Climate change and tornadoes. Are they really increasing?

One of the sacred tenets of climate change is that extreme weather is increasing. Is that really so?

Let us look at tornadoes. They occur when cold and hot air masses collide and in the fringes of hurricanes. Sometimes they can also be triggered by frontal thunderstorms. So if extreme weather increases by time, so should tornadoes, both in severity and numbers. Let us see if that is so.

So far this year, the number of tornadoes are slightly below normal:

If we look at “tornado alley”, the state of Oklahoma we see that there has been about the same number of tornadoes for the last  65 years

but but the number of strong tornadoes , F2, F3, F4 and f5 have been trending down for the same 65 years. How is this statistics holding up for U.S. as a whole?

Severe tornado trend is down:

And most significant of all, the worst tornadoes of all are declining. The last F5 tornado occurred in 2013!

Thanks to increased CO2, the poles are slightly less cold in the winter, while the temperatures at the equator are not changing with increased CO2, water vapor is the all dominant greenhouse gas, there is less temperature gradient between equator and poles, leading to less violent weather. While the number of tornadoes stay about constant, the number of strong tornadoes decrease. This is good news.

Climate change and droughts and wildfires.

History shows us there has always been climate change, from ice age to the Minoan temperature optimum to the Roman warm period to the dark ages to the medieval warm period to the little ice age to now. The question is, where does the climate go from here, how much will it warm from here, or will it start cooling again? One question is; will wildfires contribute to global warming, or will the smoke act as a cooling agent? The only way to give an answer as a scientist is to look at what the wildfire trends are. Wildfires have decreased 25% worldwide in the last 15 years!  This is according to NASA:the full article is in https://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/images/145421/building-a-long-term-record-of-fire

One recent confession from the governor of California!

 

The question is then: Why are wildfires decreasing?

One possible exclamation, droughts are decreasing. Let us check:

No, there is no discernible trend in droughts.

Since the beginning of industrialization CO2 has risen about 50%. CO2 is the feed-stock for all plants and indeed the earth is getting greener!

Yes, most areas are getting greener. There are a few areas that are getting less green, such as the southern edge of the Sahara Desert, the South American Gran Chaco, the American South West and the edges of the Gobi desert. The global environmental challenges are still enormous, but thanks to the overall increased vegetation the earth can now feed an additional 2 billion people, not to mention provide livable habitat for many more animals.

What increased CO2 does to global temperatures will come in future installments.

Climate change and wildfires. The problem is more due to forest management.

The natural life cycle of forests in the dry part of western United States is rejuvenation and growth, interrupted by forest fires. In fact, the lodgepole pine requires a fire to release the seeds in the cones. Without the fire they will not  germinate. Forest fires every generation is the normal occurrence for the dry, western forests. Then in the 1930’s, to stop the wild fires they started forest management in earnest, dead trees removed and underbrush cleared, and wildfires were cut by over 90%. They also harvested a lot of good, mature trees, but that is a different story. The chart below tell the facts:

Forest fires were very few from the late 50’s to late 90’s. But with forest management comes a price. Nature can no longer support as many birds and animals as before, and some species were already vulnerable and close to extinction. So, partly due to the power of the Sierra Club and other organizations it was decided to return nature to its original state as much as possible. That would be fine except we no longer live in the 19’th century, when California had less than a million inhabitants. It now has 40 million inhabitants and use up all the water that rains on it and more. People have to live somewhere, so they make beautiful settlements in tinder dry forests. This is the problem out west. You can not have settlements in an unmanaged forest and get away with it, the fire will get you sooner or later. The solution is to set aside some forest lands for natural growth, but only where nobody lives and manage all other forests. Climate change has very little to do with western forest fires, there has always been years of droughts, interrupted by torrential rains. As it was in biblical times in Israel and Egypt, so it is in the American west.

CO2 concentration has increased 50% since pre-industrial times causing climate change. Thorium Nuclear Power is the answer. A Limerick.

As CO2 warms up the poles

burned oil, gas and coal play their roles.

CO2 is still good;

makes plants green, grows more food,

and clouds are the climate controls.

We live in interesting times, the CO2 concentration has increased 50% since the beginning of industrialization. In the last 30 years the level has risen 17%, from about 350 ppm to nearly 410 ppm. This is what scares people. Is is time to panic and stop carbon emissions altogether as Greta Thunberg has suggested?As if on cue the climate models have been adjusted, and they suddenly show a much higher rate of temperature increase, in this case what is supposed to happen to global temperatures for a doubling of CO2 from pre-industrial times, from 270ppm to 540ppm.

There are two ways to approach this problem. The models make certain assumptions about the behavior of the changing atmosphere and model future temperature changes. This is the approach taken by IPCC for the last 32 years. These models are all failing miserably when compared to actual temperature changes.

The other way i to observe what is actually happening to our temperature over time as the CO2 increases. We have 50 years of excellent global temperature data, so with these we can see where, when and by how much the earth has warmed.

The most drastic temperature rise on earth has been in the Arctic above the 80th latitude. In the winter of 2019 it was 4C above the 50 year average. See charts from the Danish Meteorological Institute:

Note, there is no increase at all in the summer temperatures!

The fall temperature saw an increase of 4C and the spring temperature saw an increase of about 2.5C.

Notice: In this chart the there is no recorded summer temperature increase at all, but the onset of fall freezing was delayed by 3 weeks.

The 5 thru 8C winter rise of temperature is significant, most would even say alarming, but my response is, why is that?

To get the answer we must study molecular absorption spectroscopy and explain a couple of facts for the 97% of all scientists who have not studied molecular spectroscopy. IPCC and most scientists claim that the greenhouse effect is dependent on the gases that are in the atmosphere, and their combined effect is additive according to a logarithmic formula. This is true up to a certain point, but it is not possible to absorb more than 100% of all the energy available in a certain frequency band! For example: If water vapor absorbs 50% of all incoming energy in a certain band, and CO2 absorbs another 90% of the energy in the same band, the result is that 95% is absorbed, (90% + 50% * (100% – 90%)),  not 140%, (90% + 50%).

The following chart shows both CO2 and H2O are absorbing greenhouse gases, with H20 being the stronger greenhouse gas, absorbing over a much wider spectrum, and they overlap for the most part. But it also matters in what frequency range s they absorb.

For this we will have to look at the frequency ranges of the incoming solar radiation and the outgoing black body radiation of the earth. It is the latter that causes the greenhouse effect. Take a look at this chart:

The red area represents the observed amount of solar radiation that reaches the earth’s surface, the white area under the red line represents radiation absorbed in the atmosphere. Likewise, the blue area represents the outgoing black body radiation that is re-emitted. The remaining white area under the magenta, blue or black line represents the retained absorbed energy that causes the greenhouse effect.

Let us  now take a look at the Carbon Dioxide bands of absorption, at 2.7, 4.3 and 15 microns. Of them the 2.7 and 4.3 micron bands absorb where there is little black body radiation, the only band that is of interest is at 15 microns, and that is in a band where the black body radiation has its maximum. However it is also in a band where water vapor also absorb, not as much as CO2,only about 20% to 70% as much. Water vapor or absolute humidity is highly dependent on the temperature of the air, so at 30C there may be 50 times as much water vapor, at 0C there may be ten times as much water vapor, and at -25C there may be more CO2 than water vapor. At those low temperatures the gases are mostly additive. In the tropics with fifty times more water vapor than CO2, increased CO2 has no influence on the temperature whatsoever. Temperature charts confirm this assertion:

Here the temperature in the tropics displays no trend whatsoever. It follows the temperature of the oceans, goes up in an El Niño and down in a La Niña. The temperature in the southern hemisphere shows no trend. In the northern temperate region there is a slight increase, but the great increase is occurring in the Arctic. There is no increase in the Antarctic yet even though the increase in CO2 is greater in the Antarctic and the winter temperature in the Antarctic is even lower than in the Arctic. So CO2 increase cannot be the sole answer to the winter temperature increase in the Arctic.

There is an obvious answer. When temperatures increase the air can contain more moisture and will transport more moisture from the tropics all the way to the arctic, where it falls as snow. Is the snow increasing in the Northern Hemisphere?

Let us see what the snow statistics show. These are from the Rutgers’ snow lab.

The fall snow extent is increasing, and has increased by more than 2 percent per year.

The winter snowfall has also increased but only by 0.04 percent per year. The snow covers all of Russia, Northern China, Mongolia, Tibet, Kashmir and northern Pakistan, Northern Afghanistan, Northern Iran, Turkey, Part of Eastern Europe, Scandinavia, Canada, Alaska, Greenland and part of Western and Northern United States.

In the spring on the other hand the snow pack is melting faster, about 1.6 percent less snow per year. One of the major reasons for an earlier snow-melt is that the air is getting dirtier, especially over China, and to some extent Russia. The soot from burning coal and mining and manufacturing changes the albedo of the snow. The soot is visible on old snow all the way up to the North Pole. The other reason is that the poles are getting warmer. In the fall and winter it is mostly due to increased snowfall, but in the spring, as soon as the temperature rises over the freezing point, melting occurs.

So the warming of the poles, far from being an impending end of mankind as we know it, may even be beneficial. Warmer poles in the winter means less temperature gradient between the poles and the tropics, leading to less severe storms. They will still be there, but less severe.

There is one great benefit of increased CO2, the greening of the earth.

Thanks to this greening, accomplished with only the fertilizing effect of CO2, the earth can now keep another 2 billion people from starvation, not to mention what it does to increase wild plants and wildlife. More vegetation also helps to combat erosion.

Having said that, I am still a conservationist. Coal, oil and gas will run out at some time, and I for one would like to save some for future generations, not yet born. In addition I would like to minimize the need for mining, which can be quite destructive to the environment.

The best solution is to switch most electricity generation to Thorium molten salt nuclear power. There are many reasons why this should be done as a priority.

Here are some of them:

The case for Thorium. 1. A million year supply of Thorium available worldwide.

The case for Thorium. 2. Thorium already mined, ready to be extracted.

The case for Thorium. 3. Thorium based nuclear power produces 0.012 percent as much TRansUranium waste products as traditional nuclear power.

The case for Thorium. 4. Thorium based nuclear power will produce Plutonium-238, needed for space exploration.

The case for Thorium. 5. Thorium nuclear power is only realistic solution to power space colonies.

The case for Thorium. 6. Radioactive waste from an Liquid Fluoride Thorium Reactor decays down to background radiation in 300 years compared to a million years for U-235 based reactors. A Limerick.

The case for Thorium. 7. Thorium based nuclear power is not suited for making nuclear bombs.

The case tor Thorium. 8. Produces isotopes that helps treat and maybe cure certain cancers.

The case for Thorium. 9. Liquid Fluoride Thorium Reactors are earthquake safe, only gravity needed for safe shutdown.

The case for Thorium. 10. Molten Salt Liquid Fluoride Thorium Reactors cannot have a meltdown, the fuel is already molten, and it is a continuous process. No need for refueling shutdowns.

The case for Thorium. 11. Molten Salt Nuclear Reactors have a very high negative temperature coefficient leading to a safe and stable control.

The case for Thorium 13. Virtually no spent fuel problem, very little on site storage or transport.

The case for Thorium. 14. Liquid Fluoride Thorium Nuclear reactors scale beautifully from small portable generators to full size power plants.

The case for Thorium. 15. No need for evacuation zones, Liquid Fuel Thorium Reactors can be placed near urban areas.

The case for Thorium. 16. Liquid Fluoride Thorium Reactors will work both as Base Load and Load Following power plants.

The case for Thorium. 17. Liquid Fluoride Thorium Reactors will lessen the need for an expanded national grid.

The case for Thorium. 18. Russia has an active Thorium program.

The case for Thorium. 19. India is having an ambitious Thorium program, planning to meet 30% of its electricity demand via Thorium based reactors by 2050.

The case for Thorium 20. China is having a massive Thorium program.

The case for Thorium. 21. United States used to be the leader in Thorium usage. What happened?

The case for Thorium. 22. With a Molten Salt Reactor, accidents like the Three Mile Island disaster will not happen.

The case for Thorium. 23. With a Molten Salt Reactor, accidents like Chernobyl are impossible.

The case for Thorium. 24. With Molten Salt Reactors, a catastrophe like Fukushima cannot happen.

The case for Thorium. 25. Will produce electrical energy at about 4 cents per kWh.

The case for Thorium. 26. Can deplete most of the existing radioactive waste and nuclear weapons stockpiles.

The case for Thorium. 27. With electric cars and trucks replacing combustion engine cars, only Thorium Nuclear power is the rational solution to provide the extra electric power needed.

The case for Thorium 28. The race for space colonies is on. Only Molten Salt Thorium Nuclear reactors can fit the bill.

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lenbilen

Retired engineer, graduated from Chalmers Technical University a long time ago with a degree in Technical Physics. Career in Aerospace, Analytical Chemistry, computer chip manufacturing and finally adjunct faculty at Pennsylvania State University, taught just one course in Computer Engineering, the Capstone Course.

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The case for Thorium 28. The race for space colonies is on. Only Molten Salt Thorium Nuclear reactors can fit the bill.

US reveals plan for nuclear power plant on the MOON that could power lunar Space Force base

NASA astronauts could one day live on the Moon inside a base powered by a lunar nuclear plant.

That’s according to plans shared by the US Department of Energy, which hopes to have the sci-fi power station up and running by 2027.

Nasa may one day build a nuclear power plant on the Moon.

The DoE on Friday put out a request online for ideas from the private sector on how to build such a contraption.

Dubbed a fission surface power system, the station could help man survive harsh environments on the Moon, Mars and beyond.

“Small nuclear reactors can provide the power capability necessary for space exploration missions of interest to the Federal government,” the DoE wrote in the notice published Friday.

Nasa has plans to put astronauts on the Moon in 2024 – the first manned mission to the lunar surface in almost five decades.

Nasa plans to establish a permanent base on the Moon in 2028

 
Nasa plans to establish a permanent base on the Moon in 2028.

The space agency has said it wants to set up a permanent base on Earth’s rocky neighbour in 2028. The base will help launch future missions to Mars.

Questions remain over what will power the base. Nasa would like to use solar panels, but the most power is needed during the 14 day lunar night every month, so nuclear power is the only practical solution.

It seems the space agency, working with the The Idaho National Laboratory and Department of Energy, is at least exploring the nuclear option.

According to the notice published to the DoE’s website, officials are looking for ideas on how to build a mostly autonomous lunar power station.

Only Molten Salt Thorium reactors would fit the bill.

It should work for 10 years at full power and boast a modular design that allows power units to connect together like Lego bricks.

Would-be designers are asked to whip something up that can survive the surface of Mars without modification.

They can be made very compact and modular

The case for Thorium. 27. With electric cars and trucks replacing combustion engine cars, only Thorium Nuclear power is the rational solution to provide the extra electric power needed.

It seems that electric powered vehicles are finally taking off, and sales are ready to explode. The Tesla electric car company capitalization value has increased eight-fold in the last half year, and is now worth more on paper than GM, Ford, Chrysler and Honda combined .

If CO2 is the great driver of environmental destruction, never mind that the increased CO2 is feeding 2 billion more people than before thanks to the greening effect of increased CO2, then we should work at warp speed to develop the additional electricity needs that will arise with all electric vehicles coming to market needing charging stations.

It makes no sense to build more coal and gas fired electric plants, replacing one CO2 generator with another, the best wind power sites are already taken, waste, geothermal and solar power is still a pipe dream, so, what to do?

Conventional nuclear power is limited and requires a very long and extensive approval process, partly due to the not in my backyard regulation attitude.  We are already the world’s largest importer of Uranium, and the world’s supply is to a large extent controlled by non allies. .

How do you eliminate all Coal and natural gas electric plants? Look at the U.S usage: (Last  year 2016)

Image result for electric production"

We can see that renewable energy will not suffice. The only real answer is to expand nuclear electricity, but we are already the world’s biggest importer of Uranium. (The Uranium One deal, when we sold 20% of our Uranium mining rights to Russia did not help, but we were in trouble even before ). No, the only real answer is to rapidly develop molten salt Thorium nuclear electricity production. They do not require water for cooling, so they can be placed anywhere where additional capacity is needed, eliminating rapid expansion of the electric grid.

Let us go to it now!

The case for Thorium 20. China is having a massive Thorium program.

China is having a massive Thorium program. The People’s Republic of China has initiated a research and development project in thorium molten-salt reactor technology. The thorium MSR efforts aims not only to develop the technology but to secure intellectual property rights to its implementation. This may be one of the reasons that the Chinese have not joined the international Gen-IV effort for MSR development, since part of that involves technology exchange. Neither the US nor Russia have joined the MSR Gen-IV effort either.
China is currently the largest emitter of CO2 and air pollutants by far, and according to the Paris accord was allowed to emit six times as much pollutants as the U.S. by 2030, being a “developing nation”. Their air quality is already among the worst in the world so something had to be done if they were to achieve world dominance by 2025 and total rule by 2030. Only Thorium can solve the pollution problem and provide the clean energy needed for the future. Regular Uranium Nuclear reactors require large amounts of water and Molten Salt Thorium reactors require little water to operate.

Geneva, Switzerland, 21 August 2018 – As the world struggles with a record-breaking heatwave, China correctly places its trust in the fuel Thorium and the Thorium Molten Salt Reactor (TMSR) as the backbone of its nation’s plan to become a clean and cheap energy powerhouse.
​​The question is if China will manage to build a homegrown mega export industry, or will others have capacity and will to catch up?
For China, clean energy development and implementation is a test for the state’s ability. Therefore, China is developing the capability to use the “forgotten fuel” thorium, which could begin a new era of nuclear power.​
The first energy system they are building is a solid fuel molten salt reactor that achieves high temperatures to maximize efficiency of combined heat and power generation applications.
However, to fully realize thorium’s energy potential and in this way solve an important mission for China – the security of fuel supply – requires also the thorium itself to be fluid. This is optimized in the Thorium Molten Salt Reactor (TMSR).
The TMSR takes safety to an entirely new level and can be made cheap and small since it operates at atmospheric pressure, one of its many advantages. Thanks to its flexible cooling options it can basically be used anywhere, be it a desert, a town or at sea. In China this is of special interest inland, where freshwater is scarce in large areas, providing a unique way to secure energy independence.
“Everyone in the field is extremely impressed with how China saw the potential, grabbed the opportunity and is now running faster than everyone else developing this futuristic energy source China and the entire world is in a great need of.”
– Andreas Norlin, Thorium Energy World
Picture
China is not telling all they are doing on Nuclear Energy.

The case for Thorium. 16. Liquid Fluoride Thorium Reactors will work both as Base Load and Load Following power plants.

Liquid Fluoride Thorium Reactors will work both as Base Load and Load Following power plants. LFTR’s operate at a much higher temperature than conventional power plants and operate at about 45% electricity conversion efficiency, as opposed to 38% or lower for steam generators. In addition, because of the higher operating temperature it is ideal for hydrogen generation. The reactor would use the electricity generation to satisfy the current demand and produce hydrogen during times of low demand. This hydrogen would be temporarily stored and used for electricity production at peak demand. And  hydrogen power produces only water when burned, no CO2  or polluting fumes are generated. With the objective of reducing the cost of hydrogen production,  solid oxide electrolyser cells (SOECs) are especially well suited.  SOECs operate at high temperatures, typically around 800 °C. At these high temperatures a significant amount of the energy required can be provided as thermal energy (heat), and as such is termed High temperature electrolysis.

The case for Thorium. 5. Thorium nuclear power is only realistic solution to power space colonies.

Thorium nuclear power is the only realistic solution to power space colonies. To form space colonies, power has to be provided to sustain the colony. This means that Liquid Fluoride Thorium Reactors  (LFTR) have to be fully developed and operational here on earth before serious space colony development can even begin. It need to get started in earnest NOW!

Kirk Sorensen has provided an intriguing teaser on the cause for Thorium nuclear energy.

Watch it and enjoy!

Earth day 2020, the 150 year birthday of Vladimir Ilyich Ulyanov, a.k.a. Lenin. A Limerick.

We celebrate Lenin’s old birth day

in what is now renamed the Earth Day.

It’s a globalist plot;

it’s the climate change: Not!

It’s capitalism besmirch day.

When I came to the U.S. as a green card immigrant  from a beautiful, clean Sweden in the spring of 1968 I was horrified at what I found. In Sweden they were worried about the fact that some lakes were fertilized four times more than the agricultural fields, acid rain killed the trouts in the already acid lakes and  seeds laced with Mercury as a preservative killed off most of the eagles and owls. None of this seemed to bother the Americans. Coming in to Rochester in N.Y the stench from the dead fish washing up on the shore of lake Ontario was strong, I read of a river catching on fire in Ohio and the smell of coal burning power plants without scrubbers was bad, almost as bad as in the coal and steel region of Germany. It was also the height of the Vietnam wars, and people were protesting. Many of the protestors were communists at hart, and they also turned to pollution. The aerosol pollution led to a decrease in global temperatures, so the mantra was: The ice age is coming! The worst prediction I read was that the global temperatures would be then degrees Fahrenheit lower by the year 2000! Most predictions were not that wild, but they all pointed down, ice age, here we come! The urge to clean up the pollution grew stronger and the Earth Day movement was formed, but they had to find just the right day to have the first. Since this was to become a global movement they decided on the birthday of Lenin, his 100th, very fitting for a globalist movement.  That was 1970 in Philadelphia, featured Ira Einhorn (The Unicorn Killer) as master of Ceremonies.

Now fifty years later the mantra has changed to climate change, specifically carbon pollution and carbon footprint. As the scientists were wrong then, the ice age is coming soon, so they are wrong now. The rise in CO2 causes climate change all right, and it would be really bad unless something else also changes as the CO2 concentration changes. Water vapor is a strong greenhouse gas, much stronger than CO2, and they both add to the greenhouse effect, but only at temperatures below freezing. In the tropics there is 50 times as much water vapor as there is CO2, so the tropics is not affected at all by rising CO2 levels. In the Arctic the situation is quite different. Water vapor is also a condensing gas, and forms clouds in the atmosphere. Clouds cool by day and warm by night, but the effect of cooling by day is much larger than the cooling by night, so clouds act as the major temperature regulator on earth. That is why the temperature was about the same as now when the CO2 level was over 10000 ppm, 25 times as large as now hundreds of millions of years ago. There is zero risk of overheating, there is no “tipping point” on the warm side, the clouds tale care of that. On the other hand we know that because we have too little CO2 in the air we will have a new ice age. When will it come? Not in the next thousand years, in fact, by increasing the CO2 levels we will delay the onset of the next ice age. What will happen at the Poles? There will be less cold in the winters, it will snow more but the summers will be about the same, melting more snow.

As to the corona virus the scientists predictions have so far been way off the mark, which just goes to show that making models before all facts are known produces faulty predictions every time. As Yogi Berra once said: “’It’s tough to make predictions, especially about the future’” “… never make predictions – especially about the future”.