulator starts to function.

The Arctic and Antarctic regions are a special case. None of the models have done a good job at modeling the clouds at the poles, especially the South Pole. (See the cloud chart above.) The Arctic will warm up more than 2 degrees F, how much is a question. In the South average temperatures will rise from – 70 degrees F in the interior all the way to maybe – 63 degrees F, and come closer to freezing in the summer at the northern edges. There may be added snowfall that will expand the ice sheet. The Antarctic ice sheet has set new records since record keeping began, and war 2 years ago bottoming out at 30% more ice than the 30 year average. Recently even the Antarctic ice sheet been receding.

The North Pole region is even more complicated since it is partially land, partially ocean. The oceanic ice cap has been shrinking  at a fairly constant rate the last 30 years, but since 2012 it broke the trend and grew back to break the trend line. The winter snow cap has remained at about the same level year to year with a slightly positive trend line, this year being no exception.  So, why is the snow cover growing slightly, but ice cover shrinking? The common explanation has been global warming, but the ice cover kept shrinking even as the temperature increase leveled off. There are two possible explanations: Warming oceans and changes in pollution. The North Atlantic Oscillation has been mostly positive (warmer) since 1970 and has only recently turned negative, so that is certainly part of the cause of the shrinking of the icecap, but another candidate is even more likely: Carbon Pollution. With that I do not mean CO2, but good old soot, spewing out from the smokestacks of  power plants in China. 45% of all coal burned is burned in China, often low grade lignite with no scrubbers. The air in Beijing is toxic to humans more days than not. Some of that soot finds its way to the arctic and settles on the ice, changing its albedo, and the sun has a chance to melt the ice more efficiently. This occurs mostly in the months of August and September when the Sun is at a low angle anyway, so the changing of the albedo has very little effect on temperature. The net result of all this is that the temperature in the North Pole region will rise about 4 degrees Fahrenheit for a doubling of the CO2. This will have a very minor effect on the Greenland ice cap since they are nearly always way below freezing anyway (-28 degree C average). The largest effect will happen in August and September in the years when all new snow has melted and the soot from years past is exposed. This happened two years ago with a sudden drop in albedo for the Greenland ice. It will also lead to an increase in the precipitation in the form of snow, so the net result is the glaciers may start growing again if the amount of soot can be reduced.

An interesting fact is that the sunlight reflection is larger over water than over ice in August and September in the Arctic, co melting the Arctic ice reduces the greenhouse effect.

The conclusion is: The temperature regulator of the earth is working quite well, and the increase in temperature at the poles is welcome as it lessens the temperature gradient between the tropics and the polar regions, which in turn reduces the severity of storms, and tornadoes, since they are mostly generated by temperature differences and the different density of warm, humid and dry, cold air.

 

hurricaneshurricanesmajor

 

tornadoes

 

tornadosvsco2

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Polar Bears will do quite well, their numbers have more than doubled in the last 50 years.

Will droughts increase? The data does not indicate so:

sdata20141-f51

What about ocean acidification? As CO2 increases, a lot of it will be absorbed in the oceans, thereby making the oceans more acid. This is true, but CO2 is a very mild acid and has a minor acidic influence. Of much more importance is acid rain. At one time in the 70’s some lakes in Norway had a Ph. of about 4.5, enough to kill most trout fishes. In Sweden it was said they fertilized their rivers and lakes four times as much as tilled soil, leading to significant acidification of both the Baltic and the North Sea. The Baltic Sea is still in danger of total oxygen depletion. By comparison to these dangers CO2 in the ocean is only a very minor disturbance. Clean the rivers and lakes first!

ph-feb-ocean-800

Oh, and one more thing. The sea level rise is a natural phenomenon of tectonic plate movements, the Atlantic Ridge is rising and the Eastern Seaboard is sinking.  These movements will continue to occur regardless of the climate.

John Kerry said in Indonesia the other day: “The science is unequivocal, and those who refuse to believe it are simply burying their heads in the sand. We don’t have time for a meeting anywhere of the Flat Earth Society.  And in a sense, climate change can now be considered another weapon of mass destruction, perhaps the world’s most fearsome weapon of mass destruction.

The opposite is true, increased levels of CO2 is a major vehicle of wealth distribution. (Green is increased plant growth, red is decreased,  1982 – 2010)

increaseThe increase in temperature is manageable and even desirable in most regions of the world, desert areas and areas prone to flooding being the exception.

In conclusion:

CO2 is a clean gas, necessary for life, and an increase in the amount of CO2 is highly desirable.

The very minor increase in temperature is on balance beneficial, since it leads to a less violent climate, with fewer storms, hurricanes and tornadoes.

The increase in CO2 makes us able to feed another 2 billion people on earth, not to mention additional wildlife.

Ocean acidification is a problem, not so much from CO2, but from sulfuric acid, nitrates and other pollutants. The major offender: China.

The increase in precipitation is beneficial, except in areas already prone to flooding. It is especially welcome in arid areas. The chart below show no increase in heavy rains as CO2 increases.

heavyrainfallvsco2

On the other hand the great conservationist SARAH PALIN once said: “We’ve got to remind Americans that the effort has got to be even greater today toward conservation because these finite resources that we’re dealing with obviously – once oil is gone it’s gone, once gas is gone, it’s gone. And I think our nation has really become kind of spoiled in that arena.”[Fox News, Hannity’s America, 10/12/08]

Coal, oil, peat, wood  and natural gas are our best raw material to sustain life as we know it, and are far to valuable to waste on electricity production, so let us switch electricity production to thorium based nuclear energy

. https://lenbilen.com/2012/02/15/nuclear-power-and-earthquakes-how-to-make-it-safer-and-better/

https://lenbilen.com/2012/02/15/eleven-reasons-to-switch-to-thorium-based-nuclear-power-generation/

https://lenbilen.com/2012/02/15/eleven-more-reasons-to-switch-to-thorium-as-nuclear-fuel/

https://lenbilen.com/2012/02/15/nuclear-power-why-we-chose-uranium-over-thorium-and-ended-up-in-this-mess-time-to-clean-up/

https://lenbilen.com/2012/01/31/energy-from-thorium-save-500-million-from-the-budget-now/

Coal can be converted to jet fuel and gasoline, air planes have no alternative fuels.

I welcome constructive comments. Tell me where I am going wrong. I have done my very best to look at what is really happening to the earth and from there draw conclusions, rather than rely on climate models.