Climate Change, 'Greenhouse' effects, Environment, etc part II

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Profile William Rothamel
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Message 1006152 - Posted: 19 Jun 2010, 11:03:37 UTC
Last modified: 19 Jun 2010, 11:11:42 UTC

Check your facts.

For instance, the Cape wind farm in Nantucket sound is contracted to be paid double the current price of electricity per kilowatt by National Grid. At 20.7 cents per kilowatt hr or somewhere in the range of a whopping $62 per million BTU. That is equivalent to almost $6.00 per gallon gasoline.

The same $62 buy's much more than a ton of coal which averages over 20 million BTU's per ton, In fact surface mined lignite can be several times cheaper than the $62 figure--as cheap as $12 per ton but with somewhat less BTU's per ton.

Of course one cannot compare the cost of a raw energy source to the cost of a finished and delivered kilowatt. However, National Grid will still have to deliver the wind farm energy to the customer and maintain that infrastructure. So, it is somewhat like buying raw BTU's. Most likely the 20.7 cents for a Cape wind kilowatt hr is probably comparable to a 4 or 5 cent cost to produce the same Kwh by the average of today's coal fired plants which supply over 50% of electric energy here in the USA.

So you can see that converting to non carbon sources of energy will not happen soon, and if it does happen with wind and solar it will drive energy costs through the roof. Solar will never be used as a base load supply since we aren't going to store that energy at any kind of reasonable cost when the sun goes down at night.

So I say let's be sure that we really have a problem from CO-2 before we ruin our economy which has been largely based on cheap sources of energy. Electric cars are of interest to me, but not at 20 cents per kilowatt hour.

Nuclear energy is the answer if we have the will to control the costs and to realize that siting them over objections should be easier than than siting a wind farm which has noisy, giant whirling blades that only turn when the wind blows.
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Message 1006235 - Posted: 19 Jun 2010, 15:47:41 UTC - in response to Message 1006152.  
Last modified: 19 Jun 2010, 16:13:04 UTC

William, I have checked my facts.

Despite what your local utility charges/pays a company for the wind power, it is still 1: the cheapest additional source to add to the grid, 2:once in place continues producing without additional fuels at whatever price.

A March 29, 2009 New York Times article quoted a Black & Veatch study that compared the cost of energy from new installations: “A modern coal plant of conventional design, without technology to capture carbon dioxide before it reaches the air, produces at about 7.8 cents a kilowatt-hour; a high-efficiency natural gas plant, 10.6 cents; and a new nuclear reactor, 10.8 cents. A wind plant in a favorable location would cost 9.9 cents per kilowatt hour.”

And to continue to say "prove it" that CO2 emissions are in fact a problem, tells me you have not done your homework.

Much like someone denying a "certificate of live birth" is in fact a "birth certificate",
I am unable to argue with someones "faith" and "belief" that everything must be like it was before.

about 100 years ago.. automobites were a "fad". horses were the only logical transportation. Just like todays electric cars. Which by the way are capable of storing electricity for peak consumption.

http://www.amazon.com/Home-Wind-Turbine-2kw-48V/dp/B001JBHLBA/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=hi&qid=1276961672&sr=1-1

Just one example.. turbine (granted alone, double+cost for installation)
under $2,000, 2kw capacity.

If in an area it ran at 10% of the time, that would be 876 KWH per YEAR.
blade diameter 10.6 feet.

assuming you paid your .20(rounded) per kilowatt hour you were quoting,

the unit itself would generate $176.20 worth of electricity per year.. again
at 10% efficiency. 20-30%.... cost payoff would be much much faster.

FACT: CO2 content in the atmosphere is rising.
FACT: CO2 is a greenhouse gas, it retains heat more than Oxygen.
FACT: Polar (at least Arctic) ice is retreating.
FACT: average global temperatures are on the rise.

Please feel free to dispute. But please do not tell me I have not done my homework until you have done yours.
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Message 1006301 - Posted: 19 Jun 2010, 18:32:44 UTC

Soft,

Good points to talk about.

Oxygen content of the atmosphere is around 20%-21% depending on which study you read.
CO-2 content less than .04% or 500 times less.

CO-2 is good for plants.

It's cloud cover that keeps the heat in at night. Clouds are water vapor. Better to worry about high flying aircraft and thunderstorms putting water into the upper atmosphere if you want to assess those gases which really do have a measurable effect on temperature.

Fact is; the way that Wind Power is being added to the grid is to buy it from, for example, Cape Wind for 20.7 cents per kilowatt hour. Remember that this has no fuel cost and no local distribution cost in that number. The wind power is free so why the huge cost--you would think that it would almost be free once you amortized the capital.

I am not alone in thinking that CO-2 is probably harmless--BUT I will agree with you that if Nuclear and Wind can in fact be brought in for less than what we are charging now for electricity then let's do it . Coal burning has other more pressing problems such as what to do with the scrubber sludge and fly ash that are captured--they can be taken out of the air but I think may well wind up in the ground water in the long run.
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Message 1006310 - Posted: 19 Jun 2010, 19:06:24 UTC - in response to Message 1006301.  

CO2 is good for plants. We have a symbiotic relationship with them,
which keeps a balance that maintains the temperate climate. However with our
massive deforestation, our wholesale burning of fossil fuels, pollution
of our oceans.. we have massively decreased oxygen production at the same time artificially re-introducing CO2 that has been suspended since primordial times
into the atmosphere. Times when heat soared, there were no or minimal ice caps.

Perhaps plants will be the long term winner. But civilization as we know it
will not fare well in the transition. Increased water vapor in the atmosphere is an obvious result, which results in increased storm intensity and frequency.

Since we seem to be performing this experiment already.. I think we should all
pay attention. This could turn out important. Turning a blind eye to it
is perhaps not the wisest choice of action.


And how much your local utility agreed to pay for wind power is really besides the point. your figure of .20/kwh includes a great deal of profit.. and the wind generator I showed is just one of many on the market.. before subsidies
of under $1.00 per watt. (for a point of reference, each watt if it ran continuously.. I know they do not... would equal 8.760 kilowatt hours each year.)

Honestly, I believe they won an opportunistic contract. I have not looked up the supplier, but my first guess would be a hedge fund with political ties.
Proof again capitalism can survive the transition. Money will flow, although it
may change directions.

Now my statement about wind being cheapest.. remains. Personally I see much better potential to the solar end of the equation, but that becomes more complex to defend. Wind is the cheapest to install, and there after requires no fuel to operate. To compare, be careful to compare kw-hours, to installed KW.. as the 1 watt =8.760 kwh... make sure you compare apples to apples. Many presentations do not. And the subsequent fuel use is often ignored.

I am not a fan of nuclear, although it may be better than fossil fuels. Biomass.. from waste products a good idea, from food sources bad idea. Bio fuels are for the most part carbon neutral as opposed to fossil fuels. They absorb the carbon from the CO2, and then release it during consumption. both as CO and CO2. But at least they are not pushing the cart further off the edge.

To keep pushing without looking and to say "what edge, I do not see any edge"...
again, not advisable. And if the thing falls off, we all go down with it.

Cloud cover helps moderate the heat a bit.. Lower highs, higher lows.. in and of itself not really changing averages at all.. Although the % of solar radiation they can reflect can be a factor. Yet another thing going on in climate modeling.



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Message 1006512 - Posted: 20 Jun 2010, 10:48:36 UTC
Last modified: 20 Jun 2010, 11:05:46 UTC

More thoughts.

Coal is also Carbon Neutral, although this form of Carbon was bound a long time ago. Biomass such as switchgrass would take away acreage which should be used for food production. Therefore we would experience a rise in food prices and probably energy prices just as we have with the folly of Ethanol.

I guess that I favor the following actions --what do you all think ?:

Conservation through building codes on orientation, overhangs and insulation. Also by mandating high efficiency furnaces, windows, lighting, water heaters and air conditioners for new construction and replacements.

Plug-in electric vehicles with small turbo-diesels for extended trips beyond say 100 miles. We need to watch costs here and we may have to wait for another round of improvement for Lithium ion batteries in terms of both capacity/density and cost to produce.

Immediate addition of 100 multi-reactor nuclear plants. If the French can do 80% nuclear then so can we.

Development of all of our oil and natural gas resources domestically when we think we can do it responsibly.


Research for large-scale coal gasification and coal-to-fuel large scale pilot plants. We are the Saudi-Arabia of coal.


The breakup of cartels and price and supply fixers where possible in Oil, Fuels and Natural Gas. Why are foreign companies drilling within our 200 mile limits? Are there no American oil companies any more ? what gives here ?

All of this requires will and regulation. We already have building codes, nuclear plants, and have busted trusts and monopolies in the past. We also supposedly have regulation all over the place--let's actually do it and make it effective. While I abhor government intervention --the Interstate highway system wouldn't get built by leaving it to local municipalities. A little smarts, firings and ambition among our elected officials and civil servants would be a good start.

In the past, our economy was based on cheap energy and we produced our way to prosperity. We can provide abundant energy and cut consumption by half in the long run if we get moving in the right direction without strangling our economy with feel-good ideas that make no sense such as Cap and Trade, Ethanol, Carbon sequestration and the current high costs of adding solar and wind to the Electrical Grid.

If only we could instill a profit motive to Government and Civil Service we would be on the right path lickety-split.

regards,

Daddio
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Message 1006530 - Posted: 20 Jun 2010, 12:08:33 UTC - in response to Message 1006512.  

More thoughts.

Coal is also Carbon Neutral, although this form of Carbon was bound a long time ago. Biomass such as switchgrass would take away acreage which should be used for food production. Therefore we would experience a rise in food prices and probably energy prices just as we have with the folly of Ethanol.<snip>


Too early, but I had to get on this. By the same argument oil could also be carbon neutral. But for the sake of this age, no they are not.

They are both releasing massive amounts of carbon that have been locked away since long before the last ice age. The effects on this age.. No. I have to firmly disagree that it qualifies as carbon neutral.

And the rest.. I will read over after I get my coffee :D

By the way.. good discussion.
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Message 1006554 - Posted: 20 Jun 2010, 13:07:51 UTC - in response to Message 1006512.  

[>> Biomass such as switchgrass would take away acreage which should be used for food production. Therefore we would experience a rise in food prices and probably energy prices just as we have with the folly of Ethanol.

: I agree that diverting food resources to fuel can lead to mass starvation. The USA bio-engineering crops to both feed and fuel the world.. again another huge genie-out-of-the-bottle issue. However using waste portions of the crops either to feed bio-digesters or converted to ethynol/methynol... Over all a good idea. Ethynol is not a problem. The USA implementation of it, not so good.

>>Conservation through building codes on orientation, overhangs and insulation. Also by mandating high efficiency furnaces, windows, lighting, water heaters and air conditioners for new construction and replacements.

: Agreed, agreed, and agreed. However some of these ideas are ill conceived.
For instance.. locally natural gas heat is effectively REQUIRED here.. forcing it to be from a single source (someone has a great lobbyist). While a large
percentage of our electricity HAS been from non-renewable resources, Going forward there is no(zero none nada zip zilch) need to continue to use them.. and we have a great deal of control on how we produce our electricity. The big push to flourescent lighting will be followed by LED lighting (opinion). Make good use of waste heat.. even tap the "town gas"( the vented methane gas from our drain lines). Bio-digesters (basically brew methane methanol from sewage, use it to run fuel cells) to provide additional power from our waste... The list goes on and certainly should not be ignored. What works in one area may not work in another so local codes make good.

>>Plug-in electric vehicles with small turbo-diesels for extended trips beyond say 100 miles. We need to watch costs here and we may have to wait for another round of improvement for Lithium ion batteries in terms of both capacity/density and cost to produce.

:I am very much in favor of these. The small on board generators could actually
be a small trailer for extended trips. Most of us drive less than 50 miles per day in commutes, and that technology is well within our grasp. Fast charge technology for those batteries does exist as well for "in a pinch". It just needs to be made available. Oh and turbo diesels can run very well on WASTE
veggie oil with minimal processing.

>>Immediate addition of 100 multi-reactor nuclear plants. If the French can do 80% nuclear then so can we.

: I do not favor these. But there is a possibity things like this need to be done for a short term fix. Nuclear is currently one of the most expensive forms of energy, and the risks and dangers are well known. But.. at least it does not flood out CO2.

>>Development of all of our oil and natural gas resources domestically when we think we can do it responsibly.

:This is simply "more of the same". Greed is never responsible. At least not on purpose.

>>Research for large-scale coal gasification and coal-to-fuel large scale pilot plants. We are the Saudi-Arabia of coal.

:again.. more of the same. Just trying to breed a bigger horse.
The manure remains. Coal whether burnt or liquified, is not a clean fuel. Cleaning it moves the pollutants around, it does not eliminate them. Clean coal is a myth.

>>All of this requires will and regulation. We already have building codes, nuclear plants, and have busted trusts and monopolies in the past. We also supposedly have regulation all over the place--let's actually do it and make it effective. While I abhor government intervention --the Interstate highway system wouldn't get built by leaving it to local municipalities. A little smarts, firings and ambition among our elected officials and civil servants would be a good start.

: Actually all this requires is to allow the technology to develop. This means stopping the oil/coal subsidies, and ..(do not hate me for this) let the price of oil/gas go up as much as they want. Yes.. 100/200bbl oil.. 5-7/gal gasoline.. enforce every penalty that is already on the books, criminal charges
where applicable, equal import duties.. and let the market decide. If corporations have been given citizen rights from the supreme court as far as political donations... I am sure it should be no problem to file murder charges against CEO's and boards of directors. Fair is fair.

:Have you noticed how many fewer SUV's are parked in business areas at 4.00/gallon than 2.00/gallon? And people are running around gathering up fryer oil from every little restraunt in town to use as fuel. People are resourceful
when they need to be. And very lazy and complacent when they can be.

>>In the past, our economy was based on cheap energy and we produced our way to prosperity. We can provide abundant energy and cut consumption by half in the long run if we get moving in the right direction without strangling our economy with feel-good ideas that make no sense such as Cap and Trade, Ethanol, Carbon sequestration and the current high costs of adding solar and wind to the Electrical Grid.

:The economy is changing. We can change with it or get run over. for every job lost in the coal or oil sector, there should be many more created in finding alternatives. I understand that is not much comfort to someone who has worked there their entire life. But things do change. And life moves on.

:Carbon sequestration is a myth perpetrated by the coal companies, the carbon sinks in the southernmost oceans is FULL.. and more CO2 can be expected to be released from there as well.. Cap and trade is simply calling into account those who release mass quantities of CO2 or trying to clean it up.. it is a good idea, but accomplishing it fairly is another matter.

:Again.. Wind is not expensive to add to the grid. Nukes are. Solar.. I can suggest looking at costs of adding to your own home on a do it yourself basis,
you might be surprised to see how much of those systems are profit on a grid-connected system.(no batteries, feed back unusued to the grid). Bio digesters are reporting 1-2KW capacity out of the SEWAGE from each house.

:The biggest myth is that this is "coming sometime in the future". The future is whenever we make it. Battery price drops come from mass production, the technology is there. Solar panel prices per watt continue to drop as production increases. rectifier/inverter technologies are both inexensive and efficient. Bio fuel is fine if we do not take it as "What do I plant for that" view.

But subsidizing big oil/coal in order to come to energy independence, not required. I have a suspicious view of solar subsidies.. it seems every time one
comes along prices go up.. almost by exactly the amount of the subsidy.

None of these technologies has any problem competing against $100+/bbl oil prices. And that is where we are headed. And as unpopular as this is.. that is
where it should be headed. It really is a fair price for a lubricant.




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Message 1006925 - Posted: 21 Jun 2010, 15:56:10 UTC - in response to Message 1006554.  

[>> Biomass such as switchgrass would take away acreage which should be used for food production. Therefore we would experience a rise in food prices and probably energy prices just as we have with the folly of Ethanol.


Couldn't they quit paying farmers not to grow and use that land?
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Message 1006936 - Posted: 21 Jun 2010, 16:18:22 UTC - in response to Message 1006925.  

the idea is land conservation. using fields constantly wears them down and eventually makes them barren of nutrients. I agree that is seems dumb to let fields lay fallow but there is a history lesson here. The Romans cultivated land to the point where nothing would grow. We don't want barren fields.

Also, When the farmer has a bumper crop which would happen routinely if they were allowed to plant all their fields then the sale price for their grains and cereals would bottom out which definitely doesnt benefit the Farmers.

Here's one sticky thing. Ever notice that no matter what bread makers pay for a farmers grain the price never goes down for a loaf of bread. It will certainly go up in years with bad crops but never go down in years with bumper crops.


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Message 1006938 - Posted: 21 Jun 2010, 16:23:13 UTC - in response to Message 1006936.  

the idea is land conservation. using fields constantly wears them down and eventually makes them barren of nutrients. I agree that is seems dumb to let fields lay fallow but there is a history lesson here. The Romans cultivated land to the point where nothing would grow. We don't want barren fields.

Also, When the farmer has a bumper crop which would happen routinely if they were allowed to plant all their fields then the sale price for their grains and cereals would bottom out which definitely doesnt benefit the Farmers.

Here's one sticky thing. Ever notice that no matter what bread makers pay for a farmers grain the price never goes down for a loaf of bread. It will certainly go up in years with bad crops but never go down in years with bumper crops.


Seems switchgrass would be OK, doesn't seem to need the nutrients most crops do.

"Switchgrass (Panicum virgatum) is a summer perennial grass that is native to North america. It is a natural component of the tall-grass prairie which covered must of the great Plains, but which also was also found on the prairie soils in the Black Belt of Alabama and Mississippi. Many people do not realize that the natural vegetation of the Black belt was grassland, and not forst like most other parts of the southeastern USA.

Because it is native, switchgrass is resistant to many pests and plant diseases, and it is capable of producing high yields with very low applications of fertilizer. This means that the need for agricultural chemicals to grow switchgrass is relatively low. Switchgrass is also very tolerant of poor soils, flooding and drought, which are widespread agricultural problems in the southeast."
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Message 1016079 - Posted: 16 Jul 2010, 2:40:23 UTC

NASA Science News for July 15, 2010

Researchers are puzzling over a sharper-than-expected
collapse of Earth's upper atmosphere during the deep solar minimum of 2008-09




Layers of Earth's upper atmosphere.



July 15, 2010: NASA-funded researchers are monitoring a big event in our planet's atmosphere. High above Earth's surface where the atmosphere meets space, a rarefied layer of gas called "the thermosphere" recently collapsed and now is rebounding again.

"This is the biggest contraction of the thermosphere in at least 43 years," says John Emmert of the Naval Research Lab, lead author of a paper announcing the finding in the June 19th issue of the Geophysical Research Letters (GRL). "It's a Space Age record."

The collapse happened during the deep solar minimum of 2008-2009—a fact which comes as little surprise to researchers. The thermosphere always cools and contracts when solar activity is low. In this case, however, the magnitude of the collapse was two to three times greater than low solar activity could explain.

http://science.nasa.gov/science-news/science-at-nasa/2004/
http://science.nasa.gov/science-news/science-at-nasa/2004/
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Message 1016200 - Posted: 16 Jul 2010, 13:56:43 UTC - in response to Message 1016079.  

Oops ... had to make an edit to my post, re the link to: nasa.gov / thermosphere /

Should read as follows:

NASA Science News for July 15, 2010

Researchers are puzzling
over a sharper-than-expected
collapse of Earth's upper atmosphere
during the deep solar minimum of 2008-09


July 15, 2010: NASA-funded researchers are monitoring a big event in our planet's atmosphere. High above Earth's surface where the atmosphere meets space, a rarefied layer of gas called "the thermosphere" recently collapsed and now is rebounding again.

"This is the biggest contraction of the thermosphere in at least 43 years," says John Emmert of the Naval Research Lab, lead author of a paper announcing the finding in the June 19th issue of the Geophysical Research Letters (GRL). "It's a Space Age record."

The collapse happened during the deep solar minimum of 2008-2009—a fact which comes as little surprise to researchers. The thermosphere always cools and contracts when solar activity is low. In this case, however, the magnitude of the collapse was two to three times greater than low solar activity could explain.



[Edit]
http://science.nasa.gov/science-news/science-at-nasa/2010/15jul_thermosphere/
http://science.nasa.gov/science-news/science-at-nasa/2010/15jul_thermosphere/
[Edit]

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Message 1019322 - Posted: 24 Jul 2010, 22:55:36 UTC
Last modified: 24 Jul 2010, 22:56:01 UTC

Things are very certainly warming up quickly:


Comparative photos of Mount Everest 'confirm ice loss'

Photos taken by a mountaineer on Everest from the same spot where similar pictures were taken in 1921 have revealed an "alarming" ice loss.

The Asia Society (AS) arranged for the pictures to be taken in exactly the same place where British climber George Mallory took photos in 1921.

"The photographs reveal a startling truth: the ice of the Himalaya is disappearing," an AS statement said. ...



Red Sea coral growth 'to halt by 2070'

... the upper growth rate has decreased by 30%, and the amount of calcium carbonate produced has decreased by 20% since 1998. ...

... There was a critical temperature, 30.5C, above which the growth rate "basically plummetted". ...

... the coral would "cease calcifying altogether by 2070", when summer SSTs were projected to exceed current summer values by 1.85C.

However, the team said this timescale was likely to be conservative.

"One reason why we say this is because we think the corals will bleach long before this," Dr Cohen explained.

"They are going to lose their symbiotic algae (zooxanthellae) long before they stop calcifying, and many of these corals will die at that point." ...




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Message 1020422 - Posted: 28 Jul 2010, 18:24:55 UTC

Another rather curious change:


[Phyto]plankton decline across oceans as waters warm

... The warmer ends of these cycles coincide with a reduction in plankton growth, while abundance is higher in the colder phase.

Carl-Gustaf Lundin, head of the marine programme at the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN), suggested there could be other factors involved - notably the huge expansion in open-ocean fishing that has taken place over the century.

"Logically you would expect that as fishing has gone up, the amount of zooplankton would have risen - and that should have led to a decline in phytoplankton," he told BBC News.

"So there's something about fishing that hasn't been factored into this analysis."

[...]

"Phytoplankton... produce half of the oxygen we breathe, draw down surface CO2, and ultimately support all of our fisheries," ...




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Message 1020899 - Posted: 30 Jul 2010, 19:23:18 UTC
Last modified: 30 Jul 2010, 19:30:07 UTC

One of the first moves of Climate Change political posturing to exploit a little of the greater disaster?


Canadian team finds 19th Century HMS Investigator wreck

Canadian archaeologists have located a British ship abandoned in the Arctic while on a 19th Century rescue mission.

Parks Canada researchers found HMS Investigator in Mercy Bay this week.

[...]

Mr Prentice said the discovery of the Investigator supported Canada's historical claim to the region, which the country inherited when it gained independence from Britain.

The issue of sovereignty has become increasingly important to Canada as the melting of arctic ice has increased interest in marine shipping through the Northwest Passage.



I wonder if Canada is promoting the destruction of Alberta Canada for the sake of horrendous pollution to open up the passage sooner?...

An example of Sarah Palin non-logic?...


Not good...

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Message 1021301 - Posted: 31 Jul 2010, 17:30:09 UTC - in response to Message 1020899.  

I think that the issue will be who can drill up there for oil if the "passage" continues to open. My understanding is that there is a tremendous amount up there--Saudi-Arabia size. This could be a major diplomatic strain if not adressed forthrightly.
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Message 1021900 - Posted: 2 Aug 2010, 13:54:13 UTC - in response to Message 1021301.  

another notch in the global weather pattern change. It's reached 100+ degrees in Moscow for the first time in over 120 years of record keeping. So much for the image of icey Russian streets.


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Message 1021904 - Posted: 2 Aug 2010, 14:01:54 UTC

To misquote Sarah Palin's twitting:

BURN BABY BURN!


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Message 1023649 - Posted: 8 Aug 2010, 12:09:01 UTC

Yet more ice breaks free:


Biggest ice island for 48 years breaks off Greenland glacier

Scientists say the 100 square mile ice island, 600ft thick, is 'very unusual' and the biggest formation of its kind since 1962...

... "Nobody can claim this was caused by global warming. On the other hand nobody can claim that it wasn't," Muenchow said, adding that the flow of sea water below the glaciers is one of the main causes of ice calvings off Greenland.

Regine Hock, a glacial geophysicist at the University of Alaska Fairbanks, told the National Geographic that the breakup of ice shelves is "a normal process that happens all the time".

But she said that such a "huge, huge piece of ice … is very unusual".

Scientists have said the first six months of 2010 were the hottest globally on record. The El Niño weather pattern has contributed to higher temperatures, but many scientists say elevated levels of man-made greenhouse gases are pushing temperatures higher. ...



Meanwhile:

Climate change denial? There's an app for that

A new iPhone climate change sceptics' app inadvertently reveals the strategies of disinformation and denial they employ



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Message 1024149 - Posted: 10 Aug 2010, 10:52:44 UTC

And so it begins...


Climate change 'partly to blame' for sweltering Moscow

... Jeff Knight, a climate variability scientist at the UK Met Office, attributed the situation in Moscow to a number of factors, among them greenhouse gas concentrations, which are steadily rising.

The recent El Nino, a climate pattern that occurs across the tropical Pacific Ocean and affects weather around the world, and local weather patterns in Russia may have also contributed to this summer's abnormal conditions.

"The Russian heatwave is related to a persistent pattern of circulation drawing air from the south and east (the very warm steppes)," said Dr Knight.

"Circulation anomalies tend to create warm and cool anomalies: while it has been very hot in western Russia, it has been cooler than average in adjacent parts of Siberia that lie on the other side of the high pressure system where Arctic air is being drawn southwards.

"Some long-term records have been broken - for example the highest daily temperature in Moscow. We expect more extreme high temperatures as the climate changes. This means that when weather fluctuations promote high temperatures… there is more likelihood of records being broken."

The head of the climate and energy programme at WWF Russia, Alexei Kokorin, said the abnormal temperatures soaring to up to 40C increased the likelihood of wildfires around the capital.

And though this summer in Moscow had proven harsh for people and animals alike, it was possible that temperatures would continue to rise over the years to come, he warned. ...

... "We can now say that the wave of abnormal phenomena that the rest of the world has been experiencing has finally reached central Russia," Dr Kokorin added. ...



Death rate doubles in Moscow as heatwave continues

Moscow's health chief has confirmed the mortality rate has doubled as a heatwave and wildfire smog continue to grip the Russian capital. ...

... And there was a new warning over shortfalls in Russia's grain harvest.

Prime Minister Vladimir Putin said this year's harvest, hit by fire and drought, would be worse than previously forecast. ...

... Russia is the world's third largest wheat exporter. Its biggest customers include Egypt, Turkey and Syria. ...

... The head of the state weather service, Alexander Frolov, said on Monday that the heatwave of 2010 was the worst in 1,000 years of recorded Russian history. ...




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Message boards : Politics : Climate Change, 'Greenhouse' effects, Environment, etc part II


 
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