navitron
 
Renewable Energy and Sustainability Forum
Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.

Login with username, password and session length
News: Anyone wishing to register as a new member on the forum is strongly recommended to use a "proper" email address - following recent spam/hack attempts on the forum, all security is set to "high", and "disposable" email addresses like Gmail, Yahoo and Hotmail tend to be viewed with suspicion, and the application rejected if there is any doubt whatsoever
 
Recent Articles: Navitron Partners With Solax to Help Create A More Sustainable Future | Navitron Calls for Increased Carbon Footprint Reduction In Light of Earth Overshoot Day | A plea from The David School - Issue 18
   Home   Help Search Login Register  
Pages: [1] 2   Go Down
  Print  
Author Topic: New Scientist - 22/10/11 - Issue 2835  (Read 4693 times)
M
Hero Member
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 5108



« on: November 03, 2011, 07:43:50 AM »

Apologies if no one is interested in this, but thought I might run a quick list of environmental / renewable items in this issue of New Scientist. So here goes.

Himalayas: the Saudi Arabia of Solar: research showing that high altitude snow capped mountains may be able to match more traditional 'desert' scenario for solar panels. Himalayas (and the Andes) have some of the highest levels of sunlight, but don't suffer the estimated 13% losses to heat suffered by panels at 40degC. Could bring reliable power to impoverished areas.

Turbine blades reach out to catch the breeze: University of Auckland is researching the idea of turbine blades that extend and retract to suit wind conditions. Haven't gone industrial scale yet, but experiments on a 1.5KW turbine matched normal blades at high wind speeds but easily outperformed at gentler speeds. Estimated that this idea could double annual generation, and blades could be retro-fitted.

Star Chamber: The National Ignition Facility at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory is researching nuclear fusion via firing lasers at a small target to generate the kind of temperatures found inside stars and detonating thermonuclear weapons. The facility set new records for neutron yield and laser energy last month, depositing 500 trillion watts of power for 20 nanoseconds. They are upping the power on its lasers, and hope to reach 'ignition' the point where more energy is produced from fusion than is used to generate the laser pulse, by the end of next year. They recently announced that they are joining forces with British firm AWE in Aldermaston, and the Rutherford Appleton Laboratory in Harwell to develop laser fusion.

Climate Change - NS have produced a special report on knowns and unknowns in this issue. I will summarise in a separate thread as there is lots of info.

If anyone wants some free issues let me know. I asked at my local library, but they aren't allowed to accept them, they have to pay for their own subscription.

Martyn.
Logged

Just call me Mart.     Cardiff: 5.58kWp PV - (3.58kWp SE3500 + 2kWp SE2200 WNW)
M
Hero Member
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 5108



« Reply #1 on: November 03, 2011, 10:06:08 AM »

New Scientist special on climate change.

Here's a brief resume of the article. Please note that New Scientist reports peer reviewed and acknowledged information, it doesn't 'make it up' itself.

Part of the intro - For a start, the planet is warming, and human activity is largely responsible. But how much is Earth on course to warm by? What will the global and local effects be? How will it affect our lives?

Each of the following knowns and unknowns is in itself a mini article, but thought it interesting to show that there is less debate than some would have us believe:

Know - greenhouse gases are warming the planet

Don't know - How far greenhouse gas levels will rise

Know - Other pollutants are cooling the planet (interesting point, SO2 pollution so high in 1940 to 1970 that it balanced out CO2 warming, but SO2 doesn't last as long, causing respiratory problems and acid rain)

Don't know - How great our cooling effects are

Know - The planet is going to get a lot hotter

Don't know - Exactly how much hotter things will get

Don't know - How the climate will change in specific regions

Know - sea level is going to rise many metres

Don't know - How quickly sea level will rise

Don't know - How serious a threat global warming is to life

Know - There will be more floods and droughts

Don't know - Whether there will be more hurricanes and the like

Don't know - If and when tipping points will be reached


The also ran a table of the estimated temperature rise that 6 different research areas considered would result from a doubling of CO2 levels (all in degrees C, no negatives) The consensus was that a 3degC rise would be expected from a doubling of CO2.

Research Area                                                  most likely                     66% certainty range                          90% certainty range

temperature observations from the
past 150 years                                                         2.5                            2 to 6                                               1 to 8.5

current observations of climate                                   3.5                             2.5 to 5                                            2 to 7

climate models                                                          3                               2 to 4.5                                            2 to 4.5

Effect of volcanic eruptions                                         3                                1.5 to 5                                           1.5 to 8

Studies of last interglacial warm period
19,000-12,000 years ago                                             3                               2 to 4                                               1 to 5.5

Palaeoclimate data from millions of years ago                   3                               2 to 5                                               1.5 to 7


Hope this of interest.

Martyn.
« Last Edit: November 03, 2011, 11:41:27 AM by M » Logged

Just call me Mart.     Cardiff: 5.58kWp PV - (3.58kWp SE3500 + 2kWp SE2200 WNW)
zeus
Full Member
***
Offline Offline

Posts: 245


« Reply #2 on: November 03, 2011, 11:14:55 AM »

Hi

I love the 'science' contained in that post ..... how do you reconcile the following ?

"the planet is warming, and human activity is largely responsible"
 supported by ....  
"current observations of climate                                   3.5                             2.5 to 5                                            2 to 7"

... with ...

"Effect of volcanic eruptions                                         3                                1.5 to 5                                           1.5 to 8"

So looks like another one for the list ....
Would they really guarantee their reputation on the validity of their own science and the conclusions drawn  .... Don't Know

 facepalm
« Last Edit: November 03, 2011, 11:18:58 AM by zeus » Logged

Clearview 8kW helped by an 8lb splitting maul and loads of insulation Cheesy ....... (with mains gas for the odd cold period !!! Wink)
4kWp of roof glazing : SMA inverter / 50 x EV tubes
M
Hero Member
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 5108



« Reply #3 on: November 03, 2011, 11:38:50 AM »

Zeus, should have explained better, NS were just publishing a summary of 6 different research areas that are looking at the effects of CO2 on temperature.

In simplistic terms, I think 'those' volcanic studies look at the expected rise in temperature, even after taking into account expected/estimated volcanic activity. They don't mean the temperature will rise because of volcano's, it's just the consensus from that area of expertise.

Volcanic activity is the one I understand the least, since volcano's can have a cooling effect through ash and dust deposited into the atmosphere such as 1816 the year with no summer.

My interest was piqued as you have 6 different areas of expertise, all of whom will be using different ways of modelling temperature changes, yet they all come out with relatively similar results, especially within the 66% range.

Oh god, just realised, I implied an increase due to each area, not a consensus on final affect. I will try to edit it better!

Martyn.
Logged

Just call me Mart.     Cardiff: 5.58kWp PV - (3.58kWp SE3500 + 2kWp SE2200 WNW)
EccentricAnomaly
Guest
« Reply #4 on: November 03, 2011, 01:02:41 PM »

..... how do you reconcile the following ?

I don't think they need reconciling:

Current observations of climate indicate a climate sensitivity most likely to be 3.5 C for doubling CO₂ with a 90% probability that it's in the range 2 C to 7 C.
  
Studies looking at the effects of volcanic eruptions indicate a climate sensitivity most likely to be 3 C for doubling CO₂ with a 90% probability that it's in the range 1.5 C to 8 C.

Those seem to be pretty consistent to me.

In all cases the "most likely" figures found from each technique lie within the 66% probability range of each of the other techniques.

Taking all the different techniques together it would seem quite unlikely that the actual sensitivity is far outside the range 2 C to 4 C for doubling CO₂ (with the upper end of the range being less tightly constrained than the lower end).
« Last Edit: November 03, 2011, 01:07:10 PM by EccentricAnomaly » Logged
zeus
Full Member
***
Offline Offline

Posts: 245


« Reply #5 on: November 03, 2011, 03:00:44 PM »

..... how do you reconcile the following ?

I don't think they need reconciling:

I agree, they don't now the the context regarding the different research areas data has been adjusted .....  Wink

Thanks Martyn ...   Smiley
Logged

Clearview 8kW helped by an 8lb splitting maul and loads of insulation Cheesy ....... (with mains gas for the odd cold period !!! Wink)
4kWp of roof glazing : SMA inverter / 50 x EV tubes
EccentricAnomaly
Guest
« Reply #6 on: November 03, 2011, 03:50:27 PM »

I agree, they don't now the the context regarding the different research areas data has been adjusted .....  Wink

Excellent, glad that's sorted.

Volcanic activity is the one I understand the least, since volcano's can have a cooling effect through ash and dust deposited into the atmosphere such as 1816 the year with no summer.

I'm slightly hazy on this as well but the following is what I think it's about.  The direct forcing in terms of W/m for a given CO₂ increase is known with a fairly high degree of confidence. However, the actual effect in the real world, even in the short term of days to months rather than decades or centuries, is less well known because of the effects of water vapour feedbacks and the like. The effect of a large volcanic eruption is, as you say, cooling. Because it's a fairly short-term pulse (a few months) it's relatively easy to measure the direct (negative) forcing from the sulphur cloud and observe the changes in temperature thereby getting some idea of the fast feedbacks and hence the overall sensitivity.
Logged
dhaslam
Hero Member
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 6775



« Reply #7 on: November 03, 2011, 05:14:00 PM »

Measuring CO2  is quite an excercise in itself because the measurement is only one or two parts per million yearly increase.  If the increase  is due to human  excesses , mainly in the Northern Hemisphere,  then it shouldn't be all that hard to get it under control, especially since oil and gas is running out. 

http://www.skepticalscience.com/co2-measurements-uncertainty.htm
Logged

DHW 250 litre cylinder  60 X 47mm tubes
Heating  180,000 litre straw insulated seasonal store, 90X58mm tubes + 7 sqm flat collectors, 1 kW VAWT, 3 kW heatpump plus Walltherm gasifying stove
EccentricAnomaly
Guest
« Reply #8 on: November 03, 2011, 06:28:29 PM »

I'm fed up with this idiocy.

Bye all.
Logged
rondurrans
Hero Member
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 760



WWW
« Reply #9 on: November 03, 2011, 06:39:01 PM »

Crikey EA who is going to update the PV spreadsheet now?
Logged

4 kW PV Array on the North Wales Coast - http://energy1.moonfruit.com/
'Nullius in verba' & 'Nothing Endures but Change' (Heraclitus)
M
Hero Member
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 5108



« Reply #10 on: November 04, 2011, 07:49:51 AM »

Measuring CO2  is quite an excercise in itself because the measurement is only one or two parts per million yearly increase.  If the increase  is due to human  excesses , mainly in the Northern Hemisphere,  then it shouldn't be all that hard to get it under control, especially since oil and gas is running out. 

http://www.skepticalscience.com/co2-measurements-uncertainty.htm

True, it shouldn't be that hard, but since there is little real momentum to even properly try yet, things look like getting a lot worse first.

I was naive to think I could summarise such a detailed article, but thought a short list of information bullet points may be of interest.

Here's some of the section on CO2:

Studies of Earth's past climate tell us that whenever CO2 levels have risen, the planet has warmed. Since the beginning of the industrial age in the 19th century, CO2 levels in the atmosphere have increased from 280 parts per million to 380ppm. Satellite measurements now show both that less infrared of the specific frequencies absorbed by CO2 and other greenhouse gases is escaping the planet and that more infrared of the same frequencies is being reflected back to Earth's surface. While many factors affect our planet's climate, there is overwhelming evidence that CO2 is the prime cause of its recent warming.

We can't say how much Earth will warm over the coming years unless we know how much more greenhouse gas will end up in the atmosphere. The biggest uncertainty is human. Were we to cut our emissions drastically tomorrow, CO2 levels might not rise much beyond 400ppm. But that is improbable: only a few countries - and not the biggest emitters such as China and the US - are promising cuts on anything like the scale needed, and the credibility of such promises is undermined by those same countries building more coal-fired power stations. Our current emissions trajectory is close to the worst-case scenario of the IPCC. If we continue on this path, CO2 levels could hit 1000ppm by 2100 - or perhaps even higher.


It seems to me that we are in the same position with man made global warming now, as we were regarding cigarettes in the early 80's. All of the science was pointing in only one direction, but because nobody could give definitive guarantees on the result, many sought to mis-represent this as not knowing if it was good or bad, and it took till the late 90's for most (still not all!) to finally accept what was happening.

Many would now have us believe that there is a great scientific split on climate change, but every peer reviewed article I've read in the last 5 years are all going in the same steady direction, they just don't know the exact culmination. This perfectly reasonable uncertainty has been seized upon to imply doubt in the raw data, doubt which simply doesn't exist, but that doubt allows the scared but apathetic among us to breathe a sigh of relief.

I'd compare this to being punched in the face. We don't know what the results will be, they could range from being a little sore, through split lip, bruising, black eye, broken nose, broken jaw, broken temple, all the way to death. The uncertainty of the final outcome may be used by some to imply that there may be no negatives, hell it may even be good for us, but this is untrue, the outcome is going to be bad, it's only the scale that is an unknown.

Martyn.
Logged

Just call me Mart.     Cardiff: 5.58kWp PV - (3.58kWp SE3500 + 2kWp SE2200 WNW)
rondurrans
Hero Member
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 760



WWW
« Reply #11 on: November 04, 2011, 09:09:36 AM »

Must admit I thought the debate had moved on from manmade climate change to 'how realistic/robust are the models predicting the outcome of climate change'...with the infinite amount of variables within these models it seems we still have a way to go.  onpatrol
Logged

4 kW PV Array on the North Wales Coast - http://energy1.moonfruit.com/
'Nullius in verba' & 'Nothing Endures but Change' (Heraclitus)
desperate
Hero Member
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 3472


Backache stuff!!


WWW
« Reply #12 on: November 04, 2011, 05:17:27 PM »

"shoudn't be that hard to get under control"Huh?? are you serious.

With all the admittedly feeble efforts at reducing global energy consumption, climate conferences, grand statements, renewable investments, etc etc, co2 emmisions are at record levels and increasing faster than anyone predicted. As the developing countries start on the road to western style consumption it set to go through the roof.

I have a feeling in my water that the co2 levels in a couple of decade will cause true havoc with the environment, the likes of which we can only imagine.

If we get co2 under control in the next 15 years, I will stand naked outside (Insert destination of your choice) and eat my copy of without hot air Grin Grin

Desperate
Logged

www.jandhbuilders.co.uk

still a crazy old duffer!
ecogeorge
Hero Member
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 1328


« Reply #13 on: November 04, 2011, 10:27:20 PM »


If we get co2 under control in the next 15 years, I will stand naked outside (Insert destination of your choice) and eat my copy of without hot air Grin Grin

Desperate

Oh ! I'm tempted to have a bet with you  Grin
May I suggest here   hysteria    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/antarctica/6121866/Scientists-identify-coldest-place-on-earth.html
Logged
desperate
Hero Member
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 3472


Backache stuff!!


WWW
« Reply #14 on: November 04, 2011, 10:49:14 PM »

 freeze  Monkeys, brass and knobs come to mind................but I fear my cowpie is safe.

Desp
Logged

www.jandhbuilders.co.uk

still a crazy old duffer!
Pages: [1] 2   Go Up
  Print  
 
Jump to:  

Powered by MySQL Powered by PHP Powered by SMF 1.1.20 | SMF © 2013, Simple Machines
SMFAds for Free Forums
Simple Audio Video Embedder
Valid XHTML 1.0! Valid CSS!