Climate change is real, but no climate emergency, and rising CO2 is not the culprit. It is about land use, water use changes and real pollution.

When the Supreme Court ruled that an agency such as the EPA does not have the authority to regulate CO2 emissions by fiat. Only Congress can enact a law to do this. I pointed out that CO2 is not the culprit gas that causes climate change, and as an example I used the South Pole weather station, having a 60+ year of good statistics, and it showed that the temperature trend is -2C per century. One would have expected a rise, since at the average winter temperature of -61C water vapor is nearly non-existent, and CO2 is the dominant greenhouse gas. One would have expected a one degree or more warming instead. This is one data point we are in a cooling trend,and indeed we are. The Greenland ice data shows it to be true:

Yet the current worldwide trend is a temperature increase. Note that the temperature models have increased the temperature increase with time from CIMP5 to CIMP6, and so diverging more and more from the HADCRUT4 data.

The overall worldwide temperature is increasing, but not at the rate the climate models suggest. The important thing is, where are the temperature increases? The South Pole winter temperatures are decreasing 2C per century, but summer temperatures are increasing ever so slightly. In the Arctic the situation is reversed. The winter temperatures have risen between 3C and 7C and vary widely from year to year, but the summer temperatures are slowly decreasing. The current temperature chart for the Arctic above 80 degrees latitude tells the story:

Notice the wild temperature swings in the winter, and the temperature stability below average in spring and summer.

There must be something with Climate change far more important than rising CO2 levels, and indeed there is. A couple of weeks ago I told a story of Dr Lovelock and his Gaya theory, and how he found out the air had much more DiMethylSulfide (DMS) than expected, and the molecules acted as condensation points for clouds. The DMS was generated by Phytoplankton, dinoflagellates and diatoms that contain chlorophyll and require sunlight in order to live and grow. Most phytoplankton are buoyant and float in the upper part of the ocean, where sunlight penetrates the water. Phytoplankton also require inorganic nutrients such as nitrates, phosphates, and sulfur which they convert into proteins, fats, and carbohydrates. If nutrients are too abundant it can lead to algae blooms, such as red tide. In that case all oxygen are consumed and the algae dies and leave a toxic mess. The areas where this occurs are near river outlets that contain too many nourishments. This is the case in the Mexican Gulf, the Eastern seaboard, the North Sea and the Baltic, as well as South Asia and East Asia. The inland areas will see more clouds and more rains, but not necessarily more severe storms. Flooding may increase though.

Far more troublesome is what happens to areas that do not experience an increase in clouds. The trouble starts a few hundred miles west of the Mississippi River in the Ogallala aquifer. This map shows changes in Ogallala water levels from the period before the aquifer was tapped to 2015.

Image credit: Nation Climate Assessment 2018

Going west to New Mexico things get worse. New Mexico depends on the monsoon rains starting in July and continues into the fall. They have a tendency to fail from time to time and sometimes many years in a row, they cannot be relied upon to water the thirsty earth. The grass and other vegetation dies, and when the rains come, they often cause flash floods that are very destructive to the soil, and leaves large areas barren. To illustrate what is happening take the Gila River. It starts in the Gila National Forest in New Mexico and flow through near Phoenix and ends i the Colorado River near the Mexico border. It used to have a flow of 1.3 million Acre-feet annually flowing seasonally through the Phoenix area. The Coolidge dam was built in 1930, all the land was taken by eminent domain, the Indians protested that some ancient burial grounds would be flooded, but at no avail. The dam was built, and a big disappointment it was. The evaporation from the San Carlos Lake was higher than the inflow for much of the year, co the total flow of the Gila river was greatly reduced. These are the numbers for the last ten years:

Only once in the last ten years has the lake been filled to even 25% of full capacity, and the last two years the lake has dried out during the most important growing season.All fish has died. The lake is totally useless even for recreational purposes, and nearly worthless for the Phoenix area as water supply. The Central Arizona Project has a capacity of providing 1.4 million Acre-feet a year, but has only been awarded a fraction of its capacity from the Colorado River, and since Lake Mead is drying up, the supply will be reduced to almost nothing.

Hoe dire is the situation? Arizona has a rising population, This chart shows it well:

Arizona has had a water problem since before the creation of the Arizona department of water resources. The farmers that had water rights took their allotment and expected a low price, say $100 per acre-ft, the cost of pumping it out of the ground. The municipal users don’t mind to pay $1,500 per acre-ft, after all, that is only 2 cents per gallon, so when the supply fails, the farmer is the loser.

So, where do the water supplies come from? These are official numbers from 2019

Since then the situation has gotten much worse. The Colorado River contribution is down by at least 30%, and will be cut down further when Lake Mead drops some more. It is already precariously close to dead pool. The Gila River water flow is zero during growing season, but the Salt River still delivers 300,000 A-f per year, all during growing season. So the in-state river flow is down by a half. This means that over half of Arizona’s water supply will come from drawing down the aquifers. This will reduce the river flows some more, the land will be dried up, and eventually the wells will dry up and Arizona will act more like a desert, with no cooling capacity left in the soil, the summer temperatures will be even hotter and dust storms will be common. The trees will die from drought and wildfires will increase. When the monsoon rains come, heavy flash floods will remove what little top soil is left. This is real climate change in the American Southwest.

If we concentrate on limiting CO2 emissions but ignore the real causes of climate change this is the future the American South-west can look forward to. If we took a fraction of the money earmarked to eliminate fossil fuel and use it instead to save the planet, in this case the American Southwest, then we’ll again make the American Southwest livable with enough water for 40 million people, and with a still functioning agriculture in the west, supplying food for many more people, plants and wildlife.

One of the problems leading to climate change is polluting rivers. Of the ten most polluting rivers in the world none are in Europe or the Americas, see map:

The main pollutant in these rivers is particle pollution such as plastic, but unprocessed sewage is prevalent.

Nitrogen pollution from agriculture is another problem, even in Europe and America. The Dutch farmers are up in arms over the draconian measures imposed by the Dutch government, praised on by Klaus Schwab and he New world Order leaders that want “The great reset”. This involves reducing the nitrogen content on the agricultural lands by 50, 75 and even 95% in certain areas, reduce cattle by 50% and a similar reduction in the pig population. The protest is joined by Germany, Poland, Italy and Spain (and maybe Australia). The protest is immense:

Government mandates cannot solve the nitrogen crisis. The best way to reduce the nitrogen pollution is to lower the nitrogen fertilizer from slightly above optimum to slightly below optimum. With fertilizer cost more than tripling this adjustment was going to be made anyhow. Plants have a remarkable ability to absorb the nitrogen, and with the rising CO2 levels they do so more efficiently. The optimum amount is different for every plot, and any farmer knows much better than any desk-bound bureaucrat how and when to sow, fertilize and reap.

In the eastern half of the U.S. water rights comes with the land, and since rainfall can lead to floods, water rights are 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 retainment basin to compensate for 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

In the dry American southwest it is all about water rights. Land without water rights is nearly worthless. If a homeowner without water rights get caught putting a bucket under his downspout and uses the rain to water a newly planted thee, 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, forming creeks belong to the river and cannot be dammed. This will help restore the aquifiers, but the river flows will be diminished until the aquifers are restored, which may take a century. So before the water rights question can be righted and the aquifers restored we must

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 the 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.

Weather and climate forecasting, a difficult science to master.

An old British saying used to be: “Everybody complains about the weather, but nobody does anything about it.” We may not be able to do much about the weather, but at least we can try to save the world from the “Climate Crisis”. The term used to be Climate Change, but with the new administration the term has been upgraded.

When I grew up a long time ago in Sweden the old folks used to say “If you make it through February, you will make it another year.” This was of course before electricity and central heating”.

There is a saying in Norway: “There is no bad weather, only bad clothes.” Here is an example, the souwester” It works well in freezing rain.

The long term weather forecast for February, issued January 21 by the weather channel looked like this:

Great, no need to buy that extra sweater, and Texans can go another season with thin t-shirts and designer pre-torn jeans.

But the weather forecast three weeks later looked like this:

But the windmills don’t work in freezing rain, so the electric grid was challenged when over half of the windmills froze just as the demand spiked. Normally coal and natural gas electrical plants would have kicked in, but many of the coal plants had been shut down due to environmental regulations, and the emergency request to restart them were denied due to environmental concerns. The natural gas plants ran full bore until the natural gas pressure in the pipelines started dropping below safe levels. This lead to rotating power-outs to preserve gas line pressure. But in the wisdom of the authorities the gas line pressure compressors had been switched from natural gas to electricity (environmental concerns), so if the compressors were in an area of electric blackout, there went the gas pressure, causing a chain reaction, and the whole power grid came within hours of a total collapse. Only nuclear power hummed along as if nothing had happened, but nuclear power is a base load and cannot increase the power above a certain level. Back in 2017, Secretary of Energy Rick Perry proposed paying Coal and Nuclear Power Stations to keep at least 90 days worth of coal  onsite, for disaster resilience. At the time the resilience proposal was widely criticized as being a thinly disguised Trump scheme to pump government money into the coal and nuclear industries. So the plan was rejected by the bureaucracy. But in hindsight, a bit more resilience might have saved Texas from days of painful electricity blackouts, and even deaths.

The bill for these monumental miscalculations is yet to be paid. The cost of electricity for these 2 weeks off horror is yet to be paid. The Texans who were fortunate enough to have power have to pay the bill for intermittent electricity at a cost of two dollars per kilowatt-hour. A retired veteran on social security got a bill for over 16,000 dollars for part of February.

Since weather is so hard to predict, do we have any hope of being able to predict future climate? People keep trying. And they keep developing climate models. Here is a chart of most of them:

Not much has changed since this chart was first published. While the IPCC confidence in their climate models keep increasing, so does the difference between model prediction and actual temperature.

Climate finance continues to be the central issue in how the global community proposes to follow through with implementation of the Paris Agreement, which Joe Biden has decided to rejoin by executive fiat. This is in the opinion of his advisors, such as John Kerry appropriate in the context of the last IPCC report showing a USD 1.6-3.8 trillion energy system investment requirement to keep warming within a 1.5 degree Celsius scenario to avoid the most harmful effects of climate change (IPCC, 2018).

Does this still make sense?

Anyone?

 

 

CO2 concentration has increased 50% since pre-industrial times. Is that good or bad? Thorium Nuclear Power is the answer. A Limerick.

As CO2 warms up the poles

burned oil, gas and coal play their roles.

CO2 is still good;

makes plants green, grows more food,

and clouds are the climate controls.

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

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

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

The most drastic temperature rise on earth has been in the Arctic above the 80th latitude. In the winter of 2018 it was 8C above the 50 year average. See charts from the Danish Meteorological Institute:

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

The fall temperature saw an increase of 5C and the spring temperature saw an increase of about 2.5C.

The 2020 winter recorded an about 4c increase Source: DMI.

meanT_2020

Notice: In this chart the there is no recorded summer temperature increase at all!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

nhland_season4

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Here are some of them:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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