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Unforced Variations: June 2011

Filed under: — group @ 1 June 2011

A new open thread…

487 Responses to “Unforced Variations: June 2011”

  1. 151
    Piotr says:

    (142) Prokaryotes: ” And concerning recorded seismic bias, for example if you say, today are more people around which leads to bigger life lose, one could argue we have today building codes which reduces life lose.”

    That was actually my point, not SM’s, and no, one could not nullify it by saying that “today’s building codes reduce life loss”, because the vast majority of the population growth has happened in the developing countries, where building codes of slums, shanty towns and favellas are not as helpful as you imagine them to be. See – Haiti.

    And you don’t have to take my word for it – look at your own graph – the second one, with number of earthquakes causing fatalities – and you would see that in the last few decades people are getting killed increasingly by weaker and weaker earthquakes, some of them as weak as 2. That’s 10,000 times weaker than a magnitude 6. Some building codes …

  2. 152
    CM says:


    > I think you misunderstood my postings, because i did not claim that these
    > images were accurate, nor did i claim that this is tied to climate /
    > earthquake links.

    Then why post here?

    > The graphs are found with a quick google search and there are similar
    > graphs too.

    Do you think that establishes their credibility?

    > The first thing you want to do to define earthquake record bias

    Not sure what you mean. Earthquake records are subject to the same kind of bias as other records.

    > some fact check. Thank you for that!

    You’re welcome. But if you let others do your basic fact checking, at least provide a health warning, e.g. “This graph I found on some blog looks scary. Could someone tell me if this is credible science?”

    > one could argue we have today building codes which reduces life los[s]

    Yes, that’s a factor too, pulling in the other direction. Bravo! Now you’re thinking.

    > climate and earthquake links … the science here seems quiet robust

    I see you posted some legit science links a page ago. I won’t argue. I I’m not at all qualified to judge their work. Interesting topic for a (guest) post here, perhaps?

  3. 153

    OT, but of some interest, I think, in terms of what mitigation of a (relatively) small-scale ecological catastrophe costs ($25 million and still rising, for a very partial recovery) and what it takes.

    For context, I was told that when my grandfather passed through the Sudbury region, early in the 20th century, it was typical Northern Ontario boreal forest. By the time I passed through it in the 1960’s, it was a desolate landscape, suitable only for training astronauts–NASA actually did some training for Lunar missions there–and filming LOTR scenes set in Mordor (not done, but trust me, it would have been a natural.)

    Now you see trees once again from the highways–but I’m told the infilling away from the roads is very far from complete.

    (It’d also be a an interesting case study in localized climate effects of land use changes, come to think of it.)

  4. 154
    Prokaryotes says:

    CM says “This graph I found on some blog looks scary. Could someone tell me if this is credible science?”

    Thanks for the tip, will do that the next time.

    CM says “Interesting topic for a (guest) post here, perhaps?”

    Yes, that is a great idea!

  5. 155

    Is it possible for anyone to check and see if models project Arctic Ocean near surface lapse rates varying a lot during summer days? This may be important for ice melting rates, if Arctic GCM models do not vary the lapse rate substantially diurnally I may explain why they may not be accurate in calculating ice melts.

  6. 156

    144 Esop

    I concur through other means, sun disk sizes are expanding greater than supper warm 2010. And also I am working on detecting El-Nino trends from afar, as per my website.

  7. 157
    pjclarke says:

    Anybody up for a spot of outreach/crowdsourcing?

    OK. So WUWT is compiling ‘AGW quotes’.

    I’ve submitted a handful as a counter to the ‘climategate’ email quotes, op-ed nonsense, selective, fabricated and mistranslated soundbites so far received, feel free to pop over there and add a few of your own … this could be fun.


    “Remarkably, none of the papers disagreed with the consensus position.”

    Naomi Oreskes surveys the literature

    The Scientific Consensus on Climate Change Science 2004


    “The scientific understanding of climate change is now sufficiently clear to justify nations taking prompt action. It is vital that all nations identify cost-effective steps that they can take now, to contribute to substantial and long-term
    reduction in net global greenhouse gas emissions.”

    The National Academies of Science of Japan, Russia, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, India, the UK Royal Society and the US NAS.


    “the scientific reputation of Professor Jones and CRU remains intact .”

    UK House of Commons Science & Technology Committee

    “We saw no evidence of any deliberate scientific malpractice in any of the work of the Climatic Research Unit”

    Oxburgh Panel

    “On the specific allegations made against the behaviour of CRU scientists, we find that their rigour and honesty as scientists are not in doubt.”

    The Independent Climate Change E-mails Review

    “Petitioners say that emails disclosed from CRU provide evidence of a conspiracy to manipulate data. The media coverage after the emails were released was based on email statements quoted out of context and on unsubstantiated theories of conspiracy. The CRU emails do not show either that the science is flawed or that the scientific process has been compromised. EPA carefully reviewed the CRU emails and found no indication of improper data manipulation or misrepresentation of results.”

    US EPA ‘Myths vs Facts.’


    “The existence of a strong and positive water-vapor feedback means that projected business-as-usual greenhouse gas emissions over the next century are virtually guaranteed to produce warming of several degrees Celsius. The only way that will not happen is if a strong, negative, and currently unknown feedback is discovered somewhere in our climate system.”

    Dessler et al 2008

    The water vapour feedback has been observed, measured, is in line with the model predictions, and is dangerous.

  8. 158
    adelady says:

    Wayne ‘…if Arctic GCM models do not vary the lapse rate substantially diurnally’

    Do you mean seasonally rather than diurnally? At midsummer there is only day – which is why insolation is so much more powerful at the pole rather than the equator. There’s just more of it.

  9. 159
    Piotr says:

    (142) Prokaryotes: “Further, the scientist which observe earthquake, make a rather good case here, same point i tried to make”

    Huh? Are we reading the text? Let me compare your position with that of
    “scientists” you quote

    – YOU claim that number of earthquakes have dramatically increased

    – one scientist, L.G. Ludwig CONTRADICTS you by saying: “We are not having more earthquakes than usual” and, furthermore, uses the very argument about the population growth you have questioned

    – the other scientist, G. Abers, contradicts you too by saying that there have been NO overall increase in earthquakes (“In general, no [increase]”), and the only area where he notes an increase is in quakes you explicitely EXCLUDEDfrom your analysis (your graph plots ONLY quakes “between magnitude 6 and 8”), and ifd it were not enough, Abers, qualifies hios observation further it by stating that there is a debate “as to whether or not that increase is statistically significant”.

    How you managed to construe this as unequivocal support to your claims –
    remains a mystery.

  10. 160

    Re #153

    Hi Wayne,

    No the GCMs don’t simulate the lapse rate correctly. See Luers & Bareiss (2010)
    They use paramaterisation. For instance see David Archers’s MODTRAN model at

    Cheers, Alastair.

  11. 161
    Don Gisselbeck says:

    I’m surprised no one seems to have mentioned the Oklo natural reactors in this discussion. Given human propensity for stupidity, nuclear power may not be a good idea for other reasons, but it looks like waste may not be that big of an issue. These natural reactors operated for millenia 1.7 billion years ago and had very little migration of waste products (

  12. 162
  13. 163
    Edward Greisch says:

    Prokaryotes: Thank you very much.

    112 dhogaza: EVACUATE DENVER!!!!
    If you live in Chernobyl the total radiation dose you get each year is 390 millirem. That’s natural plus residual from the accident and fire. In Denver, Colorado, the natural dose is over 1000 millirem/year. Denver gets more than 2.56 times as much radiation as Chernobyl! But Denver has a low cancer rate. People still live in Chernobyl.

    Denver has a lower cancer rate than the US Gulf Coast because the Gulf Coast has oil refineries. Oil refineries dump millions of gallons of benzene into the air every year, causing cancer. It is a matter of relative risk. You will never get away from risk as long as you are alive. ALL energy is risky, so all energy sources involve risk. If you want to avoid all risk, die.

    If you are against nuclear power, you are working for the coal industry. As long as you keep messing around with wind, solar, geothermal and wave power, the coal industry is safe. There is no way wind, solar, geothermal and wave power can replace coal, and they know it. Hydrogen fusion could, if it worked. Hydrogen fusion has been “hopeful” for half a century so far. I don’t expect that to change any time soon.

    If you quit being afraid of nuclear, the coal industry is doomed. Every time you argue in favor of wind, solar, geothermal and wave power, or against nuclear, King Coal is happy. ONLY nuclear power can put coal out of business. Nuclear power HAS put coal out of business in France. France uses 30 year old American technology. So here is the deal: Keep being afraid of all things nuclear and die either when [not if] civilization collapses or when H2S comes out of the ocean and Homo “Sapiens” goes extinct. OR: Get over your paranoia and kick the coal habit and live. Which do you choose?

    Nuclear power ends global warming and the human race lives.
    No nuclear power causes the coal industry cash flow to continue to be $100 Billion per year in the US and Homo Sap goes extinct. The choice is yours, unfortunately.

    The question isn’t even whether renewables could or could not replace coal. It is whether electric generating companies will willingly replace coal with renewables. They won’t. Why? Simple: They make money with coal, nuclear and hydro. They loose money with renewables. If they loose money, they go out of business. If they go out of business, we go back to the 19th Century. Civilization collapses.

    The NRC is the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, not the Atomic Energy Commission.

    All natural rocks contain most natural elements. Coal is a rock. The average concentration of uranium in coal is 1 or 2 parts per million. Illinois coal contains up to 103 parts per million uranium. Coal also contains the radioactive decay products of uranium. A 1000 million watt coal fired power plant burns 4 million tons of coal each year. If you multiply 4 million tons by 1 part per million, you get 4 tons of uranium. Most of that is U238. About .7% is U235. 4 tons = 8000 pounds. 8000 pounds times .7% = 56 pounds of U235. An average 1 billion watt coal fired power plant puts out 56 to 112 pounds of U235 every year. There are only 2 places the uranium can go: Up the stack or into the cinders. Chernobyl put as much radiation into the air as one coal fired power plant does in 7 years and 5 months. Coal fired power plants do it all the time.

    115, 121 Ron R.: As I have told you before: France recycles spent nuclear fuel. Russia recycles spent nuclear fuel. The US used to recycle spent nuclear fuel, until some of it wound up in Israel.

    There was no nuclear explosion at Chernobyl. There was a steam explosion that removed the roof that was not bolted down. Then there was a fire. 136 Soviet built reactors are or were primitive Generation One reactors. None of them have containment buildings. What happened at Chernobyl cannot happen in the US. Three Mile Island had a containment building. Even though the meltdown was just as bad as Chernobyl, there were zero injuries and zero deaths at Three Mile Island. There have been zero deaths from radiation at Fukushima even though Japanese standards are lower than American standards.

    “But demanding that they do, that it be all-or-nothing is unfair, unrealistic and, frankly, stupid. Every watt generated by clean alternatives is one watt of dirty energy (oil, coal and nuclear) that can stay in the ground. If we get, say, 50% of our power from clean through a concerted effort that would take a lot of pressure off big issues like oil depletion, climate change and pollution. ”

    Fine, but not good enough. We are now at 394 ppm CO2 alone and over 450 ppm CO2 equivalent. We need to be at 350 ppm CO2 + equivalents. If this were 1940, fine. It isn’t. We need to shut down coal completely by the end of 2015. Not 30%, completely. The consequences of not doing so are dire. France can build a nuclear power plant in 5 years, so we can too.

    118 Jeffrey Davis: New Mexico has a nuclear “waste” repository for military and government use. But again, nuclear fuel is recyclable. It is very wasteful to throw away valuable spent fuel. The real problem is keeping other countries [Israel, Iran] from stealing it.

    131 Thomas: Thank you.


    Standard Disclaimer: I do not now and never have received any money or anything else of value from the nuclear power industry except electricity which I pay for. I have never worked for the nuclear power industry or any of its advertisers. I do not own stock in any corporation. I have never owned stock in the nuclear power industry and I don’t even know anybody who does to my knowledge. My sole income is from my federal government retirement.

    My sole motive for commenting here is that GW is dangerous, and I want to help RC.

    138 Ron R.: “Uranium mining is dangerous and extremely damaging to the environment. Mines are either open pits up to 250 meters deep, or under-ground caverns similar to conventional coal shafts.32 Another extraction “technique involves subjecting natural uranium to in situ leaching where hundreds of tons of sulfuric acid, nitric acid, and ammonia are injected into the [uranium-rich rock deep in the earth’s] strata and then pumped up again after three to twenty-five years, yielding uranium that has been leached over time from treated rocks.””
    1. Baking soda can be substituted for sulfuric acid, nitric acid, and ammonia.
    2. 4 million tons of coal equals 1/2 pound of U235 if you recycle. Which mine makes the bigger scar: coal or uranium?
    3. Wind turbines are using rare earth elements from China. Mining those rare earth elements creates a great deal of pollution.

    “significant lifecycle greenhouse gas emissions”
    Reference book: “Power to Save the World; The Truth About Nuclear Energy” by Gwyneth Cravens, 2007 Finally a truthful book about nuclear power. This book is very easy to read and understand. Gwyneth Cravens is a former anti-nuclear activist.

    “Wind turbines produce a total of 58 grams of CO2 per kilowatt hour.

    Nuclear power plants produce a total of 30 grams of CO2 per kilowatt hour, the lowest.

    Coal plants produce the most, between 966 and 1306 grams of CO2 per kilowatt hour.

    Solar power produces between 100 and 280 grams of CO2 per kilowatt hour.

    Hydro power produces 240 grams of CO2 per kilowatt hour.

    Natural gas produces between 439 and 688 grams of CO2 per kilowatt hour. ”

    Remember the total is the sum of direct emissions from burning fuel and indirect emissions from the life cycle, which means the industrial processes required to build it. Again, nuclear comes in the lowest. Nuclear would produce even less CO2 per kilowatt hour if the safety were lowered to the same level as other sources of electricity. Switching from coal to nuclear is a 97% reduction in electricity’s 40% of our CO2 output.

    “But I reiterate — this strong support for nuclear does NOT make me ‘anti-renewables’ (or worse, a ‘renewable energy denier‘, a thoroughly unpleasant and wholly inaccurate aspersion). Indeed, under the right circumstances, I think renewables might be able to make an important contribution (e.g., see here). Instead, my reticence to throw my weight confidently behind an ’100% renewable energy solution’ is based on my judgement that such an effort would prove grossly insufficient, as well as being plain risky. And given that the stakes we are talking about are so high (the future of human society, the fates of billions of people, and the integrity of the biosphere), failure is simply not an option.”
    “Two core limitations of wind, solar and most other renewable systems is that: (i) they are inherently variable and are prone to ‘gambler’s ruin‘ (in the sense that you cannot know, over any planning period, when long stretches of calm or cloudy days will come, which could bring even a heavily over-compensated system to its knees), and (ii) they are not ‘dispatchable’. They’ll provide a lot of power some of the time, when you may or may not need it, and little or none at other times, when you’ll certainly need some, and may need a lot. In short, they can’t send power out on demand, yet, for better or worse, this is what society demands of an electricity system.”
    Gambler’s ruin: Like I said, loose your own shirt. EFN – Environmentalists For Nuclear Energy

    Again, I am not against renewables. But I don’t want to pay for them.

    Health Risks from Exposure to Low Levels of Ionizing Radiation: BEIR VII – Phase 2 National Academies Press page 66, 331, 80, 70
    ” Until the molecular mechanisms responsible for genomic instability and its relationship to carcinogenesis are understood, the extrapolation of dose-response data for genomic instability to radiation-induced cancers in the low-dose range <100 mGy is not warranted." 100mGy= 100 millisieverts = 10 rem.

  14. 164

    #156 Thank you Adelady,

    “At midsummer there is only day – which is why insolation is so much more powerful at the pole rather than the equator.”

    True, but its not that simple, is rather very complex, hence the error in Arctic sea ice projections.
    Boundary layers (a la Judith Curry, read some of her papers), are key, and vary a lot in a day especially south of the North Pole, say 88 to 65 North. If Arctic GCM’s keep inversions higher in summer, and at more or less a constant height, that is an error. I have already showed some examples of diurnal effects to a few, quite easy to demonstrate, rather the process is very much like theory, however theory applied may be less dynamic than observed in the real Arctic world.

  15. 165
    Michele says:

    @ 147 Patrick

    A surface exposed to the sun has a temperature higher than the air, whereas the shadowed surface has lower temperature and its role in the energy budget is different.

    I disagree with you, Cp∇T is an acceleration.

    [Cp]=J/kgK = Nm/kgK = kg[acceleration]m/kgK = [acceleration](m/K)
    [Cp∇T] = [acceleration](m/K)(K/m) = [acceleration]

    ∇p/ρ = v∇p = (Cp – Cv)∇T – p∇v = Cp∇T – (Cv∇T + p∇v) and, as (Cv∇T + p∇v) vanishes if the process is adiabatic, we have ∇p/ρ = Cp∇T.

  16. 166
    Chris Dudley says:

    Two days in moderation…. Sigh. Well, since I’ve polluted this thread already, and it is about a venue to respond to the published literature, here is what raypierre published:

    Andy’s response to Chris Dudley (#10) is spot on. To halt the increase in CO2 concentrations it is necessary to bring CO2 emissions to nearly zero.

    However, that doesn’t mean that actions which fall short of that goal are useless. Reducing emissions at least slows the growth of atmospheric carbon dioxide, puts off the date at which we hit 2XCO2 (or whatever your favorite target) and allows more time for the technology to be developed which could bring emissions to zero — perhaps requiring some contribution from air capture.

    But this is clearly untrue as my post that is being held up in unforced variations demonstrates using eqn. 1 from Kharecha and Hansen (2008).

    raypierre’s statement needs to either be supported with new science that apparently only he is currently privy to, or retracted.

    [Response: I hadn’t been monitoring the comment queue, and evidently yours got left there for my attention, presumably because it was phrased in such a hostile way. Note that all of us here at RC have other research and teaching obligations we are trying to fulfill, so things don’t always get immediate attention; I only just today was made aware that your comment was in the queue. In any event, this is not a matter of something that “only I am privy to” but something that has been very widely discussed in the literature. The point is most clearly made in Matthews and Caldeira, and is also extensively discussed in the NRC report “Climate Stabilization Targets,” of which I was a co-author. This report can be downloaded without charge here . The common fallacy people fall into is thinking that because the oceans today take up 3 gigatonnes per year of carbon (or whatever your favorite current estimate is), reducing emissions to 3Gt/yr would halt concentration growth. The fallacy there is that the ocean uptake is only able to be so large because of the large disequilibrium maintained between atmosphere and ocean. The uptake rate soon goes down when you reduce emissions, and eventually concentrations start to rise again. Now, that’s just the ocean story, since for a time increased uptake by terrestrial ecosystems may be able to offset emissions, but the modelling of that is highly uncertain and it is quite possible that as the Earth continues to warm terrestrial econsystems will become a source rather than sink of atmospheric carbon. –raypierre]

  17. 167
    dhogaza says:


    If you quit being afraid of nuclear, the coal industry is doomed.

    Not only that, but electricity will be too cheap to meter !!!!!

  18. 168
    dhogaza says:

    EG … also, people can disagree with your disinformation while not being “afraid of nuclear” (a somewhat offensive statement on your part). Pointing out that three core meltdowns is an interesting metric of “survival”, for instance, is being realistic, not “afraid”.

    You claim that your motivation is to “help Real Climate”. I suggest you stop flooding the forum with your misinformation regarding renewables and nuclear if you really have the blog’s well-being at heart. You’ve gone beyond being entertainingly eccentric to being a boor, IMO.

  19. 169
    Hank Roberts says:

    Please stop importing wholesale large chunks out of bravenewclimate.
    A link is sufficient.

    You are reposting here frequently repeated and uncited claims from blog posts at bravenewclimate.

    Repeating them here won’t help your audience at all.

    Send people to the source.

    That way they can see what the sensible people over there say as well as the rant-and-repeaters.

    There are plenty of fanboy posts, but at least bravenewclimate can keep that stuff all in one place.

    Hauling and dumping large chunks from there into realcimate is boring.

    Boring, boring, boring.

  20. 170
    SecularAnimist says:

    Edward Greisch wrote: “Every time you argue in favor of wind, solar, geothermal and wave power, or against nuclear, King Coal is happy. ONLY nuclear power can put coal out of business.”

    You have repeatedly accused advocates of renewable energy of being shills for the coal industry — indeed, in past comments you have accused other commenters on this site, including myself, of being PAID shills for the coal industry, simply because we don’t accept your contrafactual nuclear boosterism.

    It’s offensive nonsense, and all it does is tell everyone here that you CANNOT back up your absurd claims about nuclear power with evidence or argument, so you resort to making blatantly, laughably false accusations.

    You are WRONG about nuclear. You are WRONG about wind and solar. Wind and solar can replace coal and are already doing so — wind alone accounts for 35 percent of all new generating capacity installed in the USA since 2007, and nuclear accounts for zero percent.

    If you want to argue with that with facts, then have at it, but spare us the nonsense about wind and solar being fronts for the coal industry.

  21. 171
    Patrick 027 says:

    Re Edward Greisch – Solar power produces between 100 and 280 grams of CO2 per kilowatt hour.

    Old info? I usually see somehwere around 20 or 40 – maybe 50, but it’s going to vary by site and type and also date of info. Considering potential for long-lived modules, which may make up a large share of emissions, perhaps lower numbers could be out there. It varies among types (CdTe vs ribbon Si vs wafer Si vs amorphous Si vs CIGS, etc.; rooftop vs ground). It also varies by location – southern Europe will get a lower value than northern Europe; Arizona should do quite well.

    I did see a 100 or 110 g CO2eq/kWh figure for solar PV in a poster/brochure/pamphlet recently (but the date of it, I don’t know; it was online; will post link in a few days when I get the chance – I was putting together a list, actually) – what’s particularly interesting is that along side it, CSP type solar power (the focus of the source) had a dramatically lower g/kWh – maybe 15 or 12 – lower than nuclear (which I think may also have been given a lower value there then by your info). Wind may be similar to nuclear. I’ve also seen geothermal given higher and lower values. But much of that will be reduced as the whole energy infrastructure changes; right now it is a roughly approximate indicator of EROEI, the more fundamental value. Solar PV systems have energy payback times now around the range of 1 to 2 years, give or take, depending on location.

  22. 172
    Patrick 027 says:

    Re 164 Michele – will go over the math later; more to the point you have to say 1000 ___ times a temperature gradient, where ___ is in units. Otherwise it’s meaningless. Anyway, even if one thing is 1000 ___ times something else, it’s not necessarily a problem. We would need to go a bit further into the physics to figure out what happens.

  23. 173
    Ric Merritt says:

    I don’t try to keep up with the cranky nuclear-or-whatever else arguments in frequency and wordiness, as I prefer to spend my waking hours mostly in other ways, but ….

    Mr Greisch and his interlocutors: please explain how to maintain your favored infrastructure while (and after) fossil fuel use drops to essentially zero.

    It’s a fair question. If you are not wrestling with it, wrestling HARD, you are somewhere between dishonest and worse than useless. So why are you avoiding the question, while pursuing so many others that are irrelevant unless that question is answered???????

  24. 174
    Septic Matthew says:

    The annual BP review of energy use is up. Here is a link to the section of coal use.

    The whole thing is worth reading.

  25. 175
    Septic Matthew says:

    Here is a brief survey of the BP report from the Economist:

  26. 176
    Septic Matthew says:

    And here is a detail about solar, mostly PV:

    The increase from 2009 to 2010 was 73%; more than 100% from 2008 to 2010. By some projections, PV power will double again in 2011, i.e. a 100% increase from 2010. But we are not yet half way through, so we’ll have to check back next year.

  27. 177
    jyyh says:

    “The satellite to be launched Friday includes Aquarius, a large, disk-shaped instrument that will measure the salt content of the ocean surface…”, isn’t this much more easily done on location (by floats)? I mean, is there a need and a purpose for this instrument? Anyway, I’m not going to bet on this one.

  28. 178
    Walter Pearce says:

    #171 Ric Merritt. Are you new here? Your question has been asked and answered, numerous times on this and other threads.

    What you need to wrestle with, and wrestle HARD, is how to maintain your favored infrastructure if fossil fuel use continues on its present expansionary course.

    Feel free to start with agriculture, move on to coastlines, thence to storm loss mitigation.

  29. 179
    Septic Matthew says:

    124, Ron R

    Good post.

    Thanks for the link to the Los Angeles Solar Atlas.

  30. 180
    SecularAnimist says:

    The Climate Progress blog has an excellent article on the economics of photovoltaic technology:

    Solar is Ready Now: ‘Ferocious Cost Reductions’ Make Solar PV Competitive
    By Stephen Lacey
    June 9, 2011

    Highly recommended to anyone interested in the potential of solar power to replace coal, gas and nuclear power.

  31. 181
    dhogaza says:


    isn’t this much more easily done on location (by floats)?

    It’s not being done systematically. The competition for satellite dollars is so intense that it’s hard to imagine NASA would be investing in Aquarius if there were a cheaper and equally effective answer that didn’t involve a satellite.

  32. 182
    Ron FR says:

    pjclarke at 4:48 PM

    Here’s more.

    “Ronald Bailey, author of Global Warming and Other Eco-Myths
    (published by the Competitive Enterprise Institute in 2002), stated in
    2005, “Anyone still holding onto the idea that there is no global
    warming ought to hang it up”. By 2007, he wrote “Details like sea
    level rise will continue to be debated by researchers, but if the
    debate over whether or not humanity is contributing to global warming
    wasn’t over before, it is now…. as the new IPCC Summary makes clear,
    climate change Pollyannaism is no longer looking very tenable'”.

    “Gregg Easterbrook characterized himself as having “a long record of
    opposing alarmism”. In 2006, he stated, “based on the data I’m now
    switching sides regarding global warming, from skeptic to convert'”.

    The above is from

  33. 183
    Septic Matthew says:

    180, SecularAnimist:

    a quote from the link: By the end of this year, GTM Research predicts we’ll have 50 GW of module global production capacity.

    Except for a few of us trying to keep up, I think most people have lost site of the growth in manufacturing capacity. That quote is a projection, so it will have to be checked, but it means that in 2012-2013 the world can install a peak electric generating capacity, in pv cells, equal to the US nuclear power generating capacity.

    If we think of a “tipping region” (where solar spreads from one niche to another as it drops in price) instead of a “tipping point”, I think it’s pretty clear that we are in the “tipping region”.

    That solar is peak power is extra complications and costs compared to nuclear, but they are worth thinking about and addressing, instead of dismissing solar out of hand.

  34. 184
    Ron R. says:

    Edward Greisch says:
    9 Jun 2011 at 12:07 AM


    Apologies to RC readers.

    France recycles spent nuclear fuel. Russia recycles spent nuclear fuel

    You might want to look at these.,1518,654969,00.html

    There was a steam explosion that removed the roof that was not bolted down.

    Hmm, do you think bolting down would have made a difference in an explosion so powerful that it can blow off a 1,000 ton roof?

    Three Mile Island had a containment building. Even though the meltdown was just as bad as Chernobyl, there were zero injuries and zero deaths at Three Mile Island.
    As for Fukushima. We’ll see.

    ONLY nuclear power can put coal out of business.

    And yet only last month you said:

    I am not stuck on nuclear … I really don’t care who wins and who looses, but I like low electric bills and clean air and I don’t like GW
    Comment by Edward Greisch — 16 May 2011 @ 1:20 AM

    Which mine makes the bigger scar: coal or uranium?

    Both scar the land. About mining rare earth elements from China for windpower, as I’ve stated before (23 Apr 2011 @ 10:28 AM) there are alternatives.

    Nuclear would produce even less CO2 per kilowatt hour if the safety were lowered to the same level as other sources of electricity.

    Yeah, good idea. Let’s lower the safety of nuke reactors!

    Then you whisper sinisterly (hand cupped to the side of your mouth, eyes nervously shifting right and left) Who are BENJAMIN K. SOVACOOL* & CHRISTOPHER COOPER working for?

    Who do you think they are working for? Oh right, that’d probably be coal. Maybe because Sovacool worked for the Virginia Center for Coal and Energy Research. He also worked for Oak Ridge National Laboratory, the famous nuclear outfit. Did either of them make him an advocate of dirty energy. Nope. My guess is that those were learning stints.

    According to an article in Science Daily Sovacool advocates: The wisest energy strategy for the United States, and indeed other countries facing similar challenges, is to move away from their reliance on large-scale centralized coal and nuclear plants, and instead, invest in renewable energy systems and small scale decentralized generation technologies. That is based on his study Coal and nuclear technologies: creating a false dichotomy for American energy policy

    About the BNC links on page two Brook, mentions three ways that clean energy proponents believe that clean can work says as the last point “to have fossil fuel or nuclear power stations on standby, to take up the slack when needed.” But then he doesn’t address this point.

    Once again, I believe that all we need to do is to reverse our priorities. Make clean #1 and use dirty as the last resort bridge to cover everyone until clean can take that over as well. The infrastructure for dirty is already there.

    Brook ends by saying: But let’s not play dice with the biosphere and humanity’s future on this planet … It would be a risky gamble indeed.. I say, tell that to the victims of Fukushima, Chernobyl and TMI.

    Regarding the opinion of the NAS, you need to read the conclusion.


    The committee concludes that the current scientific evidence is consistent with the hypothesis that there is a linear, no-threshold dose-response relationship between exposure to ionizing radiation and the development of cancer in humans.

    I also see you are still referencing Environmentalists For Nuclear Energy. The place that has Patrick Moore, the paid shill for all kinds of dirty industries, as their “Honorary Chair of EFN CANADA” even though he doesn’t even accept global warming.

    I don’t like to point the finger but actually, reading your posts one comes away with the idea that what you are really interested in is the promotion of nuclear power and that GW is just the handy vehicle you use to try to convince people of that.

    This refusal to acknowledge the serious negatives in nuclear power is why I call many nuke advocates cultists. Like Creationists seemingly nothing can make them question their faith.

  35. 185
    Prokaryotes says:

    pjotr, i agree with this statement,posted in #146,
    “it is true there have been more M>8 earthquakes [magnitude 8.0 or higher] per year in the last eight years than the two to three decades previous”

    “Earthquakes with a magnitude 7.0 or greater have remained fairly constant in numbers throughout the last century.

    However, Dave Santek (CIMSS/SSEC) at the University of Wisconsin-Madison points out that there have been stronger earthquakes recently. There were no quakes of 8.5 or stronger in the 1970’s, 80’s or 90’s, but already 4 in the 2000’s. Quakes 8.0 and greater also register more since 2000, with 6 in the 1970s, 4 in the 1980s and 6 in the 1990s, yet already 13 in the 2000s.

    According to the [United State Geological Survey], it may seem there are more earthquakes today because of more and better communication, and better technology.”

    What is missing are the tele quakes from glacier movement & melting.
    “…each time a glacier moves, another quake occurs – sending a jolt throughout the Earth – destabilizing numerous fault lines.
    While the debate about the danger of Climate Change has been discussed in gradual changes throughout the next century, it seems that Climate Change is much more direct and destructive resulting in exponentially stronger Earthquakes, Volcanoes, and Tsunamis.”

  36. 186
    Ron R. says:

    Septic Matthew says:
    9 Jun 2011 at 1:35 PM

    Thanks. My pleasure.

  37. 187
    Chris Dudley says:

    raypierre in #166,

    At least we are in numerical agreement. Your figure 2.2 achieves a stable concentration of 450 ppm by reducing emissions to 20% of the peak value. That corresponds to 50% of year 2000 emissions as shown in my figure. You should not get confused by the title of Matthews and Caldeira. They are talking about stabilizing climate rather than atmospheric carbon dioxide concentration. They point out that it takes a while to reach an equilibrium temperature and if you want to stop the temperature rise where it is now, you’d have to cut emissions to zero about now. But, if you’ve decided you’ll go to 2 C and 450 ppm, you’ll get to 2 C sometime after you get to 450 ppm. It is not a myth that the oceans will continue to take up carbon dioxide, and the disequilibrium between the atmosphere and the oceans remains pretty much at the same level if the atmospheric concentration is stabilized owing to the effects of mixing which keeps the ocean from catching up for a while (just as mixing does with heat). You should rethink what you are saying there. What you need to fess up to is that you are confused. An 80% cut from a 2040 peak as described in your fig. 2.2 is not a cut to near zero but a cut down to a still substantial level of emissions, about half of year 2000 emissions. It is fine if you want to make the point that the oceans eventually do catch up and room for further emissions runs out a few hundred year in. But that is only marginally policy relevant just now. It is very very unhelpful to claim that the problem of stabilizing the concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere is much more difficult than it actually is. And that is what you have been claiming in this instance. Confess or it will be the comfy chair for you….

    [Response: No, Chris, you’re still confused, because you haven’t read or understood the papers. The simple fact of the matter is that the only long term sink of CO2 is silicate weathering, and it would take something like a 20C global mean warming to take care of even a 1Gt/Yr emission by silicate weathering and provide stabilized CO2 concentration. If you were to reduce the emissions to 1Gt per year (which in my book counts as near-zero), the atmospheric CO2 concentrations would stabilize, for a short time, but once the oceans settled down the atmospheric concentration would resume its rise. This is why, in the NRC report, we felt that even in the best of all possible worlds air capture would eventually be needed to deal with the last 1 or 2 Gt per year of recalcitrant emissions. But I’m not sure why you’re so hot and bothered about this, since the Matthews and Caldeira result (which is really just a good exposition of something most people basically knew) does not in any way devalue the benefits of emissions reductions. Look at my piece on Methane vs CO2, where I point out how valuable it would be to even reduce the exponential growth rate of CO2 emissions. But for your general edification, also take a look at this graph done using the Hamburg carbon cycle model, which shows the CO2 vs. time you get for various stabilized emissions rates. In the long term, you’re going to get a lot of warming even if you stretch out burning 5000 Gt of coal over a thousand years, so really, to keep CO2 concentrations from growing, those emissions to have to go down to essentially zero. –raypierre]

  38. 188
    Brian Dodge says:

    @ pjclarke – re global warming quotes at WUWT
    After this post at WUWT, when I tried to respond to Steven Goddard that one snowy winter in Washington DC doesn’t disprove global warming, I got a “405 error – you do not have permission to access this site”, so I haven’t been back.
    Feel free to post the following quotes there –

    “I’m not one to attribute every man — activity of man to the changes in the climate. There is something to be said also for man’s activities, but also for the cyclical temperature changes on our planet…” Sarah Palin, VP candidate debate. Personally, my activities(sailing, hiking, canoeing) are more likely to be attributable to favorable changes in the weather.

    “…now, get this, because this is crucial — the drop in global temperatures this past year has wiped out one century of warming.” Rush Limbaugh

    “I have insisted all along that the climate change debate should be based on fundamental principles of science, not religion.”
    Global Warming is “the second-largest hoax ever played on the American people, after the separation of church and state.” Sen James Inhofe

    “Because of the biofuel scam, world food prices have doubled. That it because of the global warming scare, which you won’t look at the science of.(parse that, you econazis) As a result of that, millions are dying in third world countries because food prices have doubled because of the biofuel scam, because of the global warming scare.
    And you people don’t care. And until you start caring I will call you Hitler Youth.” Christopher Monckton

    “We are witnessing the Berlin Wall moment in the global warming regime. The statist cabal that has ruled the climate debate since the UN IPCC’s inception in 1988 is now tumbling down before our eyes. The so-called ‘gold-standard’ of scientific review turns out to be counterfeit.” Marc Morano

    “No matter how much liberals try to dress up their nutty superstitions about global warming as “science,” which only six-fingered lunatics could doubt, scratch a global warming “scientist” and you get a religious fanatic.” Ann Coulter

  39. 189
    JiminMpls says:

    I’m not afraid of nuclear power, I just don’t want to pay for it. I also don’t want to increase the USA’s dependence on foreign fuels.

  40. 190
    David B. Benson says:

    JiminMpls @188 — Unfortunately nuclear based electric power appears less expensive for base load than any non-fossil fuel alternative.

  41. 191
    Piotr says:

    “pjotr, i agree with this statement,posted in #146,
    “it is true there have been more M>8 earthquakes [magnitude 8.0 or higher] per year in the last eight years than the two to three decades previous”

    Thank you, Prokaryotes, for giving an insight into how your mind works.
    You claimed that science supports your claims that earthequakes are on a dramatic increase (“hockeystick”). I have shown that the scientists you quoted in your support said nothing of the kind – one contradicted you in EVERYTHING she said, and the other one contradcited you in MOST of what he said.

    You decided to “agree” only with a portion of ONE sentence of the second author that fitted your thesis, and removed the earlier part of the SAME SENTENCE which claimed NO overall increase in earthquakes, as well as cutting off the later part of the same quote that further weakned that statement you needed for your thesis, by saying that it is even not clear whether even the increase in M>8 is statistically significant.

    That’s “cherrypicking” at its best. Which makes attempts to treat you as if you were a serious partner in discussion – rather pointless.


  42. 192
    Thomas says:

    177 jyyh: You asked why it is better to measure ocean salt content by satellite rather than from ships. The answer is that the satellite can sample nearly the entire ocean surface every few days, and so the coverage would be unmatched. Ship measurements would be valuable for verification of the calibration, and for extending the measurements to great depth.

  43. 193
    Patrick 027 says:

    Re 180 SecularAnimist – some of the best news I’ve heard in awhile!

  44. 194
    dhogaza says:

    Chris Dudley:

    You might try dropping the snark and self-annointed air of superiority when you challenge the results of research. You might get put down more kindly (though raypierre’s response is polite to the extreme, which I doubt you’ll appreciate).

  45. 195
    Ron R. says:

    Republicans slammed for ‘assault’ on environment

    Can someone please do a study of why certain people are deliberately self-destructive, ecocidal, cruel and knowingly lie to fulfill the most hateful agendas?

  46. 196
    CM says:

    Prokaryotes quoted from some DailyKos blog.

    > …each time a glacier moves, another quake occurs – sending a jolt
    > throughout the Earth – destabilizing numerous fault lines.

    I’m not read up on the literature connecting glacier melt and earthquakes, but I’ve gathered the posited mechanism has to do with changes in the load on the Earth’s crust. Does anyone seriously argue that “jolts” from “ice quakes” “destabilizing” fault lines are a concern? Or is this just creative writing?

  47. 197
    Michele says:

    @ many: Venus Syndrome (many)
    @ 60 Patrick “… and of course, the so-called ‘skeptics’ are N O T right …”

    I have the doubt we are charging the CO2 of guilt that isn’t due.

    If we analyze the profiles of the pressure – temperature of the Earth’s and Venus’ atmospheres
    for the same range of the pressures (1000 ÷ 250 mb) we find that the atmospheric temperatures of the two planets are comparable despite the fact that the Venus’ CO2 density is circa 300000 times the Earth’s one. Then, why we have to think that the increase of the CO2 would cause to Earth effects more harmful than to Venus? It seems that we have to charge the cause to the whole mass of the planetary atmosphere and overall to its thickness rather than to the density of the atmospheric CO2.
    I am bewildered.

  48. 198
    prokaryotes says:

    Piotr,i tried to make this more clear to you in my last post. Please go back and read my postings because your are wrong, i did not claim that there is an earthquake hockey stick (even though i posted a graph to see reaction). Everything is said now in those regards, *doh*. And the statements in #146 i do not have the impression that they are contradict them self, the 2nd statements was just more precise. I guess the first scientist would agree to the data layd out from the second scientist. And i really don’t care if you think otherwise. So let’s move on.

  49. 199
    Steve Brown says:


    How about adding this corker to the WUWT quotations list:
    “It’s not my job to sit down and read peer-reviewed papers, because I simply do not have the time; I don’t have the expertise….I am an interpreter of interpretations” – James Delingpole

  50. 200
    prokaryotes says:

    CM says “Does anyone seriously argue that “jolts” from “ice quakes” “destabilizing” fault lines are a concern? ”

    …glacier producing earthquakes between magnitude 4.6 and 5.1 in strength. The quakes happened slowly, over a period of 30 minutes to several hours, and were undetectable by people even though they registered on seismometers around the globe. When icebergs break off, or calve, they splash into the fjord and grind against its bottom in a small cataclysm; the biggest chunks can stretch along the entire length of the glacier and be 1,500 feet deep.
    “Picture a box against a wall at a 45-degree angle: As the box rolls, the corner scrapes along the floor,” Amundson said.