What will the global temperature be in 2050 if we implement all climate initiatives versus doing nothing to save the climate?

I am a climate realist, and this is a subject that has fascinated me since I was a child in my native Sweden and saw first hand the effect of the latest ice age. We learnt in school that the climate was warmer during the age of the Littorina Sea (now the Baltic Sea) around 5,000 years ago, followed by the little ice age when the Baltic Sea froze over and the Swedish army in 1648 crossed the Danish Great Belt on ice and sacked Copenhagen. Since then the climate has gotten milder, some people are worried of a thermal runaway, others about a coming ice age.

I will try to see where the temperature of our planet will be in 2050. I will use thermal equilibrium calculations assuming the earth is a black body where incoming radiation is in balance with outgoing radiation. This gives the best instantaneous results. It will also give the heating or cooling of lagging bodies such as the oceans.

1. The sun is getting warmer and will explode, but before that there will be a thermal runaway on earth.

Believe it or not, this is how Dr. James Lovelock started out to find when the earth’s self regulating ability would come to an end. This eventually lead to the GAIA hypothesis. It turns out that the sun gets brighter at a rate of just over 1% every 100 million years—Earth would suffer this “runaway greenhouse” in 600 million to 700 million years. In the next 27 years that would amount to a temperature increase of 0.000005C

2. The sun has gotten warmer the last 200 years, but we are now entering the ‘Eddy Grand solar minimum’.

The sun reverses its magnetic field every 11 years or so. and the sunspot intensity varies with time. Every 400 years or so it enters a grand solar minimum and the resulting average global temperature is reduced by about 1C at the minimum. This grand solar minimum started in 2020 and is accelerating.

3. The effect of the Milankovitch cycles.

We are near the end of the interglacial period, and from now on we will slowly enter a new ice age at a rate of 1C per 2000 years.this means we are cooling down another 0.0135C by 2050

4. The earth’s magnetic field has begun to reverse poles.

The reversal of the earth’s magnetic field has begun and the field is now decreasing at about 1% per year. It is not noticeable yer except in the South Atlantic where the field is already 30% weaker. This is not so much a temperature event, but becaus more cosmic radiation will enter the earth it will rain more in areas that already has too much rain and worsen the drought ridden areas. In addition there will be increased damage from radiation effects.

5. The greenhouse effect increase.

The Earth has warmed 1.3 to 1.4 degree Celsius since the little ice age, coinciding with the beginning of the industrial age and the rate of increase increase is increasing. To better understand how much of this warming is due to greenhouse gases look at this chart:

From this chart we can see that water vapor is by far the most important greenhouse gas, followed by CO2 with Methane and Nitrous oxide far behind. Oxygen is part of the atmosphere, and so is Nitrogen and their concentrations are assumed to be constant. Ozone concentration is too small to have any effect. Raleigh scattering is why the sky is blue and it is constant regardless of other factors.

Before we go any further let’s examine one absorption band for CO2, the 14,9 μm band. at a concentration of 400 ppm it is fully saturated from 14 to 16 μm and tapers off from there, see picture:

The black band shows the difference in total absorption from CO2 concentration of 280 ppm to 400 ppm.

The white area under the shaded area is the absorption at 280 ppm. The shaded area is the additional absorption at 400 ppm, an increase of 6%. The reason it is not more is that it is impossible to absorb more than 100% of the total energy available for that wavelength. Therefore between the wavelengths 14 and 16 microns all energy was absorbed regardless of CO2 concentration.

. But the top chart is deceiving, for it does not fully explain the net effect on radiation, from the sun or from the earth. The chart below is much better:

The incoming solar radiation includes ultraviolet radiation, visible light and near infrared radiation. This is all the heat incoming to the earth, except the heat that is radiating from the earth’s core. All area under the curves of the right halves represent greenhouse gases absorption, except the blue area which represents energy radiated into space under a cloud-free sky. The all dominant geenhouse gas is water vapor but CO2 contributes with 2 absorption bands, at 4.3 microns and 14.9 microns. The 4.3 micron absorption is of almost no importance since it occurs at a wavelength where very little radiation is available, neither from the sun, nor from the earth’s blackbody radiation, but water vapor absorbs nearly all radiation anyhow. The only wavelength that counts for CO2 absorption is at 14.9 microns, because it occurs in the so called atmospheric window and the blackbody radiation is near its maximum.

Let us take a closer look at the outgoing blackbody radiation and the atmospheric window:

The first thing to notice is that no absorption exceeds 100% , so at 14.9 micron wavelength CO2 absorbed 100%, and water vapor absorbed another 80%, the total sum is still 100%. It is impossible to absorb more than 100% of the total energy available for that wavelength. Therefore between the wavelengths 14 and 16 microns all energy was absorbed regardless of CO2 concentration and water vapor concentration. The olive area represents the extra absorption of CO2 at 280 ppm when the water vapor is taken out (you cannot absorb more than 100%). The small yellow slivers represent the extra CO2 absorption at 400 ppm. The white area between the brown total absorption area and the red earth emission line is the total emitted energy through the atmospheric window. Methane and N2O gas greenhouse absorption occur at wavelengths where water vapor already absorbs nearly 100%, so their contribution to greenhouse gases is negligible. Likewise Ozone absorption occurs where O2 also absorbs. From the picture below (thanks, NASA) we can see that the total amount of energy escaping through the atmospheric window from clouds and from the ground is on average (29.9 + 40.1) = 70 W/m2. In pre-industrial times the value would have been around 70.7 w/m2.

NASA update 9 August 2019

NASA has made a good estimate of the earth’s energy budget. Total incoming energy is 340.4 W/m2 and escaping through the atmospheric window is 70 W/m2, or 20.56%. Before the industrial age the value was about 70.7 W/m2 or 20.77%, an increase of 0.24%. A black body radiation is proportional to the fourth power of absolute temperature (Kelvin). The current average temp on earth is 287 degree Kelvin, so the temperature rise since pre-industrial times from the sum of increasing CO2, Methane, Nitrous oxide and ozone is 287 * fourth root of (1-0.0024) = 286.83 K, or 0.17 degree Celsius less.

This is but a small portion of the temperature rise experienced, and it so happens that there exists a good measuring point, where the all dominant greenhouse gases are CO2, Methane, NO2 and O3. At the South Pole in the winter the air is clean, there is almost no water vapor and the winter temperature at the Amundsen–Scott South Pole Station between April and September 2021, a frigid minus-78 degrees (minus-61 Celsius), was the coldest on record, dating back to 1957, and the trend is 1 C colder per century. In the summer the trend is increasing temperatures.

In the rest of the world the dominant greenhouse gas is water vapor, H20 and is responsible for most of of the greenhouse effect, and some of it can be attributed to the warming caused by increasing CO2 levels that warmed the world 0,17C, and if the relative humidity stays the same this leads to an increase in water vapor of about 1 % on average. The increase of absorption occurs in the atmospheric window, and in some bands of the incoming sunlight in the near infrared region. The bands are 0.7, 0.8, 0.9, 1.1, 1.4 and 1.9 μm. Together, when water vapor increases by 1% on average the total absorption of water vapor increases by 0.2 W/m2, mostly by shrinking the atmospheric window. This amounts to 0.06% 0f the total incoming solar radiation. The current average temp on earth is 287 degree Kelvin, so the temperature rise since pre-industrial times from increasing H2O levels is 287 * fourth root of (1-0.0006) = 286.95 K, or 0.05 degree Celsius less.

The temperature increase from increased greenhouse gases total only 20% of the temperature increase since pre-industrial times, so something else must have caused the increase, and the answer lies in looking to the skies. Water vapor is a condensing gas, and when water vapor is saturated and there are enough aerosols (air pollution) in the air clouds will appear. How much can be attributed to changing cloud patterns?

6. The effect from decreasing cloud cover.

White = 100% cloud cover, Dark blue = o% cloud cover

This is a world map showing the average cloud cover in August 2009. It shows the cloud free areas of the earth in blue. Another way to look at it is to see how much total water vapor there is in the atmosphere:

Nowhere on earth can it rain out more than two inches without more humidity being transported in from another place. Over the ocean humidity gets replenished by evaporation, over land only areas that has vegetation or swamps or lakes will replenish humidity by evaporation. keep these charts in mind for later. For now concentrate on the decreasing average cloud cover. It has only been measured for the last 40 years, but here are the results:

There are many different clouds, low, mid-level and high clouds, and they have changed differently over the same time span:

Of these clouds, the low level clouds are reflecting the most, so the 2.4% loss in average cloud cover is an assumption on the low side on the loss of reflection.

In 1984 the average cloud cover was 63.7%, in 2019 it was 61.1%, a loss of 2.6%. The total reflection from clouds and atmospheric scattering is 77 W/m2, of which 60 is from cloud reflection. A 2.6% loss of area of reflection leads to a decreasing of incoming energy of 60 * 0.026 = 1.56 W/m2. This results in a temperature increase to 287 * fourth root of (1- (1.56 / 340)) = 287.33 K, or 0.67 degree Celsius.

When temperature increases by 0.67C water vapor increases by 4% on average; the total absorption of water vapor increases by 0.8 W/m2, mostly by shrinking the atmospheric window. This amounts to 0.24% 0f the total incoming solar radiation. The current average temp on earth is 287 degree Kelvin, so the temperature rise since pre-industrial times from increasing H2O levels is 287 * fourth root of (1-0.0024) = 286.83 K, or 0.17 degree Celsius less.

7. The effects from air and water pollution. . a. The warming of the Northern Arctic region.

North America has great rivers, none greater than the mighty Mississippi. It used to be a meandering river with frequent floods that resulted in depositing its silt over large areas and thus fertilizing the land. The Indians living by the river moved to its new location after the water receded, and they could use the newly fertilized land. After the Louisiana purchase river traffic grew rapidly, but shifting sandbars and the excessively winding river became a problem, so the Mississippi river was converted to be the main transportation artery of the middle USA, the river banks were reinforced and the course of the river straightened. This meant that more of the silt was transported out into the Mexican Gulf, some of the silt that used to fertilize the soil instead fertilized the Mexican gulf. In addition, the Mississippi river used to be very polluted, but is now clean enough that it can be used for drinking water after treatment all the way down into Louisiana. There remains elevated concentration of nitrogen compounds so the Mexican Gulf suffers from excessive algae blooms and even red tide from time to time. This leads to more cloud formation and more rain in the United States east of the 98th meridian. This also occurs in Northern Europe, especially in the North Sea; the rivers flowing into the North Sea are rich in nutrients. The Baltic Sea was near oxygen death, but after the Baltic countries and Poland joined the EU, their rivers got partially cleaned up. In the far East the Yellow Sea and the South China sea are suffering major pollution. All these regions produce more clouds, and through prevailing winds some end up in the Arctic, where they snow out, except in the Summer when they rain out except on Greenland where it snows 12 months of the year. This leads to increasing winter temperatures of about 5.5 C above the 80th latitude, 2.5 C in spring and fall and a decrease of about 0.5 C in the summer (it takes a long time to melt that extra snow). This affects about 4% of the earth’s surface, so the total temperature increase from over-fertilizing the rivers is 0.04 * 2.5 = 0.1 C. No such effect occurs in the Antarctic. To illustrate the current yearly temperature trend in the Arctic, see this current polar temperature chart:

Even more illustrative is the development of ice on Greenland. In 2012 it looked like all of Greenland was going to melt in less than 1000 years, and the polar ice cap would be gone altogether in late summer of 2020. The ice over Greenlnd is now growing ever so slightly again:

b. The effect of various air pollution.

The major effect from air pollution is that it generates aerosols that act as condensation points for cloud formation if the air is oversaturated with moisture. In the last 40 years the air has gotten cleaner in the industrial west, not so much in China, India and Africa. The net result was a 2 % drop in cloud cover and the resulting temperature rise is already accounted for. There are no good worldwide analyses of ancient cloud cover, but air pollution was rising rapidly until the clean air act, enacted in 1963 was beginning to show results in the 70’s. However, ancient method of heating with coal, wood, peat and dried cowdung was far more polluting and harmful to your lungs. If U.S is eliminating all remaining coal plants the CO2 will still be rising since China is planning to build another 1070 coalburning power plants, ane their coal is inferior to ours and their pollution control is far less strict than ours resulting in more aerosols over China and some of the soot to be transmitted all the way to the Arctic, resulting in a black layer of soot on old snow and old ice.

This is the official IPCC AR5 assessment of forcing factors, and we can see that CO2 is over-estimated by a factor of 2.5 and Methane by a factor of 10. When this is taken into account the net forcing from all other factors is neutral within the margin of uncertainty.

c. The effect of greening of most of the earth.

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

Thanks to this greening, done with only the fertilizer of CO2, the earth can now keep another 2 billion people from starvation, not to mention what good it does for plants and wildlife.

The greening of the earth should cause temperature to increase, but if there is enough moisture in the earth the evapotranspiration from the leaves have a cooling effect and more than offsets the lower albedo from green leaves versus dry earth. In addition, with rising CO2 levels the leaves need less water to perform the photosynthesis, so the net result from lowering the albedo by 0.05 % over 17% of the world leads to a cooling down. The average albedo of the earth is 30%, and 17% of the earth lowers the albedo by 5% this lowers the total albedo of the earth by 0.25%.

The total reflection of sunlight from the earth is 22.9 W/m2, so 0.25% of that is 0.057 W/m2, which translates to a net temperature increase of 287 * fourth root of (1- (0.057/ 340)) = 287.33 K, or 0.012 degree Celsius.

d. The areas that are becoming more like a desert.

Most of the earth displays an increase of leaf area, but there are areas in red that are becoming less green. The areas are: The American Southwest, The Pampas area of South America, a 100 mile band in Southern Sahara, part of East Africa, Madagascar, South East Africa, Western Australia, Part of the Volga region, Kazakhstan east of Lake Aral and various parts of China, and the Mekong river. These areas have this in common, the aquifers ate being depleted, the rivers are diminishing and some of them no longer reach the ocean, lakes are almost disappearing, but people still move to those areas “for the good climate”.

The areas so affected are about 900,000 sq miles of the American Southwest and about 3 million square miles total to suffer from becoming more like a desert. The common theme of all these areas is depletion of the aquifers, rivers diminishing, lakes drying up and soil erosion.

The only part of the world US can control directly is The American Southwest. It can expect more frequent and longer droughts, since there is no amplification of clouds from the relatively cool and clean Pacific ocean, and the long term temperature trend is cooling. The Colorado River no longer feeds the Gulf of California with nourishment. The Colorado river used to all the water allocation for all the participating states, but around 2000 the water use had caught up with supply, and since then it has become much worse with demand far outstripping supply.

In addition the Great Salt Lake is now less than a third of the size it was in the 1970’s. A second level water shortage has been issued and for example Arizona will get a million Acre-feet lass per year from the river. The aquifers will be further depleted leading to less rainfall and the few remaining springs will dry out. If nothing is done, the American southwest will become desertified.

Ironically, deserts have a higher albedo than green soil, so letting the American Southwest become a desert would have a cooling effect by the increasing albedo, but the effect from the disappearing clouds would have a far greater heating effect, so letting the American Southwest become a desert is not a solution to the problem.

However, the area subject to desertification is about 0.6% of the world’s land area and rising the albedo by 0.05 leads to a cooling down. The average albedo of the earth is 30%, and before desertification the albedo was 25%, this rises the albedo of the earth by 0.03%. The total reflection of sunlight from the earth is 22.9 W/m2, so 0.03% of that is 0.007 W/m2, which translates to a net temperature decreasee of 287 * fourth root of (1- (0.007/ 340)) = 286.9995 K, or a cool down of 0.0005 degree Celsius.

Summary of all causes for climate change:

Long term warming of the sun: 0.000005C

Effect from the Eddy Grand Solar minimum: – 1C. Yes,that’s cooler

Effect from the Milankovitch cycles: – 0.1C

Effect from reversing the magnetic poles: undetermined.

Direct effect from rising CO2: 0.17C

Secondary effect from increasing water vapor from rising CO2: 0.05C

Effect from rising Methane: less than 0.01C

Effect from N20 and Ozone: less than 0.01C

Temperature rise from decreasing cloud cover 0.67C

Secondary effect from increasing water vapor from temperature rise from decreasing clouds: 0.17C

Temperature increase from greening of the earth 0.12C

Temperature decrease from areas of desertification 0.0005C

TOTAL TEMPERATURE RISE: 0.3 C higher temperature than during the little ice age by 2050.

What will be the temperature in 2050 if all pledges by the Paris accord were fulfilled?

The sum of all pledges means a 15% reduction in the RISE of C02 between now and 2050, leading to a reduction in temperature rise from rising CO2 of 0.02C. In addition it will reduce the amount of temperature rise from the greening of the world by 0.006 C. the total temperature rise will be 0.286 C by 2050 from the little ice age.

Then again, temperatures will rise again after 2050 when the Grand solar minimum is over, but by that time we should have switched electricity production to Uranium and Thorium Nuclear power. We need the coal for the coming ice age. And fusion power is always around the corner and will one day solve our energy problems.

What congress is doing to solve the problem.

Congress has passed the anti-inflation bill that included over 300 billion to fight climate change, and it included more solar panels and wind turbine motors to be imported from China. The experience from Europe is that electricity from solar panels and windmills is 5.7 times as expensive as conventional power generation.

This analysis was done for 2019, before COVID. The situation is much worse now, with electricity rares up to 80 c/kWh, topping $1 /kWh this winter in some countries.

Even at the current increased European Gas prices, the estimated excess expenditures on Weather-Dependent “Renewables” in Europe is still very large:  $~0.5 trillion in capital expenditures and $~1.2 trillion excess expenditures in the long-term.

These simple calculations show that any claim that Wind and Solar power are now cost competitive with conventional fossil fuel (Gas-fired) generation are patently false.  The figures give an outline of the financial achievements of Green activists in stopping  fracking for gas in Europe, close on to $1.2 trillion of excess costs.

It would be better not to import any solar panels and wind power generators from China and let them pay for the extra cost rather than building more coal burning plants. After all they were planning to build over a thousand new plants between now and 2030, all legal under the Paris accord. This would benefit the world climate much more, since Chinese coal plants are far more polluting, since China has far less stringent environmental regulations than U.S.

U.S. uses 13.5% of the world’s coal, and eliminating U.S. CO2 emissions would in time reduce the world temperature by 0.023C, providing no other country, such as China and India would increase their use of Coal, which they are, to the total of 1300 new coal plants between now and 2030. This would raise global temperature by more than 0.06 C.

What congress should do instead.

a. What congress should do immediately.

  1. Immediately stop downblending U 233 and pass The Thorium Energy security act SB 4242a. See more here.

2. Remove Thorium from the list of nuclear source material. The half-life of Thorium232 is 14 billion years, so its radioactivity is barely above background noise. More importantly, while Thorium is fertile, it is not fissile and should therefore not be included in the list. This would make it far easier to mine rare earth metals, as long as the ore consists of less than 0.05% Uranium, but any amount of Thorium is allowed without classifying the ore “Source material”.

3. Separate nuclear power into 3 categories. a. conventional nuclear power. b. Thorium breeder reactors that make more U233 than it consumes, and c. Thorium reactors that reduce nuclear waste.

4. Stop buying solar panels from China. Stop buying wind turbine generators from China. Let them install those in China and pay 5 times as much for their electricity.

5. Immediately form a commission led by competent people, not politicians; to decide how to best expand the electric grid and to best harden it against electro-magnetic pulses, whether solar or nuclear and to safeguard it against sabotage.

6. Remove all subsidies on electric cars, solar panels and wind generators, but continue to encourage energy conservation.

7. Encourage research and development of Thorium fueled reactors, especially liquid salt reactors by drastically simplifying and speeding up the approval process. President Trump issued an executive order in the last month of his presidency EO 13972 specifying that the United States must sustain its ability to meet the energy requirements for its national defense and space exploration initiatives. The ability to use small modular reactors will help maintain and advance United States dominance and strategic leadership across the space and terrestrial domains. This EO should be expanded to include civilian small modular reactors, including Liquid salt Thorium reactors less than 200 MW, which are the only valid reactors for space exploration.

b. Longer term developments, but extremely urgent.

Of the long term warming of the globe of 1.1 C since the beginning of industrialization only 0.17 C is attributable to rising CO2, NH4 and NO2 levels, of which United states is currently responsible for 13.5% and decreasing, or 0.023C. The disappearance of clouds is responsible for twice as much globally or 0.33 C of which probably 1/6 is occurring in the American Southwest, causing an increase in temperature of 0.055C. However, the temperature rise in say the Grand Canyon has been in excess of 2 C,, and in the urban areas it has been even more. These are my long term suggestions:

Build a TransContinental Aqueduct.

A realistic way to save Lake Mead and reverse the desertification of the American SouthWest.Build a TransContinental Aqueduct. A realistic way to save Lake Mead and reverse the desertification of the American SouthWest.

The problem:

Lake Mead will be emptied in less than 10 years with the current usage pattern. Then what?

The hydroelectric power from Lake Mead (and Lake Powell) is diminishing as the lakes are emptied.

The aquifers in Arizona, especially in the Phoenix and Tucson area, and to some extent New Mexico and the dry part of Texas are being drawn down and are at risk of being exhausted.

The Salton Sea in the Imperial Valley of California is maybe the most polluted lake in all of U.S.A. It is even dangerous to breathe the air around it sometimes. The area contains maybe the largest Lithium deposit in the world.

The Colorado River water is too salty for good irrigation .

The Colorado river no longer reaches the Gulf of California. Fishing and shrimp harvesting around the Colorado River Delta is no more.in less than 10 years with the current usage pattern. Then what?

The hydroelectric power from Lake Mead (and Lake Powell) is diminishing as the lakes are emptied.

40 million people depend on the Colorado River for drinking water. The population is still rising rapidly in the West. Will they have water in the future.

Except for California there is not much pumped Hydro-power storage in the American Southwest.

Texas has plenty of wind power, but no pumped hydro-power storage. This makes it difficult to provide peak power when the sun doesn’t shine and the wind doesn’t blow. Nuclear power is of no help, it provides base power only. Peak power has to come from coal and natural gas plants.

New Mexico has some ideal spots for solar panels, but no water is available for pumped storage.

Arizona has a surging population, wind and solar power locations are abundant, but no pumped hydro-power storage.

Arkansas and Oklahoma have a good barge traffic system. This proposal will increase flood control and improve barge traffic by increasing the maximum barge draft from 9 feet to 12 feet and during dry periods reverse the flow of the Arkansas River. The Arkansas river yearly water flow is nearly double that of the Colorado River.

The solution:

Build a transcontinental aqueduct from the Mississippi River to the Colorado River capable of transporting 12 million acre-ft of water yearly through Arkansas, Oklahoma, Texas, New Mexico and Arizona. It will be built similar to the Central Arizona Project aqueduct, supplying water from the Colorado river to the Phoenix and Tucson area, but this aqueduct will be carrying four times more water over four times the distance and raise the water nearly twice as high before returning to near sea level. The original Central Arizona Project cost $4.7 billion in 1980’s money, the Transcontinental Aqueduct will in Phase 1 cost around $200 Billion in 2022 money applying simple scaling up principles.

The Mississippi River has a bad reputation for having polluted water, but since the clean water act the water quality has improved drastically. Fecal coli-form bacteria is down by a factor of more than 100, the water is now used all the way down to New Orleans for drinking water after treatment. The lead levels are down by a factor of 1000 or more since 1979. Plastic pollution and pharmaceutical pollution is still a problem, as is the case with most rivers. The Ph is back to around 8 and salt content is negligible. Mississippi water is good for irrigation, and usable for drinking water after treatment. The Arkansas River is used as a drinking water source.

But the aqueduct will do more than provide sweet Mississippi water to the thirsty South-west, it will make possible to provide peak power to Texas, New Mexico and Arizona. In fact, it is so big it will nearly triple the pumped Hydro-power storage for the nation, from 23 GW for 5 hours a day to up to 66 GW when fully built out.

The extra pumped hydro-power storage will come from a number of dams built as part of the aqueduct or adjacent to it. The water will be pumped from surplus wind and solar power generators when available. This will provide up to 50 GW of power for 5 hours a day. If not enough extra power has been generated during the 19 pumping hours, sometimes power will be purchased from the regular grid. The other source of pumped hydro-power storage is virtual. There will be up to 23 GW of LFTR (Liquid Fluoride salt Thorium Rector) power stations strategically stationed along the waterway providing pumping of water for 19 hours and providing virtual hydro-power output for the remaining 5, when the aqueduct is fully built.

These 43 GW of hydro-power capacity will be as follows: Oklahoma, 0.2 GW; Texas, 18,5 GW (right now, Texas has no hydro-power storage, but plenty of wind power); New Mexico, 10.5 GW; Arizona 13.6 GW. In Addition, when the Transcontinental Aqueduct is fully built out, the Hoover dam can provide a true 2.2 GW hydro-power storage by pumping water back from Lake Mojave; a 3 billion dollar existing proposal is waiting to be realized once Lake Mead is saved.

The amount of installed hydroelectric power storage is:

U.S. operating hydroelectric pumped storage capacity

Most hydroelectric pumped storage was installed in the 70’s. Now natural gas plants provide most of the peak power. This aqueduct will more than double, triple the U.S. pumped peak storage if virtual peak storage is included. By being pumped from surplus wind and solar energy as well as nuclear energy it is true “Green power”. Some people like that.

What follows is a description of each leg of the aqueduct. Each leg except legs 9 and 10 ends in a dam, which holds enough water to make each leg free to operate to best use of available electricity and provide peak power on demand.

Leg 1 of the Trans-Continental aqueduct. From the Mississippi river to the Robert S. Kerr Lock and dam on the Arkansas River. Total length 15miles of aqueduct and 305 miles of river. Cost of water 300 kWh per acre-ft.

Leg 2 of the Transcontinental Aqueduct: From the Robert S. Kerr Lock and dam to the Eufaula Dam on the Canadian River. Total length 42 miles of lake and river. Cost of water 585 kWh per acre-ft.

Leg 3 of the Transcontinental aqueduct. From the Eufaula Dam to Ray Roberts Lake. Total length 42 miles of lake and 125 miles of aqueduct. Cost of water 900 kWh per acre-ft.

Leg 4 of the Transcontinental Aqueduct. From Lake Ray Roberts to the Brad Dam (to be built). Total length 205 miles of aqueduct. Cost of water 1735 kWh per acre-ft.

Leg 5 of the Transcontinental aqueduct. From Brad dam to Deadman Draw dam and pumped storage power plant. Total length 5 miles of lake and 60 miles of aqueduct. Cost of water 2425 kWh per acre-ft. In Phase 2 can provide up to 4 GW of pumped storage power.

Leg 6 of the Transcontinental aqueduct. From Deadman Draw dam and pumped storage power plant to Buffalo Soldier Draw dam and optional pumped storage plant.Total length 205 miles of aqueduct. Cost of water 3711 kWh per acre-ft.In Phase 2 can provide up to 4.8 GW of pumped storage power.

Leg 7, leg 8 and leg 9 of the Transcontinental aqueduct. From the Buffalo Soldier Draw dam to the highest point of the aqueduct 10 miles into Arizona. Leg 7 is 255 miles. Cost of water 6132 kWh per acre-ft. Leg 8 is 125 miles. Cost of water is 5705 kWh per acre-ft. Leg 9 is 160 miles. Cost of water is 6605 kWh per acre-ft.

The Transcontinental Aqueduct. Leg 10: The highest pumping station in Arizona to San Carlos Lake, a distance of 93 miles. Cost of water 5205 kWh per acre-ft.

The Transcontinental Aqueduct. Leg 11: From San Carlos Lake to East Diversion dam, a distance of about 60 miles. Cost of water 4905 kWh per acre-ft.

The Transcontinental aqueduct Leg 12: From the East Diversion dam to connecting to the Central Arizona aqueduct 45 miles WNW of Phoenix. Phase 1 is 20 miles of aqueduct and 85 miles of River. Cost of water is 5105 kWh per acre-ft. Phase 2 adds 130 miles of aqueduct . The cost of water is 5065 kWh per acre-ft.

The Transcontinental aqueduct, Leg 13: From the New Arlington dam to the Colorado River. Leg 13, phase 1 is 130 miles of river.Cost of water is 5105 kWh per acre-ft. Phase 2 adds 15 miles of aqueduct . The cost of water is 5130 kWh per acre-ft.

The Transcontinental Aqueduct, spur 14: The Wilson Canyon Solar farm and pumped storage plant. Can supply 13.5 GW of pumped storage power.

The Transcontinental Aqueduct, spur 15: The Poppy Canyon Solar farm and pumped storage plant. Can provide up to 28 GW of pumped storage power.

The Transcontinental Aqueduct will serve the Lower Colorado River Basin, Southern New Mexico and Western Texas. It will pump up to 12 million acre-ft of water annually from the Arkansas river and Mississippi river all the way to southern Colorado River.

The total electricity needed to accomplish this giant endeavor is about 60 billion kWh annually. or about one and a half percent of the current US electricity demand. In 2020 the US produced 1,586 billion kWh from natural gas, 956 from coal, 337.5 from wind and 90.9 from solar.

For this giant project to have any chance of success there has to be something in it to be gained from every state that will be participating. Here are some of the benefits:

Arizona: Arizona needs more water. The water from Mississippi is less saline and better suited for agriculture and the people growth makes it necessary to provide more water sources. Right now the aquifers are being depleted. Then what? One example: The San Carlos lake is nearly dry half the time and almost never filled to capacity. With the aqueduct supplying water it can be filled to 80 +- 20% of full capacity all the time. In the event of a very large snow melt the lake level can be reduced in advance to accommodate the extra flow. Likewise during Monsoon season the aqueduct flow can be reduced in anticipation of large rain events. Arizona together with New Mexico has the best locations for solar power, but is lacking the water necessary for hydro-power storage. This proposal will give 600 cfs of water to Tucson, 3,100 cfs to the Phoenix area and 3,900 cfs to the lower Colorado River in Phase 1. I phase 2 it will add 3,100 cfs to Lake Havasu and an extra 4,700 cfs to the lower Colorado River. It will also also add 28 GW of hydro-power storage capable of adding 140 GWh of electric peak power daily when it is fully built out in Phase 3.

Arkansas: The main benefit for Arkansas is better flood control and river control of the Arkansas River and allowing it to deepen the draft for canal barges from 9,5 feet to 12 feet, which is standard on the Mississippi river.

California: The water aqueduct serving Los Angeles will be allowed to use maximum capacity at all times. Additional water resources will be given the greater San Diego area. The Imperial valley will be given sweet Mississippi and Arkansas River water, which will improve agriculture yield. The polluted New River will be cut off at the Mexico border. There will be water allocated to the Salton Sea. There is a proposal to mine the world’s largest Lithium ore, mining the deep brine, rich in Lithium. (about a third of the world supply according to one estimate). This requires water, and as a minimum requirement to allow mining in the Salton Sea the water needs to be cleaned. This requires further investigation, but the area around the Salton Sea is maybe the most unhealthy in the United States. It used to be a great vacation spot.

Mexico: During the negotiations about who was going to get the water in Lake Mead Mexico did not get enough water, so they have been using all remaining water for irrigation, and no water is reaching the ocean anymore. In addition the water is too salty for ideal irrigation. This proposal will provide sweet Mississippi and Arkansas River water to Mexico, ensure that some water reaches the Colorado river delta. This will restore the important ecology and restore aquatic life in the delta and the gulf. The town of Mexicali will get some water in exchange for shutting off New River completely.

Nevada: Las Vegas is a catastrophe waiting to happen unless Lake Mead is saved. With this proposal there will be ample opportunity to make the desert bloom.

New Mexico: The state is ideally suited for solar panels. In addition to give much needed water to communities along the length of the aqueduct, it will provide 13.5 GW of pumped storage power to be made available at peak power usage for up to 5 hours a day.

Oklahoma: The main advantage for Oklahoma is a much improved flood control. It will provide the same advantage for river barge traffic as benefits Arkansas.

Texas: The state has a big problem. It has already built up too much wind power and can not give up their coal burning power plants until the electricity is better balanced. They have no hydro-electric power storage at all, and we saw the result of that in a previous year’s cold snap. This proposal will give the Texas electric grid 8.8 GW of hydro-electric power for up to 5 hours a day.

Utah: The state will no longer be bound to provide water to Lake Mead, but can use all of its water rights for Utah, especially the Salt Lake City region, and to reverse the decline of the Great Salt Lake that is now shrunk to less than a third of the size it had in the 1970’s.

Wyoming: The state will be free to use the water in the Green River and all the yearly allocated 1.05 million acre-feet of water can be used by the state of Wyoming.

The cost to do all these aqueducts will be substantial, but it can be done for less than 350 billion dollars in 2022 money, and that includes the cost of providing power generation. Considering it involves 40 million people dependent on the Colorado River now and another 10 million east of the Rocky Mountains, it is well worth doing, much more important to do than other “green” projects, since it will save the American Southwest from becoming an uninhabitable desert.

This proposed solution cannot be made possible without changing our approach to power generation. The mantra now is to solve all our power needs through renewables. Texas has shown us that too much wind power without any hydroelectric power storage can lead to disaster. In addition, windmills kill birds, even threatening some species, such as the Golden Eagle and other large raptors that like to build their aeries on top of the generators. Solar panels work best in arid, sunny climate, such as Arizona and New Mexico, but the panels need cooling and cleaning to work best, and that takes water. They are even more dependent on hydro-power storage than wind. The transcontinental aqueduct will triple the hydro-electric power storage for the nation. Without pumped power storage we still need all the conventional power generation capacity for when the sun doesn’t shine and the wind doesn’t blow.

Conventional Nuclear power plants doesn’t work in most places since they depend on water for their cooling, and most of these aqueducts pump water in near deserts, and there would be too much evaporation losses to use water from the aqueducts for cooling.

The only realistic approach would be to use LFTR power plants. (Liquid Fluoride Thorium Reactors). There are many advantages for using LFTR. Here are 30 reasons why LFTRs is by far the best choice.

For this project to succeed there must be developed a better way to build SMRs (Small Modular Reactors, less than 250 MW) more effectively. The price to build a LFTR plant should be less than $2.50 per watt. While the LFTR science is well understood, the LFTR engineering is not fully developed yet, but will be ready in less than 5 years if we get to it. In the mean time there should be built one or more assembly plants that can mass produce LFTR reactor vessels small enough so they can be shipped on a normal flatbed trailer through the normal highway system. My contention is that a 100 MW reactor vessel can be built this way and the total cost per plant will be less than 250 Million dollars. To save the American Southwest we will need about 350 of them, or 87,5 billion dollars total. This cost is included in the total calculation. There will be many more of these plants produced to produce all the electric power to power all the electric vehicles that are going to be built. This is the way to reduce fossil fuel consumption. Just switching to electric vehicles will not do the trick. The electric energy must come from somewhere. To convert all cars and trucks and with unchanging driving habits will require another 600 GW of generating capacity by 2050, our present “net zero emissions” goal.

To do this project we need cooperation from all states in providing eminent domain access. The Federal government will need to approve LFTR as the preferred Nuclear process and streamline approval process from many years to less than one year.

Some of the power will come from solar panels and wind turbines, which will reduce the need for LFTR’s. One tantalizing idea is to cover the aqueduct with solar panels. This will do many things, it will not take up additional acreage, water needed to keep the panels clean is readily available, and can even be used to cool the solar panels if economically beneficial. The area available is 152 feet times 1100 miles = 1.6 billion square feet, and one square foot of solar panel produces around 1 W, which means covering the aqueduct with solar panels would produce 882 MW of power. It would also reduce evaporation. The second source of energy will be 165,000 5kW vertical wind turbines producing 825 MW when the wind is blowing. The rest of the power will cme from LFTRs. This idea requires further analysis. Here is one possible implementation of the idea:

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is aqueductcrossection.jpg

Further developments to save the American Southwest.

When the Transcontinental aqueduct is well under way it is time to start the Trans-Rocky-Mountain Aqueduct. in a few years the population growth will require again to save Lake Powell and Lake Mead, and rejuvenate the American South-west.

The problem:

  1. Lake Powell and Lake Mead will be emptied in less than 10 years with the current usage pattern. Then what?
  2. The hydroelectric power from Lake Mead (and Lake Powell) is diminishing as the lakes are emptied.
  3. the aquifers are drawn down everywhere in the Southwest, but also the Ogallala Aquifer in Colorado and Kansas, and are at risk of being exhausted.
  4. The Colorado River water is too salty for good irrigation .
  5. The Colorado river no longer reaches the Gulf of California. Fishing and shrimp harvesting around the Colorado River Delta is no more.
  6. 40 million people depend on the Colorado River for drinking water. The population is still rising rapidly in the West. Will they have water in the future? Think 20 million future population growth in the next 40 years, people want to move there even with the current water problems.

The solution:

Build a Trans-Rocky-Mountain aqueduct from the Mississippi River to the San Juan River. In the first 391 miles the aqueduct joins the McClellan–Kerr Arkansas River Navigation System by adding the capability of pumping 7,500 cfs of water through 16 dams that service the locks. This will lead to reversing the flow of water during low flow. This also facilitates the navigation channel to be deepened from 9 feet to 12 feet to service fully loaded barges, a step authorized but not funded by Congress. The Arkansas river will then be capable of transporting 8 million acre-ft of water yearly through Arkansas, Oklahoma, Kansas, Colorado and New Mexico, supplying water from the Colorado river to Lake Powell. All that is needed to do in this stage is provide the dams and locks with a number of pumps and pump/generators to accommodate this, at a cost of less than 2 billion dollars. The next phase is pumping up water in the Arkansas river for 185 miles. To accommodate this there will be 17 small control dams built that are closed when normal pumping occurs and open during flood conditions. The cost for this segment, including pumps will be less than 3 billion dollars. The third segment is a 465 mile aqueduct to cross the Rocky Mountains much like the Central Arizona project but this aqueduct will carry three times more water 1.27 times the distance and raise the water four times higher. The original Central Arizona Project cost $4.7 billion in 1980’s money, the aqueduct part of the Trans-Rocky-Mountain aqueduct will cost around $50 Billion in 2021 money applying simple scaling up principles.

Power requirements for the 3 stages are 310 MW for the canal stage, 600MW for the river stage and 6.2 GW for the aqueduct stage. The aqueduct stage can be controlled by the power companies to shut off the pumps and provide 6.4 GW of virtual peak power for up to 5 hours a day on average, and each leg can be controlled individually since they are separated by large dams. There will be 64 one hundred MegaWatt LFTR (Liquid Fluoride salt Thorium Rector) power stations strategically stationed along the waterway providing pumping of water for 19 hours and providing virtual hydro-power output for on average 5 hours. There will also be 910 MW of power needed that is controlled by the river authorities.

The building cost of providing LFTR power should be around $2.50 per Watt of installed energy if a plant is built to manufacture via an assembly line a standardized version of 100 MW LFTR reactor core vessels assemblies capable of being transported on truck to the installation point. The total power cost should then be 16 billion dollars to build, and 5 cents per kWh or about 2.5 billion dollars a year to provide power.

The Mississippi River has a bad reputation for having polluted water, but since the clean water act the water quality has improved drastically. Fecal coli-form bacteria is down by a factor of more than 100, the water is now used all the way down to New Orleans for drinking water after treatment. The lead levels are down by a factor of 1000 or more since 1979. Plastic pollution and pharmaceutical pollution is still a problem, as is the case with most rivers. The Ph is back to around 8 and salt content is negligible. Mississippi water is good for irrigation, and usable for drinking water after treatment. The Arkansas River water quality is pretty good, good enough in Kaw Lake to be used for municipal water supply. Nitrates and phosphates are lower than in most Eastern rivers, Ph is around 8 and coli-bacteria low.

Most hydroelectric pumped storage was installed in the 70’s. Now natural gas plants provide most of the peak power. This aqueduct will add 6.4 GW to the U.S. pumped peak storage if virtual peak storage is included. By being pumped from surplus wind and solar energy as well as nuclear energy it is true “Green power”. Some people like that.

What follows is a description of each leg of the aqueduct. Legs 3, 4, 5 and 6 ends in a dam, which holds enough water to make each leg free to operate to best use of available electricity and provide peak power on demand.

Leg 1 of The Trans-Rocky-Mountain aqueduct. From the Mississippi river to Webbers Falls lock and dam. Total length 15miles of aqueduct and 335 miles of river. Cost of water 333 kWh per acre-ft.

Leg 2 of The Trans-Rocky-Mountain aqueduct. From Webbers Falls to Keystone Dam, a distance of about 75 miles that is river and 25 miles, which is canal. Cost of water 593 kWh per acre-ft.

Leg 3 of the Trans-Rocky-Mountain aqueduct. From Keystone Dam to Kaw Dam.The Keystone Lake is 38 miles long and the river part is about 110 miles. Cost of water 901 kWh per acre-ft.

Leg 4 of the Trans-Rocky-Mountain aqueduct. From Kaw Lake to John Martin Reservoir, a distance of about 200 miles. Cost of water 4,446 kWh per acre-ft.

Leg 5 of the Trans-Rocky-Mountain aqueduct. From John Martin Reservoir to Trinidad Lake, a distance of about 120 miles. Cost of water 7,300 kWh per acre-ft.

Leg 6 of the Trans-Rocky-Mountain aqueduct. From Trinidad Lake to Abiquiu Reservoir, a distance of 90 miles. Cost of water 7,910 kWh per acre-ft.

Leg 7 of the Trans-Rocky-Mountain aqueduct. From the Abiquiu Reservoir to the San Juan River, a distance of 55 miles. Cost of water 7,395 kWh per acre-ft.

Once these two aquifers are completed and running successfully filling the rivers again it is time to refill the aquifers. This requires a change in the water rights laws. The rain water is a property of the land and can be locally retained via small catch basins and ditches. This will restore the aquifers, reduce soil erosion and rejuvenate vegetation as has been successfully done in the dry parts of India. They needed to capture the monsoon rains, and so does Arizona and New Mexico.

One more thing:

Build a South Platte River aqueduct. This will solve the water needs for the greater Denver ares and help preserve the northern Ogallala aquifer.

The rise in CO2 is on balance positive, it has already helped to keep 2 billion people from starvation. With food famine coming the very worst thing we can do is declare a climate emergency and unilaterally reduce our electric supply eliminating much of our fossil fuel source to produce electricity and at the same time push electric cars.

This cannot be solved unless there will be a deep commitment to Nuclear power, streamline government permit processes and let private industry find the best solutions without government playing favorites and slowing down the process. Regular U235 power is not sufficient for this, Only Thorium power will do, and there are many reasons for it. Here are 30 of them:

 1. A million year supply of Thorium available worldwide.

 2. Thorium already mined, ready to be extracted.

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

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

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

 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.

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

 8. Produces isotopes that helps treat and maybe cure certain cancers.

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

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.

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

12. Atmospheric pressure operating conditions, no risk for explosions. Much safer and simpler design.

13. Virtually no spent fuel problem, very little on site storage or transport.

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

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

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

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

18. Russia has an active Thorium program.

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

 20. China is having a massive Thorium program.

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

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

23. With a Molten Salt Reactor, accidents like Chernobyl are impossible.

24. With Molten Salt Reactors, a catastrophe like Fukushima cannot happen.

25. Will produce electrical energy at about 4 cents per kWh.

26. Can deplete most of the existing radioactive waste and nuclear weapons stockpiles.

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.

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

29. President Donald J. Trump on Jan. 5 2021 issued an Executive Order on Promoting Small Modular Reactors for National Defense and Space Exploration. Only Liquid fluoride thorium reactors can meet all the needs.

30. We have to switch from Uranium to Thorium as nuclear feed-stock. We are running out of domestic Uranium.

My favorite Thorium power plant would be a 100 MW Liquid Fluoride Thorium Reactor (LFTR). It is also called a Small Modular Reactor (SMR). It is small enough that all core elements will fit in three standard truck containers and be made on an assembly line. It can be constructed many ways, one is a normal fast breeder reactor, another is adapted to burn nuclear waste. The cost for these reactors, when built on an assembly line will be less than $2 per Watt. They can be placed anywhere, since they are inherently safe, no need for an evacuation zone. Since they are operating at 500C temperature with either gas or liquid lead as heat transfer media there is no need for water as a cooling medium. When mass produced it will be able to produce electricity at 5 c per kWh and the mining to produce the materials is a fraction of what is needed for solar, and wind power, especially when taking into account the intermittent nature of these power sources.The only thing better would be fusion power, but that is at least 20 years away as a power producing source, but it is coming. These are exciting times!

The American Southwest can still be saved.

After the UN COP27: Re-signing the Paris Accord was a very bad idea, even for the environment! A Limerick. Solve the water problem in the American Southwest instead!

Don’t fall for the Paris accord!

A bondage we ill can afford.

CO2 keeps us free;

food for you, food for me!

The end of the world!! cries the horde.

6 – 18 November 2022, the Government of the Arab Republic of Egypt was hosting the 27th Conference of the Parties of the UNFCCC (COP 27), with a view to building on previous successes and paving the way for future ambition to effectively tackle the global challenge of climate change.

According to alarmists’ climate change models, joining the Paris accord will decrease global temperatures by 0.05 to 0.17 degrees Celsius by the year 2100, or a catastrophe too big to fathom will occur. See the official chart below!

I want to reply to what climate alarmists say:  My conclusions on climate change are not in line with political science logic. Being a climate realist, I never said that increasing CO2 is unimportant, only that the negative effects are vastly exaggerated, and the positive effects are ignored. Let me explain:

Climate alarmists and IPCC AR5 believe that the thermal response to increasing CO2 has a feedback gain from increasing water vapor that results from higher temperatures, leading to much higher temperatures. Current climate model averages indicate a temperature rise of 4.7 C by 2100 if nothing is done, 4.65 C if U.S keeps all its Paris commitments and 4.53 C if all countries keep their part of the agreement. In all cases, with or without Paris agreement we are headed for a disaster of biblical proportions.

As the chart indicates, implementing all of the Paris agreement will delay the end of mankind as we know it by at most 4 years.

Myself and quite a few scientists, meteorologists, but mostly engineers believe the feedback loop in nature is far more complicated than that, in fact, there is a large negative feedback in the system, preventing a temperature runaway, and we have the observations to prove it.  The negative feedback manifests itself in 2 ways:

Inorganic feedback, represented by greenhouse gases and clouds. If there were no clouds, the tropics would average a temperature of  140 F  thanks to the greenhouse effect. The clouds reflect back up to 300 W/m2 into space rather than the same energy being absorbed into water, air or soil. Clouds are highly temperature dependent, especially cumulus and cumulonimbus clouds. Cumulus clouds are formed in the morning, earlier the warmer and more humid it is, and not formed at all if it is cold and dry, thunderstorms appear when it is warm enough. The feedback, which is positive at low temperatures becomes negative at warmer temperatures, and in the equatorial doldrums, surface temperature has found its equilibrium. No amount of CO2 will change that. Equatorial temperature follows the temperature of the ocean, warmer when there is an el niño, cooler when there is a la niña. Here is a chart of temperature increases since satellite measurements began as a function of latitude.

The tropics follow the ocean temperature closely, no long term rising trend, the extratropics are also stable.

In the Arctic there is a rising temperature trend, up to 5C in the winter, less so in spring and fall, but a slightly cooling trend in the summer.

If this trend continues, all Arctic ocean ice may melt in 300 to 400 years, faster if there is further warming and nothing else is changing. Let’s take a look at the Arctic above the 80th latitude, an area of about 3,85 million square kilometers, less than 1% of the earth’s surface, but it is there where global warming is most pronounced. This chart from Nov 17, 2022 shows this trend.

Take a look at ice accumulation on Greenland.

What happened? Last year it snowed more than normal. In the Arctic, it gets warmer under clouds, warmer still when it snows. Take a look at Greenland and what has happened this freezing season. It has snowed and snowed and Greenland has so far, nearly three months into the accumulation season accumulated 60 Gigatons more ice than normal. So, at this point in the season we are a total of 80 Gt ahead of last year, and this is with Arctic temperatures this fall being five degrees warmer than normal. The counterintuitive conclusion is that it may very well be that warmer temperatures produces more accumulation of snow and ice, colder temperatures with less snow accumulate less. What happens during the short Arctic summer? With more snow and ice accumulated it takes longer to melt last years snow and ice, so the temperature stays colder longer. If this melting period ends without melting all snow and ice, multi year ice will accumulate, and if it continues unabated, the next ice age will start.

The second feedback loop is organic. More CO2 means more plant growth.  According to NASA (2015) there has been a significant greening of the earth, more than 15% since satellite measurements begun. This results in a warming effect everywhere, except in areas that are drying out, where there is a cooling trend. The net effect is that we can now feed 2 billion more people than before without using more fertilizer. Check this picture from NASA, showing the increased leaf area extends over 90 % of the land area.

There are two major ways of trying to predict future temperature trends. UN IPCC uses models to predict. They look like this:

This model refers to the atmosphere between 30,000 and 38,000 feet altitude, a height where water vapor is low, so CO2 is the dominant greenhouse factor. As we can see, the models are off by a factor of 4 in average temperature rise. This is because all IPCC models suffer from a fatal flaw: they assume that the factors are additive, but it is impossible to absorb more than 100% of all the energy available in one particular wavelength, for instance, if CO2 absorbs 100% of all energy available in the 14 to 16 micrometer band, and water vapor absorbs 60% in the same band, the sum is not 160%. It is still 100%.

Abetter way to estimate temperature trends is to treat the earth as a black body with sunlight warming the earth and the same amount of energy escaping through black body radiation. If there were no greenhouse gases the equilibrium temperature would be 255 K (-18 C or 0F) according to Stefan-Boltzmann law, which states that the total radiant heat power emitted from a surface is proportional to the fourth power of its absolute temperature. But thanks to water vapor and CO2 and some other minor gases we can now enjoy a comfortable average temperature of 13.9C, up from 12.7C average temperature around 1700, just as the little ice age ended and industrialization started in earnest.

Using the black box approach and assuming equilibrium temperature at all times this method fits much better with measurements, for details, see here. The total changes in temperature when CO2 rose from 280 ppm to 400 ppm, lower cloud cover decreased 2% and leaf area on earth rose 15%.

Direct effect from rising CO2: 0.17C

Secondary effect from increasing water vapor from rising CO2: 0.05C

Effect from rising Methane: less than 0.01C

Effect from N20 and Ozone: less than 0.01C

Temperature rise from decreasing cloud cover by2%, from 64% to 62%: 0.67C

Secondary effect from increasing water vapor from temperature rise from decreasing clouds: 0.17C

Temperature increase from greening of the earth 0.12C

Temperature decrease from areas of desertification 0.0005C

TOTAL TEMPERATURE RISE: 1.2C which is equal to the measured rise from 12.7C to 13.9C.

The big question is: What will the equilibrium temperature be in 2050 if we do nothing to limit CO2 and other greenhouse gases?

Direct effect from rising CO2 levels from 400 ppm to 490 ppm: 0.10C

Secondary effect from increasing water vapor from increasing CO2: 0.03 C

Temperature rise from decreasing cloud cover another 1/2% 0.16C

Secondary effect from increasing water vapor from temperature rise from decreasing clouds: 0.04C

Temperature increase from greening of the earth another 10%: 0.07C

Temperature decrease from areas of desertification 0.0005C

TOTAL TEMPERATURE RISE: 1.6C, 0.13C of which is when CO2 rises from 400 to 490 ppm, 0.20 C from when cloud coverage decreases by 1/2% and 0.07 C from 10% more leaf area from the greening of the earth.

According to COP27 the carbon reduction pledges by 2050 looks like this:

The sum of all pledges means a 15% reduction in the RISE of C02 between now and 2050, leading to a reduction in temperature rise from rising CO2 of 0.02C. In addition it will reduce the amount of temperature rise from the greening of the world by 0.006 C. the total temperature rise will be 1.574C or thereabout, still over the 1.5C target.

There is a better way.

The temperature rise since per-industrial times is caused by basically 3 factors: Greenhouse gases and water vapor increase: 23%, decreased reflection from decreased cloud cover: 65%, and decreased albedo due to the greening of the earth: 12%.

There are some disturbing trends in rain patterns around the world. This fall the four largest rivers for barge traffic all have severe limitations in their barge traffic volume due to low water, the Mississippi river in North America, the Rhine River in Europe, the Yang Tse Kiang River in Asia and the Parana River in South America. It seems to be world-wide. At the same time snowfall is increasing in the Arctic, leading to warmer winters and a little cooling in the summer since there is more snow to melt. Areas of the world is being desertified, lakes are drying up, aquifers are being depleted, and so some areas are drying up. These are the same areas where people love to live and use its water. The Great Salt Lake in Utah is down to a third of the size it had in the 1970’s, Lake Aral is nearly all gone, The Caspian Sea is again shrinking and Lake Chad in Africa is down to 20% of its size in the 1970’s.

Most of the earth displays an increase of leaf area, but there are areas in red that are becoming less green. The areas are: The American Southwest, The Pampas area of South America, a 100 mile band in Southern Sahara, part of East Africa, Madagascar, South East Africa, Western Australia, Part of the Volga region, Kazakhstan east of Lake Aral and various parts of China, and the Mekong river. These areas have this in common, the aquifers ate being depleted, the rivers are diminishing and some of them no longer reach the ocean, lakes are almost disappearing, but people still move to those areas “for the good climate”.

The areas so affected are about 900,000 sq miles of the American Southwest and about 3 million square miles in total to suffer from becoming more like a desert. The common theme of all these areas is depletion of the aquifers, rivers diminishing, lakes drying up and soil erosion.

The only part of the world US can control directly is The American Southwest. It can expect more frequent and longer droughts, since there is no amplification of clouds from the relatively cool and clean Pacific ocean, and the long term temperature trend is cooling. The Colorado River no longer feeds the Gulf of California with nourishment. The Colorado river used to supply all the water allocation for all the participating states, but around 2000 the water use had caught up with supply, and since then it has become much worse with demand far outstripping supply.

In addition the Great Salt Lake is now less than a third of the size it was in the 1970’s. A second level water shortage has been issued and for example Arizona will get a million Acre-feet lass per year than promised from the Colorado river. The aquifers will be further depleted leading to less rainfall and the few remaining springs will dry out. If nothing is done, the American southwest will become desertified.

Ironically, deserts have a higher albedo than green soil, so letting the American Southwest become a desert would have a cooling effect by the increasing albedo, but the effect from the disappearing clouds would have a far greater heating effect, so letting the American Southwest become a desert is not a solution to the problem.

However, the area subject to desertification is about 0.6% of the world’s land area and rising the albedo by 0.05 leads to a cooling down. The average albedo of the earth is 30%, and before desertification the albedo was 25%, this rises the albedo of the earth by 0.03%. The total reflection of sunlight from the earth is 22.9 W/m2, so 0.03% of that is 0.007 W/m2, which translates to a net temperature decrease of the world by 0.002C.

What congress is doing to solve the problem.

Congress has passed the anti-inflation bill that included over 300 billion to fight climate change, and it included more solar panels and wind turbine motors to be imported from China. The experience from Europe is that electricity from solar panels and windmills is 5.7 times as expensive as conventional power generation.

This analysis was done for 2019, before COVID. The situation is now much worse, with electricity rares up to 40 c/kWh, and that is with subsidies.

Even at the current increased European Gas prices, the estimated excess expenditures on Weather-Dependent “Renewables” in Europe is still very large:  $~0.5 trillion in capital expenditures and $~1.2 trillion excess expenditures in the long-term.

These simple calculations show that any claim that Wind and Solar power are now cost competitive with conventional fossil fuel (Gas-fired) generation are patently false.  The figures give an outline of the financial achievements of Green activists in stopping  fracking for gas in Europe, close on to $1.2 trillion of excess costs.

It would be better not to import any solar panels and wind power generators from China and let them pay for the extra cost rather than building more coal burning plants. After all they were planning to build over a thousand new plants between now and 2030, all legal under the Paris accord. This would benefit the world climate much more, since Chinese coal plants are far more polluting, since China has far less stringent environmental regulations than U.S.

U.S. uses 13.5% of the world’s coal, and eliminating U.S. CO2 emissions would in time reduce the world temperature by 0.026C, providing no other country, such as China and India would increase their use of Coal, which they are; to the total of 1300 new coal plants between now and 2030. This would raise global temperature by more than 0.06 C.

What congress should do instead.

a. What congress should do immediately.

  1. Immediately stop downblending U 233 and pass The Thorium Energy security act SB 4242a. See more here.

2. Remove Thorium from the list of nuclear source material. The half-life of Thorium232 is 14 billion years, so its radioactivity is barely above background noise. More importantly, while Thorium is fertile, it is not fissile and should therefore not be included in the list. This would make it far easier to mine rare earth metals, as long as the ore consists of less than 0.05% Uranium, but any amount of Thorium is allowed without classifying the ore “Source material”.

3. Separate nuclear power into 3 categories. a. conventional nuclear power. b. Thorium breeder reactors that make more U233 than it consumes, and c. Thorium reactors that reduce nuclear waste.

4. Stop buying solar panels from China. Stop buying wind turbine generators from China. Let them install those in China and pay 5 times as much for their electricity.

5. Immediately form a commission led by competent people, not politicians; to decide how to best expand the electric grid and to best harden it against electro-magnetic pulses, whether solar or nuclear and to safeguard it against sabotage.

6. Remove all subsidies on electric cars, solar panels and wind generators, but continue to encourage energy conservation.

7. Encourage research and development of Thorium fueled reactors, especially liquid salt reactors by drastically simplifying and speeding up the approval process. President Trump issued an executive order in the last month of his presidency EO 13972 specifying that the United States must sustain its ability to meet the energy requirements for its national defense and space exploration initiatives. The ability to use small modular reactors will help maintain and advance United States dominance and strategic leadership across the space and terrestrial domains. This EO should be expanded to include civilian small modular reactors, including Liquid salt Thorium reactors less than 200 MW, which are the only valid reactors for space exploration.

b. Longer term developments, but extremely urgent.

Of the long term warming of the globe of 1.2 C since the beginning of industrialization only 0.17 C is attributable to rising CO2, NH4 and NO2 levels, of which United states is currently responsible for 13.5% and decreasing, or 0.023C. The disappearance of clouds is responsible for twice as much globally or 0.33 C of which probably 1/6 is occurring in the American Southwest, causing an increase in temperature of 0.055C. However, the temperature rise in say the Grand Canyon has been in excess of 2 C,, and in the urban areas it has been even more. These are my long term suggestions:

Build a TransContinental Aqueduct. A realistic way to save Lake Mead and reverse the desertification of the American SouthWest.

The problem:

Lake Mead will be emptied in less than 10 years with the current usage pattern. Then what?

The hydroelectric power from Lake Mead (and Lake Powell) is diminishing as the lakes are emptied. The so called winter pool level is nearing, after which no further power can be generated.

The aquifers in Arizona, especially in the Phoenix and Tucson area, and to some extent New Mexico and the dry part of Texas are being drawn down and are at risk of being exhausted.

The Salton Sea in the Imperial Valley of California is maybe the most polluted lake in all of U.S.A. It is even dangerous to breathe the air around it sometimes. The area contains maybe the largest Lithium deposit in the world.

The Colorado River water is too salty for good irrigation .

The Colorado river no longer reaches the Gulf of California. Fishing and shrimp harvesting around the Colorado River Delta is no more.in less than 10 years with the current usage pattern. Then what?

The hydroelectric power from Lake Mead (and Lake Powell) is diminishing as the lakes are emptied.

40 million people depend on the Colorado River for drinking water. The population is still rising rapidly in the West. Will they have water in the future.

Except for California there is not much pumped Hydro-power storage in the American Southwest.

Texas has plenty of wind power, but no pumped hydro-power storage. This makes it difficult to provide peak power when the sun doesn’t shine and the wind doesn’t blow. Nuclear power is of no help, it provides base power only. Peak power has to come from coal and natural gas plants.

New Mexico has some ideal spots for solar panels, but no water is available for pumped storage.

Arizona has a surging population, wind and solar power locations are abundant, but no pumped hydro-power storage.

Arkansas and Oklahoma have a good barge traffic system. This proposal will increase flood control and improve barge traffic by increasing the maximum barge draft from 9 feet to 12 feet and during dry periods reverse the flow of the Arkansas River. The Arkansas river yearly water flow is nearly double that of the Colorado River.

The solution:

Build a transcontinental aqueduct from the Mississippi River to the Colorado River capable of transporting 12 million acre-ft of water yearly through Arkansas, Oklahoma, Texas, New Mexico and Arizona. It will be built similar to the Central Arizona Project aqueduct, supplying water from the Colorado river to the Phoenix and Tucson area, but this aqueduct will be carrying four times more water over four times the distance and raise the water nearly twice as high before returning to near sea level. The original Central Arizona Project cost $4.7 billion in 1980’s money, the Transcontinental Aqueduct will in Phase 1 cost around $200 Billion in 2022 money applying simple scaling up principles.

The Mississippi River has a bad reputation for having polluted water, but since the clean water act the water quality has improved drastically. Fecal coli-form bacteria is down by a factor of more than 100, the water is now used all the way down to New Orleans for drinking water after treatment. The lead levels are down by a factor of 1000 or more since 1979. Plastic pollution and pharmaceutical pollution is still a problem, as is the case with most rivers. The Ph is back to around 8 and salt content is negligible. Mississippi water is good for irrigation, and usable for drinking water after treatment. The Arkansas River is used as a drinking water source.

But the aqueduct will do more than provide sweet Mississippi water to the thirsty South-west, it will make possible to provide peak power to Texas, New Mexico and Arizona. In fact, it is so big it will nearly triple the pumped Hydro-power storage for the nation, from 23 GW for 5 hours a day to up to 66 GW when fully built out.

The extra pumped hydro-power storage will come from a number of dams built as part of the aqueduct or adjacent to it. The water will be pumped from surplus wind and solar power generators when available. This will provide up to 50 GW of power for 5 hours a day. If not enough extra power has been generated during the 19 pumping hours, sometimes power will be purchased from the regular grid. The other source of pumped hydro-power storage is virtual. There will be up to 23 GW of LFTR (Liquid Fluoride salt Thorium Rector) power stations strategically stationed along the waterway providing pumping of water for 19 hours and providing virtual hydro-power output for the remaining 5, when the aqueduct is fully built.

These 43 GW of hydro-power capacity will be as follows: Oklahoma, 0.2 GW; Texas, 18,5 GW (right now, Texas has no hydro-power storage, but plenty of wind power); New Mexico, 10.5 GW; Arizona 13.6 GW. In Addition, when the Transcontinental Aqueduct is fully built out, the Hoover dam can provide a true 2.2 GW hydro-power storage by pumping water back from Lake Mojave; a 3 billion dollar existing proposal is waiting to be realized once Lake Mead is saved.

The amount of installed hydroelectric power storage is:

U.S. operating hydroelectric pumped storage capacity

Most hydroelectric pumped storage was installed in the 70’s. Now natural gas plants provide most of the peak power. This aqueduct will more than double, triple the U.S. pumped peak storage if virtual peak storage is included. By being pumped from surplus wind and solar energy as well as nuclear energy it is true “Green power”. Some people like that.

What follows is a description of each leg of the aqueduct. Each leg except legs 9 and 10 ends in a dam, which holds enough water to make each leg free to operate to best use of available electricity and provide peak power on demand.

Leg 1 of the Trans-Continental aqueduct. From the Mississippi river to the Robert S. Kerr Lock and dam on the Arkansas River. Total length 15miles of aqueduct and 305 miles of river. Cost of water 300 kWh per acre-ft.

Leg 2 of the Transcontinental Aqueduct: From the Robert S. Kerr Lock and dam to the Eufaula Dam on the Canadian River. Total length 42 miles of lake and river. Cost of water 585 kWh per acre-ft.

Leg 3 of the Transcontinental aqueduct. From the Eufaula Dam to Ray Roberts Lake. Total length 42 miles of lake and 125 miles of aqueduct. Cost of water 900 kWh per acre-ft.

Leg 4 of the Transcontinental Aqueduct. From Lake Ray Roberts to the Brad Dam (to be built). Total length 205 miles of aqueduct. Cost of water 1735 kWh per acre-ft.

Leg 5 of the Transcontinental aqueduct. From Brad dam to Deadman Draw dam and pumped storage power plant. Total length 5 miles of lake and 60 miles of aqueduct. Cost of water 2425 kWh per acre-ft. In Phase 2 can provide up to 4 GW of pumped storage power.

Leg 6 of the Transcontinental aqueduct. From Deadman Draw dam and pumped storage power plant to Buffalo Soldier Draw dam and optional pumped storage plant.Total length 205 miles of aqueduct. Cost of water 3711 kWh per acre-ft.In Phase 2 can provide up to 4.8 GW of pumped storage power.

Leg 7, leg 8 and leg 9 of the Transcontinental aqueduct. From the Buffalo Soldier Draw dam to the highest point of the aqueduct 10 miles into Arizona. Leg 7 is 255 miles. Cost of water 6132 kWh per acre-ft. Leg 8 is 125 miles. Cost of water is 5705 kWh per acre-ft. Leg 9 is 160 miles. Cost of water is 6605 kWh per acre-ft.

The Transcontinental Aqueduct. Leg 10: The highest pumping station in Arizona to San Carlos Lake, a distance of 93 miles. Cost of water 5205 kWh per acre-ft.

The Transcontinental Aqueduct. Leg 11: From San Carlos Lake to East Diversion dam, a distance of about 60 miles. Cost of water 4905 kWh per acre-ft.

The Transcontinental aqueduct Leg 12: From the East Diversion dam to connecting to the Central Arizona aqueduct 45 miles WNW of Phoenix. Phase 1 is 20 miles of aqueduct and 85 miles of River. Cost of water is 5105 kWh per acre-ft. Phase 2 adds 130 miles of aqueduct . The cost of water is 5065 kWh per acre-ft.

The Transcontinental aqueduct, Leg 13: From the New Arlington dam to the Colorado River. Leg 13, phase 1 is 130 miles of river.Cost of water is 5105 kWh per acre-ft. Phase 2 adds 15 miles of aqueduct . The cost of water is 5130 kWh per acre-ft.

The Transcontinental Aqueduct, spur 14: The Wilson Canyon Solar farm and pumped storage plant. Can supply 13.5 GW of pumped storage power.

The Transcontinental Aqueduct, spur 15: The Poppy Canyon Solar farm and pumped storage plant. Can provide up to 28 GW of pumped storage power.

The Transcontinental Aqueduct will serve the Lower Colorado River Basin, Southern New Mexico and Western Texas. It will pump up to 12 million acre-ft of water annually from the Arkansas river and Mississippi river all the way to southern Colorado River.

The total electricity needed to accomplish this giant endeavor is about 60 billion kWh annually. or about one and a half percent of the current US electricity demand. In 2020 the US produced 1,586 billion kWh from natural gas, 956 from coal, 337.5 from wind and 90.9 from solar.

For this giant project to have any chance of success there has to be something in it to be gained from every state that will be participating. Here are some of the benefits:

Arizona: Arizona needs more water. The water from Mississippi is less saline and better suited for agriculture and the people growth makes it necessary to provide more water sources. Right now the aquifers are being depleted. Then what? One example: The San Carlos lake is nearly dry half the time and almost never filled to capacity. With the aqueduct supplying water it can be filled to 80 +- 20% of full capacity all the time. In the event of a very large snow melt the lake level can be reduced in advance to accommodate the extra flow. Likewise during Monsoon season the aqueduct flow can be reduced in anticipation of large rain events. Arizona together with New Mexico has the best locations for solar power, but is lacking the water necessary for hydro-power storage. This proposal will give 600 cfs of water to Tucson, 3,100 cfs to the Phoenix area and 3,900 cfs to the lower Colorado River in Phase 1. I phase 2 it will add 3,100 cfs to Lake Havasu and an extra 4,700 cfs to the lower Colorado River. It will also also add 28 GW of hydro-power storage capable of adding 140 GWh of electric peak power daily when it is fully built out in Phase 3.

Arkansas: The main benefit for Arkansas is better flood control and river control of the Arkansas River and allowing it to deepen the draft for canal barges from 9,5 feet to 12 feet, which is standard on the Mississippi river.

California: The water aqueduct serving Los Angeles will be allowed to use maximum capacity at all times. Additional water resources will be given the greater San Diego area. The Imperial valley will be given sweet Mississippi and Arkansas River water, which will improve agriculture yield. The polluted New River will be cut off at the Mexico border. There will be water allocated to the Salton Sea. There is a proposal to mine the world’s largest Lithium ore, mining the deep brine, rich in Lithium. (about a third of the world supply according to one estimate). This requires water, and as a minimum requirement to allow mining in the Salton Sea the water needs to be cleaned. This requires further investigation, but the area around the Salton Sea is maybe the most unhealthy in the United States. It used to be a great vacation spot.

Mexico: During the negotiations about who was going to get the water in Lake Mead Mexico did not get enough water, so they have been using all remaining water for irrigation, and no water is reaching the ocean anymore. In addition the water is too salty for ideal irrigation. This proposal will provide sweet Mississippi and Arkansas River water to Mexico, ensure that some water reaches the Colorado river delta. This will restore the important ecology and restore aquatic life in the delta and the gulf. The town of Mexicali will get some water in exchange for shutting off New River completely.

Nevada: Las Vegas is a catastrophe waiting to happen unless Lake Mead is saved. With this proposal there will be ample opportunity to make the desert bloom.

New Mexico: The state is ideally suited for solar panels. In addition to give much needed water to communities along the length of the aqueduct, it will provide 13.5 GW of pumped storage power to be made available at peak power usage for up to 5 hours a day.

Oklahoma: The main advantage for Oklahoma is a much improved flood control. It will provide the same advantage for river barge traffic as benefits Arkansas.

Texas: The state has a big problem. It has already built up too much wind power and can not give up their coal burning power plants until the electricity is better balanced. They have no hydro-electric power storage at all, and we saw the result of that in a previous year’s cold snap. This proposal will give the Texas electric grid 8.8 GW of hydro-electric power for up to 5 hours a day.

Utah: The state will no longer be bound to provide water to Lake Mead, but can use all of its water rights for Utah, especially the Salt Lake City region, and to reverse the decline of the Great Salt Lake that is now shrunk to less than a third of the size it had in the 1970’s.

Wyoming: The state will be free to use the water in the Green River and all the yearly allocated 1.05 million acre-feet of water can be used by the state of Wyoming.

The cost to do all these aqueducts will be substantial, but it can be done for less than 350 billion dollars in 2022 money, and that includes the cost of providing power generation. Considering it involves 40 million people dependent on the Colorado River now and another 10 million east of the Rocky Mountains, it is well worth doing, much more important to do than other “green” projects, since it will save the American Southwest from becoming an uninhabitable desert.

This proposed solution cannot be made possible without changing our approach to power generation. The mantra now is to solve all our power needs through renewables. Texas has shown us that too much wind power without any hydroelectric power storage can lead to disaster. In addition, windmills kill birds, even threatening some species, such as the Golden Eagle and other large raptors that like to build their aeries on top of the generators. Solar panels work best in arid, sunny climate, such as Arizona and New Mexico, but the panels need cooling and cleaning to work best, and that takes water. They are even more dependent on hydro-power storage than wind. The transcontinental aqueduct will triple the hydro-electric power storage for the nation. Without pumped power storage we still need all the conventional power generation capacity for when the sun doesn’t shine and the wind doesn’t blow.

Conventional Nuclear power plants doesn’t work in most places since they depend on water for their cooling, and most of these aqueducts pump water in near deserts, and there would be too much evaporation losses to use water from the aqueducts for cooling.

The only realistic approach would be to use LFTR power plants. (Liquid Fluoride Thorium Reactors). There are many advantages for using LFTR. Here are 30 reasons why LFTRs is by far the best choice.

For this project to succeed there must be developed a better way to build SMRs (Small Modular Reactors, less than 250 MW) more effectively. The price to build a LFTR plant should be less than $2.50 per watt. While the LFTR science is well understood, the LFTR engineering is not fully developed yet, but will be ready in less than 5 years if we get to it. In the mean time there should be built one or more assembly plants that can mass produce LFTR reactor vessels small enough so they can be shipped on a normal flatbed trailer through the normal highway system. My contention is that a 100 MW reactor vessel can be built this way and the total cost per plant will be less than 250 Million dollars. To save the American Southwest we will need about 350 of them, or 87,5 billion dollars total. This cost is included in the total calculation. There will be many more of these plants produced to produce all the electric power to power all the electric vehicles that are going to be built. This is the way to reduce fossil fuel consumption. Just switching to electric vehicles will not do the trick. The electric energy must come from somewhere. To convert all cars and trucks and with unchanging driving habits will require another 600 GW of generating capacity by 2050, our present “net zero emissions” goal.

To do this project we need cooperation from all states in providing eminent domain access. The Federal government will need to approve LFTR as the preferred Nuclear process and streamline approval process from many years to less than one year.

Some of the power will come from solar panels and wind turbines, which will reduce the need for LFTR’s. One tantalizing idea is to cover the aqueduct with solar panels. This will do many things, it will not take up additional acreage, water needed to keep the panels clean is readily available, and can even be used to cool the solar panels if economically beneficial. The area available is 152 feet times 1100 miles = 1.6 billion square feet, and one square foot of solar panel produces around 1 W, which means covering the aqueduct with solar panels would produce 882 MW of power. It would also reduce evaporation. The second source of energy will be 165,000 5kW vertical wind turbines producing 825 MW when the wind is blowing. The rest of the power will cme from LFTRs. This idea requires further analysis. Here is one possible implementation of the idea:

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is aqueductcrossection.jpg

C. Further developments to save the American Southwest.

When the Transcontinental aqueduct is well under way it is time to start the Trans-Rocky-Mountain Aqueduct. in a few years the population growth will require again to save Lake Powell and Lake Mead, and rejuvenate the American South-west.

The problem:

  1. Lake Powell and Lake Mead will be emptied in less than 10 years with the current usage pattern. Then what?
  2. The hydroelectric power from Lake Mead (and Lake Powell) is diminishing as the lakes are emptied.
  3. the aquifers are drawn down everywhere in the Southwest, but also the Ogallala Aquifer in Colorado and Kansas, and are at risk of being exhausted.
  4. The Colorado River water is too salty for good irrigation .
  5. The Colorado river no longer reaches the Gulf of California. Fishing and shrimp harvesting around the Colorado River Delta is no more.
  6. 40 million people depend on the Colorado River for drinking water. The population is still rising rapidly in the West. Will they have water in the future? Think 20 million future population growth in the next 40 years, people want to move there even with the current water problems.

The solution:

Build a Trans-Rocky-Mountain aqueduct from the Mississippi River to the San Juan River. In the first 391 miles the aqueduct joins the McClellan–Kerr Arkansas River Navigation System by adding the capability of pumping 7,500 cfs of water through 16 dams that service the locks. This will lead to reversing the flow of water during low flow. This also facilitates the navigation channel to be deepened from 9 feet to 12 feet to service fully loaded barges, a step authorized but not funded by Congress. The Arkansas river will then be capable of transporting 8 million acre-ft of water yearly through Arkansas, Oklahoma, Kansas, Colorado and New Mexico, supplying water from the Colorado river to Lake Powell. All that is needed to do in this stage is provide the dams and locks with a number of pumps and pump/generators to accommodate this, at a cost of less than 2 billion dollars. The next phase is pumping up water in the Arkansas river for 185 miles. To accommodate this there will be 17 small control dams built that are closed when normal pumping occurs and open during flood conditions. The cost for this segment, including pumps will be less than 3 billion dollars. The third segment is a 465 mile aqueduct to cross the Rocky Mountains much like the Central Arizona project but this aqueduct will carry three times more water 1.27 times the distance and raise the water four times higher. The original Central Arizona Project cost $4.7 billion in 1980’s money, the aqueduct part of the Trans-Rocky-Mountain aqueduct will cost around $50 Billion in 2021 money applying simple scaling up principles.

Power requirements for the 3 stages are 310 MW for the canal stage, 600MW for the river stage and 6.2 GW for the aqueduct stage. The aqueduct stage can be controlled by the power companies to shut off the pumps and provide 6.4 GW of virtual peak power for up to 5 hours a day on average, and each leg can be controlled individually since they are separated by large dams. There will be 64 one hundred MegaWatt LFTR (Liquid Fluoride salt Thorium Rector) power stations strategically stationed along the waterway providing pumping of water for 19 hours and providing virtual hydro-power output for on average 5 hours. There will also be 910 MW of power needed that is controlled by the river authorities.

The building cost of providing LFTR power should be around $2.50 per Watt of installed energy if a plant is built to manufacture via an assembly line a standardized version of 100 MW LFTR reactor core vessels assemblies capable of being transported on truck to the installation point. The total power cost should then be 16 billion dollars to build, and 5 cents per kWh or about 2.5 billion dollars a year to provide power.

The Mississippi River has a bad reputation for having polluted water, but since the clean water act the water quality has improved drastically. Fecal coli-form bacteria is down by a factor of more than 100, the water is now used all the way down to New Orleans for drinking water after treatment. The lead levels are down by a factor of 1000 or more since 1979. Plastic pollution and pharmaceutical pollution is still a problem, as is the case with most rivers. The Ph is back to around 8 and salt content is negligible. Mississippi water is good for irrigation, and usable for drinking water after treatment. The Arkansas River water quality is pretty good, good enough in Kaw Lake to be used for municipal water supply. Nitrates and phosphates are lower than in most Eastern rivers, Ph is around 8 and coli-bacteria low.

Most hydroelectric pumped storage was installed in the 70’s. Now natural gas plants provide most of the peak power. This aqueduct will add 6.4 GW to the U.S. pumped peak storage if virtual peak storage is included. By being pumped from surplus wind and solar energy as well as nuclear energy it is true “Green power”. Some people like that.

What follows is a description of each leg of the aqueduct. Legs 3, 4, 5 and 6 ends in a dam, which holds enough water to make each leg free to operate to best use of available electricity and provide peak power on demand.

Leg 1 of The Trans-Rocky-Mountain aqueduct. From the Mississippi river to Webbers Falls lock and dam. Total length 15miles of aqueduct and 335 miles of river. Cost of water 333 kWh per acre-ft.

Leg 2 of The Trans-Rocky-Mountain aqueduct. From Webbers Falls to Keystone Dam, a distance of about 75 miles that is river and 25 miles, which is canal. Cost of water 593 kWh per acre-ft.

Leg 3 of the Trans-Rocky-Mountain aqueduct. From Keystone Dam to Kaw Dam.The Keystone Lake is 38 miles long and the river part is about 110 miles. Cost of water 901 kWh per acre-ft.

Leg 4 of the Trans-Rocky-Mountain aqueduct. From Kaw Lake to John Martin Reservoir, a distance of about 200 miles. Cost of water 4,446 kWh per acre-ft.

Leg 5 of the Trans-Rocky-Mountain aqueduct. From John Martin Reservoir to Trinidad Lake, a distance of about 120 miles. Cost of water 7,300 kWh per acre-ft.

Leg 6 of the Trans-Rocky-Mountain aqueduct. From Trinidad Lake to Abiquiu Reservoir, a distance of 90 miles. Cost of water 7,910 kWh per acre-ft.

Leg 7 of the Trans-Rocky-Mountain aqueduct. From the Abiquiu Reservoir to the San Juan River, a distance of 55 miles. Cost of water 7,395 kWh per acre-ft.

Once these two aquifers are completed and running successfully filling the rivers again it is time to refill the aquifers. This requires a change in the water rights laws. The rain water is a property of the land and can be locally retained via small catch basins and ditches. This will restore the aquifers, reduce soil erosion and rejuvenate vegetation as has been successfully done in the dry parts of India. They needed to capture the monsoon rains, and so does Arizona and New Mexico.

One more thing:

Build a South Platte River aqueduct. This will solve the water needs for the greater Denver ares and help preserve the northern Ogallala aquifer.

The rise in CO2 is on balance positive, it has already helped to keep 2 billion people from starvation. With food famine coming the very worst thing we can do is declare a climate emergency and unilaterally reduce our electric supply eliminating much of our fossil fuel source to produce electricity and at the same time push electric cars.

This cannot be solved unless there will be a deep commitment to Nuclear power, streamline government permit processes and let private industry find the best solutions without government playing favorites and slowing down the process. Regular U235 power is not sufficient for this, Only Thorium power will do, and there are many reasons for it. Here are 30 of them:

 1. A million year supply of Thorium available worldwide.

 2. Thorium already mined, ready to be extracted.

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

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

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

 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.

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

 8. Produces isotopes that helps treat and maybe cure certain cancers.

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

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.

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

12. Atmospheric pressure operating conditions, no risk for explosions. Much safer and simpler design.

13. Virtually no spent fuel problem, very little on site storage or transport.

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

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

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

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

18. Russia has an active Thorium program.

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

 20. China is having a massive Thorium program.

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

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

23. With a Molten Salt Reactor, accidents like Chernobyl are impossible.

24. With Molten Salt Reactors, a catastrophe like Fukushima cannot happen.

25. Will produce electrical energy at about 4 cents per kWh.

26. Can deplete most of the existing radioactive waste and nuclear weapons stockpiles.

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.

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

29. President Donald J. Trump on Jan. 5 2021 issued an Executive Order on Promoting Small Modular Reactors for National Defense and Space Exploration. Only Liquid fluoride thorium reactors can meet all the needs.

30. We have to switch from Uranium to Thorium as nuclear feed-stock. We are running out of domestic Uranium.

My favorite Thorium power plant would be a 100 MW Liquid Fluoride Thorium Reactor (LFTR). It is also called a Small Modular Reactor (SMR). It is small enough that all core elements will fit in three standard truck containers and be made on an assembly line. It can be constructed many ways, one is a normal fast breeder reactor, another is adapted to burn nuclear waste. The cost for these reactors, when built on an assembly line will be less than $2 per Watt. They can be placed anywhere, since they are inherently safe, no need for an evacuation zone. Since they are operating at 500C temperature with either gas or liquid lead as heat transfer media there is no need for water as a cooling medium. When mass produced it will be able to produce electricity at 5 c per kWh and the mining to produce the materials is a fraction of what is needed for solar, and wind power, especially when taking into account the intermittent nature of these power sources.The only thing better would be fusion power, but that is at least 20 years away as a power producing source, but it is coming. These are exciting times!

The American Southwest can still be restored.

Global warming is real. Less than 20% is due to CO2 increase, Less than 1% is due to Methane increase. A much better way to spend 300 billion dollars is to solve the water problem of the thirsty and sunny American Southwest.

1. The greenhouse effect increase.

The Earth has warmed 1.1 to 1.2 degree Celsius since the little ice age, coinciding with the beginning of the industrial age and the rate of increase increase is increasing. To better understand how much of this warming is due to greenhouse gases look at this chart:

From this chart we can see that water vapor is by far the most important greenhouse gas, followed by CO2 with Methane and Nitrous oxide far behind. Oxygen is part of the atmosphere, and so is Nitrogen and their concentrations are assumed to be constant. Ozone concentration is too small to have any effect. Raleigh scattering is why the sky is blue and it is constant regardless of other factors.

Before we go any further let’s examine one absorption band for CO2, the 14,9 μm band. at a concentration of 400 ppm it is fully saturated from 14 to 16 μm and tapers off from there, see picture:

The black band shows the difference in total absorption from CO2 concentration of 280 ppm to 400 ppm.

The white area under the shaded area is the absorption at 280 ppm. The shaded area is the additional absorption at 400 ppm, an increase of 6%. The reason it is not more is that it is impossible to absorb more than 100% of the total energy available for that wavelength. Therefore between the wavelengths 14 and 16 microns all energy was absorbed regardless of CO2 concentration.

. But the top chart is deceiving, for it does not fully explain the net effect on radiation, from the sun or from the earth. The chart below is much better:

The incoming solar radiation includes ultraviolet radiation, visible light and near infrared radiation. This is all the heat incoming to the earth, except the heat that is radiating from the earth’s core. All area under the curves of the right halves represent greenhouse gases absorption, except the blue area which represents energy radiated into space under a cloud-free sky. The all dominant geenhouse gas is water vapor but CO2 contributes with 2 absorption bands, at 4.3 microns and 14.9 microns. The 4.3 micron absorption is of almost no importance since it occurs at a wavelength where very little radiation is available, neither from the sun, nor from the earth’s blackbody radiation, but water vapor absorbs nearly all radiation anyhow. The only wavelength that counts for CO2 absorption is at 14.9 microns, because it occurs in the so called atmospheric window and the blackbody radiation is near its maximum.

Let us take a closer look at the outgoing blackbody radiation and the atmospheric window:

The first thing to notice is that no absorption exceeds 100% , so at 14.9 micron wavelength CO2 absorbed 100%, and water vapor absorbed another 80%, the total sum is still 100%. It is impossible to absorb more than 100% of the total energy available for that wavelength. Therefore between the wavelengths 14 and 16 microns all energy was absorbed regardless of CO2 concentration and water vapor concentration. The olive area represents the extra absorption of CO2 at 280 ppm when the water vapor is taken out (you cannot absorb more than 100%). The small yellow slivers represent the extra CO2 absorption at 400 ppm. The white area between the brown total absorption area and the red earth emission line is the total emitted energy through the atmospheric window. Methane and N2O gas greenhouse absorption occur at wavelengths where water vapor already absorbs nearly 100%, so their contribution to greenhouse gases is negligible. Likewise Ozone absorption occurs where O2 also absorbs. From the picture below (thanks, NASA) we can see that the total amount of energy escaping through the atmospheric window from clouds and from the ground is on average (29.9 + 40.1) = 70 W/m2. In pre-industrial times the value would have been around 70.7 w/m2.

NASA update 9 August 2019

NASA has made a good estimate of the earth’s energy budget. Total incoming energy is 340.4 W/m2 and escaping through the atmospheric window is 70 W/m2, or 20.56%. Before the industrial age the value was about 70.7 W/m2 or 20.77%, an increase of 0.24%. A black body radiation is proportional to the fourth power of absolute temperature (Kelvin). The current average temp on earth is 287 degree Kelvin, so the temperature rise since pre-industrial times from the sum of increasing CO2, Methane, Nitrous oxide and ozone is 287 * fourth root of (1-0.0024) = 286.83 K, or 0.17 degree Celsius less.

This is but a small portion of the temperature rise experienced, and it so happens that there exists a good measuring point, where the all dominant greenhouse gases are CO2, Methane, NO2 and O3. At the South Pole in the winter the air is clean, there is almost no water vapor and the winter temperature at the Amundsen–Scott South Pole Station between April and September 2021, a frigid minus-78 degrees (minus-61 Celsius), was the coldest on record, dating back to 1957, and the trend is 1 C colder per century. In the summer the trend is increasing temperatures.

In the rest of the world the dominant greenhouse gas is water vapor, H20 and is responsible for most of of the greenhouse effect, and some of it can be attributed to the warming caused by increasing CO2 levels that warmed the world 0,17C, and if the relative humidity stays the same this leads to an increase in water vapor of about 1 % on average. The increase of absorption occurs in the atmospheric window, and in some bands of the incoming sunlight in the near infrared region. The bands are 0.7, 0.8, 0.9, 1.1, 1.4 and 1.9 μm. Together, when water vapor increases by 1% on average the total absorption of water vapor increases by 0.2 W/m2, mostly by shrinking the atmospheric window. This amounts to 0.06% 0f the total incoming solar radiation. The current average temp on earth is 287 degree Kelvin, so the temperature rise since pre-industrial times from increasing H2O levels is 287 * fourth root of (1-0.0006) = 286.95 K, or 0.05 degree Celsius less.

The temperature increase from increased greenhouse gases total only 20% of the temperature increase since pre-industrial times, so something else must have caused the increase, and the answer lies in looking to the skies. Water vapor is a condensing gas, and when water vapor is saturated and there are enough aerosols (air pollution) in the air clouds will appear. How much can be attributed to changing cloud patterns?

2. The effect from decreasing cloud cover.

White = 100% cloud cover, Dark blue = o% cloud cover

This is a world map showing the average cloud cover in August 2009. It shows the cloud free areas of the earth in blue. Another way to look at it is to see how much total water vapor there is in the atmosphere:

Nowhere on earth can it rain out more than two inches without more humidity being transported in from another place. Over the ocean humidity gets replenished by evaporation, over land only areas that has vegetation or swamps or lakes will replenish humidity by evaporation. keep these charts in mind for later. For now concentrate on the decreasing average cloud cover. It has only been measured for the last 40 years, but here are the results:

There are many different clouds, low, mid-level and high clouds, and they have changed differently over the same time span:

Of these clouds, the low level clouds are reflecting the most, so the 2.4% loss in average cloud cover is an assumption on the low side on the loss of reflection.

In 1984 the average cloud cover was 63.7%, in 2019 it was 61.1%, a loss of 2.6%. The total reflection from clouds and atmospheric scattering is 77 W/m2, of which 60 is from cloud reflection. A 2.6% loss of area of reflection leads to a decreasing of incoming energy of 60 * 0.026 = 1.56 W/m2. This results in a temperature increase to 287 * fourth root of (1- (1.56 / 340)) = 287.33 K, or 0.67 degree Celsius.

When temperature increases by 0.67C water vapor increases by 4% on average; the total absorption of water vapor increases by 0.8 W/m2, mostly by shrinking the atmospheric window. This amounts to 0.24% 0f the total incoming solar radiation. The current average temp on earth is 287 degree Kelvin, so the temperature rise since pre-industrial times from increasing H2O levels is 287 * fourth root of (1-0.0024) = 286.83 K, or 0.17 degree Celsius less.

3. The effects from air and water pollution. . a. The warming of the Northern Arctic region.

North America has great rivers, none greater than the mighty Mississippi. It used to be a meandering river with frequent floods that resulted in depositing its silt over large areas and thus fertilizing the land. The Indians living by the river moved to its new location after the water receded, and they could use the newly fertilized land. After the Louisiana purchase river traffic grew rapidly, but shifting sandbars and the excessively winding river became a problem, so the Mississippi river was converted to be the main transportation artery of the middle USA, the river banks were reinforced and the course of the river straightened. This meant that more of the silt was transported out into the Mexican Gulf, some of the silt that used to fertilize the soil instead fertilized the Mexican gulf. In addition, the Mississippi river used to be very polluted, but is now clean enough that it can be used for drinking water after treatment all the way down into Louisiana. There remains elevated concentration of nitrogen compounds so the Mexican Gulf suffers from excessive algae blooms and even red tide from time to time. This leads to more cloud formation and more rain in the United States east of the 98th meridian. This also occurs in Northern Europe, especially in the North Sea; the rivers flowing into the North Sea are rich in nutrients. The Baltic Sea was near oxygen death, but after the Baltic countries and Poland joined the EU, their rivers got partially cleaned up. In the far East the Yellow Sea and the South China sea are suffering major pollution. All these regions produce more clouds, and through prevailing winds some end up in the Arctic, where they snow out, except in the Summer when they rain out except on Greenland where it snows 12 months of the year. This leads to increasing winter temperatures of about 5.5 C above the 80th latitude, 2.5 C in spring and fall and a decrease of about 0.5 C in the summer (it takes a long time to melt that extra snow). This affects about 4% of the earth’s surface, so the total temperature increase from over-fertilizing the rivers is 0.04 * 2.5 = 0.1 C. No such effect occurs in the Antarctic. To illustrate the current yearly temperature trend in the Arctic, see this current polar temperature chart:

Even more illustrative is the development of ice on Greenland. In 2012 it looked like all of Greenland was going to melt in less than 1000 years, and the polar ice cap would be gone altogether in late summer of 2020. The ice over Greenlnd is now growing ever so slightly again:

b. The effect of various air pollution.

The major effect from air pollution is that it generates aerosols that act as condensation points for cloud formation if the air is oversaturated with moisture. In the last 40 years the air has gotten cleaner in the industrial west, not so much in China, India and Africa. The net result was a 2 % drop in cloud cover and the resulting temperature rise is already accounted for. There are no good worldwide analyses of ancient cloud cover, but air pollution was rising rapidly until the clean air act, enacted in 1963 was beginning to show results in the 70’s. However, ancient method of heating with coal, wood, peat and dried cowdung was far more polluting and harmful to your lungs. If U.S is eliminating all remaining coal plants the CO2 will still be rising since China is planning to build another 1070 coalburning power plants, ane their coal is inferior to ours and their pollution control is far less strict than ours resulting in more aerosols over China and some of the soot to be transmitted all the way to the Arctic, resulting in a black layer of soot on old snow and old ice.

This is the official IPCC AR5 assessment of forcing factors, and we can see that CO2 is over-estimated by a factor of 2.5 and Methane by a factor of 10. When this is taken into account the net forcing from all other factors is neutral within the margin of uncertainty.

c. The effect of greening of most of the earth.

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

Thanks to this greening, done with only the fertilizer of CO2, the earth can now keep another 2 billion people from starvation, not to mention what good it does for plants and wildlife.

The greening of the earth should cause temperature to increase, but if there is enough moisture in the earth the evapotranspiration from the leaves have a cooling effect and more than offsets the lower albedo from green leaves versus dry earth. In addition, with rising CO2 levels the leaves need less water to perform the photosynthesis, so the net result from lowering the albedo by 0.05 % over 17% of the world leads to a cooling down. The average albedo of the earth is 30%, and 17% of the earth lowers the albedo by 5% this lowers the total albedo of the earth by 0.25%.

The total reflection of sunlight from the earth is 22.9 W/m2, so 0.25% of that is 0.057 W/m2, which translates to a net temperature increase of 287 * fourth root of (1- (0.057/ 340)) = 287.33 K, or 0.012 degree Celsius.

d. The areas that are becoming more like a desert.

Most of the earth displays an increase of leaf area, but there are areas in red that are becoming less green. The areas are: The American Southwest, The Pampas area of South America, a 100 mile band in Southern Sahara, part of East Africa, Madagascar, South East Africa, Western Australia, Part of the Volga region, Kazakhstan east of Lake Aral and various parts of China, and the Mekong river. These areas have this in common, the aquifers ate being depleted, the rivers are diminishing and some of them no longer reach the ocean, lakes are almost disappearing, but people still move to those areas “for the good climate”.

The areas so affected are about 900,000 sq miles of the American Southwest and about 3 million square miles total to suffer from becoming more like a desert. The common theme of all these areas is depletion of the aquifers, rivers diminishing, lakes drying up and soil erosion.

The only part of the world US can control directly is The American Southwest. It can expect more frequent and longer droughts, since there is no amplification of clouds from the relatively cool and clean Pacific ocean, and the long term temperature trend is cooling. The Colorado River no longer feeds the Gulf of California with nourishment. The Colorado river used to all the water allocation for all the participating states, but around 2000 the water use had caught up with supply, and since then it has become much worse with demand far outstripping supply.

In addition the Great Salt Lake is now less than a third of the size it was in the 1970’s. A second level water shortage has been issued and for example Arizona will get a million Acre-feet lass per year from the river. The aquifers will be further depleted leading to less rainfall and the few remaining springs will dry out. If nothing is done, the American southwest will become desertified.

Ironically, deserts have a higher albedo than green soil, so letting the American Southwest become a desert would have a cooling effect by the increasing albedo, but the effect from the disappearing clouds would have a far greater heating effect, so letting the American Southwest become a desert is not a solution to the problem.

However, the area subject to desertification is about 0.6% of the world’s land area and rising the albedo by 0.05 leads to a cooling down. The average albedo of the earth is 30%, and before desertification the albedo was 25%, this rises the albedo of the earth by 0.03%. The total reflection of sunlight from the earth is 22.9 W/m2, so 0.03% of that is 0.007 W/m2, which translates to a net temperature decreasee of 287 * fourth root of (1- (0.007/ 340)) = 286.9995 K, or a cool down of 0.0005 degree Celsius.

Summary of all causes for climate change:

Direct effect from rising CO2: 0.17C

Secondary effect from increasing water vapor from rising CO2: 0.05C

Effect from rising Methane: less than 0.01C

Effect from N20 and Ozone: less than 0.01C

Temperature rise from decreasing cloud cover 0.67C

Secondary effect from increasing water vapor from temperature rise from decreasing clouds: 0.17C

Temperature increase from greening of the earth 0.12C

Temperature decrease from areas of desertification 0.0005C

TOTAL TEMPERATURE RISE: 1.2C and that is about where we are today.

What congress is doing to solve the problem.

Congress has passed the anti-inflation bill that included over 300 billion to fight climate change, and it included more solar panels and wind turbine motors to be imported from China. The experience from Europe is that electricity from solar panels and windmills is 5.7 times as expensive as conventional power generation.

This analysis was done for 2019, before COVID. The situation is much worse now, with electricity rares up to 80 c/kWh, topping $1 /kWh this winter in some countries.

Even at the current increased European Gas prices, the estimated excess expenditures on Weather-Dependent “Renewables” in Europe is still very large:  $~0.5 trillion in capital expenditures and $~1.2 trillion excess expenditures in the long-term.

These simple calculations show that any claim that Wind and Solar power are now cost competitive with conventional fossil fuel (Gas-fired) generation are patently false.  The figures give an outline of the financial achievements of Green activists in stopping  fracking for gas in Europe, close on to $1.2 trillion of excess costs.

It would be better not to import any solar panels and wind power generators from China and let them pay for the extra cost rather than building more coal burning plants. After all they were planning to build over a thousand new plants between now and 2030, all legal under the Paris accord. This would benefit the world climate much more, since Chinese coal plants are far more polluting, since China has far less stringent environmental regulations than U.S.

U.S. uses 13.5% of the world’s coal, and eliminating U.S. CO2 emissions would in time reduce the world temperature by 0.023C, providing no other country, such as China and India would increase their use of Coal, which they are, to the total of 1300 new coal plants between now and 2030. This would raise global temperature by more than 0.06 C.

What congress should do instead.

a. What congress should do immediately.

  1. Immediately stop downblending U 233 and pass The Thorium Energy security act SB 4242a. See more here.

2. Remove Thorium from the list of nuclear source material. The half-life of Thorium232 is 14 billion years, so its radioactivity is barely above background noise. More importantly, while Thorium is fertile, it is not fissile and should therefore not be included in the list. This would make it far easier to mine rare earth metals, as long as the ore consists of less than 0.05% Uranium, but any amount of Thorium is allowed without classifying the ore “Source material”.

3. Separate nuclear power into 3 categories. a. conventional nuclear power. b. Thorium breeder reactors that make more U233 than it consumes, and c. Thorium reactors that reduce nuclear waste.

4. Stop buying solar panels from China. Stop buying wind turbine generators from China. Let them install those in China and pay 5 times as much for their electricity.

5. Immediately form a commission led by competent people, not politicians; to decide how to best expand the electric grid and to best harden it against electro-magnetic pulses, whether solar or nuclear and to safeguard it against sabotage.

6. Remove all subsidies on electric cars, solar panels and wind generators, but continue to encourage energy conservation.

7. Encourage research and development of Thorium fueled reactors, especially liquid salt reactors by drastically simplifying and speeding up the approval process. President Trump issued an executive order in the last month of his presidency EO 13972 specifying that the United States must sustain its ability to meet the energy requirements for its national defense and space exploration initiatives. The ability to use small modular reactors will help maintain and advance United States dominance and strategic leadership across the space and terrestrial domains. This EO should be expanded to include civilian small modular reactors, including Liquid salt Thorium reactors less than 200 MW, which are the only valid reactors for space exploration.

b. Longer term developments, but extremely urgent.

Of the long term warming of the globe of 1.1 C since the beginning of industrialization only 0.17 C is attributable to rising CO2, NH4 and NO2 levels, of which United states is currently responsible for 13.5% and decreasing, or 0.023C. The disappearance of clouds is responsible for twice as much globally or 0.33 C of which probably 1/6 is occurring in the American Southwest, causing an increase in temperature of 0.055C. However, the temperature rise in say the Grand Canyon has been in excess of 2 C,, and in the urban areas it has been even more. These are my long term suggestions:

Build a TransContinental Aqueduct. A realistic way to save Lake Mead and reverse the desertification of the American SouthWest.Build a TransContinental Aqueduct. A realistic way to save Lake Mead and reverse the desertification of the American SouthWest.

The problem:

Lake Mead will be emptied in less than 10 years with the current usage pattern. Then what?

The hydroelectric power from Lake Mead (and Lake Powell) is diminishing as the lakes are emptied.

The aquifers in Arizona, especially in the Phoenix and Tucson area, and to some extent New Mexico and the dry part of Texas are being drawn down and are at risk of being exhausted.

The Salton Sea in the Imperial Valley of California is maybe the most polluted lake in all of U.S.A. It is even dangerous to breathe the air around it sometimes. The area contains maybe the largest Lithium deposit in the world.

The Colorado River water is too salty for good irrigation .

The Colorado river no longer reaches the Gulf of California. Fishing and shrimp harvesting around the Colorado River Delta is no more.in less than 10 years with the current usage pattern. Then what?

The hydroelectric power from Lake Mead (and Lake Powell) is diminishing as the lakes are emptied.

40 million people depend on the Colorado River for drinking water. The population is still rising rapidly in the West. Will they have water in the future.

Except for California there is not much pumped Hydro-power storage in the American Southwest.

Texas has plenty of wind power, but no pumped hydro-power storage. This makes it difficult to provide peak power when the sun doesn’t shine and the wind doesn’t blow. Nuclear power is of no help, it provides base power only. Peak power has to come from coal and natural gas plants.

New Mexico has some ideal spots for solar panels, but no water is available for pumped storage.

Arizona has a surging population, wind and solar power locations are abundant, but no pumped hydro-power storage.

Arkansas and Oklahoma have a good barge traffic system. This proposal will increase flood control and improve barge traffic by increasing the maximum barge draft from 9 feet to 12 feet and during dry periods reverse the flow of the Arkansas River. The Arkansas river yearly water flow is nearly double that of the Colorado River.

The solution:

Build a transcontinental aqueduct from the Mississippi River to the Colorado River capable of transporting 12 million acre-ft of water yearly through Arkansas, Oklahoma, Texas, New Mexico and Arizona. It will be built similar to the Central Arizona Project aqueduct, supplying water from the Colorado river to the Phoenix and Tucson area, but this aqueduct will be carrying four times more water over four times the distance and raise the water nearly twice as high before returning to near sea level. The original Central Arizona Project cost $4.7 billion in 1980’s money, the Transcontinental Aqueduct will in Phase 1 cost around $200 Billion in 2022 money applying simple scaling up principles.

The Mississippi River has a bad reputation for having polluted water, but since the clean water act the water quality has improved drastically. Fecal coli-form bacteria is down by a factor of more than 100, the water is now used all the way down to New Orleans for drinking water after treatment. The lead levels are down by a factor of 1000 or more since 1979. Plastic pollution and pharmaceutical pollution is still a problem, as is the case with most rivers. The Ph is back to around 8 and salt content is negligible. Mississippi water is good for irrigation, and usable for drinking water after treatment. The Arkansas River is used as a drinking water source.

But the aqueduct will do more than provide sweet Mississippi water to the thirsty South-west, it will make possible to provide peak power to Texas, New Mexico and Arizona. In fact, it is so big it will nearly triple the pumped Hydro-power storage for the nation, from 23 GW for 5 hours a day to up to 66 GW when fully built out.

The extra pumped hydro-power storage will come from a number of dams built as part of the aqueduct or adjacent to it. The water will be pumped from surplus wind and solar power generators when available. This will provide up to 50 GW of power for 5 hours a day. If not enough extra power has been generated during the 19 pumping hours, sometimes power will be purchased from the regular grid. The other source of pumped hydro-power storage is virtual. There will be up to 23 GW of LFTR (Liquid Fluoride salt Thorium Rector) power stations strategically stationed along the waterway providing pumping of water for 19 hours and providing virtual hydro-power output for the remaining 5, when the aqueduct is fully built.

These 43 GW of hydro-power capacity will be as follows: Oklahoma, 0.2 GW; Texas, 18,5 GW (right now, Texas has no hydro-power storage, but plenty of wind power); New Mexico, 10.5 GW; Arizona 13.6 GW. In Addition, when the Transcontinental Aqueduct is fully built out, the Hoover dam can provide a true 2.2 GW hydro-power storage by pumping water back from Lake Mojave; a 3 billion dollar existing proposal is waiting to be realized once Lake Mead is saved.

The amount of installed hydroelectric power storage is:

U.S. operating hydroelectric pumped storage capacity

Most hydroelectric pumped storage was installed in the 70’s. Now natural gas plants provide most of the peak power. This aqueduct will more than double, triple the U.S. pumped peak storage if virtual peak storage is included. By being pumped from surplus wind and solar energy as well as nuclear energy it is true “Green power”. Some people like that.

What follows is a description of each leg of the aqueduct. Each leg except legs 9 and 10 ends in a dam, which holds enough water to make each leg free to operate to best use of available electricity and provide peak power on demand.

Leg 1 of the Trans-Continental aqueduct. From the Mississippi river to the Robert S. Kerr Lock and dam on the Arkansas River. Total length 15miles of aqueduct and 305 miles of river. Cost of water 300 kWh per acre-ft.

Leg 2 of the Transcontinental Aqueduct: From the Robert S. Kerr Lock and dam to the Eufaula Dam on the Canadian River. Total length 42 miles of lake and river. Cost of water 585 kWh per acre-ft.

Leg 3 of the Transcontinental aqueduct. From the Eufaula Dam to Ray Roberts Lake. Total length 42 miles of lake and 125 miles of aqueduct. Cost of water 900 kWh per acre-ft.

Leg 4 of the Transcontinental Aqueduct. From Lake Ray Roberts to the Brad Dam (to be built). Total length 205 miles of aqueduct. Cost of water 1735 kWh per acre-ft.

Leg 5 of the Transcontinental aqueduct. From Brad dam to Deadman Draw dam and pumped storage power plant. Total length 5 miles of lake and 60 miles of aqueduct. Cost of water 2425 kWh per acre-ft. In Phase 2 can provide up to 4 GW of pumped storage power.

Leg 6 of the Transcontinental aqueduct. From Deadman Draw dam and pumped storage power plant to Buffalo Soldier Draw dam and optional pumped storage plant.Total length 205 miles of aqueduct. Cost of water 3711 kWh per acre-ft.In Phase 2 can provide up to 4.8 GW of pumped storage power.

Leg 7, leg 8 and leg 9 of the Transcontinental aqueduct. From the Buffalo Soldier Draw dam to the highest point of the aqueduct 10 miles into Arizona. Leg 7 is 255 miles. Cost of water 6132 kWh per acre-ft. Leg 8 is 125 miles. Cost of water is 5705 kWh per acre-ft. Leg 9 is 160 miles. Cost of water is 6605 kWh per acre-ft.

The Transcontinental Aqueduct. Leg 10: The highest pumping station in Arizona to San Carlos Lake, a distance of 93 miles. Cost of water 5205 kWh per acre-ft.

The Transcontinental Aqueduct. Leg 11: From San Carlos Lake to East Diversion dam, a distance of about 60 miles. Cost of water 4905 kWh per acre-ft.

The Transcontinental aqueduct Leg 12: From the East Diversion dam to connecting to the Central Arizona aqueduct 45 miles WNW of Phoenix. Phase 1 is 20 miles of aqueduct and 85 miles of River. Cost of water is 5105 kWh per acre-ft. Phase 2 adds 130 miles of aqueduct . The cost of water is 5065 kWh per acre-ft.

The Transcontinental aqueduct, Leg 13: From the New Arlington dam to the Colorado River. Leg 13, phase 1 is 130 miles of river.Cost of water is 5105 kWh per acre-ft. Phase 2 adds 15 miles of aqueduct . The cost of water is 5130 kWh per acre-ft.

The Transcontinental Aqueduct, spur 14: The Wilson Canyon Solar farm and pumped storage plant. Can supply 13.5 GW of pumped storage power.

The Transcontinental Aqueduct, spur 15: The Poppy Canyon Solar farm and pumped storage plant. Can provide up to 28 GW of pumped storage power.

The Transcontinental Aqueduct will serve the Lower Colorado River Basin, Southern New Mexico and Western Texas. It will pump up to 12 million acre-ft of water annually from the Arkansas river and Mississippi river all the way to southern Colorado River.

The total electricity needed to accomplish this giant endeavor is about 60 billion kWh annually. or about one and a half percent of the current US electricity demand. In 2020 the US produced 1,586 billion kWh from natural gas, 956 from coal, 337.5 from wind and 90.9 from solar.

For this giant project to have any chance of success there has to be something in it to be gained from every state that will be participating. Here are some of the benefits:

Arizona: Arizona needs more water. The water from Mississippi is less saline and better suited for agriculture and the people growth makes it necessary to provide more water sources. Right now the aquifers are being depleted. Then what? One example: The San Carlos lake is nearly dry half the time and almost never filled to capacity. With the aqueduct supplying water it can be filled to 80 +- 20% of full capacity all the time. In the event of a very large snow melt the lake level can be reduced in advance to accommodate the extra flow. Likewise during Monsoon season the aqueduct flow can be reduced in anticipation of large rain events. Arizona together with New Mexico has the best locations for solar power, but is lacking the water necessary for hydro-power storage. This proposal will give 600 cfs of water to Tucson, 3,100 cfs to the Phoenix area and 3,900 cfs to the lower Colorado River in Phase 1. I phase 2 it will add 3,100 cfs to Lake Havasu and an extra 4,700 cfs to the lower Colorado River. It will also also add 28 GW of hydro-power storage capable of adding 140 GWh of electric peak power daily when it is fully built out in Phase 3.

Arkansas: The main benefit for Arkansas is better flood control and river control of the Arkansas River and allowing it to deepen the draft for canal barges from 9,5 feet to 12 feet, which is standard on the Mississippi river.

California: The water aqueduct serving Los Angeles will be allowed to use maximum capacity at all times. Additional water resources will be given the greater San Diego area. The Imperial valley will be given sweet Mississippi and Arkansas River water, which will improve agriculture yield. The polluted New River will be cut off at the Mexico border. There will be water allocated to the Salton Sea. There is a proposal to mine the world’s largest Lithium ore, mining the deep brine, rich in Lithium. (about a third of the world supply according to one estimate). This requires water, and as a minimum requirement to allow mining in the Salton Sea the water needs to be cleaned. This requires further investigation, but the area around the Salton Sea is maybe the most unhealthy in the United States. It used to be a great vacation spot.

Mexico: During the negotiations about who was going to get the water in Lake Mead Mexico did not get enough water, so they have been using all remaining water for irrigation, and no water is reaching the ocean anymore. In addition the water is too salty for ideal irrigation. This proposal will provide sweet Mississippi and Arkansas River water to Mexico, ensure that some water reaches the Colorado river delta. This will restore the important ecology and restore aquatic life in the delta and the gulf. The town of Mexicali will get some water in exchange for shutting off New River completely.

Nevada: Las Vegas is a catastrophe waiting to happen unless Lake Mead is saved. With this proposal there will be ample opportunity to make the desert bloom.

New Mexico: The state is ideally suited for solar panels. In addition to give much needed water to communities along the length of the aqueduct, it will provide 13.5 GW of pumped storage power to be made available at peak power usage for up to 5 hours a day.

Oklahoma: The main advantage for Oklahoma is a much improved flood control. It will provide the same advantage for river barge traffic as benefits Arkansas.

Texas: The state has a big problem. It has already built up too much wind power and can not give up their coal burning power plants until the electricity is better balanced. They have no hydro-electric power storage at all, and we saw the result of that in a previous year’s cold snap. This proposal will give the Texas electric grid 8.8 GW of hydro-electric power for up to 5 hours a day.

Utah: The state will no longer be bound to provide water to Lake Mead, but can use all of its water rights for Utah, especially the Salt Lake City region, and to reverse the decline of the Great Salt Lake that is now shrunk to less than a third of the size it had in the 1970’s.

Wyoming: The state will be free to use the water in the Green River and all the yearly allocated 1.05 million acre-feet of water can be used by the state of Wyoming.

The cost to do all these aqueducts will be substantial, but it can be done for less than 350 billion dollars in 2022 money, and that includes the cost of providing power generation. Considering it involves 40 million people dependent on the Colorado River now and another 10 million east of the Rocky Mountains, it is well worth doing, much more important to do than other “green” projects, since it will save the American Southwest from becoming an uninhabitable desert.

This proposed solution cannot be made possible without changing our approach to power generation. The mantra now is to solve all our power needs through renewables. Texas has shown us that too much wind power without any hydroelectric power storage can lead to disaster. In addition, windmills kill birds, even threatening some species, such as the Golden Eagle and other large raptors that like to build their aeries on top of the generators. Solar panels work best in arid, sunny climate, such as Arizona and New Mexico, but the panels need cooling and cleaning to work best, and that takes water. They are even more dependent on hydro-power storage than wind. The transcontinental aqueduct will triple the hydro-electric power storage for the nation. Without pumped power storage we still need all the conventional power generation capacity for when the sun doesn’t shine and the wind doesn’t blow.

Conventional Nuclear power plants doesn’t work in most places since they depend on water for their cooling, and most of these aqueducts pump water in near deserts, and there would be too much evaporation losses to use water from the aqueducts for cooling.

The only realistic approach would be to use LFTR power plants. (Liquid Fluoride Thorium Reactors). There are many advantages for using LFTR. Here are 30 reasons why LFTRs is by far the best choice.

For this project to succeed there must be developed a better way to build SMRs (Small Modular Reactors, less than 250 MW) more effectively. The price to build a LFTR plant should be less than $2.50 per watt. While the LFTR science is well understood, the LFTR engineering is not fully developed yet, but will be ready in less than 5 years if we get to it. In the mean time there should be built one or more assembly plants that can mass produce LFTR reactor vessels small enough so they can be shipped on a normal flatbed trailer through the normal highway system. My contention is that a 100 MW reactor vessel can be built this way and the total cost per plant will be less than 250 Million dollars. To save the American Southwest we will need about 350 of them, or 87,5 billion dollars total. This cost is included in the total calculation. There will be many more of these plants produced to produce all the electric power to power all the electric vehicles that are going to be built. This is the way to reduce fossil fuel consumption. Just switching to electric vehicles will not do the trick. The electric energy must come from somewhere. To convert all cars and trucks and with unchanging driving habits will require another 600 GW of generating capacity by 2050, our present “net zero emissions” goal.

To do this project we need cooperation from all states in providing eminent domain access. The Federal government will need to approve LFTR as the preferred Nuclear process and streamline approval process from many years to less than one year.

Some of the power will come from solar panels and wind turbines, which will reduce the need for LFTR’s. One tantalizing idea is to cover the aqueduct with solar panels. This will do many things, it will not take up additional acreage, water needed to keep the panels clean is readily available, and can even be used to cool the solar panels if economically beneficial. The area available is 152 feet times 1100 miles = 1.6 billion square feet, and one square foot of solar panel produces around 1 W, which means covering the aqueduct with solar panels would produce 882 MW of power. It would also reduce evaporation. The second source of energy will be 165,000 5kW vertical wind turbines producing 825 MW when the wind is blowing. The rest of the power will cme from LFTRs. This idea requires further analysis. Here is one possible implementation of the idea:

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is aqueductcrossection.jpg

C. Further developments to save the American Southwest.

When the Transcontinental aqueduct is well under way it is time to start the Trans-Rocky-Mountain Aqueduct. in a few years the population growth will require again to save Lake Powell and Lake Mead, and rejuvenate the American South-west.

The problem:

  1. Lake Powell and Lake Mead will be emptied in less than 10 years with the current usage pattern. Then what?
  2. The hydroelectric power from Lake Mead (and Lake Powell) is diminishing as the lakes are emptied.
  3. the aquifers are drawn down everywhere in the Southwest, but also the Ogallala Aquifer in Colorado and Kansas, and are at risk of being exhausted.
  4. The Colorado River water is too salty for good irrigation .
  5. The Colorado river no longer reaches the Gulf of California. Fishing and shrimp harvesting around the Colorado River Delta is no more.
  6. 40 million people depend on the Colorado River for drinking water. The population is still rising rapidly in the West. Will they have water in the future? Think 20 million future population growth in the next 40 years, people want to move there even with the current water problems.

The solution:

Build a Trans-Rocky-Mountain aqueduct from the Mississippi River to the San Juan River. In the first 391 miles the aqueduct joins the McClellan–Kerr Arkansas River Navigation System by adding the capability of pumping 7,500 cfs of water through 16 dams that service the locks. This will lead to reversing the flow of water during low flow. This also facilitates the navigation channel to be deepened from 9 feet to 12 feet to service fully loaded barges, a step authorized but not funded by Congress. The Arkansas river will then be capable of transporting 8 million acre-ft of water yearly through Arkansas, Oklahoma, Kansas, Colorado and New Mexico, supplying water from the Colorado river to Lake Powell. All that is needed to do in this stage is provide the dams and locks with a number of pumps and pump/generators to accommodate this, at a cost of less than 2 billion dollars. The next phase is pumping up water in the Arkansas river for 185 miles. To accommodate this there will be 17 small control dams built that are closed when normal pumping occurs and open during flood conditions. The cost for this segment, including pumps will be less than 3 billion dollars. The third segment is a 465 mile aqueduct to cross the Rocky Mountains much like the Central Arizona project but this aqueduct will carry three times more water 1.27 times the distance and raise the water four times higher. The original Central Arizona Project cost $4.7 billion in 1980’s money, the aqueduct part of the Trans-Rocky-Mountain aqueduct will cost around $50 Billion in 2021 money applying simple scaling up principles.

Power requirements for the 3 stages are 310 MW for the canal stage, 600MW for the river stage and 6.2 GW for the aqueduct stage. The aqueduct stage can be controlled by the power companies to shut off the pumps and provide 6.4 GW of virtual peak power for up to 5 hours a day on average, and each leg can be controlled individually since they are separated by large dams. There will be 64 one hundred MegaWatt LFTR (Liquid Fluoride salt Thorium Rector) power stations strategically stationed along the waterway providing pumping of water for 19 hours and providing virtual hydro-power output for on average 5 hours. There will also be 910 MW of power needed that is controlled by the river authorities.

The building cost of providing LFTR power should be around $2.50 per Watt of installed energy if a plant is built to manufacture via an assembly line a standardized version of 100 MW LFTR reactor core vessels assemblies capable of being transported on truck to the installation point. The total power cost should then be 16 billion dollars to build, and 5 cents per kWh or about 2.5 billion dollars a year to provide power.

The Mississippi River has a bad reputation for having polluted water, but since the clean water act the water quality has improved drastically. Fecal coli-form bacteria is down by a factor of more than 100, the water is now used all the way down to New Orleans for drinking water after treatment. The lead levels are down by a factor of 1000 or more since 1979. Plastic pollution and pharmaceutical pollution is still a problem, as is the case with most rivers. The Ph is back to around 8 and salt content is negligible. Mississippi water is good for irrigation, and usable for drinking water after treatment. The Arkansas River water quality is pretty good, good enough in Kaw Lake to be used for municipal water supply. Nitrates and phosphates are lower than in most Eastern rivers, Ph is around 8 and coli-bacteria low.

Most hydroelectric pumped storage was installed in the 70’s. Now natural gas plants provide most of the peak power. This aqueduct will add 6.4 GW to the U.S. pumped peak storage if virtual peak storage is included. By being pumped from surplus wind and solar energy as well as nuclear energy it is true “Green power”. Some people like that.

What follows is a description of each leg of the aqueduct. Legs 3, 4, 5 and 6 ends in a dam, which holds enough water to make each leg free to operate to best use of available electricity and provide peak power on demand.

Leg 1 of The Trans-Rocky-Mountain aqueduct. From the Mississippi river to Webbers Falls lock and dam. Total length 15miles of aqueduct and 335 miles of river. Cost of water 333 kWh per acre-ft.

Leg 2 of The Trans-Rocky-Mountain aqueduct. From Webbers Falls to Keystone Dam, a distance of about 75 miles that is river and 25 miles, which is canal. Cost of water 593 kWh per acre-ft.

Leg 3 of the Trans-Rocky-Mountain aqueduct. From Keystone Dam to Kaw Dam.The Keystone Lake is 38 miles long and the river part is about 110 miles. Cost of water 901 kWh per acre-ft.

Leg 4 of the Trans-Rocky-Mountain aqueduct. From Kaw Lake to John Martin Reservoir, a distance of about 200 miles. Cost of water 4,446 kWh per acre-ft.

Leg 5 of the Trans-Rocky-Mountain aqueduct. From John Martin Reservoir to Trinidad Lake, a distance of about 120 miles. Cost of water 7,300 kWh per acre-ft.

Leg 6 of the Trans-Rocky-Mountain aqueduct. From Trinidad Lake to Abiquiu Reservoir, a distance of 90 miles. Cost of water 7,910 kWh per acre-ft.

Leg 7 of the Trans-Rocky-Mountain aqueduct. From the Abiquiu Reservoir to the San Juan River, a distance of 55 miles. Cost of water 7,395 kWh per acre-ft.

Once these two aquifers are completed and running successfully filling the rivers again it is time to refill the aquifers. This requires a change in the water rights laws. The rain water is a property of the land and can be locally retained via small catch basins and ditches. This will restore the aquifers, reduce soil erosion and rejuvenate vegetation as has been successfully done in the dry parts of India. They needed to capture the monsoon rains, and so does Arizona and New Mexico.

One more thing:

Build a South Platte River aqueduct. This will solve the water needs for the greater Denver ares and help preserve the northern Ogallala aquifer.

The rise in CO2 is on balance positive, it has already helped to keep 2 billion people from starvation. With food famine coming the very worst thing we can do is declare a climate emergency and unilaterally reduce our electric supply eliminating much of our fossil fuel source to produce electricity and at the same time push electric cars.

This cannot be solved unless there will be a deep commitment to Nuclear power, streamline government permit processes and let private industry find the best solutions without government playing favorites and slowing down the process. Regular U235 power is not sufficient for this, Only Thorium power will do, and there are many reasons for it. Here are 30 of them:

 1. A million year supply of Thorium available worldwide.

 2. Thorium already mined, ready to be extracted.

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

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

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

 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.

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

 8. Produces isotopes that helps treat and maybe cure certain cancers.

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

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.

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

12. Atmospheric pressure operating conditions, no risk for explosions. Much safer and simpler design.

13. Virtually no spent fuel problem, very little on site storage or transport.

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

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

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

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

18. Russia has an active Thorium program.

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

 20. China is having a massive Thorium program.

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

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

23. With a Molten Salt Reactor, accidents like Chernobyl are impossible.

24. With Molten Salt Reactors, a catastrophe like Fukushima cannot happen.

25. Will produce electrical energy at about 4 cents per kWh.

26. Can deplete most of the existing radioactive waste and nuclear weapons stockpiles.

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.

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

29. President Donald J. Trump on Jan. 5 2021 issued an Executive Order on Promoting Small Modular Reactors for National Defense and Space Exploration. Only Liquid fluoride thorium reactors can meet all the needs.

30. We have to switch from Uranium to Thorium as nuclear feed-stock. We are running out of domestic Uranium.

My favorite Thorium power plant would be a 100 MW Liquid Fluoride Thorium Reactor (LFTR). It is also called a Small Modular Reactor (SMR). It is small enough that all core elements will fit in three standard truck containers and be made on an assembly line. It can be constructed many ways, one is a normal fast breeder reactor, another is adapted to burn nuclear waste. The cost for these reactors, when built on an assembly line will be less than $2 per Watt. They can be placed anywhere, since they are inherently safe, no need for an evacuation zone. Since they are operating at 500C temperature with either gas or liquid lead as heat transfer media there is no need for water as a cooling medium. When mass produced it will be able to produce electricity at 5 c per kWh and the mining to produce the materials is a fraction of what is needed for solar, and wind power, especially when taking into account the intermittent nature of these power sources.The only thing better would be fusion power, but that is at least 20 years away as a power producing source, but it is coming. These are exciting times!

The American Southwest can still be saved.

The best way to solve the problem of the drying up of the American Southwest.

The climate is changing. The American Southwest is getting hotter and drier, the American East is getting wetter and the North is getting snowier. U whererban areas are getting warmer as energy use and paving increase. How much of all this is attributable to increasing greenhouse effect? How much is due to changing cloud patterns? How much is due to water and air pollution? And how much is due to land use changes?

1. The greenhouse effect increase.

To get a grasp of how the greenhouse effect functions look at this chart:

From this chart we can see that water vapor is by far the most important greenhouse gas, followed by CO2 with Methane and Nitrous oxide far behind. Oxygen is part of the atmosphere, and so is Nitrogen and their concentration is assumed to be constant. Ozone concentration is too small to have any effect. Raleigh scattering is why the sky is blue and it is constant regardless of other factors.

. But this chart is deceiving, for it does not fully explain the net effect on radiation, from the sun or from the earth. The chart below is much better:

The incoming solar radiation includes ultraviolet radiation, visible light and near infrared radiation. This is all the heat incoming to the earth, except the heat that is coming from the earth’s core. All area under the curves of the right halves represent greenhouse gases absorption, except the blue area which represents energy radiated into space under a cloud-free sky. The all dominant geenhouse gas is water vapor but CO2 contributes with 2 absorption bands, at 4.3 microns and 14.9 microns. The 4.3 micron absorption is of almost no importance since it occurs at a wavelength where very little radiation is available, neither from the sun, nor from the earth’s blackbody radiation. The only wavelength that counts for CO2 absorption is at 14.9 microns, because it occurs in the so called atmospheric window and the blackbody radiation is near its maximum.

Let us take a closer look at the outgoing blackbody radiation and the atmospheric window:

The first thing to notice is that no absorption exceeds 100% , so at 14.9 micron wavelength CO2 absorbed 100%, and water vapor absorbed another 80%, the total sum is still 100%. It is impossible to absorb more than 100% of the total energy available for that wavelength. Therefore between the wavelengths 14 and 16 microns all energy was absorbed regardless of CO2 concentration and water vapor concentration. The olive area represents the extra absorption of CO2 at 280 ppm when the water vapor is taken out (you cannot absorb more than 100%). The small yellow slivers represent the extra CO2 absorption at 415 ppm. The white area between the brown total absorption area and the red earth emission line is the total emitted energy through the atmospheric window.. the Methane and N2O gas greenhouse absorptions occur at wavelengths where water vapor already absorbs nearly 100%, so their contribution to greenhouse gases is negligible. Likewise Ozone absorption occurs where O2 also absorbs. From the picture below (thanks, NASA) we can see that the total amount of energy escaping through the atmospheric window from clouds and from the ground is on average (29.9 + 40.1) = 70 W/m2. In pre-industrial times the value would have been around 70.6 to 71 w/m2.

NASA update 9 August 2019

NASA has made a good estimate of the earth’s energy budget. Total incoming energy is 340.4 W/m2 and escaping through the atmospheric window is 70 W/m2, or 20.56%. Before the industrial age the value was about 70.8 W/m2 or 20.80%, an increase of 0.24%. A black body radiation is proportional to the fourth power of absolute temperature (Kelvin). The current average temp on earth is 287 degree Kelvin, so the temperature rise since pre-industrial times from the sum of increasing Co2, Methane, Nitrous oxide and ozone is 287 * fourth root of (1-0.0024) = 286.83 K, or 0.17 degree Celsius less.

This is but a small portion of the temperature rise experienced, and it so happens that there exists a good measuring point, where the all dominant greenhouse gases are CO2, Methane, NO2 and O3. At the South Pole in the winter the air is clean, there is almost no water vapor and the winter temperature at the Amundsen–Scott South Pole Station between April and September 2021, a frigid minus-78 degrees (minus-61 Celsius), was the coldest on record, dating back to 1957, and the trend is 1 C colder per century.

2. The effect from decreasing cloud cover.

White = 100% cloud cover, Dark blue = o% cloud cover

This is a world map showing the average cloud cover in August 2009. It shows the cloud free areas of the earth in blue. Another way to look at it is to see how much total water vapor there is in the atmosphere:

Nowhere on earth can it rain out more than two inches without more humidity being transported in from another place. Over the ocean humidity gets replenished by evaporation, over land only areas that has vegetation or swamps or lakes will replenish humidity by evaporation. keep these charts in mind for later. For now concentrate on the decreasing average cloud cover. It has only been measured for the last 40 years, but here are the results:

There are many different clouds, low, mid-level and high clouds, and they have changed differently over the same time span:

Of these clouds, the low level clouds are reflecting the most, so the 2.4% loss in average cloud cover is an assumption on the low side on the loss of reflection.

In 1984 the average cloud cover was 63.7%, in 2019 it was 61.1%, a loss of 2.6%. The total reflection from clouds and atmospheric scattering is 77 W/m2, of which 60 is from cloud reflection. A 2.6% loss of area of reflection leads to a decreasing of incoming energy of 60 * 0.026 = 1.56 W/m2. This results in a temperature increase to 287 * fourth root of (1- (1.56 / 340)) = 287.33 K, or 0.33 degree Celsius.

3. The effects from air and water pollution. . a. The warming of the Northern Arctic region.

North America has great rivers, none greater than the mighty Mississippi. It used to be a meandering river with frequent floods that resulted in depositing its silt over large areas and thus fertilizing the land. The Indians living by the river moved to its new location after the water receded, and they could use the newly fertilized land. After the Louisiana purchase river traffic grew rapidly, but shifting sandbars and the excessively winding river became a problem, so the Mississippi river was converted to be the main transportation artery of the middle USA, the river banks were reinforced and the course of the river straightened. This meant that more of the silt was transported out into the Mexican Gulf, some of the silt that used to fertilize the soil instead fertilized the Mexican gulf. In addition, the Mississippi river used to be very polluted, but is now clean enough that it can be used for drinking water after treatment all the way down into Louisiana. There remains elevated concentration of nitrogen compounds so the Mexican Gulf suffers from excessive algae blooms and even red tide from time to time. This leads to more cloud formation and more rain in the United States east of the 98th meridian. This also occurs in Northern Europe, especially in the North Sea; the rivers flowing into the North Sea are rich in nutrients. The Baltic Sea was near oxygen death, but after the Baltic countries and Poland joined the EU, their rivers got partially cleaned up. In the far East the Yellow Sea and the South China sea are suffering major pollution. All these regions produce more clouds, and through prevailing winds some end up in the Arctic, where they snow out, except in the Summer when they rain out except on Greenland where it snows 12 months of the year. This leads to increasing winter temperatures of about 5.5 C above the 80th latitude, 2.5 C in spring and fall and a decrease of about 0.5 C in the summer (it takes a long time to melt that extra snow). This affects about 4% of the earth’s surface, so the total temperature increase from over-fertilizing the rivers is 0.04 * 2.5 = 0.1 C. No such effect occurs in the Antarctic. To illustrate the current yearly temperature trend in the Arctic, see this current polar temperature chart:

Even more illustrative is the development of ice on Greenland. In 2012 it looked like all of Greenland was going to melt in less than 1000 years, and the polar ice cap would be gone altogether in late summer of 2020. The ice over Greenlnd is now growing ever so slightly again:

b. The effect of various air pollution.

The major effect from air pollution is that it generates aerosols that act as condensation points for cloud formation if the air is oversaturated with moisture. In the last 40 years the air has gotten cleaner in the industrial west, not so much in China, India and Africa. The net result was a 2 % drop in cloud cover and the resulting temperature rise is already accounted for. There are no good worldwide analyses of ancient cloud cover, but air pollution was rising rapidly until the clean air act, enacted in 1963 was beginning to show results in the 70’s. However, ancient method of heating with coal, wood, peat and dried cowdung was far more polluting and harmful to your lungs. If U.S is eliminating all remaining coal plants the CO2 will still be rising since China is planning to build another 1070 coalburning power plants, ane their coal is inferior to ours and their pollution control is far less strict than ours resulting in more aerosols over China and some of the soot to be transmitted all the way to the Arctic, resulting in a black layer of soot on old snow and old ice.

c. The effect of greening of most of the earth.

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

Thanks to this greening, done with only the fertilizer of CO2, the earth can now keep another 2 billion people from starvation, not to mention what good it does for plants and wildlife.

The greening of the earth should cause temperature to increase, but if there is enough moisture in the earth the evapotranspiration from the leaves have a cooling effect and more than offsets the lower albedo from green leaves versus dry earth. In addition, with rising CO2 levels the leaves need less water to perform the photosynthesis, so the net result from lowering the albedo by 0.05 % over 17% of the world leads to a cooling down. The average albedo of the earth is 30%, and 17% of the earth lowers the albedo by 5% this lowers the total albedo of the earth by 0.25%.

The total reflection of sunlight from the earth is 22.9 W/m2, so 0.25% of that is 0.057 W/m2, which translates to a net temperature increase of 287 * fourth root of (1- (0.057/ 340)) = 287.33 K, or 0.012 degree Celsius.

d. The areas that are becoming more like a desert.

Most of the earth displays an increase of leaf area, but there are areas in red that are becoming less green. The areas are: The American Southwest, The Pampas area of South America, a 100 mile band in Southern Sahara, part of East Africa, Madagascar, South East Africa, Western Australia, Part of the Volga region, Kazakhstan east of Lake Aral and various parts of China, and the Mekong river. These areas have this in common, the aquifers ate being depleted, the rivers are diminishing and some of them no longer reach the ocean, lakes are almost disappearing, but people still move to those areas “for the good climate”.

The areas so affected are about 900,000 sq miles of the American Southwest and about 3 million square miles total to suffer from becoming more like a desert. The common theme of all these areas is depletion of the aquifers, rivers diminishing, lakes drying up and soil erosion.

The only part of the world US can control directly is The American Southwest. It can expect more frequent and longer droughts, since there is no amplification of clouds from the relatively cool and clean Pacific ocean, and the long term temperature trend is cooling. The Colorado River no longer feeds the Gulf of California with nourishment. The Colorado river used to all the water allocation for all the participating states, but around 2000 the water use had caught up with supply, and since then it has become much worse with demand far outstripping supply.

In addition the Great Salt Lake is now less than a third of the size it was in the 1970’s. A second level water shortage has been issued and for example Arizona will get a million Acre-feet lass per year from the river. The aquifers will be further depleted leading to less rainfall and the few remaining springs will dry out. If nothing is done, the American southwest will become desertified.

What congress is doing to solve the problem.

Congress has passed the anti-inflation bill that included over 300 billion to fight climate change, and it included more solar panels and wind turbine motors to be imported from China. The experience from Europe is that electricity from solar panels and windmills is 5.7 times as expensive as conventional power generation.

This analysis was done for 2019, before COVID. The situation is much worse now, with electricity rares up to 80 c/kWh, topping $1 /kWh this winter in some countries.

Even at the current increased European Gas prices, the estimated excess expenditures on Weather-Dependent “Renewables” in Europe is still very large:  $~0.5 trillion in capital expenditures and $~1.2 trillion excess expenditures in the long-term.

These simple calculations show that any claim that Wind and Solar power are now cost competitive with conventional fossil fuel (Gas-fired) generation are patently false.  The figures give an outline of the financial achievements of Green activists in stopping  fracking for gas in Europe, close on to $1.2 trillion of excess costs.

It would be better not to import any solar panels and wind power generators from China and let them pay for the extra cost rather than building more coal burning plants. After all they were planning to build over a thousand new plants between now and 2030, all legal under the Paris accord. This would benefit the world climate much more, since Chinese coal plants are far more polluting, since China has far less stringent environmental regulations than U.S.

U.S. uses 13.5% of the world’s coal, and eliminating U.S. CO2 emissions would in time reduce the world temperature by 0.023C, providing no other country, such as China and India would increase their use of Coal, which they are, to the total of 1300 new coal plants between now and 2030. This would raise global temperature by more than 0.06 C.

What congress should do instead.

a. What congress should do immediately.

  1. Immediately stop downblending U 233 and pass The Thorium Energy security act SB 4242a. See more here.
  2. Remove Thorium from the list of nuclear source material. The half-life of Thorium232 is 14 billion years, so its radioactivity is barely above background noise. More importantly, while Thorium is fertile, it is not fissile and should therefore not be included in the list. This would make it far easier to mine rare earth metals, as long as the ore consists of less than 0.05% Uranium, but any amount of Thorium is allowed without classifying the ore “Source material”.
  3. Separate nuclear power into 3 categories. a. conventional nuclear power. b. Thorium breeder reactors that make more U233 than it consumes, and c. Thorium reactors that reduce nuclear waste.
  4. stop buying solar panels from China. Stop buying wind turbine generators from China. Let them install these in China and pay 5 times as much for that electricity.
  5. Immediately form a commission led by competent people, not politicians to decide how to best expand the electric grid and to best harden it against electro-magnetic pulses, whether solar or nuclear and to safeguard it against sabotage.
  6. Remove all subsidies on electric cars, solar panels and wind generators, but continue to encourage energy conservation.
  7. Encourage research and development of Thorium fueled reactors, especially liquid salt reactors by drastically simplifying and speeding up the approval process. President Trump issued an executive order in the last month of his presidency EO 13972 specifying that the United States must sustain its ability to meet the energy requirements for its national defense and space exploration initiatives. The ability to use small modular reactors will help maintain and advance United States dominance and strategic leadership across the space and terrestrial domains. This EO should be expanded to include civilian small modular reactors, including Liquid salt Thorium reactors less than 200 MW, which are the only valid reactors for space exploration.

b. Longer term developments, but extremely urgent.

Of the long term warming of the globe of 1.1 C since the beginning of industrialization only 0.17 C is attributable to rising CO2, NH4 and NO2 levels, of which United states is currently responsible for 13.5% and decreasing, or 0.023C. The disappearance of clouds is responsible for twice as much globally or 0.33 C of which probably 1/6 is occurring in the American Southwest, causing an increase in temperature of 0.055C. However, the temperature rise in say the Grand Canyon has been in excess of 2 C,, and in the urban areas it has been even more. These are my long term suggestions:

Build a TransContinental Aqueduct. A realistic way to save Lake Mead and reverse the desertification of the American SouthWest.

The problem:

  1. Lake Mead will be emptied in less than 10 years with the current usage pattern. Then what?
  2. The hydroelectric power from Lake Mead (and Lake Powell) is diminishing as the lakes are emptied.
  3. the aquifers in Arizona, especially in the Phoenix and Tucson area, and to some extent New Mexico and the dry part of Texas are being drawn down and are at risk of being exhausted.
  4. The Salton Sea in the Imperial Valley of California is maybe the most polluted lake in all of U.S.A. It is even dangerous to breathe the air around it sometimes. The area contains maybe the largest Lithium deposit in the world.
  5. The Colorado River water is too salty for good irrigation .
  6. The Colorado river no longer reaches the Gulf of California. Fishing and shrimp harvesting around the Colorado River Delta is no more.
  7. 40 million people depend on the Colorado River for drinking water. The population is still rising rapidly in the West. Will they have water in the future?
  8. Except for California there is not much pumped Hydro-power storage in the American Southwest.
  9. Texas has plenty of wind power, but no pumped hydro-power storage. This makes it difficult to provide peak power when the sun doesn’t shine and the wind doesn’t blow. Nuclear power is of no help, it provides base power only. Peak power has to come from coal and natural gas plants.
  10. New Mexico has some ideal spots for solar panels, but no water is available for pumped storage.
  11. Arizona has a surging population, wind and solar power locations are abundant, but no pumped hydro-power storage.
  12. Arkansas and Oklahoma have a good barge traffic system. This proposal will increase flood control and improve barge traffic by increasing the maximum barge draft from 9 feet to 12 feet and during dry periods reverse the flow of the Arkansas River. The Arkansas river yearly water flow is nearly double that of the Colorado River.

The solution:

Build a transcontinental aqueduct from the Mississippi River to the Colorado River capable of transporting 12 million acre-ft of water yearly through Arkansas, Oklahoma, Texas, New Mexico and Arizona. It will be built similar to the Central Arizona Project aqueduct, supplying water from the Colorado river to the Phoenix and Tucson area, but this aqueduct will be carrying four times more water over four times the distance and raise the water nearly twice as high before returning to near sea level. The original Central Arizona Project cost $4.7 billion in 1980’s money, the Transcontinental Aqueduct will in Phase 1 cost around $200 Billion in 2022 money applying simple scaling up principles.

The Mississippi River has a bad reputation for having polluted water, but since the clean water act the water quality has improved drastically. Fecal coli-form bacteria is down by a factor of more than 100, the water is now used all the way down to New Orleans for drinking water after treatment. The lead levels are down by a factor of 1000 or more since 1979. Plastic pollution and pharmaceutical pollution is still a problem, as is the case with most rivers. The Ph is back to around 8 and salt content is negligible. Mississippi water is good for irrigation, and usable for drinking water after treatment. The Arkansas River is used as a drinking water source.

But the aqueduct will do more than provide sweet Mississippi water to the thirsty South-west, it will make possible to provide peak power to Texas, New Mexico and Arizona. In fact, it is so big it will nearly triple the pumped Hydro-power storage for the nation, from 23 GW for 5 hours a day to up to 66 GW when fully built out.

The extra pumped hydro-power storage will come from a number of dams built as part of the aqueduct or adjacent to it. The water will be pumped from surplus wind and solar power generators when available. This will provide up to 50 GW of power for 5 hours a day. If not enough extra power has been generated during the 19 pumping hours, sometimes power will be purchased from the regular grid. The other source of pumped hydro-power storage is virtual. There will be up to 23 GW of LFTR (Liquid Fluoride salt Thorium Rector) power stations strategically stationed along the waterway providing pumping of water for 19 hours and providing virtual hydro-power output for the remaining 5, when the aqueduct is fully built.

These 43 GW of hydro-power capacity will be as follows: Oklahoma, 0.2 GW; Texas, 18,5 GW (right now, Texas has no hydro-power storage, but plenty of wind power); New Mexico, 10.5 GW; Arizona 13.6 GW. In Addition, when the Transcontinental Aqueduct is fully built out, the Hoover dam can provide a true 2.2 GW hydro-power storage by pumping water back from Lake Mojave; a 3 billion dollar existing proposal is waiting to be realized once Lake Mead is saved.

The amount of installed hydroelectric power storage is:

U.S. operating hydroelectric pumped storage capacity

Most hydroelectric pumped storage was installed in the 70’s. Now natural gas plants provide most of the peak power. This aqueduct will more than double, triple the U.S. pumped peak storage if virtual peak storage is included. By being pumped from surplus wind and solar energy as well as nuclear energy it is true “Green power”. Some people like that.

What follows is a description of each leg of the aqueduct. Each leg except legs 9 and 10 ends in a dam, which holds enough water to make each leg free to operate to best use of available electricity and provide peak power on demand.

Leg 1 of the Trans-Continental aqueduct. From the Mississippi river to the Robert S. Kerr Lock and dam on the Arkansas River. Total length 15miles of aqueduct and 305 miles of river. Cost of water 300 kWh per acre-ft.

Leg 2 of the Transcontinental Aqueduct: From the Robert S. Kerr Lock and dam to the Eufaula Dam on the Canadian River. Total length 42 miles of lake and river. Cost of water 585 kWh per acre-ft.

Leg 3 of the Transcontinental aqueduct. From the Eufaula Dam to Ray Roberts Lake. Total length 42 miles of lake and 125 miles of aqueduct. Cost of water 900 kWh per acre-ft.

Leg 4 of the Transcontinental Aqueduct. From Lake Ray Roberts to the Brad Dam (to be built). Total length 205 miles of aqueduct. Cost of water 1735 kWh per acre-ft.

Leg 5 of the Transcontinental aqueduct. From Brad dam to Deadman Draw dam and pumped storage power plant. Total length 5 miles of lake and 60 miles of aqueduct. Cost of water 2425 kWh per acre-ft. In Phase 2 can provide up to 4 GW of pumped storage power.

Leg 6 of the Transcontinental aqueduct. From Deadman Draw dam and pumped storage power plant to Buffalo Soldier Draw dam and optional pumped storage plant.Total length 205 miles of aqueduct. Cost of water 3711 kWh per acre-ft.In Phase 2 can provide up to 4.8 GW of pumped storage power.

Leg 7, leg 8 and leg 9 of the Transcontinental aqueduct. From the Buffalo Soldier Draw dam to the highest point of the aqueduct 10 miles into Arizona. Leg 7 is 255 miles. Cost of water 6132 kWh per acre-ft. Leg 8 is 125 miles. Cost of water is 5705 kWh per acre-ft. Leg 9 is 160 miles. Cost of water is 6605 kWh per acre-ft.

The Transcontinental Aqueduct. Leg 10: The highest pumping station in Arizona to San Carlos Lake, a distance of 93 miles. Cost of water 5205 kWh per acre-ft.

The Transcontinental Aqueduct. Leg 11: From San Carlos Lake to East Diversion dam, a distance of about 60 miles. Cost of water 4905 kWh per acre-ft.

The Transcontinental aqueduct Leg 12: From the East Diversion dam to connecting to the Central Arizona aqueduct 45 miles WNW of Phoenix. Phase 1 is 20 miles of aqueduct and 85 miles of River. Cost of water is 5105 kWh per acre-ft. Phase 2 adds 130 miles of aqueduct . The cost of water is 5065 kWh per acre-ft.

The Transcontinental aqueduct, Leg 13: From the New Arlington dam to the Colorado River. Leg 13, phase 1 is 130 miles of river.Cost of water is 5105 kWh per acre-ft. Phase 2 adds 15 miles of aqueduct . The cost of water is 5130 kWh per acre-ft.

The Transcontinental Aqueduct, spur 14: The Wilson Canyon Solar farm and pumped storage plant. Can supply 13.5 GW of pumped storage power.

The Transcontinental Aqueduct, spur 15: The Poppy Canyon Solar farm and pumped storage plant. Can provide up to 28 GW of pumped storage power.

The Transcontinental Aqueduct will serve the Lower Colorado River Basin, Southern New Mexico and Western Texas. It will pump up to 12 million acre-ft of water annually from the Arkansas river and Mississippi river all the way to southern Colorado River.

The total electricity needed to accomplish this giant endeavor is about 60 billion kWh annually. or about one and a half percent of the current US electricity demand. In 2020 the US produced 1,586 billion kWh from natural gas, 956 from coal, 337.5 from wind and 90.9 from solar.

For this giant project to have any chance of success there has to be something in it to be gained from every state that will be participating. Here are some of the benefits:

Arizona: Arizona needs more water. The water from Mississippi is less saline and better suited for agriculture and the people growth makes it necessary to provide more water sources. Right now the aquifers are being depleted. Then what? One example: The San Carlos lake is nearly dry half the time and almost never filled to capacity. With the aqueduct supplying water it can be filled to 80 +- 20% of full capacity all the time. In the event of a very large snow melt the lake level can be reduced in advance to accommodate the extra flow. Likewise during Monsoon season the aqueduct flow can be reduced in anticipation of large rain events. Arizona together with New Mexico has the best locations for solar power, but is lacking the water necessary for hydro-power storage. This proposal will give 600 cfs of water to Tucson, 3,100 cfs to the Phoenix area and 3,900 cfs to the lower Colorado River in Phase 1. I phase 2 it will add 3,100 cfs to Lake Havasu and an extra 4,700 cfs to the lower Colorado River. It will also also add 28 GW of hydro-power storage capable of adding 140 GWh of electric peak power daily when it is fully built out in Phase 3.

Arkansas: The main benefit for Arkansas is better flood control and river control of the Arkansas River and allowing it to deepen the draft for canal barges from 9,5 feet to 12 feet, which is standard on the Mississippi river.

California: The water aqueduct serving Los Angeles will be allowed to use maximum capacity at all times. Additional water resources will be given the greater San Diego area. The Imperial valley will be given sweet Mississippi and Arkansas River water, which will improve agriculture yield. The polluted New River will be cut off at the Mexico border. There will be water allocated to the Salton Sea. There is a proposal to mine the world’s largest Lithium ore, mining the deep brine, rich in Lithium. (about a third of the world supply according to one estimate). This requires water, and as a minimum requirement to allow mining in the Salton Sea the water needs to be cleaned. This requires further investigation, but the area around the Salton Sea is maybe the most unhealthy in the United States. It used to be a great vacation spot.

Mexico: During the negotiations about who was going to get the water in Lake Mead Mexico did not get enough water, so they have been using all remaining water for irrigation, and no water is reaching the ocean anymore. In addition the water is too salty for ideal irrigation. This proposal will provide sweet Mississippi and Arkansas River water to Mexico, ensure that some water reaches the Colorado river delta. This will restore the important ecology and restore aquatic life in the delta and the gulf. The town of Mexicali will get some water in exchange for shutting off New River completely.

Nevada: Las Vegas is a catastrophe waiting to happen unless Lake Mead is saved. With this proposal there will be ample opportunity to make the desert bloom.

New Mexico: The state is ideally suited for solar panels. In addition to give much needed water to communities along the length of the aqueduct, it will provide 13.5 GW of pumped storage power to be made available at peak power usage for up to 5 hours a day.

Oklahoma: The main advantage for Oklahoma is a much improved flood control. It will provide the same advantage for river barge traffic as benefits Arkansas.

Texas: The state has a big problem. It has already built up too much wind power and can not give up their coal burning power plants until the electricity is better balanced. They have no hydro-electric power storage at all, and we saw the result of that in a previous year’s cold snap. This proposal will give the Texas electric grid 8.8 GW of hydro-electric power for up to 5 hours a day.

Utah: The state will no longer be bound to provide water to Lake Mead, but can use all of its water rights for Utah, especially the Salt Lake City region, and to reverse the decline of the Great Salt Lake that is now shrunk to less than a third of the size it had in the 1970’s.

Wyoming: The state will be free to use the water in the Green River and all the yearly allocated 1.05 million acre-feet of water can be used by the state of Wyoming.

The cost to do all these aqueducts will be substantial, but it can be done for less than 350 billion dollars in 2022 money, and that includes the cost of providing power generation. Considering it involves 40 million people dependent on the Colorado River now and another 10 million east of the Rocky Mountains, it is well worth doing, much more important to do than other “green” projects, since it will save the American Southwest from becoming an uninhabitable desert.

This proposed solution cannot be made possible without changing our approach to power generation. The mantra now is to solve all our power needs through renewables. Texas has shown us that too much wind power without any hydroelectric power storage can lead to disaster. In addition, windmills kill birds, even threatening some species, such as the Golden Eagle and other large raptors that like to build their aeries on top of the generators. Solar panels work best in arid, sunny climate, such as Arizona and New Mexico, but the panels need cooling and cleaning to work best, and that takes water. They are even more dependent on hydro-power storage than wind. The transcontinental aqueduct will triple the hydro-electric power storage for the nation. Without pumped power storage we still need all the conventional power generation capacity for when the sun doesn’t shine and the wind doesn’t blow.

Conventional Nuclear power plants doesn’t work in most places since they depend on water for their cooling, and most of these aqueducts pump water in near deserts, and there would be too much evaporation losses to use water from the aqueducts for cooling.

The only realistic approach would be to use LFTR power plants. (Liquid Fluoride Thorium Reactors). There are many advantages for using LFTR. Here are 30 reasons why LFTRs is by far the best choice.

For this project to succeed there must be developed a better way to build SMRs (Small Modular Reactors, less than 250 MW) more effectively. The price to build a LFTR plant should be less than $2.50 per watt. While the LFTR science is well understood, the LFTR engineering is not fully developed yet, but will be ready in less than 5 years if we get to it. In the mean time there should be built one or more assembly plants that can mass produce LFTR reactor vessels small enough so they can be shipped on a normal flatbed trailer through the normal highway system. My contention is that a 100 MW reactor vessel can be built this way and the total cost per plant will be less than 250 Million dollars. To save the American Southwest we will need about 350 of them, or 87,5 billion dollars total. This cost is included in the total calculation. There will be many more of these plants produced to produce all the electric power to power all the electric vehicles that are going to be built. This is the way to reduce fossil fuel consumption. Just switching to electric vehicles will not do the trick. The electric energy must come from somewhere. To convert all cars and trucks and with unchanging driving habits will require another 600 GW of generating capacity by 2050, our present “net zero emissions” goal.

To do this project we need cooperation from all states in providing eminent domain access. The Federal government will need to approve LFTR as the preferred Nuclear process and streamline approval process from many years to less than one year.

Some of the power will come from solar panels and wind turbines, which will reduce the need for LFTR’s. One tantalizing idea is to cover the aqueduct with solar panels. This will do many things, it will not take up additional acreage, water needed to keep the panels clean is readily available, and can even be used to cool the solar panels if economically beneficial. The area available is 152 feet times 1100 miles = 1.6 billion square feet, and one square foot of solar panel produces around 1 W, which means covering the aqueduct with solar panels would produce 882 MW of power. It would also reduce evaporation. The second source of energy will be 165,000 5kW vertical wind turbines producing 825 MW when the wind is blowing. The rest of the power will cme from LFTRs. This idea requires further analysis. Here is one possible implementation of the idea:

Total volume of water is over 1 million acre-ft.

C. Further developments to save the American Southwest.

When the Transcontinental aqueduct is well under way it is time to start the Trans-Rocky-Mountain Aqueduct. in a few years the population growth will require again to save Lake Powell and Lake Mead, and rejuvenate the American South-west.

The problem:

  1. Lake Powell and Lake Mead will be emptied in less than 10 years with the current usage pattern. Then what?
  2. The hydroelectric power from Lake Mead (and Lake Powell) is diminishing as the lakes are emptied.
  3. the aquifers are drawn down everywhere in the Southwest, but also the Ogallala Aquifer in Colorado and Kansas, and are at risk of being exhausted.
  4. The Colorado River water is too salty for good irrigation .
  5. The Colorado river no longer reaches the Gulf of California. Fishing and shrimp harvesting around the Colorado River Delta is no more.
  6. 40 million people depend on the Colorado River for drinking water. The population is still rising rapidly in the West. Will they have water in the future? Think 20 million future population growth in the next 40 years, people want to move there even with the current water problems.

The solution:

Build a Trans-Rocky-Mountain aqueduct from the Mississippi River to the San Juan River. In the first 391 miles the aqueduct joins the McClellan–Kerr Arkansas River Navigation System by adding the capability of pumping 7,500 cfs of water through 16 dams that service the locks. This will lead to reversing the flow of water during low flow. This also facilitates the navigation channel to be deepened from 9 feet to 12 feet to service fully loaded barges, a step authorized but not funded by Congress. The Arkansas river will then be capable of transporting 8 million acre-ft of water yearly through Arkansas, Oklahoma, Kansas, Colorado and New Mexico, supplying water from the Colorado river to Lake Powell. All that is needed to do in this stage is provide the dams and locks with a number of pumps and pump/generators to accommodate this, at a cost of less than 2 billion dollars. The next phase is pumping up water in the Arkansas river for 185 miles. To accommodate this there will be 17 small control dams built that are closed when normal pumping occurs and open during flood conditions. The cost for this segment, including pumps will be less than 3 billion dollars. The third segment is a 465 mile aqueduct to cross the Rocky Mountains much like the Central Arizona project but this aqueduct will carry three times more water 1.27 times the distance and raise the water four times higher. The original Central Arizona Project cost $4.7 billion in 1980’s money, the aqueduct part of the Trans-Rocky-Mountain aqueduct will cost around $50 Billion in 2021 money applying simple scaling up principles.

Power requirements for the 3 stages are 310 MW for the canal stage, 600MW for the river stage and 6.2 GW for the aqueduct stage. The aqueduct stage can be controlled by the power companies to shut off the pumps and provide 6.4 GW of virtual peak power for up to 5 hours a day on average, and each leg can be controlled individually since they are separated by large dams. There will be 64 one hundred MegaWatt LFTR (Liquid Fluoride salt Thorium Rector) power stations strategically stationed along the waterway providing pumping of water for 19 hours and providing virtual hydro-power output for on average 5 hours. There will also be 910 MW of power needed that is controlled by the river authorities.

The building cost of providing LFTR power should be around $2.50 per Watt of installed energy if a plant is built to manufacture via an assembly line a standardized version of 100 MW LFTR reactor core vessels assemblies capable of being transported on truck to the installation point. The total power cost should then be 16 billion dollars to build, and 5 cents per kWh or about 2.5 billion dollars a year to provide power.

The Mississippi River has a bad reputation for having polluted water, but since the clean water act the water quality has improved drastically. Fecal coli-form bacteria is down by a factor of more than 100, the water is now used all the way down to New Orleans for drinking water after treatment. The lead levels are down by a factor of 1000 or more since 1979. Plastic pollution and pharmaceutical pollution is still a problem, as is the case with most rivers. The Ph is back to around 8 and salt content is negligible. Mississippi water is good for irrigation, and usable for drinking water after treatment. The Arkansas River water quality is pretty good, good enough in Kaw Lake to be used for municipal water supply. Nitrates and phosphates are lower than in most Eastern rivers, Ph is around 8 and coli-bacteria low.

Most hydroelectric pumped storage was installed in the 70’s. Now natural gas plants provide most of the peak power. This aqueduct will add 6.4 GW to the U.S. pumped peak storage if virtual peak storage is included. By being pumped from surplus wind and solar energy as well as nuclear energy it is true “Green power”. Some people like that.

What follows is a description of each leg of the aqueduct. Legs 3, 4, 5 and 6 ends in a dam, which holds enough water to make each leg free to operate to best use of available electricity and provide peak power on demand.

Leg 1 of The Trans-Rocky-Mountain aqueduct. From the Mississippi river to Webbers Falls lock and dam. Total length 15miles of aqueduct and 335 miles of river. Cost of water 333 kWh per acre-ft.

Leg 2 of The Trans-Rocky-Mountain aqueduct. From Webbers Falls to Keystone Dam, a distance of about 75 miles that is river and 25 miles, which is canal. Cost of water 593 kWh per acre-ft.

Leg 3 of the Trans-Rocky-Mountain aqueduct. From Keystone Dam to Kaw Dam.The Keystone Lake is 38 miles long and the river part is about 110 miles. Cost of water 901 kWh per acre-ft.

Leg 4 of the Trans-Rocky-Mountain aqueduct. From Kaw Lake to John Martin Reservoir, a distance of about 200 miles. Cost of water 4,446 kWh per acre-ft.

Leg 5 of the Trans-Rocky-Mountain aqueduct. From John Martin Reservoir to Trinidad Lake, a distance of about 120 miles. Cost of water 7,300 kWh per acre-ft.

Leg 6 of the Trans-Rocky-Mountain aqueduct. From Trinidad Lake to Abiquiu Reservoir, a distance of 90 miles. Cost of water 7,910 kWh per acre-ft.

Leg 7 of the Trans-Rocky-Mountain aqueduct. From the Abiquiu Reservoir to the San Juan River, a distance of 55 miles. Cost of water 7,395 kWh per acre-ft.

Once these two aquifers are completed and running successfully filling the rivers again it is time to refill the aquifers. This requires a change in the water rights laws. The rain water is a property of the land and can be locally retained via small catch basins and ditches. This will restore the aquifers, reduce soil erosion and rejuvenate vegetation as has been successfully done in the dry parts of India. They needed to capture the monsoon rains, and so does Arizona and New Mexico.

The American Southwest can still be saved.

Climate change is real. How much is attributable to rising CO2 levels and how much to other factors?

The climate is changing. The American Southwest is getting hotter and drier, the American East is getting wetter and the North is getting snowier. The urban areas are getting warmer as energy use and paving increase. How much of all this is attributable to increasing CO2 levels?

To get a grasp of how the greenhouse effect functions look at this chart:

From this chart we can see that water vapor is by far the most important greenhouse gas, followed by CO2 with Methane and Nitrous oxide far behind. Oxygen is part of the atmosphere, and so is Nitrogen and their concentration is assumed to be constant. Ozone concentration is too small to have any effect. Raleigh scattering is why the sky is blue and it is constant regardless of other factors.

. But this chart is deceiving, for it does not fully explain the net effect on radiation, from the sun or from the earth. The chart below is much better:

The incoming solar radiation includes ultraviolet radiation, visible light and near infrared radiation. This is all the heat incoming to the earth, except the heat that is coming from the earth’s core. All area under the curves of the right halves represent greenhouse gases absorption, except the blue area which represents energy radiated into space under a cloud-free sky. The all dominant geenhouse gas is water vapor but CO2 contributes with 2 absorption bands, at 4.3 microns and 14.9 microns. The 4.3 micron absorption is of almost no importance since it occurs at a wavelength where very little radiation is available, neither from the sun, nor from the earth’s blackbody radiation. The only wavelength that counts for CO2 absorption is at 14.9 microns, because it occurs in the so called atmospheric window and the blackbody radiation is near its maximum.

Let us take a closer look at the outgoing blackbody radiation and the atmospheric window:

The first thing to notice is that no absorption exceeds 100% , so at 14.9 micron wavelength CO2 absorbed 100%, and water vapor absorbed another 80%, the total sum is still 100%. Therefore between the wavelengths 14 and 16 microns all energy was absorbed regardless of CO2 concentration and water vapor concentration. The olive area represents the extra absorption of CO2 at 280 ppm when the water vapor is taken out (you cannot absorb more than 100%). The small yellow slivers represent the extra CO2 absorption at 415 ppm. The white area between the brown total absorption area and the red earth emission line is the total emitted energy through the atmospheric window.. the Methane and N2O gas greenhouse absorptions occur at wavelengths where water vapor already absorbs nearly 100%, so their contribution to greenhouse gases is negligible. Likewise Ozone absorption occurs where O2 also absorbs. From the picture below (thanks, NASA) we can see that the total amount of energy escaping through the atmospheric window from clouds and from the ground is on average (29.9 + 40.1) = 70 W/m2. In pre-industrial times the value would have been around 70.6 to 71 w/m2.

NASA update 9 August 2019

NASA has made a good estimate of the earth’s energy budget. Total incoming energy is 340.4 W/m2 and escaping through the atmospheric window is 70 W/m2, or 20.56%. Before the industrial age the value was about 70.8 W/m2 or 20.80%, an increase of 0,24%. A black body radiation is proportional to the fourth power of absolute temperature (Kelvin). The current average temp on earth is 287 degree Kelvin, so the temperature rise since pre-industrial times from the sum of increasing Co2, Methane, Nitrous oxide and ozone is 287 * fourth root of (1-0.0024) = 286.83 K, a decrease of 0.17 degree Celsius.

This is but a small portion of the temperature rise experienced, and it so happens that there exists a good measuring point, where the all dominant greenhouse gases are CO2, Methane, NO2 and O3. At the South Pole in the winter the air is clean, there is almost no water vapor and the winter temperature at the Amundsen–Scott South Pole Station between April and September 2021, a frigid minus-78 degrees (minus-61 Celsius), was the coldest on record, dating back to 1957, and the trend is 1 C colder per century.

In future blog posts I will examine the temperature effects of clouds, land use changes, water use, and water and air pollution.

Congress has passed the anti-inflation bill that included over 300 billion to fight climate change, and it included more solar panels and wind turbine motors to be imported from China. The experience from Europe is that electricity from solar panels and windmills is 5.7 times as expensive as conventional power generation.

This analysis was done for 2019, before COVID. The situation is much worse now, with electricity rares up to 80 c/kWh, topping $1 /kWh this winter in some countries. It would be better not to import any solar panels and wind power generators from China and let them pay for the extra cost rather than building more coal burning plants. After all they were planning to build over a thousand new plants between now and 2030, all legal under the Paris accord. This would benefit the world climate much more, since Chinese coal plants are far more polluting, since China has far less stringent environmental regulations than U.S.

U.S. uses 13.5% of the world’s coal, and eliminating U.S. CO2 emissions would in time reduce the world temperature by 0.023C, providing no other country, such as China and India would increase their use of Coal.

It is folly to mandate electric cars before the electric grid is strengthened and upgraded. There are far better ways to solve the climate crisis, and that involves land and water use changes, as well as developing other energy sources as well as drastically change the regulatory environment..

Climate change change. From now on it is getting colder except in areas that are getting drier.

What is the long term trend for temperature? It depends on where you are. This is ocean temperature at 500 m depth in the Makassar Strait.

The Makassar strait is located at the equator, an ideal checking point for long term ocean temperature trends. It shows an accelerating downward trend, now exceeding 1 C per millenium.

Yes, the ocean temperatures are slowly decreasing near the equator. Hoe are temperatures doing around the poles? For this we go to the temperature record of the ice cores taken on Greenland

The Greenland ice temperature is decreasing at about 1 C per 2000 years.

How are temperatures at the South Pole? We have really good global data for over 60 years. The Amundsen Scott – South Pole weather station, the average temperature of Winter season 2021 (April 2021 – September 2021) reached only -61,0°C / -78°F, and at this temperature CO2 is the dominant greenhouse gas is by more than a factor of ten more important than water vapor. We have reliable measurements for the temperature change at the South Pole since 1957. During this time CO2 gas increased 31% to 413ppm, Methane increased 16% to 1.85 ppm. With CO2 increasing by 31% and water vapor negligible one would expect a temperature rise over 64 years of 0.65 C, or one degree Celsius warmer per century according to extrapolated lab measurements. Instead, this is the observed trend:

With 2021 value included the temperature trend is two degrees Celsius cooler per century!

At the South Pole snowfall is negligible in the winter, and for the whole year is only 1.3 inches. No model would have predicted the cooling trend, so there must be other factors that are are more important than rising CO2 levels, since real measurements beat models every time.

Are there any areas that display rising temperatures? You bet. Take a look at temperature statistics for Phoenix, Arizona:

The Phoenix population has more than ten-folded in the last 100 years, so some of the temperature increase can be explained by the urban heat island effect:

The people living in Phoenix now are experiencing the rising temperatures and hear many times a day in NPR that whatever the subject is that it is because of climate change one disaster after another are about to happen. Right now the tier 2 Colorado River drought emergency was declared, and Arizona is to lose 1 million acre-feet a year from the Colorado river.

A better example for changing temperature can be found in the Grand Canyon.

It clearly shows there is no temperature trend at all until the Glen Canyon dam was built in the 1960’s damming up the Colorado River. After that it shows a sharp rise until present. The cool river flow was replaced with warm lake water from Lake Powell. The extra evaporation from Lake Powell means less water for all the states downstream. How is the temperature trend away from the Colorado river? Here is temperature statistics for the state of Colorado:

Present global temperature trend is rising for we are still recovering from the little ice age. The continental US temp is the average of the temperatures from all 50 states. The Colorado variability is about twice as large as the average from all states. And so it is. The American Southwest is having more than twice the temperature rise compared to the eastern states. It is clear that there is something much more important then rising CO2 levels that cause temperature rise. Notice the falling temperatures at the South Pole, where CO2 is the by far dominant greenhouse gas. It turns out that CO2 contributes to global warming 95% less than most models forecast, see elaboration here.

So what is the major contributor to climate change? It can be summarized in two words, water management.

In the eastern half of the U.S. water rights comes with the land, and since rainfall can lead to floods, water rights are also water responsibilities. When a land owner disturbs the soil he must first put up a retaining sausage to stop erosion. Then he has to build a retaining pond or stormwater basin to compensate for rain-off from roofs and hardened surfaces, so the water will be retained on the property as much as possible. This will lessen floods. The farmers have to build shallow ditches adjacent to creeks and rivers to prevent agricultural runoffs. And fertilizing is only allowed when no thunderstorms or rains are expected. This is sound environmental policy.

In the dry American southwest it is all about water rights. Land without water rights is often worthless. If a homeowner without water rights get caught putting a bucket under his downspout and uses the rain to water a newly planted tree, he can be fined. All water must be purchased. This is wrong. The water that rains on a piece of land belongs to the land and should return to the aquifer. The springs belong to the river and cannot be dammed. When an aquifer is tapped more than the corresponding rainfall it will result in springs drying up and seeping hillsides no longer seep and river flows diminish until the land is dried up and erosion destroys the soil. So to let the rain be absorbed in the soil where it rained will help restore the aquifers, but the river flows will stay diminished until the aquifers are restored, which may take a century. So before the water rights question can be addressed and the aquifers restored we must help refill the rivers.

North America has great rivers, none greater than the mighty Mississippi. It used to be a meandering river with frequent floods that deposited the silt over large areas and fertilized the land. The Indians living by the river moved to its new location after the water receded, and they could use the newly fertilized land. After the Louisiana purchase river traffic grew rapidly, but shifting sandbars and the excessively winding river became a problem, so the Mississippi river was converted to be the main transportation artery of the middle USA, the river banks were reinforced and the course of the river was straightened. This meant that more of the silt was transported out into the Mexican Gulf, some of the silt that used to fertilize the soil instead fertilizes the Mexican gulf. In addition, the Mississippi river used to be very polluted, but is now clean enough that it can be used for drinking water after treatment all the way down into Louisiana. There remains elevated concentration of nitrogen compounds so the Mexican Gulf suffers from excessive algae blooms and even red tide from time to time. This leads to more cloud formation and more rain in the Eastern states. The American Southwest on the other hand can expect more frequent and longer droughts, since there is no amplification from the relatively cool and clean Pacific ocean, and the long term temperature trend is cooling.

Something has to be done to reverse the desertification of the American Southwest. Lake Mead and Lake Powell are drying up, San Carlos Lake has never delivered what was promised and is frequently empty during the peak of the growing season, the aquifers all over are being depleted and the ensuing temperature rise make matters irreversible.

Unless we provide more water to the thirsty Southwest. My proposal is to

Build a TransContinental Aqueduct.

This will solve the water needs for the upper Western Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, lower California, Mexico and the Lower Colorado River basin, and then

Build a Trans-Rocky Mountain aqueduct. This will solve some of the water needs for Oklahoma, Kansas, Colorado, upper New Mexico and the Upper Colorado river basin. To complete trying to save the aquifers we also need to

Build a South Platte River aqueduct. This will solve the water needs for the greater Denver ares and help preserve the northern Ogallala aquifer.

The rise in CO2 is on balance positive, it has already helped to keep 2 billion people from starvation. With food famine coming the very worst thing we can do is declare a climate emergency and unilaterally reduce our electric supply eliminating much of our fossil fuel source to produce electricity and at the same time push electric cars.

This cannot be solved unless there will be a deep commitment to Nuclear power, streamline government permit processes and let private industry find the best solutions without government playing favorites and slowing down the process. Regular U235 power is not sufficient for this, Only Thorium power will do, and there are many reasons for it. Here are 30 of them:

 1. A million year supply of Thorium available worldwide.

 2. Thorium already mined, ready to be extracted.

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

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

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

 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.

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

 8. Produces isotopes that helps treat and maybe cure certain cancers.

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

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.

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

12. Atmospheric pressure operating conditions, no risk for explosions. Much safer and simpler design.

13. Virtually no spent fuel problem, very little on site storage or transport.

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

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

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

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

18. Russia has an active Thorium program.

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

 20. China is having a massive Thorium program.

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

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

23. With a Molten Salt Reactor, accidents like Chernobyl are impossible.

24. With Molten Salt Reactors, a catastrophe like Fukushima cannot happen.

25. Will produce electrical energy at about 4 cents per kWh.

26. Can deplete most of the existing radioactive waste and nuclear weapons stockpiles.

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.

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

29. President Donald J. Trump on Jan. 5 2021 issued an Executive Order on Promoting Small Modular Reactors for National Defense and Space Exploration. Only Liquid fluoride thorium reactors can meet all the needs.

30. We have to switch from Uranium to Thorium as nuclear feed-stock. We are running out of domestic Uranium.

My favorite Thorium power plant would be a 100 MW Liquid Fluoride Thorium Reactor (LFTR). It is also called a Small Modular Reactor (SMR). It is small enough that all core elements will fit in three standard truck containers and be made on an assembly line. It can be constructed many ways, one is a normal fast breeder reactor, another is adapted to burn nuclear waste. The cost for these reactors, when built on an assembly line will be less than $2 per Watt. They can be placed anywhere, since they are inherently safe, no need for an evacuation zone. Since they are operating at 500C temperature with either gas or liquid lead as heat transfer media there is no need for water as a cooling medium. When mass produced it will be able to produce electricity at 5 c per kWh and the mining to produce the materials is a fraction of what is needed for solar, and wind power, especially when taking into account the intermittent nature of these power sources.The only thing better would be fusion power, but that is at least 20 years away as a power producing source, but it is coming. These are exciting times!

The inflationary aspects of the “Inflation Reduction Act”. The “Green New deal” is wrong. There is a better way to do clean energy.

Below is the experience from the European union of retail cost of electricity in all member nations from the year 2019, the last year to make any meaningful analysis, Covid and the Ukraine war has made worthless any newer analysis.

This slide tells it best. The real cost for Solar and Wind electricity is 5.7 times that of the average of coal, gas, nuclear and hydro-electric power. The real reason is that you still need all the generating power for when the wind doesn’t blow enough or too much, and the sun doesn’t shine, which is most of the time. In addition, solar panels and windmills require mining of rare earth metals, and are as such highly mining intensive. Then there is the cost of disposal, which has already begun for first generation wind mills and solar panels.

The solution is simple: Do not buy any more solar panels from China! Let them use them themselves, they may then only have to build a thousand new dirty lignite coal fired power plants instead of 1171 between now and 2030

The other inflationary thing is the rising cost of Lithium and rare earth metals. In 2020 the price of LiCO2 was around 40,000 yuan/ton (yes, Lithium and rare earth metals are traded in Chinese currency). The price since then has more than twelve-folded and is now close to half a million yuan/ton.

China produces three-quarters of all lithium-ion batteries and is home to 70% of production capacity for cathodes and 85% for anodes (both are key components of batteries).

Over half of lithium, cobalt and graphite processing and refining capacity is also located in China. The U.S has a high quality rare earth metal mine in Mountain Pass, CA.,

but the refining is done in China. In June 2022 Amarillo, Texas had a groundbreaking ceremony for a rare earth metals refinery, so refining capacity will finally return to the U.S. See more here. Below is a chart of the worldwide mining of rare earth metals. Notice the prominent role Myanmar plays in rare earth metals. China is positioning itself to dominate Myanmar for their metals and to build an oil import pipeline to avoid the Malacca strait choke point.

In 2016, Hunter Biden’s Bohai Harvest RST invested in China’s Contemporary Amperex Technology Co. (CATL), the world’s largest lithium ion battery producer.

Remember this every time you hear Joe Biden talk about Green new deal and electric vehicles.

So, my suggestion is simple: Do not buy any solar panels from China, let them install them in China at 4.7 times the price of coal power. this is a much cleaner global investment. China was planning to build 1171 new coal plants polluting more than our clean coal could ever do. Likewise do not buy any more wind mill generators from China, let them install them in China. Wait to promote electric vehicles until the grid is built up to handle the additional demand for electricity.

This would save about 430 billion dollars from the inflation reduction act. What can we do instead and achieve an even better outcome? Check this video.

What shall be done? Congress must immediately pass SB4242. Ten years ago I made the same observation, see here. At that time there was 1400 kg U-233 remaining at Oak Ridge. A ton has been downblended since then. It is late, but not too late to save the rest. Here is a very illuminating video:

I agree totally with this video. Molten salt Thorium reactors can produce electricity for less than 5 cents per kilowatt-hour, comparable to coal and five times less than wind and solar when mass produced as SMR’s (small Modular Reactors. ) A 100 MW reactor can be built on an assembly line, and the vital parts can be shipped in 3 standard containers over road. They require much less mining to produce than the corresponding windmills and solar panels, and Thorium is already mined as a byproduct of mining rare earth metals. The only cost is therefore the cost of extracting the Thorium.

How is China dealing with Thorium nuclear power? They recently approved starting up their own molten Salt reactor, (source here.

In January 2011, CAS launched a CNY3 billion (USD444 million) R&D programme on liquid fluoride thorium reactors (LFTRs), known there as the thorium-breeding molten-salt reactor (Th-MSR or TMSR), and claimed to have the world’s largest national effort on it, hoping to obtain full intellectual property rights on the technology. This is also known as the fluoride salt-cooled high-temperature reactor (FHR). The TMSR Centre at SINAP at Jiading, Shanghai, is responsible.

Construction of the 2 MWt TMSR-LF1 reactor began in September 2018 and was reportedly completed in August 2021. The prototype was scheduled to be completed in 2024, but work was accelerated.

“According to the relevant provisions of the Nuclear Safety Law of the People’s Republic of China and the Regulations of the People’s Republic of China on the Safety Supervision and Administration of Civilian Nuclear Facilities, our bureau has conducted a technical review of the application documents you submitted, and believes that your 2 MWt liquid fuel thorium-based molten salt experimental reactor commissioning plan (Version V1.3) is acceptable and is hereby approved,” the Ministry of Ecology and Environment told SINAP on 2 August.

It added: “During the commissioning process of your 2 MWt liquid fuel thorium-based molten salt experimental reactor, you should strictly implement this plan to ensure the effectiveness of the implementation of the plan and ensure the safety and quality of debugging. If any major abnormality occurs during the commissioning process, it should be reported to our bureau and the Northwest Nuclear and Radiation Safety Supervision Station in time.”

The TMSR-LF1 will use fuel enriched to under 20% U-235, have a thorium inventory of about 50 kg and conversion ratio of about 0.1. A fertile blanket of lithium-beryllium fluoride (FLiBe) with 99.95% Li-7 will be used, and fuel as UF4.

The project is expected to start on a batch basis with some online refueling and removal of gaseous fission products, but discharging all fuel salt after 5-8 years for reprocessing and separation of fission products and minor actinides for storage. It will proceed to a continuous process of recycling salt, uranium and thorium, with online separation of fission products and minor actinides. The reactor will work up from about 20% thorium fission to about 80%.

If the TMSR-LF1 proves successful, China plans to build a reactor with a capacity of 373 MWt by 2030.

As this type of reactor does not require water for cooling, it will be able to operate in desert regions. The Chinese government has plans to build more across the sparsely populated deserts and plains of western China, complementing wind and solar plants and reducing China’s reliance on coal-fired power stations. The reactor may also be built outside China in Belt and Road Initiative nations.

The liquid fuel design is descended from the 1960s Molten-Salt Reactor Experiment at Oak Ridge National Laboratory in the USA.

Researched and written by World Nuclear News.

As of yet China does not have any U233, so they have to use U235 as a start fuel. This will produce PU239 as well as U233, so the separation step is far more complicated. The U.S. still have 450 kg of U233, so the separation step can be made clean, and we can make a clean, breeding reactor with 0,01 % of the nuclear waste if conventional reactors.

The conversion of Thorium 232 to Uranium 233, leading to fission looks like this:

To remain pure, the protactinium mist be separated from the neutron bombarding environment as soon after it is generated as possible to avoid it to be transfered to U 234, which is non fissible, but radioactive. The breeding coefficient is 1.03, which means that 3% more U233 is generated than consumed. The half-life of the Protactinium is 27 days, so it will take up to 900 days for the U233 to double, which is two and a half years.

There is no time to spare. Pass SB4242 immediately, build a clean Molten salt Thorium reactor as soon as possible, remove Thorium as a source material and streamline the permit process so permits can be issued in weeks instead of years.

The thorium energy is the future clean energy until fusion is perfected, not solar panels or windmills, which do far more damage to the environment than Thorium nuclear plants!

European electricity prices are sky- rocketing. The real price for going green and relying on interruptible cheap fossil fuel imports.

It used to be easy. In Europe, especially Denmark and Germany decided to go green with wind and solar power. Last year, Germany finally realized that Northern Europe was too cloudy for efficient solar power, but wind was still valid. They decided to decommission all nuclear power. The real cost of wind and solar power was 5.7 times the average cost of coal, gas hydroelectric and nuclear power. See chart that clearly shows the retail price of electricity versus percentage of renewable energy:

Those were the good old days. This year, with the war in Ukraine raging and with Russian sanctions, and the U.S. again being an energy importing country electricity rates are rising rapidly. These are recent European wholesale rates for electric production (distribution costs, profits and value added tax are then added on top of that)

The price is in Euros, which is now on par with the US dollar. The Swedish and Norwegian electricity pricing is interesting. See chart’

Sweden used to take care of its own energy, and price it low over the whole country. This year they have large regional differences, with retail electricity at about 22 cents/kWh in the two northern regions, and in the Southern two regions it can be as high as 75C/kWh. There are not enough transmission lines from North to South to equal out the pricing, and the transmission lines to Europe are also very limited. Norway on the other hand has a very good transmission line from Southern Norway to the European Continent, so Southern Norway went from having some of the lowest electricity prices in the world to over 50 c per kWh. In Northern Norway there are local grids powered by hydropower, so their cost is still essentially the cost of distribution.

The consumer price for electricity in U.K., Germany and France this winter is expected to exceed $1/kWh and even then there may be blackouts if they get a cold-snap. It is going to be a long cold winter in Europe.

Why NO republican voted for the “Inflation Reduction Act”. No Nancy, they did not vote against “Mother Earth”.

Republicans are more concerned about the real well being of the Earth than the Democrats, but are not fooled by the myth of Gaia, a theory that the Earth has run out of room to regulate itself because of rising CO2 levels, and the only chance we have to survive is to eliminate fossil fuels, and fast.

Republicans realize that the cost of eliminate fossil fuels before the technology is ready is draconian. Below is the experience from the European union of retail cost of electricity in all member nations from the year 2019, the last year to make any meaningful analysis, Covid and the Ukraine war has made worthless any newer analysis.

This slide tells it best. The real cost for Solar and Wind electricity is 5.7 times that of coal, gas, nuclear and hydro-electric. The real reason is that you still need all the generating power for when the wind doesn’t blow enough or too much, and the sun doesn’t shine, which is most of the time.

The solution is simple: Do not buy any more solar panels from China! Let them use them themselves, they may then only have to build 1135 new dirty lignite coal fired power plants instead of 1171 between now and 2030

Secondly, do not buy any new windmill generators from China. Let them use them themself to generate electricity at 5,7 times the cost of coal. Besides, wind turbines kill birds, especially bald and golden eagles. The eagles like to build their aeries on top of the generators, and sooner or later, wham, they are whacked dead by the blades. This way China could further reduce their need for additional coal fired plants to below 1100 between now and 2030.

The so called inflation reduction act mandates installing solar and wind power at 5.7 times the real cost of providing electricity with conventional means, such as coal, gas and nuclear. There are better ways to spend over 300 billion dollars.

What should we do instead? China used to have a 90+ percent share of mining and refining of rare earth metals. We need to re-develop our own capability to refine rare earth metals. Thorium is among the metals mined together with rare earth metals, and when Thorium, about as radioactive as background radiation was declared a source material, it became unprofitable to mine and refine rare earth metals in the U.S. Thorium should not be a source material, only Uranium. This is important for our national security. See more here.

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 even reaching the ocean. All water is already spoken for, especially in the 10 to 40 degrees latitude, where most people live.

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/

Of particular interest are the round dots representing the South Pole. We have really good global data for over 60 years. The Amundsen Scott – South Pole weather station, the average temperature of Winter season 2021 (April 2021 – September 2021) reached only -61,0°C / -78°F, and at this temperature CO2 is the dominant greenhouse gas by more than a factor of ten more important than water vapor. We have reliable measurements for the temperature change at the South Pole since 1957. During this time CO2 gas increased 31% to 413ppm, Methane increased 16% to 1.85 ppm and Nitrous oxide decreased, but this is a gas mostly confined to urban areas, and is now below 0.05 ppm worldwide. With CO2 increasing by 31% and water vapor negligible one would expect a temperature rise over 64 years of 0.65 C, or one degree Celsius warmer per century according to extrapolated lab measurements. This is the observed trend:

With 2021 value included the temperature trend is two degrees Celsius cooler per century!

At the South Pole snowfall is negligible in the winter, and for the whole year it is only 1.3 inches. No model would have predicted the cooling trend, so there must be other factors that are are more important, since real measurements beat models every time.

Even in Barrow, Alaska water vapor is the dominant greenhouse gas. Only at the South Pole (And North Pole) does CO2 dominate (but only in the 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 are three bands where CO2 absorbs 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, and the amount of CO2 is irrelevant.

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 adds one quarter of what the models predict.

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 theory 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

As we can see from this picture, the winters were about 5 degrees warmer, but starting from mid April through mid August temperatures were lower. It takes time to melt all the extra snow that fell because of the less cold air, able to contain more water vapor.

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 10,000 ppm millions of years ago. Ice ages will still come, and this is the next major climate change, the long term cooling trend is one degree C cooling per 2000 years. Do not buy any more solar panels from China! China is by far the world’s largest polluter of real air and water pollution.
  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 and Golden Eagles that like to build their aeries on top of wind turbines. Above all, do not import any more wind generators motors from China. They have severed all climate change cooperation with the U.S. Let them build a few less very polluting coal fired electric plants between now and 2030. China was planning to build 1171 additional coal plants.
  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 small scale backup power. They should be produced in the U.S. after the capacity to again refine rare earth metals has been established.
  6. Exploit geothermal energy only in geologically stable areas.
  7. Where ever possible add peak power generation and storage capacity to existing hydroelectric power plants by pumping back water into the dams during excess capacity.
  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. remove Thorium as source metal. Prioritize Thorium nuclear research. This should be our number one priority, for when the next ice age starts we will need all the CO2 in the air to sustain life..
  10. Put fusion power as important for the future but do not rush it, let the research and development be scientifically determined. However, hybrid Fusion -Thorium power generation should be developed.
  11. When Thorium power is built up and has replaced coal and gas fired power plants, then is the time to promote electric cars, not before. Let the early adopters buy the exciting electric cars, but do not subsidize them.
  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. For the time being do not decommission any nuclear plants before their time of obsolescence
  13. Start thinking about recovering CO2 directly from the air tp produce aviation fuel. This should be done when Thorium power has replaced coal and gas fired power plants.
  14. But most important, reverse real climate change, the desertification of the American Southwest. This can only be done by adding Thorium small modular reactors to the electric energy mix. Wind and solar will not do it, since they only provide power when the wind blows and the sun shines, not according to the electricity demand. My proposal is
  15. https://lenbilen.com/2022/04/09/the-transcontinental-aqueduct-a-realistic-way-to-save-lake-mead-and-reverse-the-desertification-of-the-american-southwest/ This aqueduct will cost about 350 Billion dollars, and solve the water needs for the lower American Southwest, triple the hydroelectric power storage capacity for the nation and go a long way to save the rapidly depleting aquifers. If this is not done American Southwest will become a desert in the not too distant future.
  16. When the Transcontinental aqueduct has begun to provide water to Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, California and Mexico it is time to build the Trans-Rocky-Mountain aqueduct. The Trans-Rocky-Mountain Aqueduct will save Lake Powell and Lake Mead, and rejuvenate the American South-west. This solution is expensive, but when all costs are included, it can deliver 3.6 to 6 Million acre-feet / year at a cost of $2,290 per acre-feet, check the calculations here. This is the solution that can be done in the shortest time.
  17. To help save the upper Ogallala aquifer and provide water to the thirsty Platte river watershed it is time to build a South Platte River aquifer. The river is drying up. The water will be taken from the Missouri river. This is a recent picture of the bone dry Platte River near Columbus Nebraska:

Something must be done. The wet areas are getting wetter because of pollution of land, air and rivers, and the dry areas are getting hotter and drier because of desertification. The beauty of these projects is that the Mississippi river is now cleaned up enough so that it can be done, the water supply is unlimited. The Mississippi River is our main barge transport river, and as such is already well regulated. The addition of these aqueducts will force the whole Mississippi River watershed community to more closely enforce water quality standards, and so lower the pollution in the Mexican Gulf.

The biggest cause of climate change is not rising CO2 levels but land use change, such as the desertification of the American Southwest.

Fear spreads up on Capitol Hill

The Climate change will break their will.

AOC: In Twelve years

our world disappears!

She acts as a Green New Deal shill.

Quote from Alexandria Occasio-Cortez in January 2019: “Millennials and Gen Z and all these folks that come after us are looking up, and we’re like, ‘The world is going to end in 12 years if we don’t address climate change, and your biggest issue is how are we gonna pay for it?’ ” she said. Congress has now finally put together a bill that will address climate change and add new taxes, so that it can be called the “Inflation Reduction Act”. While it will increase long term inflation, reduce growth, increase taxes and regulations, it’s attempt to solve climate change is particularly misplaced and will do more harm than good and ignore the real causes of climate change.

Let me explain.

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 even 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 chromatography 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. If elements are absorbing in the same frequency band they are called non-orthogonal, if they only absorb in unique bands they are orthogonal.

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/

Of particular interest are the round dots representing the South Pole. We have really good global data for over 60 years. The Amundsen Scott – South Pole weather station, the average temperature of Winter season 2021 (April 2021 – September 2021) reached only -61,0°C / -78°F, and at this temperature CO2 is the dominant greenhouse gas by more than a factor of ten more important than water vapor. We have reliable measurements for the temperature change at the South Pole since 1957. During this time CO2 gas increased 31% to 413ppm, Methane increased 16% to 1.85 ppm and Nitrous oxide decreased, but this is a gas mostly confined to urban areas, and is now below 0.05 ppm worldwide. With CO2 increasing by 31% and water vapor negligible one would expect a temperature rise over 64 years of 0.65 C, or one degree Celsius warmer per century according to extrapolated lab measurements. This is the observed trend:

With 2021 value included the temperature trend is two degrees Celsius cooler per century!

At the South Pole snowfall is negligible in the winter, and for the whole year it is only 1.3 inches. No model would have predicted the cooling trend, so there must be other factors that are are more important, since real measurements beat models every time.

Even in Barrow, Alaska water vapor is the dominant greenhouse gas. Only at the South Pole (And North Pole) does CO2 dominate (but only in the 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 are three bands where CO2 absorbs 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, and the amount of CO2 is irrelevant.

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 adds one quarter of what the models predict.

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

As we can see from this picture, the winters were about 5 degrees warmer, but starting from mid April through early August temperatures were lower. It takes time to melt all the extra snow that fell because of the less cold air, able to contain more water vapor.

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 10,000 ppm millions of years ago. Ice ages will still come, and this is the next major climate change, maybe 3,000 years from now, probably less. Do not buy any more solar panels from China! China is by far the world’s largest polluter of real air pollution. They are planning to build
  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 and Golden Eagles that like to build their aeries on top of wind turbines. Above all, do not import any more wind turbine motors from China. They have severed all climate change cooperation with the U.S. Let them build a few less very polluting coal fired electric plants between now and 2030. China was planning to build 1171 additional coal plants.
  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 small scale backup power.
  6. Exploit geothermal energy only in geologically stable areas.
  7. Where ever possible add peak power generation and storage capacity to existing hydroelectric power plants by pumping back water into the dams during excess capacity.
  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. This should be our number one priority, for when the next ice age starts we will need all the CO2 in the air to sustain life..
  10. Put fusion power as important for the future but do not rush it, let the research and development be scientifically determined. However, hybrid Fusion -Thorium power generation should be developed.
  11. When Thorium power is built up and has replaced coal and gas fired power plants, then is the time to promote 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. For the time being do not decommission any nuclear plants before their time of obsolescence
  13. Start thinking about recovering CO2 directly from the air and produce aviation fuel. This should be done when Thorium power has replaced coal and gas fired power plants.
  14. But most important, reverse the real climate change, the desertification of the American Southwest. This can only be done by adding Thorium small modular reactors to the electric energy mix. Wind and solar will not do it, since they only provide power when the wind blows and the sun shines, not according to the electricity demand. My proposal is
  15. https://lenbilen.com/2022/04/09/the-transcontinental-aqueduct-a-realistic-way-to-save-lake-mead-and-reverse-the-desertification-of-the-american-southwest/ This aqueduct will cost about the same, or around 350 Billion dollars, and solve the water needs for the lower American Southwest, triple the hydroelectric power storage capacity for the nation and go a long way to save the rapidly depleting aquifers. If this is not done American Southwest will become a desert in the not too distant future. We are getting close.
  16. When the Transcontinental aqueduct has begun to provide water to Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, California and Mexico it is time to build the Trans-Rocky-Mountain aqueduct. The Trans-Rocky-Mountain Aqueduct will save Lake Powell and Lake Mead, and rejuvenate the American South-west. This solution is expensive, but when all costs are included, it can deliver 3.6 to 6 Million acre-feet / year at a cost of $2,290 per af, high, check the calculations here. This is the solution that can be done in the shortest time.
  17. To help save the Ogallala aquifer and provide water to the thirsty Platte river watershed it is time to build a South Platte River aquifer. It is drying up. This is a recent picture of the bone dry Platte River near Columbus Nebraska:

Something must be done. The wet areas are getting wetter because of pollution of land, air and rivers, and the dry areas are getting hotter and drier because of desertification.