Rising CO2 levels is only a very minor cause of climate change. Beside the sun, land use change, pollution, mining and depletion of aquifers are the major causes.

I have always been very interested in the environment. Nature teaches us so many lessons, the diversity of trees, birds, flowers and wildlife is breathtaking and I never cease to wonder. It would be a shame to destroy the beauty of it all. Yet we seem to make it worse by concentrating our effort by trying to limit CO2 emissions, rather than tackling the real and more urgent problems.

Let me first explain why I assert that rising CO2 levels, while real is only a minor player in the climate change equation.

The traditional way to approach this scientifically is making climate models. So far, nearly all, except the Russian model have failed to predict future temperature changes. IPCC is still failing.

The other approach is to take measurements, and it so happens that 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 decade over 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. 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.

Ignoring the South Pole, the climate models are from time to time adjusted, and they suddenly showed a much higher rate of future temperature increases, in this case what is supposed to happen to global temperatures for a doubling of CO2 from pre-industrial times, from 270ppm to 540ppm.

Source: Mark D Zelinka et al. ” Causes of higher Climate sensitivity in CMIP6 models” Geophysical Research Letters.

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 from IPCC for the last 34 years. These models all fail 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 over 60 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. Since then it has come down to the more normal 4C increase. See charts from the Danish Meteorological Institute:

Summer: red, Jun,Jul, Aug. Winter: green, Dec, Jan, Feb Yearly: black

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

Spring: green, Mar, Apr, May. Fall: red, Sep Oct, Nov. Yearly: black

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

The 2022 winter saw an about 4c increase. The Spring temperatures have from the 10th of March were below or very close to the 1958 – 2002 average. Early Summer temperatures have so far been about 1C below normal. Source: DMI.

There seems to be no cause for immediate panic with the Arctic temperatures. If anything, they seem to moderate. In Antarctic on the other hand the temperatures seem to be decreasing! As we have seen before, 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, which is the coldest value in all-time history! This was 2,5°C /4.5°F degrees lower than the most recent 30-year average at this remote station.

Why are the temperatures not behaving like the models predict?

To get the answer we must study molecular absorption 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 counts 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. The important thing is that in the frequency band of 14.5 to 15.5 micron CO2 absorbs all the energy available in that spectral range, and it also did it before industrialization when CO2 levels were one third less than today!

The grey area is the difference between total pre-industrial absorption and today, less than 5 % added absorption in the 13 to 17 micron band. Norice that total absorption from ground level to thermopause cannot exceed 100%

From this we can see that increasing CO2 levels is not the cause of climate change, only a very minor player. How about Methane?

Methane has only two major absorption bands, one at 3.3 microns, and the other at 8 microns. The 3,3 micron band is where incoming radiation is negligible, and so is outgoing black-body radiation. The 8 micron band is where water vapor is dominant, so Methane turns out to be the don’t care gas.

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 is 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 as great in the Antarctic and the winter temperature in the Antarctic is even lower than in the Arctic. So CO2 increase cannot be the answer to the winter temperature increase in the Arctic.

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

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

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

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

Jan 16,2022

In the spring on the other hand the snow pack is melting faster, about 1.6 percent less spring 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, wood and peat, and from mining dust 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 North Pole is getting warmer. In the fall and winter it is mostly due to increased snowfall, but in the spring, as soon as the temperatures rise over the freezing point, melting occurs earlier. But it takes longer time to melt the increasing snow, so the Summer temperatures remain unchanged or lower.

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, 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.

So CO2 is not the cause for climate change.

Yet

we face enormous environmental challenges. The American Southwest is slowly becoming a desert, the aquifers are being depleted, Lake Mead and Lake Powell will be empty in a few years if nothing is done. Our total energy use is increasing:

In 2021 solar energy amounted to 1,44% and wind power another 3.24% of total energy production. Hydroelectric power is declining because of the drought in the American Southwest. It used to be of great use for peak power generation. Lake Mead and Lake Powell are for all practical purposes unusable for more peak power generation. Biomass is pretty much peaked out. The use of of some of our best agricultural soil to grow corn and make ethanol is folly. When corn sugar is made into ethanol 48% of its weight is fermented as CO2, and one third of the total energy is gone. Maize growing is one of the most demanding crops, depleting the soil of more nutrition than other grains, needing the most fertilizer, which is made from petroleum products and other energy. It has been called “the syphilis of the soil” because of erosion problems.

The electricity production is but a subset of total energy consumption.

Source EIA

There is a great push to make all new cars, pick ups, delivery trucks, city buses and local trains electric by the year 2030. This does not seem to be incorporated into the eia plans. The “new green energy” plan is to have us carbon neutral by 2050. I don’t see how it can be done unless we take a radically different approach. Texas and California already has all the wind and solar power they can handle. To build it up further it must be complemented with energy batteries to store enough energy for when the wind doesn’t blow and the sun doesn’t shine. These energy batteries require an enormous amount of mining to extract the Lithium needed to make them. Lithium is already in high demand as batteries for vehicles. However, battery technology is rapidly developing, so it may still be possible to expand battery power for the grid. For now, most peak power and reserve power is supplied by natural gas.

A proposal to develop the electric grid, our nation’s transportation needs and reversing the desertification of the American Southwest.

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.

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.

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

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, made on an assembly line. It can came in many forms, 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. The only thing better would be fusion power, but that is at least 20 years away, but it is coming. These are exciting times!

CO2 concentration has increased more than 50% since pre-industrial times. Is that good or bad?

As CO2 warms the North Pole

burning oil, gas and coal plays a role.

CO2 is still good;

makes plants green, grows more food,

The clouds are God’s climate control.

Greta Thunberg, 17; Times person of the year 2019 was at it again, this time in Davos at the annual World Economic Forum. She was allowed to give a 30 minute speech to all the dignitaries assembled, who had generated 18,090 metric tons of CO2 (source CNN) getting there in their jets. Her message was:

Let’s be clear. We don’t need a ‘low carbon economy.’ We don’t need to ‘lower emissions,” … “Our emissions have to stop if we are to have a chance to stay below the 1.5-degree target,” (The New York Times.)

We have experienced more than a 50% increase in CO2 levels since the beginning of industrialization. In the last 32 years the level has risen 20%, from about 350 ppm to 421 ppm. This is what scares people. Is is time to panic and stop carbon emissions altogether as Greta Thunberg 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.

Source: Mark D Zelinka et al. ” Causes of higher Climate sensitivity in CMIP6 models” Geophysical Research Letters.

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 from IPCC for the last 34 years. These models all fail 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 over 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. Since then it has come down to the more normal 4C increase. See charts from the Danish Meteorological Institute:

Summer: red, Jun,Jul, Aug. Winter: green, Dec, Jan, Feb Yearly: black

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

Spring: green, Mar, Apr, May. Fall: red, Sep Oct, Nov. Yearly: black

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

The 2022 winter saw an about 4c increase. The Spring temperatures have from the 10th of March were below or very close to the 1958 – 2002 average. Early Summer temperatures have so far been about 1C below normal. Source: DMI.

There seems to be no cause for immediate panic with the Arctic temperatures. If anything, they seem to moderate. In Antarctic on the other hand the temperatures may even be decreasing! 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, which is the coldest value in all-time history! This was 2,5°C /4.5°F degrees lower than the most recent 30-year average at this remote station.

Why are the temperatures not behaving like the models predict?

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 counts 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. The important thing is that in the frequency band of 14.5 to 15.5 micron CO2 absorbs all the energy available in that spectral range, and it also did it before industrialization when CO2 levels were one third less than today!

The grey area is the difference between total pre-industrial absorption and today, less than 5 % added absorption in the 13 to 17 micron band. Norice that total absorption from ground level to thermopause cannot exceed 100%

From this we can see that increasing CO2 levels is not the cause of climate change, only a very minor player. How about Methane?

Methane has only two major absorption bands, one at 3.3 microns, and the other at 8 microns. The 3,3 micron band is where incoming radiation is negligible, and so is outgoing black-body radiation. The 8 micron band is where water vapor is dominant, co Methane turns out to be the don’t care gas.

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 is 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 transport even more moisture from the tropics,all the way to the arctic, where it ends up as snow. Is the snow increasing in the Arctic?

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

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

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

Jan 16,2022

In the spring on the other hand the snow pack is melting faster, about 1.6 percent less spring 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 dust 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 North Pole is getting warmer. In the fall and winter it is mostly due to increased snowfall, but in the spring, as soon as the temperatures rise 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, done with only the fertilizer of CO2 the earth can now keep another 2 billion people from starvation, not to mention what it does for plants and wildlife.

Refocusing our attention on the South Pole, it set a new Winter half year record average temperature of -61 degree Celsius. At those temperatures CO2 is the dominant greenhouse gas, CO2 vapor is less than one tenth of the CO2. This means that most of the Greenhouse effect will come from CO2,

As CO2 is increasing, winter temperatures at the South Pole is decreasing. This means that CO2 cannot be a major factor in climate change, if anything, it could result in lower temperatures.

Now revisit the temperatures in the Arctic, what is happening to the ice cover:

The current ice volume is higher than the previous 3 years but not yet back to normal.
The interesting thing in this picture is that the multi-year ice is increasing.

The Arctic Spring temperatures are the coldest in many years. So far it is only weather, but it is probably an early warning of the coming cooling trend.

One interesting trend is the increasing ice on Greenland. 2012 was the uear of maximum ice-melt and the prediction was that the arctic may be ice-free in September of 2015, or at least before 2020. Since then Greenland ice is recovering and some glacier have started growing again. Today’s snapshot:

19 June 2022

The delay of the melting season is so far only weather, not yet climate change.

The greening of the world thanks to rising CO2 is substantial, but there are areas that are becoming desertified. In North America the concern is for the American Southwest by using up the aquifers and depleting the reservoirs.

The source of the climate change is not rising CO2 levels, not Methane. It is land use changes, the depletion of aquifers, especially between the tenth and the fortieth latitude. This leads to drying up the land and diminishing river flows. Exhibit A: The Colorado River and the depletion of Lake Mead and Lake Powell.

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 can be quite destructive.

We need to take a good look at our energy alternatives. Wind and Solar are good bets, but when the sun doesn’t shine and the wid doesn’t flow we need enormous battery parks to make up for the lack of solar and wind. For now this is provided mostly by natural gas, and coal. Until that is solved it makes no sense to convert the vehicle park to electric power.

The obvious solution is to switch from coal and gas to nuclear power. The total life cycle need of mined material is about 10% of a coal fired plan. The best solution is to switch to Liquid Fluoride Thorium Reactors. They are much cheaper to manufacture than conventional nuclear power. a 100 MW LFTR can be made on an assembly line and be shipped to site in 3 conventional large truck containers.

Here are the many cases why Thorium Nuclear Power is the only realistic solution to the world’s energy problems.

 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.

Methane, the strong greenhouse gas that doesn’t matter.

At the climate change conference in Scotland President Biden suggested to reduce the level of methane emissions 30% worldwide by 2030.

First, let us see where the sources of methane are:

First, let us see that one third of greenhouse gases come from natural causes. To achieve 30% worldwide reduction by 2030 we must reduce anthropogenic methane by 42.8%

The first source is from ruminants, that is animals that chew their cud. There are over 150 species of ruminants like goats, sheep, elk, moose, bison, gnu, yak, reindeer, deer, all kinds of antelopes and so on, but for now let us concentrate on domesticated cattle, something we can control. There are about 1 billion cattle in the world, see picture

We can, at great expense collect the methane from the dairy cattle.

The rest are beef cattle and we have to get rid of half the beef cattle to get anywhere with the reduction in Methane. Unfortunately this messes up the environment. Check this out: https://lenbilen.com/2013/03/19/beef-whats-for-climate-is-cattle-herding-the-missing-link-in-restoring-the-balance-of-nature/ The rest of the ruminants: How many sheep do we have to do away with? How many goats? How many caribous? How many buffaloes? The best we can do on reducing the ruminant farts is about 4% of methane emissions, and that is at great expense of the balance of nature.

The next challenge is rice paddies. About 18% of all methane emissions emanate from rice paddies. Thanks to rising CO2 levels they are now more productive, India had a record harvest this year. China had too many floods to have a record harvest. Rice is the staple food for over half the world’s population, so it is best to tread carefully on forced reductions. But there is hope: There is a patented GMO modified rice that has less roots and thus produce less methane. See https://lenbilen.com/2015/07/29/growing-gmo-modified-rice-eliminates-methane-pollution-an-inconvenient-truth-for-green-heads-a-limerick/ Unfortunately GMO modified food is banned in much of the world, and I doubt these attitudes can be changed before 2030, so no reduction in rice paddy methane production will occur, instead methane production from rice paddies will increase slowly with increasing CO2 levels.

Next comes biomass burning and fermentation. There are many possible solutions.Over 200 years ago North Korea began to have methane stoves at their farms. They put compost in a closed cistern and led the gases from it into the stove and had heat to cook and heat for the house. It is labor intensive, but can be implemented many places. But seriously, field burning is very bad for the environment. The year-to-year spring variation in Arctic black carbon (BC) aerosol abundance is strongly correlated with biomass burning in the mid-latitudes. Moreover, current models underestimate the contribution of BC from biomass burning by a factor of three. Check the scientific paper on the issue: https://wattsupwiththat.com/2021/11/05/black-carbon-aerosols-heating-arctic-large-contribution-from-mid-latitude-biomass-burning/ While arctic snow is increasing in fall and winter it melts earlier in the spring thanks to black carbon changing the albedo of the snow. We should attempt to reduce biomass burning by at least half and reduce worldwide methane emission by 5%. The trick is to change the habit of subsistence farmers and western arsonists and the carelessness of people setting all the wildfires in the American west.

Landfills produce methane. The gases should be captured whenever economically defensible. It is possible to recover this methane in maybe one third of the landfills, reducing worldwide methane by 3%.

Mining and burning coal produce methane. While U.S has reduced its coal production by half in the last twenty years China is set to increase its coal consumption until at least 2030. India and much of the developing world are dependent on coal and will increase their consumption. See figure:

So no matter what u.s. will do, methane from coal will increase by probably 2% worldwide, and that assumes better mining, storing and burning practices.

Lastly methane leaked from gas production can be reduced by capping used oil and gas wells, recovering seepages, in short being environmentally vigilant. Properly managed, maybe half can be reduced world wide. This would reduce Methane leaks by 4%.

Total savings worldwide by 2030 using the best assumptions are: Ruminants: 4%, Rice Paddies: 0%, Biomass: 5%, Landfills: 3%, Coal: -2%, Gas production: 4%; for a total of 14%, less than half of what President Biden promised at the Glasgow Climate conference, or less than a third if he meant total methane production.

I am a conservationist. I care about the earth, and I want to leave the world a better place. I am not the least worried about methane, even though I am well aware that it is a 25 times stronger greenhouse gas than CO2.

Here is the deal. There are methane sinks in nature that nearly offset the methane sources:

So we can see, the methane levels are in close balance. But the Methane levels are increasing:

And the methane level in the atmosphere will continue to increase for a while. Yet, I am not worried. Here is the kicker. Methane is the don’t care gas when it comes to global warming, or climate change if you prefer that term. Methane absorbs in the same light bands as water vapor, and this is where climate models fail. If water vapor absorbs 99% of the energy at a certain wavelength and Methane absorbs another 50% of the energy at the same wavelength the sum is not 149%, but 99.5%. You cannot absorb more than all energy available at a certain wavelength. With this in mind we can look at the absorption spectra for water vapor and methane.

In the upper plot the red represents the incoming radiation absorbed by the ground, the white area represents energy absorbed in the atmosphere. The blue area represents the total energy escaping the earth, the white under the curves represent energy absorbed by the atmosphere causing the greenhouse effect, the three curves represent three temperatures, from left to right 310K, 260K and 210K.

As we can see, water vapor absorbs nearly everywhere except in the region of visual light (thank God it is so, or we would be in eternal fog), and the so called atmospheric window. Methane absorbs in three wavelengths, the first two around 2 and 3 micrometers, but there water vapor absorbs nearly all energy in the atmosphere, and it is at a wavelength where solar influx is very low and earth radiance back to the sky is negligible, so they do not matter at all. The third wavelength, around 8 micrometers is where earth radiation is high, but even there water vapor is the dominant factor. Remember Methane concentration is less than 2 ppm and water vapor is counted in percent in the tropics, and even around the poles is the dominant absorbent. That is why I am saying, as a greenhouse gas, methane doesn’t matter.

Let us instead concentrate on things that do matter, deforestation, real pollution, and above all, clean and available water. Wind and solar uses up too many resources, and we will still depend on coal and natural gas to provide electricity when the sun doesn’t shine and the wind doesn’t blow, and our hydroelectric power storage is insufficient to accommodate much more of temporary energy sources. The only long time solution is to go nuclear, specifically LFTR until fusion energy is commercially viable.

Breaking wind news. Do not worry about methane.

Break wind is the habit of cows,

far more than clean air act allows.

Let’s collect all their gas,

give the cows some pizzazz;

the food a methanotrop chows.

 

Gretacowbreak

 

Fear not, dear Greta: This is the solution.

On second thought it isn’t. Methane, even if it is a much stronger greenhouse gas than even CO2 when analyzed by itself , is an irrelevant gas.

Water vapor has already absorbed the very same infrared radiation that Methane might have absorbed. (You cannot absorb more than 100% of the radiation emitted in any given band)

Guest essay by Dr. Tom Sheahen

Q: I read that methane is an even worse greenhouse gas than carbon dioxide, and cattle are a big source of methane emissions. How are they going to regulate that? Not just cattle, but dairy cows as well! That doubles the worry.

Fortunately, there is really nothing to worry about, scientifically. The main thing to worry about is over-reacting politicians and another layer of unnecessary government regulations.  

To understand methane’s role in the atmosphere, first it’s necessary to understand what absorption means. When light passes through a gas (sunlight through air, for example), some molecules in the gas might absorb a photon of light and jump up to an excited state. Every molecule is capable of absorbing some particular wavelengths of light, and no molecule absorbs all the light that comes along. This holds true across the entire electromagnetic spectrum – microwave, infrared, visible, and ultraviolet.

The process of absorption has been studied in great detail. In a laboratory set-up, a long tube is filled with a particular gas, and then a standard light is set up at one end; at the other end of the tube is a spectrometer, which measures how much light of each wavelength makes it through the tube without being absorbed. (Mirrors are placed so as to bounce the light back and forth several times, making the effective travel path much longer; this improves the precision of the data.) From such measurements, the probability of radiation being captured by a molecule is determined as a function of wavelength; the numerical expression of that is termed the absorption cross-section.

If you carried out such an experiment using ordinary air, you’d wind up with a mixture of results, since air is a mixture of various gases. It’s better to measure one pure gas at a time. After two centuries of careful laboratory measurements, we know which molecules can absorb which wavelengths of light, and how likely they are to do so.

All that data is contained in charts and tables of cross-sections. Formerly that meant a trip to the library, but nowadays it’s routinely downloaded from the internet. Once all the cross-sections are known, they can be put into a computer program and the total absorption by any gas mixture (real or imaginary) can be calculated.

The many different molecules absorb in different wavelength regions, known as bands. The principal components of air, nitrogen and oxygen, absorb mainly ultraviolet light. Nothing absorbs in the visible wavelength range, but there are several gases that have absorption bands in the infrared region. These are collectively known as the GreenHouse Gases (GHG), because absorbing infrared energy warms up the air – given the name greenhouse effect.

The adjacent figure shows how six different gases absorb radiation across the infrared range of wavelengths, from 1 to 16 microns (mm). The vertical scale is upside-down: 100% absorption is low, and 0% absorption (i.e., transparency) is high.

methane_absorption_spectra

It’s important to realize that these are shown on a “per molecule” basis. Because water vapor (bottom bar of the figure) is much more plentiful in the atmosphere than any of the others, H­2O absorbs vastly more energy and is by far the most important greenhouse gas. On any given day, H2O is a percent or two of the atmosphere; we call that humidity.

The second most important greenhouse gas is carbon dioxide (CO2), which (on a per-molecule basis) is six times as effective an absorber as H2O. However, CO2 is only about 0.04% of the atmosphere (400 parts per million), so it’s much less important than water vapor.

Now it’s necessary to scrutinize the figure very carefully. Looking across the wavelength scale at the bottom, H2O absorbs strongly in the 3-micron region, and again between 5 and 7 microns; then it absorbs to some degree beyond about 12 microns. CO2 has absorption bands centered around 2.5 microns, 4.3 microns, and has a broad band out beyond 13 microns. Consequently, CO2 adds a small contribution to the greenhouse effect. Notice that sometimes CO2 bands overlap with H2O bands, and with vastly more H2O present, CO2 doesn’t matter in those bands.

Looking at the second graph in the figure, methane (CH4) has narrow absorption bands at 3.3 microns and 7.5 microns (the red lines). CH4 is 20 times more effective an absorber than CO2in those bands. However, CH4 is only 0.00017% (1.7 parts per million) of the atmosphere. Moreover, both of its bands occur at wavelengths where H2O is already absorbing substantially. Hence, any radiation that CH4 might absorb has already been absorbed by H2O. The ratio of the percentages of water to methane is such that the effects of CH4 are completely masked by H2O. The amount of CH4 must increase 100-fold to make it comparable to H2O.

Because of that, methane is irrelevant as a greenhouse gas. The high per-molecule absorption cross section of CH4 makes no difference at all in our real atmosphere.

Unfortunately, this numerical reality is overlooked by most people. There is a lot of misinformation floating around, causing needless worry. The tiny increases in methane associated with cows may elicit a few giggles, but it absolutely cannot be the basis for sane regulations or national policy.

So, dear Greta, go back to school and learn some physics, some chemistry, and learn how nature really functions. Then you would not be as worried any more. There is a great temperature regulator, called water vapor. Yes, water vapor is the most important greenhouse gas, and without it the earth would be so cold that no life would be possible. Not only that, but water vapor is a condensing gas, and it forms clouds, which are the main regulator of temperature here on earth.

Have you ever noticed that it is cooler in the shadow?

And by the way, what are methanotrop bacteria?

Methane-utilizing bacteria (methanotrophs) are a diverse group of gram-negative bacteria that are related to other members of the Proteobacteria. These bacteria are classified into three groups based on the pathways used for assimilation of formaldehyde, the major source of cell carbon, and other physiological and morphological features. The type I and type X methanotrophs are found within the gamma subdivision of the Proteobacteria and employ the ribulose monophosphate pathway for formaldehyde assimilation, whereas type II methanotrophs, which employ the serine pathway for formaldehyde assimilation, form a coherent cluster within the beta subdivision of the Proteobacteria. Methanotrophic bacteria are ubiquitous. The growth of type II bacteria appears to be favored in environments that contain relatively high levels of methane, low levels of dissolved oxygen, and limiting concentrations of combined nitrogen and/or copper. Type I methanotrophs appear to be dominant in environments in which methane is limiting and combined nitrogen and copper levels are relatively high. These bacteria serve as biofilters for the oxidation of methane produced in anaerobic environments, and when oxygen is present in soils, atmospheric methane is oxidized. Their activities in nature are greatly influenced by agricultural practices and other human activities. Recent evidence indicates that naturally occurring, uncultured methanotrophs represent new genera. Methanotrophs that are capable of oxidizing methane at atmospheric levels exhibit methane oxidation kinetics different from those of methanotrophs available in pure cultures. A limited number of methanotrophs have the genetic capacity to synthesize a soluble methane monooxygenase which catalyzes the rapid oxidation of environmental pollutants including trichloroethylene.

Sounds excitig, doesn’t it. Harvesting methane, put it into warm water (about 45C) and let the bacteria do their job, producing fish food. It may even be profitable.

 

The end of beans and hot dogs as a low cost food in New York City. A Limerick.

Headline: NYC Vows to Start ‘Phasing Out’ Hot Dogs to Save the Planet as Part of Their Own $14B Green New Deal.

A favorite, low cost food in the U.S has always been hot dogs and beans. If NYC gets their way this is about to change, making life more difficult for the struggling people living from hand to mouth on a limited budget.

Here is the Limerick:

It’s true that you are what you eat

and hot dogs are bad – processed meat.

The De Blasio crowd

say it clear, say it loud.

With beans you fart methane – more heat.

 

Cut methane by 40%? California tries to legislate flatulence. A limerick.

On September 19, 2916 Governor Jerry Brown signed into law a bill (SB 1383) that requires the state to cut methane emissions from dairy cows and other animals by 40% by 2030.  The bill is yet another massive blow to the agricultural industry in the state of California that has already suffered from the Governor’s passage of a $15 minimum wage and a recent bill that makes California literally the only state in the entire country to provide overtime pay to seasonal agricultural workers after working 40 hours per week or 8 hours per day (see “California Just Passed A $1.7 Billion Tax On The Whole Country That No One Noticed“).

According to a statement from Western United Dairymen CEO, Anja Raudabaugh, California’s Air Resources Board wants to regulate animal methane emissions even though it admits there is no known method for achieving the the type of reduction sought by SB 1383.

cowbackpacksMaybe like this?

In Climate Change remedy tools

both Kerry and Jerry are fools.

Do away with methane,

no more fart? That’s insane.

Enteric digestion still rules.

112815_cow_digestion_730_free

More terror worse than ISIS. First HFC’s, then Methane. Obama, Kerry, Sanders, Clinton full of delusion. A Limerick.

The air in the air Londonderry

is terror, says charlatan Kerry.

HFC’s must depart,

next we go for the fart:

Desist! No more dairy in Derry!

From European Commission Global Methane Reduction Actions
Methane emissions vary considerably by sector with the agriculture sector accounting for 50% of the total emissions. The development of the top six sources of anthropogenic methane emissions between 1990 and 2010 in the EU are shown below and demonstrate the success of the EU and national efforts.
While agriculture and waste are accounting for 81 % of total EU methane emissions fugitive emissions from the energy sector are below
the global figures and account for 19 %. Oil &Gas and coal exploration are a minor source and are expected to decline over the next decades.
Meanwhile back in North America: The time is right for a continental approach to methane reductions. June 2016, President Peña Nieto, President Obama and Prime Minister Trudeau met in Ottawa for the North American Leaders’ Summit (NALS), and energy and environment issues were ripe topic for trilateral cooperation.

After all, it was North American action at NALS that catalyzed global action on hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), another dangerous greenhouse gas, when the three countries proposed a joint amendment to the Montreal protocol in 2009. Similarly, cooperative action on methane at the next NALS would further solidify the countries’ climate leadership and could catalyze global action. Without question, Mexico joining the United States and Canada methane reduction goal of 40-45% is the largest climate commitment NALS can deliver.

 

Cut Methane 40-45%? Climate hysteria gone crazy. A Limerick

cowbackpacksA Message that EPA sent.

Cut Methane by 40%.

No more rice, no more beef,

no more milk, no more cheese.

And yet, it will not make a dent.

What is the EPA belching out now?

Let us go over the main contributors to Methane gas generation. methane_sources

The biggest contributor to Methane generation worldwide is Rice paddies, with about 20%. Of this U.S.A. has 1.2% of the worldwide rice production, so if we eliminate domestic rice production we will reduce the our Methane budget by a quarter of one percent, assuming people switch to potatoes and pasta.

Next, also about 20% of the Methane generation are wetlands. These swamps are most cherished by environmentalists, since they are spawning grounds for all kinds of life. No one seriously wants to drain all swamps anymore, so no cuts there.

Third, with about 12% are Ruminants, Methane belching from cows and people eating beans. We could make a dent in this methane production if people totally switched their diet. Maybe a fart-tax would price beef and dairy products out of the market? Don’t forget bean-tax!

Fourth is termites with about 8%. No, Orkin would not be able to handle this. Besides, Orkin uses strong poisons.

Fifth, also about 8% is Biomass burning. Our country is already doing much better than the rest of the world. Much of this burning is sticks and straws and cow-chips for the third world dinner fire.

Sixth is landfills , also about 8%. The largest landfills are already being fitted with methane recovery pipes, which is good. We may recover yet another couple of percent of the Methane budget.

Seventh is coal mining, contributes about 8% world-wide. Obama has promised to obliterate coal mining in the U.S. Unfortunately for him China is consuming over half of the world’s coal, so even if we did away with all coal mining, that would reduce the world-wide Methane budget by less than 2%.

Eighth is gas production, about 8%. The U.S. petroleum industry already burns off the methane, converting it to CO2,  or recovers it as fuel. Not so worldwide. There can be improvements there, but not more than 2% of the worldwide budget.

Next is Methane wells in the ocean bottom and algae blooms in waters over fertilized by nitrates. This is probably under-estimated at 5%. U.S. has done great strides in for example the Chesapeake Bay, but more can be done. We could possibly gain 1% in the Methane budget from ocean cleanup.

The result? No way can we reduce Methane output by 40 – 45% unless we totally change our standard of living, our eating habits and our life-style.

How much reduction in global temperature would it give us? Less than 0.1C!

It turns out that there exists methane-eating bacteria, and they grow better with increased temperature, stripping the coal atom from methane, converting the rest to methyl alcohol and digesting that too. The Arctic, rich in methane eating bacteria may well be a methane sink, not a methane source.

Any takers?

Background: NY Times, Business day:

WASHINGTON — The Obama administration is expected to propose as soon as Tuesday the first-ever federal regulation to cut emissions of methane, a powerful greenhouse gas that contributes to global warming, by the nation’s oil and natural-gas industry, officials familiar with the plan said on Monday.

The proposed rule would call for the reduction of methane emissions by 40 to 45 percent over the next decade from 2012 levels, the officials said. The proposal was widely expected, after the Environmental Protection Agency said in January that it was working on such a plan.

The new rules are part of Mr. Obama’s broad push for regulations meant to cut emissions of planet-warming gases from different sectors of the economy. This month, Mr. Obama unveiled the centerpiece of that plan, a regulation meant to cut emissions of carbon dioxide by 32 percent from 2005 levels by 2030, a move that could transform the way the nation produces and consumes electric power.

The new rules on methane could create a tougher regulatory scheme on the nation’s fossil fuel production, particularly on the way that companies extract, move and store natural gas.

Environmental advocates have long urged the Obama administration to crack down on methane emissions. Most of the greenhouse gas pollution in the United States comes from carbon dioxide, which is produced by burning coal, oil and natural gas. Methane, which leaks from oil and gas wells, accounts for just 9 percent of the nation’s greenhouse gas pollution — but it is over 20 times more potent than carbon dioxide, so even small amounts of it can have a big impact on global warming.

The oil and gas industry has resisted methane regulations, insisting that new rules could stymie a booming natural gas industry and that voluntary industrywide standards are sufficient to prevent methane leaks. Mr. Obama is pressing efforts to cut harmful emissions as he works toward forging a United Nations global warming accord in Paris in December. The aim of the accord is to commit every nation to enact policies to cut greenhouse gases. The United States has already submitted a plan to the United Nations laying out how it will cut domestic greenhouse gas emissions by up to 28 percent from 2005 levels by 2025.

Growing GMO modified rice eliminates Methane pollution. An inconvenient truth for Green Heads. A Limerick.

gmo-riceA true GMO revolution.

Grow rice without Methane pollution.

Half the world fed with rice.

Feed the hungry, how nice.

“Green heads” will explode: – Wrong solution.

In addition to a near elimination of greenhouse gases associated with its growth, SUSIBA2 rice produces substantially more grains for a richer food source. The new strain is shown here (right) compared to the study’s control. Image courtesy of Swedish University of Agricultural Science

Source: http://wattsupwiththat.com/2015/07/29/the-perfect-storm-for-environmentalists-gmo-engineered-rice-reduces-greenhouse-gas-emissions-to-near-zero/

A majority of people are worried about GMO food. Yet we all eat it, knowing or not. The modification gene in this rice is taken from a gene in barley. It works by producing more starch instead of more roots. Test plantings in China yielded 90% reduction in Methane production compared to unmodified rice.

One possible downside: Less roots may mean less minerals absorbed, and more starch may mean less protein as a percentage of the rice.