Month: August 2019

Week in review – science edition

by Judith Curry

A few things that caught my eye this past week.

Several papers of fundamental importance:

*Important new paper by Peter Minnett:  The response of the ocean thermal skin layer to variations in incident infrared radiation [link]

*A provocative paper with many implications:  Increased atmospheric vapor pressure deficit  [link]

*Does Surface Temperature Respond to or Determine Downwelling Longwave Radiation? [link]

*Reframing the carbon cycle of the subpolar Southern Ocean [link]  Synopsis [link]

Something new and interesting from Russian scientists. A new approach to local climate dynamics, integrating bifurcation analysis, control theory and climate theory. Start with Section 7 for an overview https://worldscientific.com/doi/pdf/10.1142/S0218127419300131

Climate change is altering winter precipitation across the Northern Hemisphere [link]

The influence of weather regimes on European renewable energy production and demand. [link]

Hemispheric Asymmetry of Tropical Expansion Under CO2 Forcing [link]

How predictable were this summer’s European temperature records? [link]

New paleo proxy: The dawning of the age of old aquifers [link]

Changes in atmosphere, not sea ice, behind bizarre winter weather [link]

For years, scientists have tried to pinpoint which volcano caused a spell of global cooling in the 6th century A.D. They’ve finally found the culprit. https://nationalgeographic.com/science/2019/08/colossal-volcano-behind-mystery-global-cooling-found/

Internal variability and regional climate trends in an observational large ensemble [link]

Good explainer from Zeke on RCP8.5 [link]

Antibiotics Are Flooding Earth’s Rivers.” [link]

new paper reports a 1500-year record of flooding from northwest Britain [link] Periods of frequent flooding lasting several decades are common

The North Pacific pacemaker effect on historical ENSO and its mechanisms [link]

A process study of thinning of Arctic winter cirrus clouds [link]

New Eocene pCO2 estimates from stomata https://pubs.geoscienceworld.org/gsa/geology/article/573071/Moderate-levels-of-Eocene-pCO2-indicated-by

Microplastics appear in considerable quantities in the #Arctic. https://advances.sciencemag.org/content/5/8/eaax1157

Stefan Rahstorf: The West Antarctic Ice Sheet is melting and has probably passed the tipping point to its complete demise, causing a long-term sea-level rise of 3 meters. But is that our fault? That has long been unclear, but now a new paper in NatGeo finds: yes, it is. [link]

Prediction of Northern Hemisphere Regional Surface Temperatures Using Stratospheric Ozone Information [link]

A century of reduced ENSO variability during the Medieval Climate Anomaly https://eartharxiv.org/yp49u/

Inducing Factors and Impacts of the October 2017 California Wildfires https://agupubs.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1029/2019EA000661

Understanding negative subtropical shallow cumulus cloud feedbacks [link]

Using a new ice core record, Shackleton et al (2019) found the ocean warming rate during the Younger Dryas interval was comparable to today’s warming rate, challenging an earlier finding that the oceans warmed about 3x as fast during that period. #AGUPubs https://doi.org/10.1029/2019GL082971
.

Policy and technology

V. insightful: Climate change uncertainty from ‘above’ and from ‘below’: perspective from India [link]

Elizabeth Warren’s Green Manufacturing Plan for America [link]

Good overview on the Amazon fire issues [link]

Another good article on the Amazon fires [link]

A Harvard  study found that increased wind power could mean more climate warming than would be caused by the use of fossil fuels to generate electricity. [link]

Experts Say Sea Level Rise May Kill the 30-year Mortgage in Florida https://miamibeachtimes.com/real-estate/experts-say-sea-level-rise-may-kill-the-30-year-mortgage-in-florida/

“The United States is the largest source of public funding for clean energy RD&D in absolute terms, investing about $6.8 billion, more than Japan, Germany, France, and the United Kingdom combined” [link] to report

Industry guidance touts untested technologies as climate fix [link]

‘Plastic recycling is a myth’: what really happens to your rubbish? [link]

Why climate change is an existential threat to the Middle East [link]

World Bank: tradeoffs among climate policy instruments [link]

Costs for the U.S. to transition to 100% renewable energy [link]

Longterm macroeconomic effects of climate change [link]

Big wind’s big headwinds (challenges to wind energy) [link]

Recycling is in crisis.  Could these innovations be the answer? [link]

How China is feeding its population.  Major innovations [link]

About science and scientists

Must read:  Upgrade your cargo cult for the win [link]

This is very interesting about Will Happer and Princeton scientists, and sociology of climate science: Princeton climate scientists tried to ignore a campus skeptic.  Then he went to Washington [link]

V. interesting essay by Andrea Saltelli:  A short comment on statistical vs mathematical modelling [link]

Sabine Hossenfelder: About peer review and its discontents [link]

Roy Spencer: How the Media Help to Destroy Rational Climate Debate – http://drroyspencer.com/2019/08/how-the-media-help-to-destroy-rational-climate-debate/

The twisted way educators are seeking diversity in education [link]

Is science political? The political history of science [link]

Yet another Professor has been fired for tweets, supporting Antifa [link]

“Academics respond to incentives like the rest of us. The moment they start to self-censor out of fear of social and professional ostracism, they cease to do their job properly.” https://blogs.lse.ac.uk/highereducation/2019/08/23/what-ive-learnt-about-controversy/

The shaping of science by ideology [link]

The Bigotry of Environmental Pessimism. https://quillette.com/2019/08/15/the-bigotry-of-environmental-pessimism/

The Anthropocene is an idea that needs to go away [link]

via Climate Etc.

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August 31, 2019 at 12:48PM

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Will You Help Save Renewable Startup Carnegie Energy?

Guest essay by Eric Worrall

ABC reporter Rebecca Turner claims Carnegie have not published the results of their wave energy experiment.

Carnegie Clean Energy undertakes capital raising in a last-ditch bid to avoid liquidation

By Rebecca Turner
Updated Thu at 3:42pm

As it makes what could be a final roll of the dice for its survival, collapsed wave energy hopeful Carnegie Clean Energy is still not disclosing the performance of its most valuable asset — its CETO wave technology.

Key points:

  • Carnegie is facing liquidation unless it raises $5.5 million in capital by next week
  • The firm’s CEO cannot say how much energy its CETO 5 technology produces
  • One analyst says investors “would have to be a bit of a masochist” to reinvest

Carnegie is in the process of trying to raise up to $11.5 million in capital to pay creditors, including board member and former AFL commissioner Mike Fitzpatrick.

If it does not raise the minimum amount of $5.5 million by next Wednesday, the former renewable energy darling is facing the likely outcome of liquidation.

Its thousands of shareholders, predominantly small investors, are being encouraged to invest in the capital raising, which offers them four shares at a price of $0.001 for each share they hold.

Carnegie has been developing its prized CETO wave energy technology for more than 15 years and has attracted tens of millions of taxpayer dollars from both federal and state governments to commercialise the technology.

Read more: https://www.abc.net.au/news/2019-08-29/carnegie-clean-energy-capital-raising-to-avoid-liquidation/11460640

Cynics amongst you might be tempted to believe the reason the Carnegie CEO was so sketchy about the results of their CETO wave energy trial is because their technology doesn’t work.

But this surely cannot be the case; After all, Carnegie received millions of dollars of government funding, and we all know how rigorous public sector oversight of taxpayer’s money is, especially when it comes to funding renewable energy projects.

via Watts Up With That?

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August 31, 2019 at 12:32PM

Report Blames Wind Turbines For Bird Slaughter

A report from the Global Warming Policy Foundation (GWPF) says wind turbines are “doing great harm to wildlife” as European countries try to cut emissions to comply with 2030 environment targets.  

The GWPF, which says it is neutral on this issue of renewable energy, argued that “many environmental problems come with every form of energy generation”. 

For the new target of achieving 65 per cent of the German electricity needs from renewables by 2030, the country needs five new 3-megawatt plants, the Association of German Chambers of Commerce and Industry (DIHK) said. “And even that will only be enough if power consumption does not increase,” said Achim Dercks, the DIHK’s deputy general manager.

An earlier report, Green Killing Machines, specifically targeted wind turbines with most research revolving around Germany. 

Oliver Krüger from the University of Bielefeld said birds of prey and ducks were being killed “in their thousands” by turbines. 

The GWPF said, “the risk to these species is so great that there is a possibility of whole populations being wiped out”. 

Peter Henderson of Pisces Conservation in the UK told the NGO that “about 200,000 bats are annually killed at onshore wind turbines in Germany alone. These numbers are sufficient to produce concern for future populations, as bats are long-lived and reproduce slowly, so cannot quickly replace such losses”.

Some wind farms have been placed on bird migration routes in southern Spain and California. 

Now placement has improved and some turbines are shut down during nesting periods. 

Germany, with 29,000 wind turbines, is the focus of most of the NGO’s attention. 

Krüger, who worked on the Progress study of the impact of land-based turbines on birds in northern Germany, said: “After walking nearly 7,700km we found 291 collision victims … this is almost certainly just a fraction of the true death toll and so we have to extrapolate.”

Krüger said for areas with small or falling populations “the most likely scenario is that wind turbines will have a population-relevant effect on the buzzard and the red kite”.

The GWPF said turbines within German forests “can become the only hunting grounds in the open country that are accessible – and thus preferred – to red kites”. The German Wildlife Foundation has called for a ban on new wind turbines in forests until further studies can be conducted.

Full story

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The post Report Blames Wind Turbines For Bird Slaughter appeared first on The Global Warming Policy Forum (GWPF).

via The Global Warming Policy Forum (GWPF)

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August 31, 2019 at 12:26PM

The Death of a Climate Icon: the video

Two years old today, this polar bear video is more relevant than ever:

“The polar bear as an icon for climate change is dead because the distorted predictions made by polar bear specialists were wrong.”

via polarbearscience

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August 31, 2019 at 11:26AM