via Real Climate Science
June 23, 2021 at 06:15AM
via Real Climate Science
June 23, 2021 at 06:15AM
By Paul Homewood
It is a month since the International Energy Agency – the rich world’s energy advisory body established in the wake of the oil price shock of 1973 — issued its astonishing report calling for the end to all new investments in oil and gas (let alone coal) from 2021. As expected, the IEA “road-map” elicited widespread media coverage and strong reactions, ranging from gushing support from those convinced of a “climate emergency” to outright dismissal, as in the case of the Saudi oil minister who called the report a sequel to “La La Land”. Commentators on the IEA’s radical call against fossil fuel investments doubtlessly have their own share of biases and diverging interests. Yet the question remains as to just how credible is the IAE’s call for a complete transformation of the global energy system within two or three decades, a system which developed over two centuries and today relies on fossil fuels for 85% of its needs.
The IEA Roadmap
The IEA calls its report “the world’s first comprehensive study of how to transition to a net zero energy system by 2050 while ensuring stable and affordable energy supplies, providing universal energy access and enabling robust economic growth”. Its road-map, we are told, sets out “a cost effective and economically productive pathway” to a “resilient energy economy dominated by renewables like solar and wind instead of fossil fuels”. “Our roadmap”, the IEA states, “shows that the enormous challenge of transforming our energy systems is also a huge opportunity for our economies, with the potential to create millions of new jobs and boost economic growth.”
“But in taking up the mantle of green advocacy on behalf of its paymasters, the IEA faces the prospect of losing all credibility as an objective advisor on energy security for its OECD members.”
This best of all possible worlds promised by IEA will come about only if policy makers around the world do just what the roadmap requires. The 200+ page report can be summarized by three key milestones requisite to its ‘net zero by 2050’ vision: an immediate end to investments in all new oil and gas developments (coal, of course, is beyond the pale); a ban on all internal combustion engine vehicles by 2035; and a zero-emission power sector by 2040. These are “sensational” milestones, as one commentator put it somewhat mildly. For others, these recommended policy diktats are more in keeping with the agenda of the radical fringe of environmental activism.
Full story here.
via NOT A LOT OF PEOPLE KNOW THAT
June 23, 2021 at 06:12AM
Living as they do in the distant, sun-forsaken reaches of the solar system, Jupiter and Saturn, the gas giants, and Uranus and Neptune, the ice giants, were always expected to be frosty realms. But when NASA’s Voyager spacecraft sailed past them in the late 1970s and 1980s, scientists found that all four worlds were running planetary fevers — a revelation as jarring as finding a bonfire inside your freezer.
Follow-up observations by ground-based telescopes and the Galileo and Cassini spacecraft demonstrated that their planet-wide fevers have persisted through time. Their planetary pyrexias are acute: Jupiter’s lower latitudes, for example, should be a frigid −110 degrees Celsius. Instead, the atmosphere there cooks at 325 degrees. What incognito incinerator is behind this? And how is this unknown heat source warming not just a single spot on the planet, but the entire upper atmosphere?
Scientists have tried to explain this “energy crisis,” but have remained “confused for about 50 years,” said James O’Donoghue, a planetary astronomer at the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency. Now two papers have conclusively revealed where all that heat is coming from: Jupiter and Saturn’s northern and southern lights — their auroras.
The results come from detailed measurements of both gas giants’ upper atmospheres. Saturn’s atmospheric temperature was taken by the Cassini spacecraft during the maneuvers that ultimately plunged it into the planet; Jupiter’s was stitched together using a telescope atop a giant Hawaiian volcano. Both show that the atmospheres are hottest near the auroral zones below both magnetic poles. As you approach the equator, the temperature drops off. Clearly, the aurora is bringing the heat — and, as with a radiator, that heat decreases with distance.
This composite video shows Jupiter’s auroras as seen by the Hubble Space Telescope. The auroras were photographed in far-ultraviolet light and superimposed on images of the planet taken in visible light. NASA, ESA, J. Nichols (University of Leicester), and G. Bacon (STScI); Acknowledgment: A. Simon (NASA/GSFC) and the OPAL team
A solution to the energy crisis may have far-reaching ramifications. Planets — from those in our own solar system to those orbiting distant stars — don’t always keep their atmospheres. Many gassy envelopes are destroyed over time, in some cases turning giant worlds into tiny, uninhabitable husks. Researchers want to be able to distinguish these from habitable, Earth-like planets. If we hope to do so, said Zarah Brown, a researcher at the University of Arizona, “one of the major parameters that you would want to know is the temperature of the outer atmosphere, since that’s where gas is lost to space.”
via The Global Warming Policy Forum
June 23, 2021 at 04:23AM
NASA continues to work to resolve a problem with the Hubble Space Telescope payload computer that halted on June 13.
via Watts Up With That?
June 23, 2021 at 04:16AM