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12 responses to “Climate clippings 34”

  1. BilB

    “if the tar sands are thrown into the mix, it is essentially game over.”

    Tar sands are certainly going to be thrown into the mix, because it is about “jobs and growth”.


  2. John D

    Climate progress had this to say as part of a dust storm report

    In large parts of Texas and Oklahoma now, the drought is more intense than it was during the Dust Bowl of the 1930s.

    In 2007, Science (subs. req’d) published research that “predicted a permanent drought by 2050 throughout the Southwest” — levels of aridity comparable to the 1930s Dust Bowl would stretch from Kansas to California. Last year, a comprehensive literature review, “Drought under global warming: a review,” by NCAR found that we risk multiple, devastating global droughts worse than the Dust Bowl even on moderate emissions path. Another study found the U.S. southwest could see a 60-year drought this century.

    My take is that the winners from climate warning will be Canada and Russia if they can hold out against invasions from nuclear powers further to the south.
    Predictions for Aus Brian?

  3. John D


    When the volcano, Mt Pinatubo, erupted in the Philippines in 1991, it spewed out more greenhouse gases into the atmosphere than the entire human race had emitted in its entire YEARS on earth.

    were true we would have seen an enormous jump in atmospheric CO2 at the time.
    You don’t have to be a volcano expert to realize this. You dont even have to be a scientist to google the necessary data Surprise surprise – no big jump.

  4. Doug

    Heard a report on ABC news early this week about a conference, it was in Australia, I think, Canberra, possibly, on oceanography reporting a paper on the rise in sea level and its relationship to global warming. (it was early morning and I was on my first cup of coffee, hence the vagueness)
    I haven’t been able to track it down on the ABC internet site.

    Does anyone have any clues?

  5. John D

    Gizmag has pictures and details of the Gemasolar solar thermal with molten salt storage plant that has recently produced 24 hrs of continuous power. The details for this 19.9 mW plant are a bit of a worry:

    the Gemasolar plant opened last May in Fuentes de Andalucia. Its central tower is surrounded by 2,650 heliostats (mirrors) that stretch approximately 185 hectares. The mirrors concentrate the solar radiation at a ratio of 1000:1 and at the central receiver in the 140 m (450 ft) tower temperatures can exceed 500-degrees Centigrade (932°F). The molten salts (which are able to retain 95% of the radiation from the sun’s spectrum) are then stored in specially designed tanks, where high temperatures can be maintained at a level to facilitate the generation of electricity through steam turbines even after dusk.

    “Gemasolar achieved optimal performance in its systems in the last week of June. The high performance of the installations coincided with several days of excellent solar radiation which made it possible for the hot-salt storage tank to reach full capacity,” said Diego Ramírez, Director of Production at Torresol Energy. “We’re hoping that in the next few days our supply to the network will reach an average of 20 hours a day.”

  6. wilful

    Looking forward to the Four degrees conference next week, which work has nicely paid for my attendance at. Ross Garnaut on Wedensday night, post release of ETS details.

  7. Paul Norton

    The Scientific American recently published an article by Lee R Kump (available here) on the Paleocene–Eocene Thermal Maximum (PETM). His account of how it happened is complex. Its based on excavations in Spitsbergen, were land then submerged is now above sea level, whereas previous assessments relied on the analysis of marine sediments.

    The key finding is that the carbon release took place over 20,000 years and that we are emitting at around 10 times that rate today. On land at least the biological systems coped reasonably well. Opportunities were created for the mammals that led to us.

    Now it is all happening far too fast for plants and animals to adapt, so extinctions, already on the increase, are expected to proceed apace.

    Curt Stager, in Deep Future, also discusses the PETM and makes the point that in those days the animals could move about freely because there weren’t 7 billion humans and their artifacts in the way.

  8. Kevin Rennie

    Still hoping to find sponsors for some citizen journalism at the Four degrees conference next week.

    Details: Climate Change: Facing the Fourth Degree

    Have Sony Will Travel

  9. jusme

    Thanks for the link to the gemasolar plant John D. I think that’s interesting and promising.
    All those mirrors take up a lot of room, I wonder if enough heat could be created using the old magnifying lens trick. Could use a combination of a few mirrors/lens’ in a much smaller circle around the tower.

  10. John D

    jusme: You still have to collect the same amount of sunshine to provide the heat. A lens would simply absorb some of the heat.
    Having said this placement will have some effect since less heat is collected the more the mirror angle brings it closer to being parallel to the sun. Some of those mirror in the gemasolar plant mirror layout would be at a pretty unproductive angle – although the spread may help even out the heat absorbed over the day.
    You could also think about setting it all up as a rooftop system with the tower on top of a skyscraper and the mirrors on walls and roofs.

  11. Jess

    Hey Doug – most oceanographers (and volcanologists/earth scientists etc) have been down at IUGG which was held in Melbourne over the last two weeks. There were plenty of talks given on the links between sea level rise and climate change.

    IUGG program is here (warning: it’s not pretty). You can knock yourself out with the abstracts. :)