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Occasional Thoughts on Climate Change


donsutherland1
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On 4/1/2022 at 5:51 PM, Wannabehippie said:

California in the grips of a major drought. Going to be in a lot of trouble this summer.

 

https://www.cnn.com/2022/04/01/us/california-snowpack-drought-climate/index.html

There's been people asking me why they don't just take water from the Pacific, distill it, and use that lol.

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On 3/31/2022 at 4:31 PM, Buckeyes_Suck said:

This is where we disagree. I completely understand the severity of the situation, but I also understand what a small part what we do here in the US will contribute to your solution. You have to look at the problem globally. While it make not be cost prohibitive here to build solar or wind over coal/natural gas because of regulation and subsidy most of the world doesn't not have that luxury. 

I've been in manufacturing plants all over the world. In Pakistan for example the food plants have their own diesel generators. Even if there was solar or wind (EXTREMELY cost prohibitive) there's no infrastructure to get them the power. Where would the money come from to build out infrastructure globally to prevent global warming?

In general the western world is living in a bubble, naïve to the complexity and scale of the problem.

The bad part is, although the developed world has been the major reason for the climate crisis, it's the developing world that's going to pay the most for it.  We'll be okay-- we can absorb the costs, but what they will pay will set them back by decades.  In the long run it will be better for them of course, but in the short term they will face a lot of issues.

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On 3/31/2022 at 7:08 PM, skierinvermont said:

Sure if you tried to get the whole world to 90% renewable power in 20 years you would incur some extreme costs. But the vast majority of power consumption in the world is through power grids that can be hooked up to solar and wind with backup natural gas power. Natural gas plants are cheap to build but expensive to operate. They only run when the suns not shining and  winds not blowing. More developed countries can have more complex grids to distribute renewable power better. You don't need every country to be 100% renewables. You don't even need them to be 70%. You do need the U.S. Europe and China and some other developed nations to be 70%+ in the next 20 years. If the rest of the world is at 40 or 50% that's fine for 15-20 years from now. 

Getting to these levels would be quite cheap and the free market might even get us there alone, although at this rate it would take the free market more like 30 years to reach those kinds of targets. Once the developed world is at 60-70% renewable with the rest of the world averaging 40-50% renewable, maybe you start to run into some obstacles. But that's a long ways away. Right now the free market is building out renewables rapidly and it would take very little to significantly accelerate the process.

There are comprehensive cost analysis that go into the kind of detail we are talking about. We don't need to speculate. Getting the world to mostly renewable energy is absolutely possible with minimal costs. This isn't 1980.

Personally I'd argue the effects of climate change warrant a more accelerated timeline like 90% renewable in developed countries within 20 years and 70% elsewhere. And despite the long run cost savings and benefit to the planet I see very few countries stepping up and incurring those kinds of costs in the short run (unfortunately in my opinion). But the idea that we can't get to 60-70% in developed countries within 20 years and 40-50% elsewhere is kind of absurd. The free market alone will take us to those levels albeit a bit slower like 30 or 40 years.

where does nuclear fit in here?  why not substitute nuclear for methane (what you call "natural" gas)-- I have major issues with methane and it's definitely not clean.  I'd far rather have more nuclear plants and ban all fossil fuels entirely

 

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7 hours ago, LibertyBell said:

where does nuclear fit in here?  why not substitute nuclear for methane (what you call "natural" gas)-- I have major issues with methane and it's definitely not clean.  I'd far rather have more nuclear plants and ban all fossil fuels entirely

 

Completely agree with this. Plus if we aggressively built out nuclear electricity could be much cheaper, allowing for tech like desalination to be affordable. 

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8 hours ago, LibertyBell said:

where does nuclear fit in here?  why not substitute nuclear for methane (what you call "natural" gas)-- I have major issues with methane and it's definitely not clean.  I'd far rather have more nuclear plants and ban all fossil fuels entirely

 

it doesn't, for two reasons. We've talked about this before. It's just not going to happen. One it costs twice as much as solar, wind, and natural gas. But second, and even more importantly, natural gas plants are very cheap to build but expensive to operate, which makes them ideal backup generators. They allow you to get the grid to 70 or 80% wind/solar without even needing storage capacity, which would be a monumental accomplishment. Nuclear plants are extremely expensive to build and cannot be used as backup generators. The next step to get to 100% renewables, probably involves storage and smart grids. Not nuclear.

 

https://eu.boell.org/en/2021/04/26/7-reasons-why-nuclear-energy-not-answer-solve-climate-change#:~:text=Barriers to and risks associated,concerns%2C and adverse public opinion.

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50 minutes ago, Buckeyes_Suck said:

Completely agree with this. Plus if we aggressively built out nuclear electricity could be much cheaper, allowing for tech like desalination to be affordable. 

Nuclear electricity costs more than twice as much as natural gas, solar and wind electricity (by some estimates 5 times as much). "Building out nuclear" will make electricity more expensive, not less.

https://eu.boell.org/en/2021/04/26/7-reasons-why-nuclear-energy-not-answer-solve-climate-change#:~:text=Barriers to and risks associated,concerns%2C and adverse public opinion.

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11 minutes ago, skierinvermont said:

it doesn't, for two reasons. We've talked about this before. It's just not going to happen. One it costs twice as much as solar, wind, and natural gas. But second, and even more importantly, natural gas plants are very cheap to build but expensive to operate, which makes them ideal backup generators. They allow you to get the grid to 70 or 80% wind/solar without even needing storage capacity, which would be a monumental accomplishment. Nuclear plants are extremely expensive to build and cannot be used as backup generators. The next step to get to 100% renewables, probably involves storage and smart grids. Not nuclear.

 

https://eu.boell.org/en/2021/04/26/7-reasons-why-nuclear-energy-not-answer-solve-climate-change#:~:text=Barriers to and risks associated,concerns%2C and adverse public opinion.

Fracking and all that it entails are huge environmental issues and I don't want to give the fossil fuel cartels a leg to stand on.  This is more than just about climate, it's also about health issues and ethics.  If anything the fossil fuel cartels are worse than the tobacco cartels.

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7 minutes ago, LibertyBell said:

Fracking and all that it entails are huge environmental issues and I don't want to give the fossil fuel cartels a leg to stand on.  This is more than just about climate, it's also about health issues and ethics.  If anything the fossil fuel cartels are worse than the tobacco cartels.

The IPCC scenarios for limiting warming to 1.5C show very little role for Nuclear. It's simply too expensive. Wasting money on nuclear could aggravate and delay efforts to build out wind, solar, and carbon capture by diverting resources and political capital.

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4 minutes ago, skierinvermont said:

The IPCC scenarios for limiting warming to 1.5C show very little role for Nuclear. It's simply too expensive. Wasting money on nuclear could aggravate and delay efforts to build out wind, solar, and carbon capture by diverting resources and political capital.

On the trajectory we're on right now it's going to be difficult to avoid 2.0C, let alone 1.5C.  I think the current best estimate is for 2.2C warming?

And why are nations like China on a spending spree for building more coal plants?  Hopefully they see the light soon.

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4 hours ago, Buckeyes_Suck said:

Completely agree with this. Plus if we aggressively built out nuclear electricity could be much cheaper, allowing for tech like desalination to be affordable. 

Cannot build nuclear on coastlines due to rising seas so we would need to pipe in the energy on wires or some other incomprehensible method.

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3 hours ago, LibertyBell said:

On the trajectory we're on right now it's going to be difficult to avoid 2.0C, let alone 1.5C.  I think the current best estimate is for 2.2C warming?

And why are nations like China on a spending spree for building more coal plants?  Hopefully they see the light soon.

The nuclear reactor technology is simply unable to keep pace with China's domestic demand. Doesn't scale very well where we need it the most.

Pandora's box speaks but is anyone listening? Will we accept our economic and human losses or wait for AGW to do the heavy lifting?

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14 hours ago, skierinvermont said:

Nuclear electricity costs more than twice as much as natural gas, solar and wind electricity (by some estimates 5 times as much). "Building out nuclear" will make electricity more expensive, not less.

https://eu.boell.org/en/2021/04/26/7-reasons-why-nuclear-energy-not-answer-solve-climate-change#:~:text=Barriers to and risks associated,concerns%2C and adverse public opinion.

Sorry but this article is largely an anti nuclear bs hit piece. Just look at what’s going on in Europe right now with electric prices. And the biggest thing that article misses on is scale and the shear volume of petroleum needed to produce the wind and solar power alternative it’s advocating for. 

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10 hours ago, Vice-Regent said:

Cannot build nuclear on coastlines due to rising seas so we would need to pipe in the energy on wires or some other incomprehensible method.

Oceans aren’t rising 100’. Unless you’re on a reef island it’s pretty easy to find some elevation near the cost. 

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8 hours ago, Buckeyes_Suck said:

I’m all for tidal or setups like Niagara Falls that don’t destroy river ecosystems. Just look at the Colorado or almost every river system in ca. they’re literally dead. 

I really do fear for the west coast the next few decades. This summer is not going to be pretty as they are already in a drought after their "rainy" season. I was out west quite a bit last summer and saw fires nearly everywhere I went. When we were out to eat all the locals were talking about the lakes drying up so quick.

https://droughtmonitor.unl.edu/CurrentMap/StateDroughtMonitor.aspx?West

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1 minute ago, BuffaloWeather said:

I really do fear for the west coast the next few decades. This summer is not going to be pretty as they are already in a drought after their "rainy" season. I was out west quite a bit last summer and saw fires nearly everywhere I went. When we were out to eat all the locals were talking about the lakes drying up so quick.

https://droughtmonitor.unl.edu/CurrentMap/StateDroughtMonitor.aspx?West

Yea when I was there last fall it was incredible how low all the reservoirs were. I was also taken aback as to how crazy the farming is there. When driving from Sequoia to LA its hours of orange and olive groves where every drop of water is dedicated to the harvest. No grass or greenery to be seen. The river we stayed on was completely diverted at the base of the dam to support the farming. 

Heading to Vegas in May, going to hit up Hoover damn which has to be crazy to see with how low the water is.

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8 hours ago, Buckeyes_Suck said:

Oceans aren’t rising 100’. Unless you’re on a reef island it’s pretty easy to find some elevation near the cost. 

Long-term 100 meters seems inevitable if methane feedbacks come online but we have enough time to dismantle anything under threat of inundation.

Brah' if oceans rise 100 meters rip the fabric of civilization. That is incomprehensibly bad which is why even your boy has cognitive dissonance.

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9 hours ago, Buckeyes_Suck said:

Sorry but this article is largely an anti nuclear bs hit piece. Just look at what’s going on in Europe right now with electric prices. And the biggest thing that article misses on is scale and the shear volume of petroleum needed to produce the wind and solar power alternative it’s advocating for. 

Sorry the article is based on research by Stanford and is a respected German research group. The idea that wind or solar take more than trivial amounts of gas or oil to produce is simply oil industry propaganda. Nuclear plants take far more oil and gas to build and operate, which is still low compared to the amount of energy produced. The IPCC also states that nuclear is too expensive and has too many other problems to be a serious part of the climate solution. You've provided no evidence and are contradicted by highly reputable sources. It doesn't really matter what you think because the free market is building solar and wind hand over fist with minimal government support. We should be accelerating the process.

From the EIA, nuclear costs nearly 3x as much as solar wind or gas. This is total levelized cost of energy over the life of the equipment. Please stop spreading misinformation.

 

 

Screenshot_20220404-081327_Drive.jpg

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57 minutes ago, Vice-Regent said:

Long-term 100 meters seems inevitable if methane feedbacks come online but we have enough time to dismantle anything under threat of inundation.

Brah' if oceans rise 100 meters rip the fabric of civilization. That is incomprehensibly bad which is why even your boy has cognitive dissonance.

There doesnt exist enough ice to raise the level by 100 meters. If every bit of ice melted the consensus is 216', but you're talking probably 1000s of years before we get that far.

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3 minutes ago, Buckeyes_Suck said:

There doesnt exist enough ice to raise the level by 100 meters. If every bit of ice melted the consensus is 216', but you're talking probably 1000s of years before we get that far.

Thermal expansion brother.

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There are massive holes in the renewables argument as well @skierinvermont. Long-term I don't think it's workable we would need to reduce demand by as much as we increase growth due to shortages of raw materials and what not. Our first priority should be energy storage and recycling as you have beautifully laid out for us.

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4 minutes ago, Vice-Regent said:

There are massive holes in the renewables argument as well @skierinvermont. Long-term I don't think it's workable we would need to reduce demand by as much as we increase growth due to supply shortages and what not. Our first priority should energy storage and recycling as you have beautifully laid out for us.

The fact that we can't, yet, get to exactly 100% renewable energy is sort of irrelevant when we have the technology to get to 70% and are currently at 12% wind and solar. Get the 58% done and we can worry about the remaining 30% then. Possibilities exist such as storage and hooking up EVs to the grid.

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9 minutes ago, Vice-Regent said:

Thermal expansion brother.

Water is most dense at 40° making it nearly impossible to warm the entire mass of water to cause expansion of any significance.

Also with warmer air temperatures there will be significantly more water in the atmosphere.

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18 minutes ago, Buckeyes_Suck said:

Water is most dense at 40° making it nearly impossible to warm the entire mass of water to cause expansion of any significance.

Also with warmer air temperatures there will be significantly more water in the atmosphere.

This is false. The large majority of sea level rise in the past 100 years was due to thermal expansion. The oceans have gained 337 zettajoules of thermal energy since 1955. That works out to 7 Hiroshimas every second for the last 2 trillion seconds (67 years).

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5 minutes ago, skierinvermont said:

This is false. The large majority of sea level rise in the past 100 years was due to thermal expansion. The oceans have gained 337 zettajoules of thermal energy since 1955.

No its not. Maybe a 1/3, and I question that. In order to know that number with any precision requires incredible amounts of data points that we certainly didn't have pre 1970.

image.png.85c8dfb3bdb22414923b9665ce062594.png

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45 minutes ago, Buckeyes_Suck said:

No its not. Maybe a 1/3, and I question that. In order to know that number with any precision requires incredible amounts of data points that we certainly didn't have pre 1970.

image.png.85c8dfb3bdb22414923b9665ce062594.png

Your own graphic shows that from 1971-2010 the majority of sea level rise was thermal expansion. My statement was a slight exaggeration I will give you that.

It's good to know you question the data. I'm sure the scientists and peer reviewed journals would welcome your amateur questions. But thank you for openly admitting that your opinions are based on personal hunches and not the work and research of professionals. We will know whose opinions to disregard going forward. You haven't actually cited any sources to support any of your various opinions which are mostly contradicted by professional research organizations.

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1 hour ago, skierinvermont said:

Your own graphic shows that from 1971-2010 the majority of sea level rise was thermal expansion. My statement was a slight exaggeration I will give you that.

It's good to know you question the data. I'm sure the scientists and peer reviewed journals would welcome your amateur questions. But thank you for openly admitting that your opinions are based on personal hunches and not the work and research of professionals. We will know whose opinions to disregard going forward. You haven't actually cited any sources to support any of your various opinions which are mostly contradicted by professional research organizations.

Should we not question the data? Is that a real position?

The whole point of a forum is to discuss opposing viewpoints.

Here's the link to that graph. https://www.carbonbrief.org/explainer-how-climate-change-is-accelerating-sea-level-rise

I simply have a different view on how we should approach the problem than you and knew right away that the effect of expansion of water couldn't be the primary cause of ocean level rise. It will take a lot longer to heat the oceans than the air, and the air has risen by 1°C globally in 100 years. Water has 4.2 times more capacity(will take much longer to warm) for heat than air and as I mentioned before there are thermocline barriers that largely prevent deep mixing.

https://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/world-of-change/global-temperatures?src=eoa-features

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23 minutes ago, Buckeyes_Suck said:

Should we not question the data? Is that a real position?

The whole point of a forum is to discuss opposing viewpoints.

Here's the link to that graph. https://www.carbonbrief.org/explainer-how-climate-change-is-accelerating-sea-level-rise

I simply have a different view on how we should approach the problem than you and knew right away that the effect of expansion of water couldn't be the primary cause of ocean level rise. It will take a lot longer to heat the oceans than the air, and the air has risen by 1°C globally in 100 years. Water has 4.2 times more capacity(will take much longer to warm) for heat than air and as I mentioned before there are thermocline barriers that largely prevent deep mixing.

https://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/world-of-change/global-temperatures?src=eoa-features

You have to provide evidence for opposing viewpoints. You've provided none other than your personal hunches. You don't think the hundreds of scientists that have done hundreds of thousands of hours of research and reviewing of ohc data have considered the amateur objections you have raised? Thermocline barriers and heat content of water are taught in 8th grade science.

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