The first Brexit happened a very long time ago. According to Richard Webb in Brexit, 10,000 BC: The untold story of how Britain first left Europe (New Scientist), the white cliffs of Dover did not exist 450,000 years ago, just rolling hills. However, as usual, there was an ice age, and a glacial lake was formed in what is now the North Sea:
These posts are intended to share information and ideas about climate change and hence act as a roundtable for readers to contribute items of interest. Again, I do not want to spend time in comments rehashing whether human activity causes climate change.
This edition is a mixture of science and implementation issues that found me rather than I found them. A couple came from Mark’s Facebook. The last item was drawn to my attention by John D.
1. Electric tents
If you want a tent for the holiday period that stands out from the pack and generates enough electricity to power computers, phones, cameras and loud speakers then Bang Bang Tents is for you.
Stuff happens. We have a household of three with separate access to our online service and last week the youngest member blew our monthly usage budget downloading games, 11 days out from when it renews automatically on 17 March. So the speed became truly painful. Bigpond have given us a once only ‘goodwill’ 2 gigs to go on with. Trouble is, by he time I found out what was going on we’d already used a third of it.
Trouble also is that when the speed slows my email connection just doesn’t happen.
Anyway I’ve prepared a CC for this week from material to hand, then I’m going to disappear to preserve my email.
1. You’ve been told
When a link came through on a feed about a conference on what the planet would be like with 4C warming it looked a bit familiar. Then I noticed the date – October 2009. The link is now broken, but the conference is here. There’s a lot of good material in the presentation downloads, mostly depressing, some of which I looked at before things gummed up.
In the article it said that Hans Joachim Schellnhuber, who advise Angela Merkel on climate change, had dropped in President Obama’s top people, who told him that the political system couldn’t cope with what he was saying about the science. He wasn’t impressed. Continue reading Climate clippings 70→
It seems the trickiest bit of planning for sea level rise is dealing with the increased risk of storm surges. Scientists have been taking a look at New York City.
The biggest they know about was a 3.2 metre surge in 1821, a one in 500 year event. Most buildings have a 60 to 120-year usable lifespan. With a 3-foot rise a once a century surge of 5.7 feet above tide level could occur every three to 20 years. Continue reading Climate clippings 68→
I guess it helps if you’ve got only 1,500 people and three cars.
Harnessing desert sun power
We’ve posted before on Desertec, the plan to generate solar power in North Africa and pipe it to Europe, to supply up to 15% of its energy by 2050. They expect to see the first solar electricity flowing from Morocco to Spain as early as 2014.
This report tells us that Morrocco itself “wants to produce 42% of its electricity from renewable sources – solar, wind and hydro-electric – by 2020.” That’s got to be good.
There are critics, however:
Valentin Hollain of Eurosolar, a German non-profit organisation that promotes renewable energy, queries the entire concept of Desertec.
He argues that big corporations are using large-scale projects like Desertec and Medgrid to retain their position into the next generation, and that a mix of renewable power supplied locally can meet demand while keeping prices down for consumers.
The WMO is agnostic about the reason for the increase in methane emissions, but in this ABC story Paul Fraser from the CSIRO tells us what they are thinking and it’s not good news.He says that the increase of methane is coming from high and low attitudes, which seems to indicate that northern permafrost and tropical wetlands may be the source.
The best wind farms in the world are already competitive with coal, gas and nuclear plants. But over the next five years, continued performance improvements and cost reductions will bring the average onshore wind plant in line with cheap natural gas, even without a price on carbon.
Installed capacity is such that a huge surge can occur when the sun comes out. What’s needed, they say, is an electricity grid that can equalise inputs from the wind of the north to solar in the south.
The public’s belief in global warming as a man-made danger has weathered the storm of climate controversies and cold weather intact, according to a Guardian/ICM opinion poll published today.
Asked if climate change was a current or imminent threat, 83% of Britons agreed, with just 14% saying global warming poses no threat. Compared with August 2009, when the same question was asked, opinion remained steady despite a series of events in the intervening 18 months that might have made people less certain about the perils of climate change.