1. Atlantic Ocean important for heat storage
Most of the energy from global warming goes into the ocean as this graphic from Skeptical Science illustrates:
The linked paper stresses the role of the Atlantic in heat uptake. The following graph shows the heat uptake for the four main oceans. The black line is the sea surface temperature, the red line shows the heat below 1500 metres.
All this is considered in relation to the socalled warming ‘hiatus’. The suggestion is that the Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation is the critical influence and it changes phase every 20 to 35 years. If so the ‘hiatus’ could last another decade or so.
Other scientists see the hiatus as multi-causal. It also depends which temperature series you are looking at. The HadCRUT temperatures always look flatter in recent years, as in this article. The Gistemp series from NASA has 1998 as about the third highest and shows a continuing upward trend, albeit slowed..
2. ‘Unprecedented’ ice loss in Greenland and Antarctica
Since 2009 the volume of ice loss has tripled in West Antarctica and more than doubled in Greenland, the highest rate of ice loss since satellite records began 20 years ago.
While it’s still early days, sea level rise this century could surprise on the upside.
Carbon Brief also have the latest on the chances of an El Niño developing in 2014, which the Australian BOM now put at about 50%. Earlier there was talk of a super El Niño, which is still possible.
4. China gets into emissions trading
The Chinese national market will start in 2016.
The Chinese market, when fully functional, would dwarf the European emissions trading system, which is now the world’s biggest.
It would be the main carbon trading hub in Asia and the Pacific, where Kazakhstan and New Zealand already operate similar markets. South Korea will start a national market on Jan. 1, 2015, while Indonesia, Thailand and Vietnam are drawing up plans for markets of their own.
Looks like quite a trend. Time perhaps for Australia to join in!
5. World’s poor need grid power, not just solar panels
Small scale solar power is quite popular in Africa and supported by environmentalists. A few panels are able to run a few lights, a radio, charge the mobile phone but stop short of boiling a kettle. Critics see this as condemning the poor to a constrained future. Only 20% of Kenyans are connected to the grid.
Coal fired power is obviously not the answer. Dams take years to build, are typically over budget, inundate fertile lands or forest areas and interrupt natural stream flow.
In the Democratic Republic of Congo the mega project of the Inga 3 dam is due to start construction on the Congo River. If fully developed it will produce twice as much electricity as the world’s largest, the three Gorges in China. But will it be economically justified and what impacts will it have on the environment?
6. Emissions from energy generation jump after carbon price axed
Carbon emissions from the country’s main electricity grid have risen since the end of the carbon tax by the largest amount in nearly eight years.
Data from the National Electricity Market, which covers about 80 per cent of Australia’s population, shows that emissions from the sector rose by about 1 million tonnes, or 0.8 per cent, at an annualised rate last month compared with June.
That is the biggest two-month increase since the end of 2006, and came as a result of an increase in overall demand and a rise in the share of coal-fired power in the market, according to Pitt & Sherry’s monthly Cedex emissions index.
From what I can make of it, gas is increasingly going to export, there is some scaling back of hydro, presumably because of the weather. and large scale solar was killed off ages ago. The slack is being taken up by old coal, including brown coal.
Abbott’s strategy of saving the coal fired power industry seems to be working.
Building new more efficient coal would be his ultimate aim. This would involve investors and lenders having confidence in the future of coal. Surely they can’t be that stupid!
Reminder: Use this thread as an open thread on climate change.
One thought on “Climate clippings 105”
You could buy a lot of panels, batteries etc before it becomes cheaper to install the grid.
Interesting to note that places like the US and Aus are starting to realise that microgrids and off grid may be a better option than full grid connection. For example:
NRG Energy – America’s largest independent electricity producer is in a joint effort to establish Rutland as “the Energy City of the Future,” and position Vermont as “a leader in the movement toward cost-effective sustainable energy solutions,”
There is always a risk that “white peoples dreaming” can encourage disadvantaged people to follow paths that are not in their best interests. In the case we are talking about it may be a case of the big grid dream competing with the very low energy dream.
In the mean time the quickest, lowest cost way to bring some of the benefits of electricity to poor people will start with a few panels, batteries and microgrids.
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