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Re: Global Climate Change Science News

#81  Postby HughMcB » Oct 19, 2010 4:28 pm

Carbon Dioxide Controls Earth's Temperature, New Modeling Study Shows

ScienceDaily (Oct. 15, 2010) — Water vapor and clouds are the major contributors to Earth's greenhouse effect, but a new atmosphere-ocean climate modeling study shows that the planet's temperature ultimately depends on the atmospheric level of carbon dioxide.

The study, conducted by Andrew Lacis and colleagues at NASA's Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS) in New York, examined the nature of Earth's greenhouse effect and clarified the role that greenhouse gases and clouds play in absorbing outgoing infrared radiation. Notably, the team identified non-condensing greenhouse gases -- such as carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide, ozone, and chlorofluorocarbons -- as providing the core support for the terrestrial greenhouse effect.

Without non-condensing greenhouse gases, water vapor and clouds would be unable to provide the feedback mechanisms that amplify the greenhouse effect. The study's results are published Oct. 15 in Science.

A companion study led by GISS co-author Gavin Schmidt that has been accepted for publication in the Journal of Geophysical Research shows that carbon dioxide accounts for about 20 percent of the greenhouse effect, water vapor and clouds together account for 75 percent, and minor gases and aerosols make up the remaining five percent. However, it is the 25 percent non-condensing greenhouse gas component, which includes carbon dioxide, that is the key factor in sustaining Earth's greenhouse effect. By this accounting, carbon dioxide is responsible for 80 percent of the radiative forcing that sustains the Earth's greenhouse effect.

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Image
Various atmospheric components differ in their contributions to the
greenhouse effect, some through feedbacks and some through forcings.
Without carbon dioxide and other non-condensing greenhouse gases,
water vapor and clouds would be unable to provide the feedback mechanisms
that amplify the greenhouse effect. (Credit: NASA GISS)
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Re: Global Climate Change Science News

#82  Postby HughMcB » Oct 19, 2010 4:32 pm

Don't Blame Dairy Cows for (Greenhouse) Gas Emissions, New Study Shows

ScienceDaily (Oct. 19, 2010) — Forget all the tacky jokes about cow flatulence causing climate change. A new study reports that the dairy industry is responsible for only about 2.0 percent of all US greenhouse gas emissions.

The study, led by the University of Arkansas in association with Michigan Technological University, measures the carbon footprint of a gallon of fluid milk from farm to table and uses 2007 and 2008 data from more than 500 dairy farms and 50 dairy processors, as well as data from more than 210,000 round trips transporting milk from farm to processing plant. It was commissioned by the Innovation Center for the US Dairy, an industry-wide group.

The University of Arkansas addressed carbon emissions from the dairy to the milk in your cereal bowl. The Michigan Tech group looked further upstream. "We focused on the carbon footprint of the feed crops," said chemical engineering professor David Shonnard, director of the Sustainable Futures Institute. "Animal feed is a major contributor to carbon emissions." Using US Department of Agriculture data, Shonnard's team, including PhD student Felix Adom and four undergraduates (Ashely Maes, Charles Workman, Zachary Bergmann and Lilian Talla), analyzed the impact of variables ranging from fertilizer and herbicides to harvesting and transportation. "We also looked at a Michigan feed mill, where grain gets combined with any of over a hundred different additives," he said.

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Image
A new study by the University of Arkansas and Michigan Tech shows
that the dairy industry -- including this Jersey cow -- is responsible
for only about 2 percent of all US greenhouse gas emissions.
(Credit: Photo by Stephen Kennedy, courtesy of the Innovation Center for the US Dairy)
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Re: Global Climate Change Science News

#84  Postby HughMcB » Oct 19, 2010 4:57 pm

Nature News wrote:IPCC signs up for reform
Panel agrees new guidelines and management restructure, with Pachauri still at the helm.

by Quirin Schiermeier
Published online 19 October 2010


It has been a hellish year for the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and its beleaguered chairman, economist Rajendra Pachauri.

In late 2009, as the world pored over e-mails taken from the University of East Anglia's Climatic Research Unit in Norwich, UK, the IPCC was rocked by revelations about mistakes in its most recent climate assessment report. A storm of criticism over Pachauri's handling of the affair followed, along with allegations of conflicts of interest that put him under intense pressure to quit.

At the end of the IPCC's plenary meeting last week in Busan, South Korea, however, Pachauri was still firmly in charge. No attempt was made to force him to step down, says Ottmar Edenhofer, chief economist at the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research in Germany and co-chair of the IPCC's working group on climate-change mitigation. But he is on notice, Edenhofer adds. "Governments made it very clear that they expect him to make changes," says Edenhofer — both to improve the IPCC's climate assessments and to foster greater public and political confidence in its work.

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Re: Global Climate Change Science News

#85  Postby HughMcB » Oct 21, 2010 4:39 pm

Sea Levels Rising Around South Atlantic's Falkland Islands, 19th-Century Benchmarks Reveal

ScienceDaily (Oct. 20, 2010) — “We have been fortunate in being able to compare modern sea-level measurements obtained from tide gauges and from satellite radar altimeters with historical measurements made at Port Louis in the Falkland Islands in 1842,” explained researcher Prof. Philip Woodworth of the National Oceanography Centre.

“We have been fortunate in being able to compare modern sea-level measurements obtained from tide gauges and from satellite radar altimeters with historical measurements made at Port Louis in the Falkland Islands in 1842,” explained researcher Prof. Philip Woodworth of the National Oceanography Centre.

In 1839, distinguished naval officer and polar explorer James Clark Ross (1800–1862) set off on an expedition to the Southern Ocean with two ships, HMS Erebus and HMS Terror. In April 1842, he stopped at Port Louis, primarily to make magnetic field and other measurements, but also to make repairs to his ships which had been badly damaged in the Drake Passage. Having set up a winter base, he took the opportunity to make careful measurements of sea level relative to two benchmarks cut into the cliffs and marked with brass plaques.

These marks remain in good condition to this day. This fact, along with the apparent good quality of Ross’s data, has allowed Woodworth’s team to compare the sea level records from 1842 with measurements taken at Port Louis using modern instruments in 1981–1982, 1984 and 2009. They also used information from nearby Port Stanley, where a permanent tide gauge was operated in the 1960s and 1970s and where NOC has had an operational gauge since 1992.

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Image
The 'Ross benchmark' used for sea level measurements at Port Louis.
(Credit: Image courtesy of National Oceanography Centre, Southampton)
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Re: Global Climate Change Science News

#86  Postby HughMcB » Oct 21, 2010 4:40 pm

Climate Change Tipping Points for Populations, Not Just Species: Survival, Reproduction of Thousands of Arctic and Alpine Plants Measured

ScienceDaily (Oct. 20, 2010) — As Earth's climate warms, species are expected to shift their geographical ranges away from the equator or to higher elevations.

While scientists have documented such shifts for many plants and animals, the ranges of others seem stable.

When species respond in different ways to the same amount of warming, it becomes more difficult for ecologists to predict future biological effects of climate change -- and to plan for these effects.

In a study published in the journal Nature, University of Wyoming ecologist Daniel Doak and Duke University ecologist William Morris report on a long-term study of arctic and alpine plants.

The results show why some species may be slow to shift their geographic ranges in the face of climate change, and why we might expect to see sudden shifts as warming continues.

"This study illustrates the critical need for long-term research to address our most pressing ecological challenges," says Saran Twombly, program director in the National Science Foundation (NSF)'s Division of Environmental Biology, which funded the research.

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Image
A single moss campion plant shows the influence
of climate change on entire populations.
(Credit: Tracy Feldman)
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Re: Global Climate Change Science News

#87  Postby Macdoc » Oct 21, 2010 11:39 pm

Arctic temperature rising at near record rates, sea ice melting faster: report

Randolph E. Schmid

Washington— The Associated Press

Published Thursday, Oct. 21, 2010 3:15PM EDT


The temperature is rising again in the Arctic, with the sea ice extent dropping to one of the lowest levels on record, climate scientists reported Thursday.

The new Arctic Report Card “tells a story of widespread, continued and even dramatic effects of a warming Arctic,” said Jackie Richter-Menge of the Cold Regions Research and Engineering Laboratory, a U.S. Army Corps of Engineers facility.

“This isn't just a climatological effect. It impacts the people that live there,” she added.

Atmospheric scientists concerned about global warming focus on the Arctic because that is a region where the effects are expected to be felt first, and that has been the case in recent years.


more
http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/tec ... 442/print/

Link to the NOAA publication
http://www.arctic.noaa.gov/reportcard/
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Re: Global Climate Change Science News

#88  Postby HughMcB » Oct 26, 2010 5:02 pm

Global Warming to Bring More Intense Storms to Northern Hemisphere in Winter and Southern Hemisphere Year Round

ScienceDaily (Oct. 25, 2010) — Weather systems in the Southern and Northern hemispheres will respond differently to global warming, according to an MIT atmospheric scientist's analysis that suggests the warming of the planet will affect the availability of energy to fuel extratropical storms, or large-scale weather systems that occur at Earth's middle latitudes. The resulting changes will depend on the hemisphere and season, the study found.

More intense storms will occur in the Southern Hemisphere throughout the year, whereas in the Northern Hemisphere, the change in storminess will depend on the season -- with more intense storms occurring in the winter and weaker storms in the summer. The responses are different because even though the atmosphere will get warmer and more humid due to global warming, not all of the increased energy of the atmosphere will be available to power extratropical storms. It turns out that the changes in available energy depend on the hemisphere and season, according to the study, published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

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Image
Stormy sea in the Southern hemisphere. More intense storms will occur in the
Southern Hemisphere throughout the year, whereas in the Northern Hemisphere,
the change in storminess will depend on the season -- with more intense storms
occurring in the winter and weaker storms in the summer.
(Credit: iStockphoto/Paul Pegler)
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Re: Global Climate Change Science News

#89  Postby HughMcB » Oct 26, 2010 5:03 pm

Changes in energy R&D needed to combat climate change

Laxenburg, Austria – 26th October 2010 -- A new assessment of future scenarios that limit the extent of global warming cautions that unless current imbalances in R&D portfolios for the development of new, efficient, and clean energy technologies are redressed, greenhouse gas (GHG) emission reduction targets are unlikely to be met, or met only at considerable costs.

The study identifies energy efficiency as the single most important option for achieving significant and long-term reductions in GHG emissions, accounting for up to 50 percent of the reduction potential across the wide range of scenarios analyzed. However, investment in energy efficiency R&D has typically been less than 10 percent of the overall public sector R&D budget in the countries of the International Energy Agency (IEA). Conversely, although nuclear energy accounts for less than 10 percent of the GHG emission reduction potentials across all scenarios, it has received some 50 percent of the total public investment in energy technology R&D.

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Re: Global Climate Change Science News

#90  Postby HughMcB » Oct 26, 2010 5:04 pm

Emissions from consumption outstrip efficiency savings
Posted on 26 October 2010

Emissions from consumption growth have exceeded carbon savings from efficiency improvements in the global supply chain of products consumed in the UK, according to new research by Stockholm Environment Institute (SEI) at the University of York and the University of Durham.

Carbon dioxide emissions from UK consumption grew by 217 Million tonnes(Mt) of carbon dioxide from increased spending between 1992 and 2004 while cuts from more efficient production only led to reductions of 148 Mt leaving a net growth of 69 Mt of carbon dioxide.

In previous research, Stockholm Environment Institute (SEI) and partners found that while territorial CO2 emissions in the UK decreased between 1992 and 2004, consumer CO2 emissions kept growing. Consumer emissions include CO2 released in the UK and the rest of the world for producing the goods and services demanded by UK consumers.

The report published today by DEFRA continues this research by analysing the determinants of CO2 emission growth from consumption distinguishing a series of technological factors such as CO2­ intensity, energy mix or production structure and socio-economic factors such as consumer spending, household or population size.

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Re: Global Climate Change Science News

#91  Postby HughMcB » Oct 26, 2010 5:06 pm

As Arctic Warms, Increased Shipping Likely to Accelerate Climate Change

ScienceDaily (Oct. 26, 2010) — As the ice-capped Arctic Ocean warms, ship traffic will increase at the top of the world. And if the sea ice continues to decline, a new route connecting international trading partners may emerge -- but not without significant repercussions to climate, according to a U.S. and Canadian research team that includes a University of Delaware scientist.

Growing Arctic ship traffic will bring with it air pollution that has the potential to accelerate climate change in the world's northern reaches. And it's more than a greenhouse gas problem -- engine exhaust particles could increase warming by some 17-78 percent, the researchers say.

James J. Corbett, professor of marine science and policy at UD, is a lead author of the first geospatial approach to evaluating the potential impacts of shipping on Arctic climate. The study, "Arctic Shipping Emissions Inventories and Future Scenarios," is published in Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics.

Corbett's coauthors include D. A. Lack, from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Earth System Research Laboratory in Boulder, Colo.; James J. Winebrake, of the Rochester Institute of Technology; Susie Harder of Transport Canada in Vancouver, British Columbia; Jordan A. Silberman of GIS Consulting in Unionville, Pa.; and Maya Gold of the Canadian Coast Guard in Ottawa, Ontario.

...

Among the research team's most significant findings:

  • Global warming potential in 2030 in the high-growth scenario suggests that short-lived forcing of ~4.5 gigatons of black carbon from Arctic shipping may increase the global warming potential due to ships' carbon dioxide emissions (~42,000 gigagrams) by some 17-78 percent.

...


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Re: Global Climate Change Science News

#92  Postby HughMcB » Oct 28, 2010 5:39 am

Tagged Narwhals Track Warming Near Greenland

ScienceDaily (Oct. 27, 2010) — In a research paper published online October 27 in the Journal of Geophysical Research Oceans, a publication of the American Geological Union (AGU), scientists reported the southern Baffin Bay off West Greenland has continued warming since wintertime ocean temperatures were last effectively measured there in the early 2000s.

Temperatures in the study were collected by narwhals, medium-sized toothed Arctic whales, during NOAA-sponsored missions in 2006 and 2007. The animals were tagged with sensors that recorded ocean depths and temperatures during feeding dives from the surface pack ice to the seafloor, going as deep as 1,773 meters, or more than a mile.

Scientists have had limited opportunities to measure ocean temperatures in Baffin Bay during winter months because of dense ice and harsh conditions. Cost is also a factor -- it requires millions of dollars to mount a conventional expedition using an ice-breaking vessel and other specialized equipment and people. As a result, for the past decade, researchers used climatology data consisting of long-term historical average observations rather than direct ocean temperature measurements for winter temperatures in the area.

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Image
Tagged narwhals migrated south into Baffin Bay
where they collected and transmitted temperatures
from the pack ice through the following spring.
(Credit: NOAA/University of Washington)
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Re: Global Climate Change Science News

#93  Postby HughMcB » Oct 28, 2010 5:40 am

Variable Summer Rainfall in U.S. Southeast Linked to Climate Change

ScienceDaily (Oct. 27, 2010) — A doubling of abnormally wet or dry summer weather in the southeastern United States in recent decades has come from an intensification of the summertime North Atlantic Subtropical High (NASH), or "Bermuda High."

And that intensification appears to be coming from global warming, according to a new analysis by a Duke University-led team of climate scientists.

The NASH is an area of high pressure that forms each summer near Bermuda, where its powerful surface center helps steer Atlantic hurricanes and plays a major role in shaping weather in the eastern United States, Western Europe and northwestern Africa.

By analyzing six decades of U.S. and European weather and climate data, the team found that the center of the NASH intensified by 0.9 geopotential meters a decade on average from 1948 to 2007. (Geopotential meters are used to measure how high above sea level a pressure system extends; the greater the height, the greater the intensity.)

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Re: Global Climate Change Science News

#94  Postby HughMcB » Nov 02, 2010 4:09 am

Narwhals transmit climate data from Arctic seas
Marine mammals armed with thermometers return temperature readings from icy Baffin Bay.

Lucas Laursen
Published online 28 October 2010 | Nature


The cold water beneath the winter pack ice in Baffin Bay is getting warmer, according to measurements taken by thermometer-wearing narwhals1. The data collected from the diving mammals fill in a geographical and seasonal gap in the region's climate records, as no winter temperatures were previously available from the area. The data also confirm that a warming trend measured during earlier summer-only studies of the West Greenland Current continued in the three years to 2007.

"We basically knew nothing about winters up in Baffin Bay," says physical oceanographer Mike Steele at the University of Washington in Seattle, who co-authored the study, which appeared last week in the Journal of Geophysical Research1. "But there is a lot of interest in the flow of seawater around Greenland."

The idea is not new: other polar research teams have placed oceanographic instruments on marine mammals, including elephant seals, which dive around 2,000 metres below the surface in the Southern Ocean, and bearded seals, which swim up fjords in Greenland2,3,4. But this is the first time that researchers have used narwhals (Monodon monoceros) for oceanography, and it is the first such study to target Baffin Bay, a data-scarce area of some 689,000 square kilometres.

Other Arctic researchers welcome the hard-to-get data as a way of improving climate predictions. "We need more observations to check and change and fine-tune our models so I think it's brilliant to get winter-time data," says oceanographer Lars Böhme at the University of St Andrews in Scotland, who was not involved in the study.

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Image
Narwhals have been recruited to help
collect climate data in Baffin Bay.D. B.
Fleetham/Photolibrary
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Re: Global Climate Change Science News

#95  Postby ginckgo » Nov 03, 2010 10:05 pm

The Geological Society of the UK has just release a position statement on climate change, focussing on the geological perspective: http://www.geolsoc.org.uk/gsl/views/pol ... matechange

Sounds much stronger than the Australian Geol. Soc. statement from earlier this year - wonder if they will have as much whingeing from a vocal few from the membership like we had.
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Re: Global Climate Change Science News

#96  Postby Macdoc » Dec 11, 2010 12:12 am

Another denier "faint hope" theory postulating a negative feedback for clouds bites the dust.....and reaffirms the models.....through observation..


Cloud 'Feedback' Affects Global Climate and Warming
enlarge

Changes in clouds will amplify the warming of the planet due to human activities, according to new research. (Credit: iStockphoto/Tamara Kulikova)

ScienceDaily (Dec. 10, 2010) — Changes in clouds will amplify the warming of the planet due to human activities, according to a breakthrough study by a Texas A&M University researcher.

Andrew Dessler, a professor in the Department of Atmospheric Sciences, says that warming due to increases in greenhouse gases will cause clouds to trap more heat, which will lead to additional warming. This process is known as the "cloud feedback" and is predicted to be responsible for a significant portion of the warming over the next century.

Dessler used measurements from the Clouds and the Earth's Radiant Energy System (CERES) instrument onboard NASA's Terra satellite to calculate the amount of energy trapped by clouds as the climate varied over the last decade. He also used meteorological analyses provided by NASA's Modern Era Retrospective-Analysis for Research and Applications (MERRA) and by the European Center for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts.

"It's a vicious cycle -- warmer temperatures mean clouds trap more heat, which in turn leads to even more warming," Dessler explains. His work is published in the Dec. 10 issue of Science magazine and is supported by a NASA research grant.
[HILITE]

While climate models had long predicted that the cloud feedback would amplify warming from human activities, until recently it was impossible to test the models using observations.

"This work suggests that climate models are doing a pretty decent job simulating how clouds respond to changing climates," Dessler says.
[/HILITE]


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Re: Global Climate Change Science News

#97  Postby Tyrannical » Dec 11, 2010 8:14 am

http://climatedepot.com/a/9035/SPECIAL-REPORT-More-Than-1000-International-Scientists-Dissent-Over-ManMade-Global-Warming-Claims--Challenge-UN-IPCC--Gore

SPECIAL REPORT: More Than 1000 International Scientists Dissent Over Man-Made Global Warming Claims - Challenge UN IPCC & Gore

Climate Depot Exclusive: 321-page 'Consensus Buster' Report set to further chill UN Climate Summit in Cancun


More than 1,000 dissenting scientists (updates previous 700 scientist report) from around the globe have now challenged man-made global warming claims made by the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and former Vice President Al Gore. This new 2010 321-page Climate Depot Special Report -- updated from the 2007 groundbreaking U.S. Senate Report of over 400 scientists who voiced skepticism about the so-called global warming “consensus” -- features the skeptical voices of over 1,000 international scientists, including many current and former UN IPCC scientists, who have now turned against the UN IPCC. This updated 2010 report includes a dramatic increase of over 300 additional (and growing) scientists and climate researchers since the last update in March 2009. This report's release coincides with the 2010 UN global warming summit in being held in Cancun.


Here's a link to the report.
http://traffic.libsyn.com/rbushway/2010_Senate_Minority_Report.pdf
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Re: Global Climate Change Science News

#98  Postby Weaver » Dec 11, 2010 8:26 am

That "report" is not news about GCC science. It is denialist propaganda.
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Re: Global Climate Change Science News

#99  Postby WayOfTheDodo » Dec 11, 2010 6:44 pm

Tyrannical wrote:SPECIAL REPORT: More Than 1000 International Scientists Dissent Over Man-Made Global Warming Claims - Challenge UN IPCC & Gore

They never seem to challenge the actual science, do they? Only straw men like Gore, and IPCC, which only gathers and presents existing research. Also, this is something from 2008. They are just banging their denialist drums to make it sound like news.

Climate Depot Exclusive: 321-page 'Consensus Buster' Report set to further chill UN Climate Summit in Cancun

The sheer dishonesty and idiocy of this "report" is quite amazing.

First they quote Tom Tripp, and claim that he is a member of the IPCC. The reality is:

"While Mr. Tom Tripp is technically an "IPCC author", he is not to be found in any of the contributor listings of the Work Groups WG I, WG II and WG III, whose reports are the core of the current IPCC Assessment Report AR4. Instead he is lead author of subsection 4.5 in Volume 3 (Industrial Processes and Product Use) of the 2006 IPCC Guidelines for National Greenhouse Gas Inventories. While these guidelines are used in compiling emission data for the IPCC they are not part of AR4, the report that is cited in the news as the IPCC report on climate change."

Then they quote Leonard Weinstein from the NASA Langley Research Center, which "focuses primarily on aeronautical research".

Then they quote physicist Robert Laughlin.

Then an engineer, Christopher Kobus.

Couldn't they find any actual climate scientists?

Apparently not.

Disgustingly dishonest douchebaggery, that's all there is to it.
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Re: Global Climate Change Science News

#100  Postby Macdoc » Dec 14, 2010 6:13 pm

Post coal??

baby steps.....but at least some move forward..


Salty solar plant stores sun's heat

* 14 December 2010 by Sonia Van Gilder Cooke
* Magazine issue 2790. Subscribe and save

The plentiful sunshine of southern Spain is being harvested to generate electricity day and night

DRIVING through the baking landscape of Almería, it is no mystery why this Spanish province is home to a novel type of power station that generates electricity by harnessing the heat of the sun.

For over 20 years, the Plataforma Solar de Almería, sited on an almost rainless plain in the south of the province, has been at the forefront of research into solar thermal power generation. Helped by Spain's sunny climate and generous government subsidies, this has led to the construction of 10 solar thermal plants across the country in the last three years alone. Some 50 more are planned.


Within the centre, parabolic dishes lie strewn about like huge discarded toys, but the site is dominated by a giant white tower. Thousands of mirrors, known as heliostats, surround it, catching sunlight and focusing it onto a receiver on top of the tower. This concentrated sunlight produces superheated steam that drives a turbine to generate electricity


http://www.newscientist.com/article/mg2 ... -heat.html

US could be off coal in 30 years if they were motivated.....combination of strategies - efficiency, public nukes, private solar and wind.
Most of the sun belt - which is getting dryer anyways could use solar steam

Even natural gas is better tho fracking is a horror unfolding...


Breaking Away From Coal
By CLIFFORD KRAUSS
Published: November 29, 2010

HOUSTON — Progress Energy Carolinas, one of the South’s larger utilities, faced a dilemma last winter.


http://www.nytimes.com/2010/11/30/busin ... wanted=all


The Facts About Getting America Off Coal.

by ManfromMiddletown
Mon Apr 12, 2010 at 04:12:47 PM PST

We all know the story by now. Flags across the country are at half mast, and in West Virginia 25 miners are dead. We depend on coal to keep the lights on, and as the chart below shows we got nearly half of our electricity from it in 2009.


http://www.dailykos.com/story/2010/4/12 ... a-Off-Coal.


MIT: Simply dispatching natural gas plants before coal would cut U.S. power-sector CO2 emissions 10%
Gas can be a bridge to low-carbon future if we put a price on CO2

July 13, 2010

The overbuilding of natural gas combined cycle plants starting in the mid-1990s presents a significant opportunity for near term reductions in CO2 emissions from the power sector. The current fleet of natural gas combined cycle (NGCC) units has an average capacity factor of 41 percent, relative to a design capacity factor of up to 85 percent. However, with no carbon constraints, coal generation is generally dispatched to meet demand before NGCC generation because of its lower fuel price.


http://climateprogress.org/2010/07/13/m ... atch-coal/
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