A cold and snowy winter ahead? The signs (Ice and snow) are accumulating

It’s snowy and cold here up north.

True Climate Change starts to come forth.

It’s more clouds and more snow

Chills us down, just to show

it’s negative feedback henceforth.

This picture was taken Nov 15 from our porch in Boalsburg, PA. It was a very early snowfall.

Last night it was 11 F in Boalsburg, a new low for this date, and tomorrow night may set a new all time low for November since records begun.

This is of course local weather, but looking at the whole picture it seems to get colder in the Northern Temperate Region and in the Arctic in spite of temperature readings showing higher than average temperatures.

Let me explain: Everybody knows that in the Summer clouds cool by day and warm by night. Up North in Winter clouds containing snow, warm the atmosphere both day and night, and yet they cool down by depositing snow.

We are having earlier snowfalls in the Northern Hemisphere

This chart is from yesterday and is from the Canadian department of  ‘Environment and Climate Change’, so we can rest assured that the amount of snow cover is not over-estimated.

From Rutgers University climate lab comes this chart of fall snow cover in the Northern Hemisphere. This year’s snow cover is about 5% larger than last year at the same day, so we can clearly see that the increasing trend is not broken; if anything, it is accelerating.

From sunshinehours.net comes this chart, showing the Arctic ice cover has grown from being the lowest on record in October to the highest in the last seven years for Nov 21.

This is confirmed by the Danish Ministries for Energy, Utilities and Climate. The charts can be found at polarportal.com.

The

confirms that it was not just a flash-over of ice on a calm ocean, but real ice accumulation at a record clip since October.

This trend of increasing Fall snow and ice accumulation has not been well published. The earlier Spring arrivals with heavier than normal snow-melts have, but the reason for early Springs is not primarily increasing CO2. A bigger impact comes from the brown clouds emanating from mostly China.

The soot from these clouds make its way all the way up into the Arctic and is deposited on the snow, changing the albedo, leading to an earlier snow-melt.

When it comes to reporting of results from valid research, what is published is often cherry-picked to satisfy political agenda. True climate research is by no means settled, and the future is, at some time we will enter into the next ice-age, which is the normal state of the Earth. The negative temperature feedback from clouds limits the temperature rise. The Tropics has found its temperature, no amount of increasing CO2 will change that, the lack of increase in the tropospheric hot-spot in the tropics as the CO2 level increased from 320ppm to 410 ppm proves that. The insrease, if any is less thas 1/7 of what the models predict. In the Arctic there will be a winter temperature rise, mostly because of increased snowfall, and to a minor degree from increased CO2. The increased snowfall in the Arctic make the winters warmer (about 5 C), but the Summers cooler (about 1/2 C)

(From the Danish Meteorological Institute)

Climate Studies are fascinating, the Science is far from settled, we are still at the beginning of understanding the major temperature regulator of the world: Clouds.

 

 

 

 

People, raw material and energy, the trade war with China, and will tariffs solve anything?

We are in a pickle. At least we were until President Trump stirred the pot and decided to address the trade war with China that has been going on for more than a decade, encouraged and abetted by former President Obama and his religious belief that the biggest threat to civilization is not nuclear holocaust, chemical poisoning of people and the earth or super-volcanoes, earthquakes, tsunamis and other natural phenomena, but climate change, all man-made of course.

Let us compare the economies of China and the U.S. in raw numbers.

1. Concrete. China produced 51.4% of the world’s cement in 2015, USA produced 1.8%. China’s production was almost 30 times larger.

It takes a lot of concrete to build artificial islands so they can take control of the South China Sea.

2 Steel production. China produced 50.3% of the world’s crude Steel in 2015, USA produced 4.9%. China’s production was over 20 times larger. Some of this steel was dumped below production cost to crush our domestic low end steel industry. An example: Rolled steel to make steel cans were exported at about $200 a ton, the production cost in the U.S. is more like $400 a ton.

3. Aluminum (or Aluminium as the British and IUPAC call it) China produced 41% of the world’s raw aluminum in 2010, USA produced 4.5%. China’s production was nearly 10 times larger.

This is easily rectified. Aluminum is produced where electricity is abundant and cheap, like in Norway and Iceland. Aluminum is produced whenever there is excess electric capacity, never on peak hours. Even here China dumps their excess Aluminum.

4. Coal. China burned 51.2% of the world’s coal in 2012, USA produced 12.5%. China’s production was more than four times larger.

This of course with the Paris accord in mind. U.S. and the European countries are to limit their emissions and slowly diminish them, down to a per capita emission comparable to the mid 1800’s, while China, being a developing country is allowed to increase their emissions until 2030, and then stabilize them, not decrease them.

If this seems like we have already sold out to China, it is nothing compared to

5. Rare Earth Metals. First, rare earth metals re not rare at all, they exist in small quantities together with Thorium and sometimes Uranium wherever other metals are mined.

The Lanthanides occur in quantity in Monazite, a byproduct of mining Phosphates, but also as a byproduct of mining Titanium, and even from some Iron ores. The rare earth metals are free to begin extraction if it was not for one thing, they also contain Thorium, and Thorium is radio-active, so in the mid 1980’s the NRC and IAEA reclassified Monazite and anything containing Thorium as a “Source Material” and after that it became too costly to comply with all the regulations for nuclear material, so all production of rare earth minerals ceased in the U.S.

China saw an opportunity to grab the world market for Rare Earth Metals and is now controlling about 94% of the supply of all rare earth metals.

So what are rare earth metals used for?

China now has a de facto monopoly on all usages of rare earth metals, and in the case of war or an embargo, not only are our precious cell phones and computers in jeopardy, so is our defense, night vision goggles, aircraft engines, navigation systems, laser guidance, just to name a few uses.

And not only that, we import the completed parts from China, even for our most sophisticated military equipment, such as the F35 aircraft, after telling the Chinese how to make the components. The very same components are now in China’s version of the F35, still under development, but in a year or so China will have their faithful copies made!

This is clearly unsustainable, so in 2014  Congress tried to pass HR 4883 and         S 2006 to remedy the situation, but the bills got killed in review by none other than the defense department, citing National Security!

We are no longer under the Obama “Strategic Patience” doctrine, so an updated version of these bills need to be introduced ASAP, or we will be on the hook from China forever!

After all this, the current spat with North Korea seems like a nuisance.

 

And then there was one. U.S. alone fights climate change the right way.

At the climate conference in Bonn, Germany, Syria signed the so called Paris Accord on Climate Change, leaving the United States alone as a non-signer.

Our European friends are quite upset about this. After all, countries like Denmark and Germany have the highest residential electricity rates in the world to pay for their wind and solar power installed. Here are the countries with reduced CO2 emissions this century:

But if one looks at the absolute decline in CO2 emissions, the U.S. leads the pack hands down:

So, who is the biggest CO2 villain? It is China by 6500 million tons of oil equivalent increase since 2000.    According to the Paris accord China is allowed to emit 6 times as much CO2 as the U.S. And not only that, the U.S. would pay them as one of the “developing” countries to do that!

Humor in China? You must be kidding. Even Winnie the Pooh is now banned, a Limerick.

Now China banned Winnie the Pooh.

Not much that a small bear can do.

For the Pooh is a thing

Too much like Xi Jinping,

he nixed Twitter humor, boo-hoo.

Twitter is limited to very few characters, so the best use of it is to include pictures. This is what led Winnie the Pooh to be banned in China. The pictures are really pretty good. Like this:

This one is from 2013

And this:

Here the Japanese Prime minister i portrayed as Eeyore

And this is just too cute:

It is clear that banning Winnie the Pooh now after having enjoyed it for four or more years can only mean that China is tightening the screws on free speech even further. Are they ready to go even more totalitarian?

 

Twenty-two reasons to rapidly develop Thorium based Nuclear Power generation.

We need badly to develop a Thorium based molten salt fast breeder nuclear reactor to develop our energy needs in the future. Lest anyone should be threatened by the words fast breeder, it simply means it uses fast neutrons instead of thermal neutron, and breeder means it produces more fissible material than it consumes, in the case of Thorium the ratio is about 1.05.

Here are 22 good reasons for Thorium:

1. Cheap and unlimited raw material.

2. Much less TRansUranium waste, 0.01% waste products compared to a Uranium-235 fast breeder.

3. Produces Pu-238 as one of the final TRans Uranium products, in short supply and much in demand for space exploration nuclear power.

4. Radioactive waste decays down to background radiation in 300 years instead of a million years.

5. Does not produce Plutonium 239, which is the preferred material used in nuclear bombs.

6. Produces isotopes that helps cure certain cancers.

7. Thorium Nuclear Reactors are earthquake safe.

8. No risk for a meltdown, the fuel is already molten.

9. Very high negative temperature coefficient leading to a safe and stable control.

10. Atmospheric pressure operating conditions, no risk for explosions.

11. Virtually no spent fuel problem, no storage or transport.

12.  Scales beautifully from small portable generators to full size power plants.

13. No need for evacuation zones, can be placed near urban areas.

14. Rapid response to increased or decreased power demands.

15. Lessens the need for an expanded national grid.

16. Russia has a Thorium program.

17. China is having a massive Thorium program.

18. India has an active Thorium program.

19.Lawrence Livermore Laboratories is developing a small portable self-contained Thorium reactor capable of being carried on a low-bed trailer.

20. The need for a Yucca Mountain nuclear storage facility will eventually go away.

21. Produces electricity at a cost of about 4 c/kWh.

22. Can deplete some of the existing radioactive waste and nuclear weapons stockpiles.

1. Cheap and unlimited raw material. There is enough Thorium around for a million years at today’s worldwide energy generation level , and not only that, it is a by-product of mining heavy metals and rare earth metals. The price is the cost of extracting and refining, which can be as low as $40/Kg. No extra mining required for extracting the Thorium.

2. Much less TRansUranium waste, 0.01% waste products compared to a Uranium-235 fast breeder. The Thorium process has a much higher efficiency in fission than  the Uranium process. See the figure below.

3. Produces Pu-238 as one of the final TRans Uranium products, in short supply and much in demand for space exploration nuclear power.

NASA relies on pu-238 to power long-lasting spacecraft batteries that transform heat into electricity. With foreign and domestic supplies dwindling, NASA officials are worried the shortage will prevent the agency from sending spacecraft to the outer planets and other destinations where sunlight is scarce. Thorium reactors produce PU-238 as a “free” byproduct.  In 2009 Congress denied a request to produce more Pu-238 by traditional means, instead relying on Russia to sell us the plutonium. (Remember the Russian reset?) Russia made their last delivery in 2010.

4. Radioactive waste decays down to background radiation in 300 years instead of a million years. Initially a Thorium reactor produces as much radioactivity as other nuclear reactors, since fission converts mass to heat, but the decay products have a much shorter half-life. See the figure below.

5. Does not produce Plutonium239, which is the preferred material used in nuclear bombs. The higher Plutonium isotopes and other TRansUraniums are about as nasty as they get, and need expensive protection against terror attacks, and need to be stored for a very long time.

6. Produces isotopes that helps cure certain cancers. For decades, medical researchers have sought treatments for cancer. Now, Alpha Particle Immunotherapy offers a promising treatment for many forms of cancer, and perhaps a cure. Unfortunately, the most promising alpha-emitting medical isotopes, actinium-225 and its daughter, bismuth-213, are not available in sufficient quantity to support current research, much less therapeutic use. In fact, there are only three sources in the world that largely “milk” these isotopes from less than 2 grams of thorium source material. Additional supplies were not forthcoming. Fortunately, scientists and engineers at Idaho National Laboratory identified 40-year-old reactor fuel stored at the lab as a substantial untapped resource and developed Medical Actinium for Therapeutic Treatment, or MATT, which consists of two innovative processes (MATT-CAR and MATT-BAR) to recover this valuable medical isotope.

7. Earthquake safe. Thorium reactors have a very simple and compact design where gravity is the only thing needed to stop the nuclear reaction. Conventional Nuclear reactors depend on external power to shut down after a SCRAM, where poison rods fall down to halt the reaction.  The next figure shows the concept of a Thorium reactor.

The idea is to empty the fissile U-233 core through gravity alone. Since the fuel is already molten, it can run out into channels like pig-iron into cooling heat exchangers with  water supplied through gravity alone.

As we can see the reactor hardened structure is compact, and can be completely earthquake and tsunami proof. What can be sheared off are the steam pipes and external power, but the shutdown can complete without additional power.

8. No risk for a meltdown, the fuel is already molten. The fuel in a Thorium reactor is U-233 in the form of UraniumFluoride (UF4) salt that also contains Lithium and Beryllium, in its molten form it has a very low vapor pressure. The salt flows easily through the heat exchangers and the separators. The salt is very toxic, but it is completely sealed.

9. Very high negative temperature coefficient leading to a safe and stable control. This is another beauty of the molten salt design. The temperature coefficient is highly negative, leading to a safe design with simple and consistent feedback. What does that mean?  It means that if temperature in the core rises, the efficiency of the reaction goes down, leading to less heat generated. There is no risk for a thermal runaway. In contrast, Chernobyl used graphite moderated Uranium , and it suffered a thermal runaway as the operators bypassed three safety circuits trying to capture the last remaining power during a normal shut-down. The reactor splat, the graphite caught fire and the rest is history. Five days later two nuclear installations in Sweden shut down their reactors due to excessive radiation, but it took a while before they could figure out what had happened. First then did the Soviets confess there had been an accident.

10. Atmospheric pressure operating conditions, no risk for explosions. Materials subjected to high radiation tend to get brittle or soften up. Thorium reactors operate under atmospheric conditions so the choice of materials that can withstand both high temperatures and high radiation is much greater, leading to a superior and less expensive design.  There is no high pressure gas buildup and the separation stage can be greatly simplified.

11. Virtually no spent fuel problem, no storage or transport. I am following the events at Fukushima Nuclear Power plants with great interest. How ironic that the greatest risk is with the spent fuel, not with the inability to shut down the working units. The spent fuel issue is the real Achilles’ heel of the Nuclear Power Industry. Thorium power works differently as nearly all fuel gets consumed as it is generated. When the process shuts down, that is it. Only the radioactivity that is en route so to say will have to be accounted for, not everything generated thus far in the process. The difference is about 10000 to one in the size of the problem. Time to switch over to Thorium.

12.  Scales beautifully from small portable generators to full size power plants. One of the first applications was as an airborne nuclear reactor.

 Granted this was not a Thorium breeder reactor, but it proves nuclear reactors can be made lightweight. Thorium reactor may be made even lighter as long as they are not of the breeder type.

13. No need for evacuation zones, can be placed near urban areas. Thorium reactors operate at atmospheric pressure and have a very high negative temperature coefficient, so there is no risk for a boil-over. They are easily made earthquake-safe since no pressure vessel is needed.

14. Rapid response to increased or decreased power demands. The increase in power output to increased power demand is faster than in coal-fired power plant. All you have to do is increase the speed of flow in the core and it will respond with raised temperature.

15. Lessens the need for an expanded national grid. The National Electric grid is at the breaking point. It needs to be expanded, but neighborhood resistance is building in many areas where they need an expansion the most. The grid is also sensitive to terrorism activities.

 As we can see the national grid is extensive, and under constant strain. A way to lessen the dependency on the national grid is to sprinkle it with many small to medium sized Thorium Nuclear Power generators.  They can be placed on barges in rivers and along the coast, giving the grid maximum flexibility to respond in  case of an emergency.

16. Russia has a Thorium program This is a self-contained Thorium Nuclear Reactor on a barge. Coolant readily available. Hoist it a couple of cables and the town will have all the power it needs.

17. China is having a massive Thorium program. The People’s Republic of China has initiated a research and development project in thorium molten-salt reactor technology, it was announced in the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) annual conference on Tuesday, January 25. An article in the Wenhui News followed on Wednesday. Chinese researchers also announced this development on the Energy from Thorium Discussion Forum. Led by Dr. Jiang Mianheng, a graduate of Drexel University in electrical engineering, the thorium MSR efforts aims not only to develop the technology but to secure intellectual property rights to its implementation. This may be one of the reasons that the Chinese have not joined the international Gen-IV effort for MSR development, since part of that involves technology exchange. Neither the US nor Russia have joined the MSR Gen-IV effort either. A Chinese delegation led by Dr. Jiang travelled to Oak Ridge National Lab last fall to learn more about MSR technology and told lab leadership of their plans to develop a thorium-fueled MSR.The Chinese also recognize that a thorium-fueled MSR is best run with uranium-233 fuel, which inevitably contains impurities (uranium-232 and its decay products) that preclude its use in nuclear weapons. Operating an MSR on the “pure” fuel cycle of thorium and uranium-233 means that a breakeven conversion ratio can be achieved, and after being started on uranium-233, only thorium is required for indefinite operation and power generation.

18. India has an active Thorium program. • India has a flourishing and largely indigenous nuclear power program and expects to have 20,000 MWe nuclear capacity on line by 2020 and 63,000 MWe by 2032.  It aims to supply 25% of electricity from nuclear power by 2050. • Because India is outside the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty due to its weapons program, it was for 34 years largely excluded from trade in nuclear plant or materials, which has hampered its development of civil nuclear energy until 2009. • Due to these trade bans and lack of indigenous uranium, India has uniquely been developing a nuclear fuel cycle to exploit its reserves of thorium. • Now, foreign technology and fuel are expected to boost India’s nuclear power plans considerably.  All plants will have high indigenous engineering content. • India has a vision of becoming a world leader in nuclear technology due to its expertise in fast reactors and thorium fuel cycle. • India’s Kakrapar-1 reactor is the world’s first reactor which uses thorium rather than depleted uranium to achieve power flattening across the reactor core. India, which has about 25% of the world’s thorium reserves, is developing a 300 MW prototype of a thorium-based Advanced Heavy Water Reactor (AHWR). The prototype is expected to be fully operational by 2011, following which five more reactors will be constructed. Considered to be a global leader in thorium-based fuel, India’s new thorium reactor is a fast-breeder reactor and uses a plutonium core rather than an accelerator to produce neutrons. As accelerator-based systems can operate at sub-criticality they could be developed too, but that would require more research. India currently envisages meeting 30% of its electricity demand through thorium-based reactors by 2050.

19.Lawrence Livermore Laboratories is developing a small portable self-contained Thorium reactor capable of being carried on a low-bed trailer. A Democratic member of the United States House of Congress (Joseph Sestak) in 2010 added funding for research and development for a reactor that could use thorium as fuel and fit on a destroyer-sized ship.  Lawrence Livermore national laboratories are currently in the process of designing such a self-contained (3 meters by 15 meters) thorium reactor. Called SSTAR (Small, Sealed, Transportable, Autonomous Reactor), this next-generation reactor will produce 10 to 100 megawatts electric and can be safely transported via ship or truck.  The first units are expected to arrive in 2015, be tamper resistant, passively failsafe and have a operative life of 30+ years.

20. The need for a Yucca Mountain nuclear storage facility will eventually go away. Since Thorium consumes the fissile material as it is getting created, the need for a long term storage facility of the Yucca Mountain type will eventually go away. In remote locations there can be built Thorium Nuclear Power generators that consume spent material from other nuclear processes. The need to do it in remote locations is the hazard of the already existing nuclear wastes. It should be possible to reduce the existing stockpile of nuclear wastes and nuclear bombs by about 90% and make electricity in the process. The cost to do this is higher than the normal process due to the additional cost of security.

21. Produces electricity at a cost of about 4 c/kWh.  The cost to produce electricity with Thorium generators should be about 40% less than Advanced Nuclear and about 30 % less than from Coal (with scrubbers). Solar generation is about 4 times more expensive (without subsidies) Wind power is cheaper when the wind blows, but the generation capacity has to be there even when the wind doesn’t blow, so the only gain from wind power is to lessen the mining or extraction of carbon.  Even if we double the renewable power we will only go from 3.6% to 7.2% of total energy needed.  Hydroelectric  power is for all practical purpose maxed out, so all future increase must come from Coal, Natural Gas, Petroleum or Nuclear. Thorium powered Nuclear Generators is the way to go.

Many of the pictures are from a slide presentation given by David Archibald in Melbourne Feb 5 2011. He posted it “for the benefit of all” which I have interpreted as waving the copyright of the pictures

http://wattsupwiththat.com/2011/02/12/david-archibald-on-climate-and-energy-security/

China the leader in Climate Change. A Limerick.

Is China’s “clean energy” coal?

Use half of the world’s is their goal.

It pollutes with its soot

but they don’t give a hoot.

Their aim is for world-wide control.

From NYT: When China halted plans for more than 100 new coal-fired power plants this year, even as President Trump vowed to “bring back coal” in America, the contrast seemed to confirm Beijing’s new role as a leader in the fight against climate change.

How is China doing? From 2002 to 2012 China increased its coal production from one third of the world total to over one half of the world total. No, the rest of the world did not decrease, only U.S. did decrease coal production by about 10% between 2002 and 2012, the rest of the world increased its production, but China tripled its output. After 2014 China has slipped somewhat, but it still burns more than 47% of the world’s mined coal.

China has had a growth per year of between 8 and 10 percent per year for more than a decade, but growth is now down to below 7%. So China decided to call of building 100 coal fired power plants, from 1171 new coal fired plants down to 1071, or about half of the world’s planned coal fired plants.

Here is the installed capacity for China’s electricity production.

China has been praised for its strides in renewable energy. It has many mountains and rivers, so hydropower is a large part. But hydropower is best used as peak power, when the load is high or when the wind doesn’t blow and the sun doesn’t shine, since it can be instantly turned up or down, so coal power carries more like 73% of the load.

But coal is also used for heating and cement production. China has produced more cement in the last three years than the U.S. in the last hundred years. It takes a lot of cement to build artificial islands in the South China Sea. And then there are the ghost cities that can only be produced by total control central planning. Here is a chart of cement production and consumption in the world.

The result? Some of the world’s worst air pollution seen from space.

These brown clouds follow the coast up into the Arctic, where they deposit the soot on the snow and ice, lowering the albedo and causing the ice and snow to melt faster in the summer.

China is the leader in climate change.

 

Covfefe the Paris accord! A Limerick.

Covfefe the Paris accord!

A bondage we ill can afford

CO2 keeps us free

Food for you, food for me.

The temperature sham sows discord.

According to alarmists pulling out of the Paris accord will increase global temperatures by 0.05 to 0.17 degrees Celsius by the year 2100, a catastrophe too big to fathom. See the official chart!

How have the models performed so far?

And how is the current global temperature trend performing right now? The “pause” is now over 19 years even though CO2 is increasing at 3 ppm (nearly one percent) per year! Here is a chart of the last few months.

With the discrepancy of more than half a degree C between the average of the climate models and observations, it pays to be sceptical of even the 0.17 degrees.

This chart shows the growth of China. Not only are they consuming 47% of the world’s coal production, they are also making 30 times more cement than  U.S.

And with the Paris accord, China was free to grow until 2030, up to 6 times U.S. output, and get paid for it!

What is China doing with all its cement? Building artificial islands? Bunkers? Ghost cities?

world-cement-production_2

And a ghost city! Preparing for War?

china3