Weekly Climate and Energy News Roundup #413

Quote of the Week: “I can live with doubt and uncertainty and not knowing. I think it is much more interesting to live not knowing than to have answers that might be wrong. If we will only allow that, as we progress, we remain unsure, we will leave opportunities for alternatives. We will not become enthusiastic for the fact, the knowledge, the absolute truth of the day, but remain always uncertain … In order to make progress, one must leave the door to the unknown ajar.” – Richard Feynman

Number of the Week: 11,000 & 1,600


By Ken Haapala, President, Science and Environmental Policy Project (SEPP)

Dynamics in the Tropics: In 2017, Judith Curry retired from her tenured position as a professor at the School of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences at the Georgia Institute of Technology, where she had been Chair of the department, to focus on her private firm, Climate Forecasts Applications, citing the “craziness” of the field of climate science and the great politization of research funding. She has long recognized that there are major problems in the field, particularly in the dynamics of the atmosphere and the oceans in the tropics. As a climate modeler, she has first-hand knowledge of these problems, yet to be solved.

A former colleague at Georgia Tech, Peter Webster, has written what appears to be a significant book, Dynamics of The Tropical Atmosphere and Oceans. TWTW has not reviewed the book and the following is from what Curry has posted on her blog, Climate Etc. Of particular interest is that in 1967 as a young graduate student Webster took a course from Jule Charney, who headed the team that wrote the highly regarded 1979 Charney Report for the National Research Council. That report stated that the global warming from a doubling of carbon dioxide (CO2) is likely to be near 3°C ± 1.5°C.

The estimate was a significant increase from what laboratory experiments of the greenhouse effect of CO2 reported. The difference was a major increase in water vapor, the primary greenhouse gas, over the tropics. The Charney Report estimate, which was presented without any comprehensive atmospheric data supporting the conclusion, has been retained by the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and its followers, including the US Global Change Research Program (USGCRP).

Both the IPCC and the USGCRP ignore the fact we have 40 years of comprehensive atmospheric temperature trends that contradict the 3°C ± 1.5°C estimate and indicate that 1.5°C is the more likely estimate and the global warming may be far less. Charney died in 1981, before the method of estimating atmospheric temperature trends from satellite measurements was developed.

A brilliant mathematician, Charney had been very influential in the development of numerical weather prediction and worked with J. von Neumann in using electronic computers to make forecasts by using dynamic equations of motion. These forecasts were based on an expanded network of daily radiosonde readings of the atmosphere using weather balloons. [The weather balloon data support the satellite temperature trend data as demonstrated by the Earth System Science Center at the University of Alabama in Huntsville (UAH).]

One can argue that by ignoring the satellite data, the IPCC, the USGCRP, and others have divorced themselves from the very foundation of the Charney Report and its estimates. With this background, Curry’s review of Webster’s book is of keen interest. Many of Curry’s comments are too involved for TWTW, but the gist of some key comments is presented below.

The blurb on Amazon.com states:

“Dynamics of The Tropical Atmosphere and Oceans” provides a detailed description of macroscale tropical circulation systems such as the monsoon, the Hadley and Walker Circulations, El Niño, and the tropical ocean warm pool. These macroscale circulations interact with a myriad of higher frequency systems, ranging from convective cloud systems to migrating equatorial waves that attend the low-frequency background flow.

“A comprehensive overview of the dynamics and thermodynamics of large-scale tropical atmosphere and oceans is presented using both a ‘reductionist’ and ‘holistic’ perspectives of the coupled tropical system. The reductionist perspective provides a detailed description of the individual elements of the ocean and atmospheric circulations. The physical nature of each component of the tropical circulation such as the Hadley and Walker circulations, the monsoon, the incursion of extratropical phenomena into the tropics, precipitation distributions, equatorial waves and disturbances described in detail. The holistic perspective provides a physical description of how the collection of the individual components produces the observed tropical weather and climate. How the collective tropical processes determine the tropical circulation and their role in global weather and climate is provided in a series of overlapping theoretical and modelling constructs.

“Following a detailed description of tropical phenomenology, the reader is introduced to dynamical and thermodynamical constraints that guide the planetary climate and establish a critical role for the tropics. Equatorial wave theory is developed for simple and complex background flows, including the critical role played by moist processes. The manner in which the tropics and the extratropics interact is then described, followed by a discussion of the physics behind the subtropical and near-equatorial precipitation including arid regions. The El Niño phenomena and the monsoon circulations are discussed, including their covariance and predictability. Finally, the changing structure of the tropics is discussed in terms of the extent of the tropical ocean warm pool and its relationship to the intensity of global convection and climate change.”

The table of contents is extensive and should be reviewed.

Curry states:

“Here is what stands out for me in the book.

“First, the book is ‘old school’ in the sense of integrating observations and theory.  This approach is surprisingly rare these days in climate dynamics, with its heavy reliance on global climate model simulations.  The book has a very strong foundation in fluid dynamics and wave dynamics.  At the same time, the mathematical developments are sufficiently clear to be followed by students, with additional details in the appendices.

“Second, the book presents an underlying philosophy for approaching the understanding of tropical dynamics, integrating reductionist and holistic approaches.

“Third, the book provides historical context for the development of our understanding.  Interesting historical snippets are provided, including biographical notes of key historical scientists.

“Fourth, the above three elements integrate to provide insights into the process of the science of climate dynamics, not merely a recitation of our current understanding

“Fifth, there are over 300 diagrams/figures in the book, including many originally drawn schematics that are very effective at providing insights and supporting understanding…”

As presented by Curry, in the conclusion of the book Webster writes that, in 1967, when Webster was a graduate student, Charney believed that virtually all the problems of numerical weather predictions had been solved, but a few islands of resistance held out. They were:

  • “What is the relationship between the turbulent boundary layer and synoptic scale variability?
  • How can steep gradients associated with fronts and topographic features be handled in models?
  • Do models correctly handle the cascade of energy between scales of motion?
  • How are convective processes and large-scale tropical circulations related?
  • What determines the structure, variability, and location of such preeminent tropical features as the ITCZ [Intertropical Convergence Zone] organized and maintained?”

As a new student, Webster found Charney’s view that virtually all the problems of numerical weather prediction have been solved was depressing. Now he writes:

“Now, over 45 years later, many new questions regarding the tropical system have arisen. It is interesting, though, to determine what progress has been made in solving Charney’s list of problems and how we have approached their solution.”

There are two major approaches to model the issues. One approach is reductionism: breaking things down into components, trying to solve the components, and then trying to reassemble the components. However, when making predictions, “we find that the reductionist approach does not help in the prediction of emergent (or unforeseen) phenomena.”

The second approach is called Holism. “Holism claims that complex systems are inherently irreducible and are more than the sum of their parts, owing to chaos and nonlinearities. Emergent behavior may arise from complex systems that cannot be deduced from consideration of the components of the system alone. Holism leads to ‘systems thinking’ and possesses derivatives such as chaos and complexity.”

Webster gives specific examples of concepts such as the Hadley Circulation and Rossby waves that cannot be predicted. He goes on to discuss that there are three levels of complexity, the simpler the complexity of a system the more likely a predictive skill may be developed. Webster describes that a simple system possesses two components, a complex system may have three or more components, and a tangled system may have multiple interacting systems.

Webster concludes his book with:

“So, what can we say about the problems Charney laid out in 1967? There has been substantial progress in the first two problems. In 1967, the grid point resolution of the earliest numerical weather models was hundreds of kilometers. Now it is closer to 10 km and will possess greater resolutions and become cloud resolving in the near future. The number of vertical levels has increased as well from only a few to over 50 in some operational models. Topographic relief is incorporated directly through use of the sigma-coordinate system. However, Charney’s third and fourth problems remain “islands of resistance” to this day. Simply, we still are uncertain about how equatorial dynamics and convection interact and the degree of their mutual dependency. With respect to the ITCZ, Section 13.1 offered six theories regarding the location of equatorial convection. Although some are stronger than others, their number is an indication that closure on the issue has not yet been reached. In addition, we have unearthed many new mysteries. One is the discovery of enclaves of disturbances existing within tropics made up of families of convection ranging from diurnal through synoptic and biweekly to intraseasonal.

“In retrospect, Charney’s tropical problems were not solved by the end of the semester, nor by the end of the decade, and not even in the present time. In fact, investigations of these problems have spawned many new exciting problems. It seems that I was needlessly depressed in 1967 about the future opportunities in tropical meteorology.”

For purposes of TWTW, this book is important in recognizing the complexity of the problem, which we do not understand and for which we do not have solutions at this time. Those who claim that the science is settled, or that it is simple physics do not know of what they speak. Those who make long-term predictions lack knowledge of the subject. In regard to greenhouse gases, the best we can do is to continue monitoring the atmosphere to ensure that it is not warming dangerously. See links under Seeking A Common Ground.


Shock Value: Last week’s TWTW presented a thoughtful discussion by Jim Steele on so-called ocean acidification. TWTW failed to mention an important quotation.

“Although Dr. Ken Caldeira purposefully promoted the term ‘ocean acidification’ to generate public concern about possible effects from increasing CO2, the term ‘ocean acidification’ has evoked undue fears and misunderstandings. As New Yorker journalist Elizabeth Kolbert reported, ‘Caldeira told me that he had chosen the term ‘ocean acidification’ quite deliberately, for its shock value. Seawater is naturally alkaline, with a pH ranging from 7.8 to 8.5—a pH of 7 is neutral—which means that, for now, at least, the oceans are still a long way from actually turning acidic.’”

Caldeira is an atmospheric scientist with the Department of Global Ecology of the Carnegie Institution for Science in Stanford, CA. Apparently, choosing words for shock value is one of his important scientific discoveries. See links under Challenging the Orthodoxy.


Hypothetical Electrons? The News Release claimed:

“The United States can deliver 90 percent clean, carbon-free electricity nationwide by 2035, dependably, at no extra cost to consumer bills and without the need for new fossil fuel plants, according to a study released today from the Center for Environmental Public Policy at the University of California, Berkeley.”

The claim is based on a report by the Goldmann School of Public Policy at Berkeley titled “2035 Report: Plummeting Solar, Wind, and Battery Costs Can Accelerate Our Clean Energy Future.” There were many similar claims in the UK when the Climate Change Act 2008 was passed and when appropriate policies were put into effect. Today, costs in the UK are increasing greatly, and electricity is becoming less reliable.

Writing for the UK Global Warming Policy Foundation (GWPF), John Constable has a collection of essays on the fragility of the power grid and that it may take £2-3 Billion a year to prevent blackouts. This follows other reports on grid-scale storage, costs of offshore power, and similar reports by distinguished authors for the GWPF. All too frequently energy modelers bury their assumptions which should be clearly stated and evaluated. [The US energy models claiming the country would run out of oil and natural gas in the 20th century are examples.]

Rather than point by point analysis of assumptions sometimes it is far easier to take the position of former president Harry Truman from the “Show Me” state of Missouri. Give examples where a modern country operates without fossil fuels. They do not exist; even for electricity alone, they do not exist without nuclear. The problem with wind and solar is storage, a problem which is greatly underestimated. The only reliable storage on a commercial scale is pumped hydro storage, which Denmark relies on (thanks to Norway and Sweden), at significant cost to Denmark.

Called the largest battery in the world, the pumped hydro storage station in Bath, Virginia, is the world’s largest such facility. It was opened in 1985 and has maximum generation capacity of 3,003 Megawatts (MW), and a total storage capacity of 24,000 Megawatt hours (MWh). The elevation difference between the two reservoirs is about 1,260 feet (380 m) and the cost was about $4 billion in 2019 dollars. It can operate at maximum capacity for three hours, then due to dropping water level in the upper reservoir, the generation declines on a sliding scale to zero in 11 hours. During the last 8 hours after peak capacity, the average capacity is 1,864 MWh

Designed for peak shaving, when demand is the greatest, such as in August, it works well in balancing the load for the grid operator, JPM Interconnection, which covers parts of 13 states.

However, the key is refill, which comes from reliable nuclear and coal-fired plants. During weeks in August, the daily refill is not sufficient to top the upper reservoir, and refill continues during the weekends. Bermuda highs off the coast of the Mid-Atlantic states can last for days to weeks in August, rendering refill by wind power impossible.

Given current environmental regulations, it is doubtful such a facility would be approved in the US today.

Several efforts have been made to generate electricity without fossil fuels on isolated islands. They have failed. Claiming to provide all energy, El Hierro in the Canary Islands tried wind power and pumped hydro storage. A careful engineering analysis by the late Roger Andrews showed that over three years it failed to generate sufficient electricity, alone, about 50% of the time and diesel was required. King Island off Tasmania tried wind and solar power with batteries, dynamic resisters, flywheel, and reduced demand. It fails about 35% of the time and diesel is required.

Very simply, there is a big difference between modelers designing a hypothetical electrical system and engineers designing a real one. See links under Defending the Orthodoxy, Questioning European Green, and Alternative, Green (“Clean”) Energy – Storage.


Imagining Snowstorms? The National Science Foundation claimed: “Climate change could dramatically reduce US snowstorms.” According to the announcement:

“The researchers tracked snowstorms for 12 seasons in the early part of this century, establishing a control sample that was representative of actual observations. They then tracked snowstorms to see how those winter events would change in a climate that was warmer by about 5 degrees Celsius (9 degrees Fahrenheit). That temperature increase is predicted for the late 21st century by averaging 19 leading climate models in an upper-limit greenhouse gas emissions scenario.

“The study is believed to be the first to objectively identify and track individual snowstorm projections of the distant future — from minor snow accumulations to average winter storms to crippling blizzards.” [Boldface added]

In CO2 Science, the staff reported on a 2019 study by Connelly, et al. “Northern Hemisphere snow-cover trends (1967-2018): A comparison between climate models and observations” published in the journal Geosciences. The report stated:

“In concluding their paper, the researchers state the obvious, offering ‘we recommend that the climate model projections of future and past snow-cover trends should be treated with considerable caution and skepticism,’ adding that ‘it is important that [policy makers] planning for future changes in snow cover do not rely on unreliable projections.’ And that is good advice to end a very important and revealing study.”

Given that climate models greatly overestimate atmospheric warming over the past 25 years and have huge problems as partially described above, TWTW has difficulty accepting the NSF claim. See links under Defending the Orthodoxy and Review of Recent Scientific Articles by CO2 Science




Since 2012, SEPP conducted an annual vote for the recipient of the coveted trophy, The Jackson, a lump of coal. Readers are asked to nominate and vote for who they think is most deserving, following these criteria:

  • The nominee has advanced, or proposes to advance, significant expansion of governmental power, regulation, or control over the public or significant sections of the general economy.
  • The nominee does so by declaring such measures are necessary to protect public health, welfare, or the environment.
  • The nominee declares that physical science supports such measures.
  • The physical science supporting the measures is flimsy at best, and possibly non-existent.

The eight past recipients, Lisa Jackson (12), Barrack Obama (13), John Kerry (14), Ernest Moniz (15), Michael Mann (16), Christiana Figueres (17), Jerry Brown (18), and AOC (19) are not eligible. Generally, the committee that makes the selection prefers a candidate with a national or international presence. The voting will close on June 30. Please send your nominee and a brief reason why the person is qualified for the honor to Ken@SEPP.org. Thank you.


Number of the Week: 11,000 & 1,600. According to Wikipedia, the population of El Hierro is 10,968 (2019) and the population of King Island 1,585 (2016). Energy modelers claim we can provide 90% of electricity to the 328 million (2019) in the US using wind and solar plus storage techniques that fail in areas with 0.003% of the population 50% of the time?


Science: Is the Sun Rising?

New ‘sun clock’ quantifies extreme space weather switch on/off

News Release, University of Warwick, June 10, 2020 [H/t GWPF]


Link to paper: Quantifying the Solar Cycle Modulation of Extreme Space Weather

By Chapman, McIntosh, Leamon & Watkins, Geophysical Research Letters, May 30, 2020


Commentary: Is the Sun Rising?

New research deepens understanding of Earth’s interaction with the solar wind

By Staff Writers, Plainsboro NJ (SPX), Jun 03, 2020


Link to paper: Kinetic simulations of piston-driven collisionless shock formation in magnetized laboratory plasmas

By D.B. Schaeffer, et al, Physics of Plasmas, April 7, 2020



Global Warming: Facebook Thinks Its Opinion Is Better Than Yours

By Pat Michaels, CO2 Coalition, June 2020


Leaked Emails Call for Censorship of Michael Moore’s New Film

By Charles Rotter, WUWT, June 9, 2020

Challenging the Orthodoxy — NIPCC

Climate Change Reconsidered II: Physical Science

Idso, Carter, and Singer, Lead Authors/Editors, Nongovernmental International Panel on Climate Change (NIPCC), 2013


Summary: https://www.heartland.org/_template-assets/documents/CCR/CCR-II/Summary-for-Policymakers.pdf

Climate Change Reconsidered II: Biological Impacts

Idso, Idso, Carter, and Singer, Lead Authors/Editors, Nongovernmental International Panel on Climate Change (NIPCC), 2014

Summary: https://www.heartland.org/media-library/pdfs/CCR-IIb/Summary-for-Policymakers.pdf

Climate Change Reconsidered II: Fossil Fuels

By Multiple Authors, Bezdek, Idso, Legates, and Singer eds., Nongovernmental International Panel on Climate Change, April 2019

Download with no charge:


Why Scientists Disagree About Global Warming

The NIPCC Report on the Scientific Consensus

By Craig D. Idso, Robert M. Carter, and S. Fred Singer, Nongovernmental International Panel on Climate Change (NIPCC), Nov 23, 2015

Download with no charge:


Nature, Not Human Activity, Rules the Climate

S. Fred Singer, Editor, NIPCC, 2008


Global Sea-Level Rise: An Evaluation of the Data

By Craig D. Idso, David Legates, and S. Fred Singer, Heartland Policy Brief, May 20, 2019


Challenging the Orthodoxy

Ocean Health – Is there an “Acidification” problem?

By Jim Steele, et al. CO2 Coalition, June 2020


20 Years On, Jurassic Park Author Michael Crichton is Still Right about Global Warming

By Eric Worrall, WUWT, June 8, 2020

[SEPP Comment: He understood the difference between science and science fiction.]

Time to give up the fantasy

By John Robson, Climate Discussion Nexus, June 10, 2020

[SEPP Comment: Climate modeling games – aerosols v. CO2]

Defending the Orthodoxy

U.S. can reach 90% clean energy by 2035 without higher costs, report says

News Release, University of California – Berkeley, June 11, 2020 [H/t Bernie Kepshire]


Link to report: 2035 Report: Plummeting Solar, Wind, and Battery Costs Can Accelerate Our Clean Energy Future

By Amol Phadke, et al, Goldman School of Public Policy, June 2020


Climate change could dramatically reduce US snowstorms

By Staff, NSF, June 10, 2020


Link to paper: Reduced frequency and size of late-twenty-first-century snowstorms over North America

By Walker Ashley, et al, Nature Climate Change, May 25, 2020


From NSF Award Abstract: Awarded Amount to Date: $321,074.00


Ocean geoengineering tests violate UN convention: green groups

By Patrick Galey, Paris (AFP), June 8, 2020


Questioning the Orthodoxy

Cooling In Eurasia, North America, Africa, Australia, South America, Greenland, Antarctica Undercuts ‘Global’ Warming

By Kenneth Richard, No Tricks Zone, June 11, 2020

What pandemic?

By John Robson, Climate Discussion Nexus, June 10, 2020

“But if it were not, it might be due to the fact that, as Indur Goklany put it, based on a new report on the subject, ‘Death and disease from climate-sensitive diseases and events are small relative to those from all causes, and getting smaller’.”

Social Benefits of Carbon Dioxide

Trees wither into saplings

By John Robson, Climate Discussion Nexus, June 10, 2020

Problems in the Orthodoxy

‘Final blow’ to aviation climate plan as EU agrees to weaken rules

By Chloé Farand, Climate Home News, June 9, 2020 [H/t WUWT]

“EU member states will back an industry proposal to reduce airlines’ climate obligations in response to the coronavirus pandemic, at the UN aviation forum”

Seeking a Common Ground

Dynamics of the Tropical Atmosphere and Oceans

By Judith Curry, Climate Etc. June 9, 2020

Jule Gregory Charney

By Norman Phillips, Biographical Memories, National Academies Press, Accessed June 13, 2020


Two ends to Climate Change debate; Experts vary on impact on rain, cyclones

By Jyoti Mukul, Business Standard, India, June 7, 2020 [H/t GWPF]


Science, Policy, and Evidence

Large Scale Contact Tracing Poses Greater Dangers Than the Virus

By Larry Bell, Newmax, June 8, 2020


Excess Deaths Associated with COVID-19

Provisional Death Counts for Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19)

By Staff, CDC, Updated June 3, 2020 [H/t Gordon Fulks]


Hydroxychloroquine Farce Has Tragic Consequences

By Lionel Laurent, Bloomberg, June 8, 2020 [By Bernie Kepshire]


NOW you tell us: WHO finds ‘asymptomatic’ carriers not spreading coronavirus

Assumption central to economy-killing policy of social distancing

By Staff, WND, June 8, 2020 [H/t Bernie Kepshire]

Review of Recent Scientific Articles by CO2 Science

Gross Primary Productivity Trends in China (1982-2015)

Yao, Y., Wang, X., Li, Y., Wang, T., Shen, M., Du, M., He, H., Li, Y., Luo, W., Ma, M., Ma, Y., Tang, Y., Wang, H., Zhang, X., Zhang, Y., Zhao, L., Zhou, G. and Piao, S. 2018. Spatiotemporal pattern of gross primary productivity and its covariation with climate in China over the last thirty years. Global Change Biology 24: 184-196. June 12, 2020


“So, based on the results of the study presented above, not only is the vegetation across China in the midst of a long period of great productivity gains, those gains are primarily linked to the very factor climate alarmists contend should be causing vegetative dieback, i.e., rising temperature. Climate alarmists couldn’t be more wrong!”

Combined Effects of Elevated CO2 and Temperature on Eastern Cottonwood

Yadav, S.K., Singh, H., Nautiyal, R., Ginwal, H.S., Ansari, S.A. and Barthwal, S. 2020. Modulation of morpho-physiological responses in Populus deltoides by elevated carbon dioxide and temperature. Forest Science 66: 105-118. June 10, 2020


“Commenting on these important findings, Yadav et al. write ‘our results emphatically demonstrate that P. deltoides G48 possesses genomic plasticity to adapt to the future projected increases in atmospheric CO2 concentration (800 ppm) and temperature (approximately 2.6-4.8 °C) by the end of the 21st century,’ which adaptation is ‘expected to improve stomatal density and size, chloroplast development, organization of photosynthetic apparatus, and efficient partitioning of photosynthates among different vital organs.’”

Observed vs Predicted Trends in Northern Hemisphere Snow Cover

Connolly, R., Connolly, M., Soon, W., Legates, D.R., Cionco, R.G. and Herrera, V.M.V. 2019. Northern Hemisphere snow-cover trends (1967-2018): A comparison between climate models and observations. Geosciences 9: 135, doi:10.3390/geosciences9030135.


Models v. Observations

Antarctic sea-ice models improve for the next IPCC report

News Release, University of Washington, June 20, 2020 [H/t Bernie Kepshire]


Link to paper: Antarctic Sea Ice Area in CMIP6

By Lettie A. Roach, Geophysical Research Letters, Apr 17, 2020


From the abstract:” Over 1979–2018, many models simulate strong negative trends in SIA concurrently with stronger‐than‐observed trends in global mean surface temperature (GMST). By the end of the 21st century, models project clear differences in sea ice between forcing scenarios.”

Model Issues

Has the British scientific establishment made its biggest error in history?

A strange obsession with mathematical modelling has compromised the country’s covid response

By Matt Ridley, Rational Optimist, June 6, 2020


Sensitivity a la carte

By John Robson, Climate Discussion Nexus, June 10, 2020

Link to video on ECS: https://climatediscussionnexus.com/video/

“Which translates as: The predictions aren’t right or wrong, you just choose which one you want. Which is useful to keep in mind the next time you are told that climate models predict some disaster or other down the road if we don’t do as we’re told and stop driving or having jobs.”

Research study improves solar radiation forecasting models by 30%

By Staff, Carlos III University of Madrid, June 9, 2020 [H/t Bernie Kepshire]


Link to papers: A short-term solar radiation forecasting system for the Iberian Peninsula. Part 1: Models description and performance assessment

By Francisco J. Rodríguez-Beníteza, et al. Solar Energy, Jan 1, 2020


and A short-term solar radiation forecasting system for the Iberian Peninsula. Part 2: Model blending approaches based on machine learning

By Javier Huertas-Tatoa, et al. Solar Energy, Jan 1, 2020


[SEPP Comment: These models may reduce the error of 6-hour forecasts in “sunny” Spain and Portugal by 25 to 30%. Will they work in cloudy England?”

Measurement Issues — Surface

DWD Reverses: Admits Data From Germany’s Infamous Ultra-Hot Lingen Weather Station Need To Be Rechecked

By P Gosselin, No Tricks Zone, June 10, 2020

Measurement Issues — Atmosphere

DLR’s Christiane Voigt reports on the research flights of the BLUESKY mission

By Falk Dambowsky, Oberpfaffenhofen, Germany (SPX), Jun 05, 2020


“In terms of air traffic, the number of flights over Europe decreased by almost 90 percent in April 2020 when compared to the previous year. We are looking to measure the resulting changes to the concentrations of aerosols and nitrogen oxides at cruising heights over Germany and the North Atlantic flight corridor, so we are planning our routes accordingly.”

Changing Weather

Something odd about the weather

By John Robson, Climate Discussion Nexus, June 10, 2020

“It’s ‘normal’. Strange!”

Second Coolest Start To The Year In The US

By Tony Heller, His Blog, June 7, 2020


1919 or 2019? Victoria BC Edition

By John Robson, Climate Discussion Nexus, June 10, 2020



This Date In 1925

By Tony Heller, His Blog, June 7, 2020


The Upcoming Wildfire Season: Near Normal Conditions Should Prevail

By Cliff Mass, Weather Blog, June 9, 2020


“…there is no reason at this point to  expect an unusual wildfire season over Washington State this summer.”

Changing Seas

Island ‘drowning’ is not inevitable as sea levels rise

News release, University of Plymouth, June 10, 2020


Coral reef islands can accrete vertically in response to sea level rise

By Gerd Masselink, Science, June 10, 2020 [H/t Bernie Kepshire]


Forget Sea Level Rise: Ocean Deepening Is Here!

By David Middleton, WUWT, June 10. 2020


Link to Norwegian article (in English) Oceans are at their deepest in 250 million years

And they have hardly been deeper in the last 400 million years than now.

By Lasse Biørnstad, Science Norway, June 8, 2020


Link to paper: A tracer-based algorithm for automatic generation of seafloor age grids from plate tectonic reconstructions

By Krister S.Karlsen, et al. Computers & Geosciences, July 2020


Climate change has degraded productivity of shelf sea food webs

News Release, University of Plymouth, June 7, 2020 [H/t WUWT]


Unable to locate article in Global Change Biology

And it’s… worse than we thought

By John Robson, Climate Discussion Nexus, June 10, 2020


Europe’s beaches steadily getting cleaner: report

By Staff Writers, Copenhagen (AFP), June 8, 2020


Changing Cryosphere – Land / Sea Ice

Nitrogen in permafrost soils may exert great feedbacks on climate change

News Release, Chinese Academy of Sciences, June 12, 2020 [H/t Bernie Kepshire]


Link to paper: The Forgotten Nutrient—The Role of Nitrogen in Permafrost Soils of Northern China

By Elisabeth Ramm, et al., Advances in Atmospheric Sciences, May 23, 2020


[SEPP Comment: The assumed  huge water vapor feedback has not appeared, nitrogen feedback may not appear as well. Nitrous oxide (N2O) comprises 0.00003% of atmospheric gases. As the permafrost thaws, the N2O (plant fertilizer) may be used on the spot by growing vegetation. The paper describes research that has begun but does not present findings.]

A tiny arctic shrub reveals secrets of plant growth on Svalbard

By Staff Writers, Trondheim, Norway (SPX), Jun 08, 2020


Link to paper: Climate synchronises shrub growth across a high‐arctic archipelago: contrasting implications of summer and winter warming

By Mathilde Le Moullec, et al., Oikos, Mar 5, 2020


New Study Finds The Larsen Ice Shelf (Antarctic Peninsula) Has Cooled More Than 2°C Since 1991

By Kenneth Richard, No Tricks Zone, June 8, 2020


Link to paper: Recent Near-surface Temperature Trends in the Antarctic Peninsula from Observed, Reanalysis and Regional Climate Model Data

By Deniz Bozkurt, et al. Advances in Atmospheric Sciences, May 2020


[SEPP Comment: Based on model simulations and a few observation sites, the Antarctic Peninsula has warmed but the leeward [downwind] side of the peninsula ridge has cooled over the period 1991−2015. The peninsula has the mildest climate on the continent thus it has the highest concentration of Antarctic research stations, many outside the Antarctic Circle.]

Changing Earth

False Alarm: Earth’s Magnetic Field Not On Verge Of Flip

By David Whitehouse, GWPF, June 10, 2020


Link to further discussion: Swarm probes weakening of Earth’s magnetic field

By Staff, European Space Agency, May 20, 2020


Un-Science or Non-Science?

Extreme waves set to get bigger and more frequent due to climate change

News Release, University of Melbourne, June 11, 2020


Link to paper: Projected 21st century changes in extreme wind-wave events

By Alberto Meucci, et al. Science Advances, June 10, 2020


Lowering Standards

BBC “Astonished” By Perfectly Usual Arctic Weather!

By Paul Homewood, Not a Lot of People Know That, June 10, 2020


Eminence Over Evidence: The Lancet’s COVID-19 Retraction

By Chuck Dinerstein, ACSH, June 5, 2020


“If the Lancet publishes it, then it must be true.”

Communicating Better to the Public – Use Yellow (Green) Journalism?

Borrowed time: Climate change threatens U.S. mortgage market

“Everyone is exposed” as taxpayer-backed loans and insurance face a coming storm.

By Zack Colman and Katy )’Donnell, Politico, June 9, 2020 [H/t WTWT]


‘Megadrought’ and ‘Aridification’ — Understanding t

The New Language of a Warming World

By Tara Lohan, The Revelator, June 8, 2020


Communicating Better to the Public – Exaggerate, or be Vague?

Nature’s ‘slow lanes’ offer hope for species feeling heat of climate change

News Release, Oregon State University, June 9, 2020 [H/t Ken Schlichte]


[SEPP Comment: Global warming has a slow lane?]

Climate change brings fires, floods and moths to Siberia

By Marina Lapenkova, Moscow (AFP), June 9, 2020


Communicating Better to the Public – Make things up.

Natural Climate Forces Dominate: New Paper Shows CO2 Doesn’t Lead To More Weather Blocking: “Quite Some Nonsense”

By Die kalte Sonne (German text edited by P. Gosselin), No Tricks Zone, June 9, 2020


Link to paper: Decadal predictability of North Atlantic blocking and the NAO

By Panos J. Athanasiadis, et al., Nature, June 3, 2020


Coal Free? But We Still Rely Heavily On Fossil Fuels, Justin!

By Paul Homewood, Not a Lot of People Know That, June 9, 2020


Deep-sixing the settled science

By John Robson, Climate Discussion Nexus, June 10, 2020


[SEPP Comment: According to the Guardian, a physical phenomenon that occurs in the atmosphere is hiding in the deep oceans!]

Sorry, Weather Channel, Mangroves Will NOT Disappear in 30 Years

By James Taylor, Climate Realism, June 12, 2020


Communicating Better to the Public – Do a Poll?

Public Now More Concerned About Coronavirus Than Climate Change

Press Release, GWPF, Jun3 9, 2020


UK Not Really Buying Into Climate Activism

By Robert Bradley Jr., Master Resource, June 11, 2020

Communicating Better to the Public – Use Propaganda

An Endlessly Renewable Source of Green Agitprop

By Alan Moran, Quadrant, June 9, 2020

Communicating Better to the Public – Use Propaganda on Children

School Children Brainwashed About Climate Change

By Paul Homewood, Not a Lot of People Know That, June 8, 2020

“Whoever has written this guide clearly has little knowledge about the subject, and has simply picked up a few talking points and applied a large dose of alarmism.

“The worry of course is that it is not just the guide we are talking about. The whole of that particular GCSE course would have been based around the same nonsense.”

From the guide: “CO2 levels have gone up and down throughout history although they have never been as high as they are now.”

“Sea levels could rise by as much as 1 metre by the end of the century.”

“Extreme weather events such as hurricanes are likely to occur more often.”

[SEPP Comment: Critique of the General Certificate of Secondary Education (GCSE) revision guide for Welsh students.]

Communicating Better to the Public – Use Children for Propaganda

Greta Thunberg Demands Canada and Norway Stop Expanding Fossil Fuel Extraction

By Eric Worrall, WUWT, June 10, 2020

“Update (EW): Michael Mann adding his support to Greta’s UN diplomacy effort”

Not now Greta, we are trying to save the global economy

By Matthew Lynn, The Telegraph, UK, Via GWPF, June 8, 2020


Expanding the Orthodoxy

IMF Deputy Director Zhang: We need a “Much Higher Carbon Price”

By Eric Worrall, WUWT, June 9, 2020

Questioning European Green

UK Consumers Face £2-3 Billion Annual Bill To Prevent Green Energy Blackouts

Press Release, GWPF, June 10, 2020


Link to collection of essays: The Brink of Darkness: Britain’s Fragile Power Grid

By John Constable, GWPF, 2020


Germany’s Green Energy Costs Are Becoming Unaffordable

By Staff, Bloomberg, Via GWPF, June 7, 2020


Questioning Green Elsewhere

The Green New Deal Dress Rehearsal

By Paul Driessen, Cornwall Alliance, June 10, 2020


Reality Is Gradually Catching Up To Green Energy

By Francis Menton, Manhattan Contrarian, June 8, 2020


For The Developing World A ‘Green’ Post-Pandemic Reset Is A Luxury, Not A Necessity

By Tilak Doshi, Forbes, June 9, 2020


Funding Issues

Eco groups fear green recovery may get watered down

By Sandor Zsiros, EuroNews, June 11, 2020 [H/t GWPF]


Green cities roadmap touts COVID-19 recovery stimulus

Australian roadmap says greening cities can help kickstart economy

News Release, University of Melbourne, June 8, 2020


Litigation Issues

Next Up In The Stupidest Litigation In The Country: The Science?

By Francis Menton, Manhattan Contrarian, June 11, 2020


See link immediately below.

Climate litigation: big oil must fight on the science or die

By Christopher Monckton of Brenchley, WUWT, June 8, 2020

Subsidies and Mandates Forever

BBC Brags About Hornsea Wind Farm–But Forgets To Mention The Cost

By Paul Homewood, Not a Lot of People Know That, June 9, 2020

“But here’s the rub. Whether prices are high or low, Hornsea’s owners will receive their guaranteed price anyway. The system even allows them to sell every single unit of electricity they generate, and if there is a surplus of power in the market, they will get paid NOT to produce.

“The contract price for Hornsea is £162.47/MWh, which under CfD is a guaranteed price, which will be index linked for 15 years. In short, a licence to print money.”

As Subsidies Run Out, 5000 German Wind Farms [Turbines] Face Shutdown

By Staff, Energie Zukunft, Via GWPF, June 12, 2020


“Germany has 29,844 wind turbines, which account for nearly 56 GW of installed wind power capacity.” IEA Wind, 2017

Energy Issues – Non-US

Greens On Back Foot As Germany’s Newest Coal Plant Opens

By Staff, Financial Times, Via GWPF, June 8, 2020


Energy Issues – Australia

Desperate signs: Australian companies will be paid to use less electricity

By Jo Nova, Her Blog, June 11, 2020


Indigenous Coal Power Entrepreneurs Frustrated by Broken Promises and Lack of Support

By Eric Worrall, WUWT, June 12, 2020

Welcome to Renewable Energy Australia, Where Businesses are Paid to Shut Down

By Eric Worrall, WUWT, June 11, 2020

[SEPP Comment: Great propaganda photo, better than the NYT showing steam billowing from chimneys darkening the skies.]

Energy Issues — US

New York Approves Largest Wind Farm Ever, But Not Everyone Is Happy About It

By Steve Hanley, Cleantechnia, June 7, 2020


“This week, the New York State Siting Board approved the $454 million Alle-Catt wind farm project which will generate 340 megawatts of electricity — enough to power 134,000 homes — from 116 turbines spread over 30,000 acres of private lands…”

[SEPP Comment: Who pays for the generating capacity needed when part-time power fails? The author discusses the dilemma that the governor is removing local control over land use issues for wind-power while the president is removing local and state control over land use issues for fossil-fuel power.]

Heart of Hawaii: Oil Powers Oahu’s Sustainable Energy Program

By David Shormann, Master Resource, June 10, 2020


[SEPP Comment: Using all the land for unreliable power will eliminate housing, thus lessen demand.]

How Virginia’s Green New Deal Will Add to Residents’ COVID-19 Costs

By Kevin Mooney, The Daily Signal, June 7, 2020


Oil and Natural Gas – the Future or the Past?

Is A Shale Comeback On The Horizon?

By Haley Zaremba, Oil Price.com, June 11, 2020


U.S. Shale Companies Are Turning the Oil Taps Back On

By Staff, WSJ, Via GWPF, June 8, 2020

BP To Slash 10,000 Jobs As Coronavirus Creates Slump In Energy Markets

By Varun Hukeri, Daily Caller, June 8, 2020


Nuclear Energy and Fears

China Threatens To Pull Plug On New UK Nuclear Plants

By Staff, The Sunday Times, Via GWPF, June 7, 2020


Trump administration seeks to use global aid for nuclear projects

By Rebecca Beitsch, The Hill, June 11, 2020


“The Wednesday proposal from the Development Finance Corporation (DFC) would make it perhaps the only government development agency in the world to use its funds to back nuclear projects.”

[SEPP Comment: Nonsense! The report contradicts itself. Also, see the link about China immediately above. The development of small nuclear reactors is further along than the development of the technology of making wind and solar reliable sources of electricity.]

Alternative, Green (“Clean”) Solar and Wind

LEEDCO Update: Offshore Lake Erie (Ohio) Project In Trouble in Year 11

By Sherri Lange and Suzanne Albright, Master Resource, June 9, 2020


“‘Lake Erie is the Saudi Arabia of wind … represent[ing] 20 percent of the United States’ total offshore wind energy capacity.’ (Congresswoman Marcy Kaptur, May 18, 2016)”

[SEPP Comment: With smart drilling and hydraulic fracturing, is the US the Saudi Arabia of oil and natural gas?]

Thanks To Renewables And Machine Learning, Google Now Forecasts The Wind

By Jeff McMahon, Forbes, May 31, 2020


[SEPP Comment: Predictability a day ahead is a small part of the big problem, sustainability 24/7. Would Google run their data centers on wind alone?]

Alternative, Green (“Clean”) Energy — Other

BBC : Burning Wood Doesn’t Generate CO2

By Tony Heller, His Blog, June 9, 2020


Alternative, Green (“Clean”) Energy — Storage

Bath County Pumped Storage Station

By Staff, Dominion Energy, Accessed June 11, 2020


Pumped Storage in Bath County

By Staff, Virginia Places, Accessed June 11, 2020


Alternative, Green (“Clean”) Vehicles

Germany Evaluates Fuel Cell Cars

By Donn Dears, Power For USA, June 9, 2020


California Dreaming

California Continues to Inflict More Costs onto the Energy Used by Residents

Rather than reducing demand, the state imposes more costs on the supply

By Ronald Stein, WUWT, June 10, 2020

Other Scientific News

Astrophysicists confirm cornerstone of Einstein’s Theory of Relativity

By Staff Writers, Manchester UK (SPX), Jun 11, 2020


Link to paper: An improved test of the strong equivalence principle with the pulsar in a triple star system

By G. Voisin, et al, Astronomy & Astrophysics, June 10, 2020


The brain uses minimum effort to look for key information in text

By analysing brain activity, researchers found that the brain regulates its resource use and tries to identify the most essential information

News Release, University of Helsinki, June 11, 2020 [H/t WUWT]


Link to paper: Information gain modulates brain activity evoked by reading

By Lauri Kangassalo, Michiel Spapé, Niklas Ravaja & Tuukka Ruotsalo, Nature Scientific Reports, May 6, 2020


Ancient asteroid impacts created the ingredients of life on Earth and Mars

By Staff Writers, Sendai, Japan (SPX), Jun 09, 2020


Ecohydrologists show environmental damage from loss of fog is observable from outer space

Satellite data can detect impact on vegetation of fog loss due to climate change

By Staff, NSF, June 10, 2020


Link to paper: Satellite observed positive impacts of fog on vegetation

By Na Qiao, et al. Geophysical Research Letters, June 4, 2020


Other News that May Be of Interest

The Worthwhile Warts of Historical Figures

By Tristan Heiner, Quadrant, June 13, 2020

Return of the otter: How reintroduced predators benefit ecosystems

By Ivan Couronne, Washington (AFP), June 11, 2020


[SEPP Comment: Will greens claim the return of sea otters is evidence of global warming, as they did with elephant seals?]


Study: Educating Poor People Increases Global CO2 Emissions

By Eric Worrall, WUWT, June 10, 2020

Link to paper: The effect of education on determinants of climate change risks

By Brian C. O’Neill, et al. Nature Sustainability, Apr 13, 2020


[SEPP Comment: One of the authors is the daughter of long time IPCC head Rajemdra Pachauri.]

Democrat introduces bill to prevent presidents from nuking hurricanes

By Zack Budryk, The Hill, June 9, 2020


Penguins give it to climate

By John Robson, Climate Discussion Nexus, June 10, 2020

New York City to Expand Bus-Only Corridors

Some 16.5 miles of bus lanes to be added to Manhattan, the Bronx, Queens and Staten Island, and 3.5 miles of busways

By Katie Honan, WSJ, June 8, 2020


“Parts of Manhattan’s Fifth Avenue and sections of other major streets in New York City soon will become bus-only corridors to increase transit service, alleviate overcrowding and combat the spread of the new coronavirus, Mayor Bill de Blasio said Monday.”

[SEPP Comment: Expanding exposure to the virus to combat it? The mayor apparently believes all he does, as a progressive, is progress.]


1. The Covid Age Penalty

New patient data offers a guide to opening while protecting seniors.

Editorial, WSJ, June 12, 2020


TWTW Summary: The editorial begins:

“By now it’s clear that people older than 65 are the most vulnerable to the novel coronavirus, and the age penalty is especially severe for the elderly with underlying health conditions. This is a tragedy in lives cut short, but it also means that states and cities should be able to lift their lockdowns safely if they focus on protecting vulnerable Americans.

“About 80% of Americans who have died of Covid-19 are older than 65, and the median age is 80. A review by Stanford medical professor John Ioannidis last month found that individuals under age 65 accounted for 4.8% to 9.3% of all Covid-19 deaths in 10 European countries and 7.8% to 23.9% in 12 U.S. locations.

“For most people under the age of 65, the study found, the risk of dying from Covid-19 isn’t much higher than from getting in a car accident driving to work. In California and Florida, the fatality risk for the under-65 crowd is about equal to driving 16 to 17 miles per day. While higher in hot spots like New York (668 miles) and New Jersey (572 miles), the death risk is still lower than the public perceives.

“The risk climbs especially for those over age 80. According to the Foundation for Research on Equal Opportunity, Americans over 85 are about 2.75 times more likely to die from Covid-19 than those 75 to 84, seven times more likely than those 65 to 74 and 16.8 times more than those 55 to 64.

“Fatality rate comparisons between Covid-19 and the flu are inapt because they affect populations differently. Children under age 14 are between 6.8 and 17 times less likely to die of Covid-19 than the seasonal flu or pneumonia, assuming 150,000 coronavirus deaths this year. Those 25 to 85 are two to four times more likely to die of Covid while those over 85 are about 1.7 times more likely.

“As treatments have improved over the course of the pandemic, fewer young people are dying. In late March, Americans over age 75 made up about half of all weekly deaths (see chart nearby) while those under 45 made up between four and five percent. Now those over 75 make up about two-thirds of deaths while those younger than 45 make up less than 2%.

“Older people generally have weaker immune systems and more have underlying respiratory and cardiovascular conditions that appear to exacerbate the illness. More than 95% of people who have died in the United Kingdom had at least one underlying condition. Italian public-health officials have also reported that 96% of deaths involved one chronic condition, and 60% had three or more.

“Nursing homes are especially vulnerable because they have large numbers of elderly in cramped quarters. They now account for more than 50% of Covid-19 fatalities in 30 or so states, including Arizona, Washington, Illinois, Pennsylvania and Massachusetts.

“The good news is that most people over age 65 who are in generally good health are unlikely to die or get severely ill from Covid-19.”

Then the editorial concludes with specific examples


The Media’s Self-Censors

The pre-liberal idea of settling disagreements with coercion has made a comeback in the United States.

By Daniel Henninger, WSJ, June 10, 2020


TWTW Summary: The journalist begins with:

“In 1789, America’s Founding Fathers, acutely aware of the political bloodbaths that had consumed Europe for centuries, created a system in which disagreements would be arbitrated by periodically allowing the public to turn their opinions into votes. The majority would win the election. Then, because political disagreement never ends, you hold more elections. Aware of the natural tendency of factions and majorities to want to suppress opposition opinion, the Founders created a Bill of Rights for all citizens, including what they called, with unmistakable clarity, ‘the freedom of speech.’

“Nothing lasts forever, and so it is today in the U.S., where the pre-liberal idea of settling disagreements with coercion has made a comeback.

“In the past week, the editorial page editor of the New York Times, the editor of the Philadelphia Inquirer and the editors of Bon Appétit magazine and the young women’s website Refinery 29 have been forced out by the staff and owners of their publications for offenses regarded as at odds with the beliefs of the current protests.

“It is impossible not to recognize the irony of these events. The silencers aren’t campus protesters but professional journalists, a class of American workers who for nearly 250 years have had a constitutionally protected and court-enforced ability to say just about anything they want. Historically, people have been attracted to American journalism because it was the freest imaginable place to work for determined, often quirky individualists. Suddenly, it looks like the opposite of that.

“The idea that you could actually lose your job, as the Inquirer’s editor did, because of a headline on an opinion piece that said ‘Buildings Matter, Too’ is something to ponder. It sounds like a made-up incident that one might expect in a work of political satire, such as George Orwell’s ‘Animal Farm.’

“The issue here is not about the assertion that racism is endemic in the U.S. The issue is the willingness by many to displace the American system of free argument with a system of enforced, coerced opinion and censorship, which forces comparison to the opinion-control mechanisms that existed in Eastern Europe during the Cold War.

“In 2006, the movie ‘The Lives of Others’ dramatized how the Stasi, the omnipresent East German surveillance apparatus, pursued a nonconforming writer, whose friends were intimidated into abandoning him. To survive this kind of enforced thought-concurrence in the Soviet Union or Communist Eastern Europe, writers resorted to circulating their uncensored ideas as underground literature called samizdat. Others conveyed their ideas as political satire. In Vaclav Havel’s 1965 play, ‘The Memorandum,’ a Czech office worker is demoted to ‘staff watcher,’ whose job is to monitor his colleagues. You won’t see Havel’s anticensorship plays staged in the U.S. anytime soon.”

The journalist concludes with other examples of silencing or shunning. As demonstrated by Judith Curry leaving Georgia Tech, silencing or shunning is common in academia today.

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June 15, 2020 5:16 am

Many quotes and snippets of Richard Feynman come from the Messenger series of seven lectures at Cornell. I fully recommend watching all seven. Lecture seven is about new laws, and is the most important for climate science.

Tim Gorman
June 15, 2020 5:34 am

“we find that the reductionist approach does not help in the prediction of emergent (or unforeseen) phenomena.”

“Holism claims that complex systems are inherently irreducible and are more than the sum of their parts, owing to chaos and nonlinearities.”

Freeman Dyson was a big proponent of the holistic approach to climate. Climate simply cannot be reduced to a single component – global average temperature using a reductionist approach. It’s why all the climate alarmists predict falling food supplies for the globe from higher temperatures while we see continuing record global harvests almost every year. (of course a rising global average temperature doesn’t mean maximum temperatures are rising – a sixth grade math mistake)

So-called “CLIMATE* models are actually far from being climate models.

June 15, 2020 6:08 am

La Niña is only waiting for a solar impulse.
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June 15, 2020 10:11 am

Ken, Your description of Peter Webster as Judith Curry’s “former colleague at Georgia Tech” is so woefully incomplete as to be highly misleading. They should be more fully described as partners, both maritally and in their business, correctly named Climate Forecast Applications Network, btw. This does not in my view detract from the validity of Peter’s excellent book but absolutely should be clarified next week.

Dave Fair
June 15, 2020 3:33 pm

The game of using assumed aerosol forcings to balance out high ECSs in model hindcasts was called scientific bunk years ago. Recognizing the game was finally up, the UN IPCC climate modelers decided to use cloud processes as the substitute for aerosols. They can now scam that for another 10-plus years before real scientists can convince anybody its scientific bunk.

Kevin kilty
June 15, 2020 4:23 pm

“…do not rely on unreliable …”

Almost as pithy as “can’t fix stupid.”

June 16, 2020 10:41 am

Given current environmental regulations, it is doubtful such a facility would be approved in the US today.

You can be certain of that — never be approved today or even 35 yrs ago. Eco-loons would be out in droves protesting something proposed like that.

June 20, 2020 2:42 pm

A group at UC Berkeley says, “The United States can deliver 90 percent clean, carbon-free electricity nationwide by 2035, dependably, at no extra cost to consumer bills…”

If they had stopped there, they could have been correct.

NET Power (https://netpower.com/) has a 50 MwH demonstration power plant in Texas, using natural gas burned in pure oxygen (the oxygen comes from cryogenically separating air, using about 7% of the plant’s power). The output is electricity plus CO2 plus water, which are very easy to separate and capture. In the desert southwest (eg Arizona) all that water can be a game changer.)

The cost – all unsubsidized – is about 2 cents per kilowatt hour, which makes it very cost competitive. The CO2, Water, Nitrogen Gas, & Argon produced all are valuable commodities, helping keep the plant cost competitive going forward – all with zero emissions of CO2. Actually, since the cryogenic oxygen concentration process also would separate out the 0.04% of CO2 in air, it winds up being a negative emissions power plant.

The plant also can be paired up with a steel mill or an aluminum plant or a cement manufactory, and the CO2 produced in those plants can be separated and captured easily by the power plant’s cryogenic oxygen separator at little or zero extra cost.

As they plant proves itself and improvements are made in the design, I expect that they’ll build grid scale power plants within the next few years (unless the regulators stop it).

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