Deep ice cores show past Greenland warm period may be 'road map' for continued warming of planet

Jan 23, 2013
The NEEM ice core drilling project in northwest Greenland is an international project led by the Centre for Ice and Climate at the Niels Bohr Institute. For four years the researchers have drilled ice cores through the entire 2.5 kilometer thick ice sheet and obtained new groundbreaking knowledge about the past warm climate period called the Eemian. Credit: Niels Bohr Institute

A new study by an international team of scientists analyzing ice cores from the Greenland ice sheet going back in time more than 100,000 years indicates the last interglacial period may be a good analog for where the planet is headed in terms of increasing greenhouse gases and rising temperatures.

The new results from the NEEM deep ice core led by the University of Copenhagen and involving the University of Colorado Boulder show that between 130,000 and 115,000 years ago during the Eemian , the climate in north Greenland rose to about 14 degrees Fahrenheit warmer than today. Despite the strong warming signal during the Eemian—a period when the seas were roughly 15 to 25 feet higher than today—the surface of the north near the NEEM facility was only a few hundred yards lower than it is today, an indication to scientists it contributed less than half of the total sea rise at the time.

The NEEM project involves 300 scientists and students from 14 countries and is led by Professor Dorthe Dahl-Jensen, director of the University of Copenhagen's Centre of Ice and Climate. CU-Boulder professor and ice core expert Jim White is the lead U.S. investigator on the project. The National Science Foundation's Division of Polar Programs funded the U.S. portion of the effort.

The new Nature findings showed that about 128,000 years ago, the surface elevation of ice near the NEEM site was more than 650 feet higher than present but the ice was starting to thin by about 2 inches per year. Between about 122,000 and 115,000 years ago, Greenland's surface elevation remained stable at roughly 425 feet below the present level. Calculations indicate Greenland's volume was reduced by no more than 25 percent between 128,000 years ago and 122,000 years ago, said White.

A paper on the subject was published in the Jan. 24 issue of Nature.

"When we calculated how much ice melt from Greenland was contributing to global sea rise in the Eemian, we knew a large part of the sea rise back then must have come from Antarctica," said White, director of CU-Boulder's Institute of Arctic and Alpine Research. "A lot of us had been leaning in that direction for some time, but we now have evidence that confirms that the West Antarctic ice sheet was a dynamic and crucial player in global sea rise during the last interglacial period."

Dahl-Jensen said the loss of ice mass on the Greenland ice sheet in the early part of the Eemian was likely similar to changes seen there by climate scientists in the past 10 years. Other studies have shown the temperatures above Greenland have been rising five times faster than the average global temperatures in recent years, and that Greenland has been losing more than 200 million tons of ice annually since 2003. The Greenland ice loss study was led by former CU-Boulder scientist Isabella Velicogna, who is currently a faculty member at the University of California, Irvine.

The intense melt in the vicinity of NEEM during the warm Eemian period was seen in the ice cores as layers of re-frozen meltwater. Such melt events during the last glacial period were rare by comparison, showing that the surface temperatures at the NEEM site were in a cold, nearly constant state back then. But on July 12, 2012, satellite images from NASA indicated 97 percent of Greenland's ice sheet surface had thawed as a result of warming temperatures.

The climate graph shows the temperature from the previous warm interglacial period, the Eemian (left) throughout the entire ice age to present time. The blue colours indicate ice from a cold period, the red colour is ice from a warm period and yellow and green is from the climate period in between. The new results show that during the Eemian period 130,000 to 115,000 thousand years ago the climate in Greenland was around 8 degrees C warmer than today. The top shows a graph of ice sheet surface temperature and altitude. In the beginning of the Eemian, 128,000 years ago, the ice sheet in northwest Greenland was 200 meters higher than today, but during the warm Eemian period the ice mass regressed, so 122,000 years before now the surface had sunk to a level of 130 meters below the current level. During the rest of the Eemian the ice sheet remained stable at the same level with an ice thickness of 2,400 meters. Credit: Niels Bohr Institute

"We were quite shocked by the warm surface temperatures observed at the NEEM ice camp in July 2012," said Dahl-Jensen. "It was raining at the top of the Greenland ice sheet, and just as during the Eemian period, meltwater formed subsurface ice layers. While this was an extreme event, the present warming over Greenland makes surface melt more likely, and the predicted warming over Greenland in the next 50-100 years will very likely be so strong that we will potentially have Eemian-like climate conditions."

The Greenland ice core layers—formed over millennia by compressed snow—are being studied in detail using a suite of measurements, including stable water isotope analysis that reveals information about temperature and greenhouse gas levels and moisture changes back in time. Lasers are used to measure the water stable isotopes and atmospheric gas bubbles trapped in the ice cores to better understand past variations in climate on an annual basis—similar in some ways to a tree-ring record.

The results from the Nature study provide scientists with a "road map" of sorts to show where a warming Earth is headed in the future, said White. Of the nine hottest years on Earth on record, eight have come since the year 2000. In 2007 the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change concluded that temperatures on Earth could climb by as much as 11 degrees F by 2100.

Increasing amounts of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere from sources like vehicle exhaust and industrial pollution—which have risen from about 280 parts per million at the onset of the Industrial Revolution to 391 parts per million today—are helping to raise temperatures on Earth, with no end in sight, said White.

"Unfortunately, we have reached a point where there is so much carbon dioxide in the atmosphere it's going to be difficult for us to further limit our impact on the planet," White said. "Our kids and grandkids are definitely going to look back and shake their heads at the inaction of this country's generation. We are burning the lion's share of oil and natural gas to benefit our lifestyle, and punting the responsibility for it."

In the past, Earth's journey into and out of glacial periods is thought to be due in large part to variations in its orbit, tilt and rotation that change the amount of solar energy delivered to the planet, he said. But the anthropogenic warming on Earth today could override such episodic changes, perhaps even staving off an ice age, White said.

While three previous ice cores drilled in Greenland in the last 20 years recovered ice from the Eemian, the deepest layers were compressed and folded, making the data difficult to interpret. Although there was some folding of the lowest ice layers in the NEEM core, sophisticated ice-penetrating radar helped scientists sort out and interpret the individual layers to paint an accurate picture of the warming of Earth's Northern Hemisphere as it emerged from the previous ice age, White said.

In addition to White, other CU-Boulder co-authors on the NEEM paper include INSTAAR scientist Bruce Vaughn and graduate student Tyler Jones of INSTAAR and CU-Boulder's Environmental Studies Program.

"It's a challenge being on the ice sheet, because we are out of our comfort zones and are working long, physical hours in an environment that is extremely cold and where the sun never sets," Jones said. "Being a member of the research team allowed me to understand the core recovery process and the science behind it in terms of learning more about past climates and the implications for future climate change."

Explore further: Coral reveals long-term link between Pacific winds, global climate

More information: dx.doi.org/10.1038/nature11789

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Lino235
1.9 / 5 (26) Jan 23, 2013
So, 14 degrees warmer than today, and the result is a lowering of the ice by 200 meters. That's 14 degrees warmer, and only 3% decline in height of ice.

Oh, yes, the sky is falling! The sky is falling! Help!!!
runrig
4.3 / 5 (19) Jan 23, 2013
So, 14 degrees warmer than today, and the result is a lowering of the ice by 200 meters. That's 14 degrees warmer, and only 3% decline in height of ice.

Oh, yes, the sky is falling! The sky is falling! Help!!!


14F is 7.8C and the article says that a greater part of the sea level rise came from Antarctica ... 15 to 25ft in the Eemian. That would make a mess of the worlds coastline if it were to occur again.
JoeBlue
1.5 / 5 (24) Jan 23, 2013
So, 14 degrees warmer than today, and the result is a lowering of the ice by 200 meters. That's 14 degrees warmer, and only 3% decline in height of ice.

Oh, yes, the sky is falling! The sky is falling! Help!!!


14F is 7.8C and the article says that a greater part of the sea level rise came from Antarctica ... 15 to 25ft in the Eemian. That would make a mess of the worlds coastline if it were to occur again.


So you propose what? All of the knee-jerk reaction about the Earth possibly getting warmer does not automatically indicate that humans are the direct cause, or that we can stop it. Now does it indicate that it's ridiculous to allow Carbon Taxes to spread across the world that do nothing bu enrich those with connections in governments decrease the rate by which humans raise their standard of living.
runrig
4.3 / 5 (16) Jan 23, 2013


14F is 7.8C and the article says that a greater part of the sea level rise came from Antarctica ... 15 to 25ft in the Eemian. That would make a mess of the worlds coastline if it were to occur again.

So you propose what? All of the knee-jerk reaction about the Earth possibly getting warmer does not automatically indicate that humans are the direct cause, or that we can stop it. Now does it indicate that it's ridiculous to allow Carbon Taxes to spread across the world that do nothing bu enrich those with connections in governments decrease the rate by which humans raise their standard of living.


The earth is getting warmer and science says that anthropogenic CO2 is the cause beyond reasonable doubt. I propose that we take notice of what experts in the science are saying and do what is possible to mitigate the problem. We will not be able to reverse damaging climate effects down the line but we must move away from fossil fuel as soon as is practically possible.
gregor1
1.4 / 5 (18) Jan 23, 2013
Unfortunately many of us like to see some evidence rather than accept mere platitudes about experts. Here's some new evidence that Greenland has cooled by 2.5 C over the last 8,000 years. Of course those with an agenda are welcome to ignore this.
http://hockeyscht...html?m=1
djr
4.4 / 5 (15) Jan 23, 2013
Gregor - why is your evidence from ice core data acceptable to you - but the evidence from the study reported here not?
VendicarD
3.8 / 5 (16) Jan 23, 2013
Your complaint hinges on your presumption that the percentage of melt is determined by temperature.

"So, 14 degrees warmer than today, and the result is a lowering of the ice by 200 meters." - LinoTard

Your childish presumption is wrong of course, as any child can tell you.

Temperature controls the rate of melt, not the fraction of melt.

Flag down an 8 year old who is coming back from school and have them explain science to you.
VendicarD
3.9 / 5 (16) Jan 23, 2013
Have you just been awoken after 40 years of unconsciousness?

"So you propose what?" - JoeTard

There is only one solution. Reduction of global CO2 levels to 10 percent of their current levels.

You might not be able to stomach the requirement.

Neither nature, nor I care about what you can stomach.

Get in the way and you will be taken out of action.

VendicarD
3.6 / 5 (15) Jan 23, 2013
Correct. Space aliens might be doing it.

"Earth possibly getting warmer does not automatically indicate that humans are the direct cause." - JoeTard

Waking up and finding an ice pick in your chest might be perfectly natural.

VendicarD
3.4 / 5 (17) Jan 23, 2013
Unfortunately GregorTard is a chronic and perpetual liar.

http://www.woodfo...96/trend

"Unfortunately many of us like to see some evidence rather than accept mere platitudes about experts" - GregorTard
ScooterG
1.4 / 5 (21) Jan 23, 2013
"Unfortunately, we have reached a point where there is so much carbon dioxide in the atmosphere it's going to be difficult for us to further limit our impact on the planet," White said. "Our kids and grandkids are definitely going to look back and shake their heads at the inaction of this country's generation. We are burning the lion's share of oil and natural gas to benefit our lifestyle, and punting the responsibility for it."

Something tells me Jim White's mind is made up (re global warming). So how can we possibly trust this guy to make sound scientific observations when he is obviously biased towards (and employed by) the AGW industry?
gregor1
1.4 / 5 (20) Jan 23, 2013
There's a difference between evidence and speculation. This paper makes assumptions about a warming Earth due to rising CO 2 that are poorly supported by actual evidence since most of the major players have now conceded that warming stopped 15 years ago. De Spiegal , a hitherto firmly warmest paper, sums it up nicely here.http://www.thegwp...ndstill. Of course you're welcome to stick to the party line
djr
4.3 / 5 (16) Jan 23, 2013
due to rising CO 2 that are poorly supported by actual evidence

So what do you attribitute the temperature increases of the last 100 years to? Also understand - temperatures are not the whole picture - we have ice sheets melting, sea levels rising, glaciers receding, oceans become more acidic etc. Of course you are welcome to devlelop your own theories.
gregor1
1.4 / 5 (19) Jan 23, 2013
I don't pretend to know. Greenhouse gasses are positive feed backs but we have to weigh these against the negative feed backs in the system many of which have yet be quantified. A wiser question is perhaps to ask if what we are observing is outside the expected natural variation. If you ask a geologist you are likley to get the answer " no ". These warm periods happen cyclically every 1,000 years or so and this one is right on cue. The last one, the Medieval Warm Period, was between 2 &2.5 C warmer than today so what caused that?http://hockeyscht...html?m=1
Steven_Anderson
2.7 / 5 (11) Jan 23, 2013
Instead of keeping on harping on the solution of implementing wide scale solar, wind, LFTR reactors as a complete solution. I would propose that if we eliminated (in the USA the 30% of gross waste and inefficiency out of our use of energy (which can be done with the current technology) and if we did so in the next year or two. That we could probably gain a couple of more years of gathering data and eliminate the bickering over the concept of if its a man mad problem or not. I also would add even if it was perfectly natural for warning to occur at the current rapid rate that we wouldn't be happy with the consequences of an "unterraformed" planet with most of our coastal cities under water and rampant temperature fluctuations and general warming trends that are likely to kill off 25% of all life, perhaps even ourselves.
VendicarD
3.3 / 5 (12) Jan 24, 2013
Here is the evidence...

http://www.woodfo...om/trend

"There's a difference between evidence and speculation." - GregorTard

Oh really?

"most of the major players have now conceded that warming stopped 15 years ago." - GregorTard

http://www.woodfo...97/trend

Looks like a 0.1'C rise to me.

How about you Tard Boy?

Here are the attributions.

http://www.youtub...;index=2
VendicarD
3.1 / 5 (15) Jan 24, 2013
Somehow I don't buy GregorTard's claim that warming weather has caused mankind to dump thousands of gigatonnes of CO2 into the atmosphere.

"Greenhouse gasses are positive feed backs" - GregorTard

But nothing is stopping him from lying about it....

"A wiser question is perhaps to ask if what we are observing is outside the expected natural variation." - GregorTard

You mean the collapse of the north polar ice cap is natural?

You poor tard.
djr
3.9 / 5 (11) Jan 24, 2013
gregor: " if what we are observing is outside the expected natural variation."

For me - that question is well answered by graphs like this -

http://upload.wik...ison.png

The scientists are very clear that they understand the mechanisms involved - and that C02 is the primary driver of the current warming. Good enough for me.
VendicarD
3.2 / 5 (12) Jan 24, 2013
But you do pretend to not know.

"I don't pretend to know." - GregorTard

Either that or you are one of the dumbest people who has ever lived.

Which are we to believe?

VendicarD
3.1 / 5 (11) Jan 24, 2013
The mechanism involved was identified and quantified 150 years ago.

"The scientists are very clear that they understand the mechanisms involved" - Dir

Gregor lives back in the good oll days before relativity, quantum mechanics, and he doesn't pretend to know if the earth rotates around the sun or not.

He just hasn't seen the evidence.
VendicarD
3.1 / 5 (13) Jan 24, 2013
Steven is exactly correct although his time line of 3 years is an order of magnitude too short. The economy has enormous momentum and takes decades to turn. Hence the need to start 20 years ago on solving the CO2 problem.

"That we could probably gain a couple of more years of gathering data and eliminate the bickering over the concept of if its a man mad problem or not" - Steven

Having said that about his time line, Steven is exactly correct in his statement that reducing emissions now purchases time to do more analysis or develop solutions.

The longer the delay the harder the global economy will hit the wall as conditions continue to deteriorate.

VendicarD
3.1 / 5 (11) Jan 24, 2013
Why Gregor continues to repeat the same lies is beyond reason.

http://www.global...ison_png

No 2.5'C global temperature (warming) anomaly there.

Poor Gregor. Caught telling the same lie over and over again.

"Medieval Warm Period, was between 2 &2.5 C warmer than today" - GregorTard

Perhaps, like all denialists, he is a congenital liar.

VendicarD
3.1 / 5 (11) Jan 24, 2013
GregorTard is fond of using a site called The hockey Schtick as a reference.

It has been shown on multiple occasions that his web page of choice has repeatedly show itself to be dishonest by misrepresenting the articles it claims to honestly discuss.

Gregor's latest reference provide a wonderful example of the dishonesty of his own reference.

The site quotes from an article on a 1999 article on global temperatures as follows...

"the temperature increase during the past 130 years reflects recovery from the Little Ice Age, it is not unreasonable to expect the temperature to rise another 2 to 2.5 degrees Celsius to a level comparable to that of the Medieval Warm Period about 800 years ago"

But in fact the article actually includes the word "IF" before the quote.

So the article actually reads...

"If the temperature increase during the past 130 years reflects recovery from the Little Ice Age,.."

So the quote used by Gregor's reference is a dishonest one.

Further CONT...
gregor1
1.5 / 5 (16) Jan 24, 2013
Correction Dir, some scientists are clear and they bully the others. Just read the climate gate emails if you don't believe me. As for how clear they are on the mechanism go back and read the link I posted from the translated De Spiegel article which just about sums thing up. Play follow the leader if you like but the world is moving on. Both sides, including Hansen the high priest himself, are conceding that warming has stalled and we don't know why. Even NASA is taking a second look at the sun as the evidence for it's influence mounts http://hockeyscht...html?m=1
Personally I hope they're wrong. We may be about to enter another Maunder Minimum which would be a total disaster.
VendicarD
3.5 / 5 (13) Jan 24, 2013
CONT...

Further, the temperature high of the MWP stated in the article isn't even supported by the articles own data. See Figure 4, in which the maximum MWP temperature excursion is shown to be around 0.4'C with poor temporal sensitivity.

This is in good agreement with the graphic I provided earlier...

http://www.global...ison_png

Now... Was GregorTard duped by his source? Or is he a willing accomplice in spreading the lie?

Which is it Gregor?
VendicarD
3.2 / 5 (11) Jan 24, 2013
You mean those 5 sentences that were taken out of context from tens of thousands of Emails?

"Just read the climate gate emails " - GregorTard

Sorry, Tardie Boy. The Emails were standard scientific banter and your dishonest distortion of them is one of the reason the world has turned against you and your lies.

Denialists are a dying, dishonest breed.

The sooner your kind are exterminated the better.
djr
4 / 5 (8) Jan 24, 2013
Gregor: "some scientists are clear and they bully the others."

Here we go around again and again. You are aware that there were multiple investigations into climategate right? Every investigation found them guilty of being assholes - but said that the underlying science was in no way compromised. Science is a much bigger process than climategate. Live in what ever world you want. I read your link above - it fit well with my understanding of what the scientists are saying. Look at the graph I linked - and tell me that is natural variability. I will leave you with a quote from your own link. cont.
djr
4.2 / 5 (10) Jan 24, 2013
cont."The bottom line is, however, that several signs of warming remain: The sea level is rising, the summer sea ice in the Arctic has been halved, and glaciers are melting. In some places, there is evidence that extreme weather events are increasing. "There are many signs of global warming," says Kevin Trenberth, "the surface air temperature is only one."

You are correct - Der Speigel provides a good summary.
Urgelt
4 / 5 (4) Jan 24, 2013
Reportedly, the study examined Eemian greenhouse gases in ice cores, but the article makes little effort to explain what was found.

I'm interested. Because one of the questions that is poorly, if at all, addressed in current climatology models is the relationship between arctic climate change and arctic methane release. If the study was able to illuminate this relationship, it should be possible to refine climate models.

Rephrasing: a series of snapshots connecting atmospheric methane to Greenland ice sheet temperatures might give us a clue regaring how methane storage systems in tundra and on the continental shelves respond to climate changes. In particular, we might be able to infer if there are tipping points and periods of rapid change of atmospheric methane, and discover how much warming is required to produce those tipping points.

It's a rather important unanswered question in climatology, I think.
Shootist
1 / 5 (10) Jan 24, 2013
So, 14 degrees warmer than today, and the result is a lowering of the ice by 200 meters. That's 14 degrees warmer, and only 3% decline in height of ice.

Oh, yes, the sky is falling! The sky is falling! Help!!!


14F is 7.8C and the article says that a greater part of the sea level rise came from Antarctica ... 15 to 25ft in the Eemian. That would make a mess of the worlds coastline if it were to occur again.


So? The coastlines have been made a mess of before, they will again. There is nothing you can do but walk away. Walk, and you'll be dead of old age long before your precious coast lines are washed away.
VendicarD
4 / 5 (8) Jan 24, 2013
Shootist thinks that he will be able to find the trillions needed to create the dikes needed to protect Amreica's coastal cities from inundation by the ocean, but insists that America can not afford the billions needed to halt that inundation.

"The coastlines have been made a mess of before, they will again." - Shootist

He is like the conservative deadbeat cousin in Popey, who will gladly pay you Tuesday for a hamburger today.

Filth.

Shootist is probably from one of America's deadbeat Conservative States.
NotParker
1.7 / 5 (12) Jan 24, 2013
CO2 and CH4 and sea levels and temperatures rose higher in the Eemian without SUV's.

No surprise to the sane. We've been saying it for years.
runrig
4.3 / 5 (6) Jan 24, 2013
So, 14 degrees warmer than today, and the result is a lowering of the ice by 200 meters. That's 14 degrees warmer, and only 3% decline in height of ice.

Oh, yes, the sky is falling! The sky is falling! Help!!!


14F is 7.8C and the article says that a greater part of the sea level rise came from Antarctica ... 15 to 25ft in the Eemian. That would make a mess of the worlds coastline if it were to occur again.


So? The coastlines have been made a mess of before, they will again. There is nothing you can do but walk away. Walk, and you'll be dead of old age long before your precious coast lines are washed away.


Has it escaped your attention that a majority of the worlds great cities are coastal. To say nothing of the other dangers of a warming world.
VendicarD
3.7 / 5 (7) Jan 24, 2013
The research published so far does not discuss methane production but this s not surpising, and the cores remain to be studied.

Obtaining Eemian ice that was capable of being dated was difficult. Most of the cores drilled were either lacking ice from that period or were so badly folded and mixed that dating was impossible.

"Because one of the questions that is poorly, if at all, addressed in current climatology models is the relationship between arctic climate change and arctic methane release." - Urgelt

The preliminary analysis so far is concerned with showing that the ice can be dated, has been dated, and a preliminary estimate of how much ice loss had been seen in the Greenland ice cap for that period.

Patients... More analysis will follow.
seb
4.4 / 5 (7) Jan 24, 2013
I don't understand some people.. Wouldn't it be safer to err on the side of caution and do what we can, instead of the usual self-centered instant gratification short attentionspanness of humans?

If we're wrong and we have nothing to do with it and nothing happens, fine, great, but why take the risk? Why are you playing dice with the future of our species? We only have one Earth to live on!

runrig
4 / 5 (8) Jan 24, 2013
CO2 and CH4 and sea levels and temperatures rose higher in the Eemian without SUV's.

No surprise to the sane. We've been saying it for years.


Parky, "sane" seems to be your choice word of the day.

A sane person should be able to work out that natural CO2 has had it's peaks/troughs over the millenia and the funny haha "no SUV's then" is disingenuous. From ...
http://en.wikiped...i/Eemian

"Kaspar et al. (GRL, 2005) performed a comparison of a coupled general circulation model (GCM) with reconstructed Eemian temperatures for Europe. Central Europe (north of the Alps) was found to be 1–2 °C warmer than present; south of the Alps, conditions were 1–2 °C cooler than today. The model (generated using observed GHG concentrations and Eemian ORBITAL PERAMETERS) generally reproduces these observations, and hence they conclude that these factors are enough to explain the Eemian temperatures."
(my capitals)
VendicarD
3.9 / 5 (7) Jan 24, 2013
ParkerTard tells another lie of omission here.

"CO2 and CH4 and sea levels and temperatures rose higher in the Eemian without SUV's." - ParkerTard

Global temperatures were about the same as they are today during the EEmian. However the peak temperatures in the Northern Hemisphere were a couple of degrees C warmer than today.

The cause of this is known to be the larger amount of sunshine falling on the Northern Hemisphere due to s more a extreme displacement during that era's MilankoVitch cycle compared to the modern inter-glacial.
NotParker
1.7 / 5 (11) Jan 24, 2013
ParkerTard tells another lie of omission here.

"CO2 and CH4 and sea levels and temperatures rose higher in the Eemian without SUV's." - ParkerTard

Global temperatures were about the same as they are today during the EEmian.


"the climate in north Greenland rose to about 14 degrees Fahrenheit warmer than today"
runrig
4.3 / 5 (6) Jan 24, 2013
"the climate in north Greenland rose to about 14 degrees Fahrenheit warmer than today"


Caused by?
NotParker
1.7 / 5 (11) Jan 24, 2013
"the climate in north Greenland rose to about 14 degrees Fahrenheit warmer than today"


Caused by?


http://en.wikiped...l_period

ScooterG
1.3 / 5 (12) Jan 24, 2013
I don't understand some people.. Wouldn't it be safer to err on the side of caution and do what we can, instead of the usual self-centered instant gratification short attentionspanness of humans?

If we're wrong and we have nothing to do with it and nothing happens, fine, great, but why take the risk? Why are you playing dice with the future of our species? We only have one Earth to live on!



That's a good question.

I have a question for you: Look at the "gross" versus "net" on your most recent pay stub. What percentage of your net earnings (take-home pay) would you be willing to contribute to fight global warming?
antialias_physorg
4.4 / 5 (7) Jan 24, 2013
Look at the "gross" versus "net" on your most recent pay stub. What percentage of your net earnings (take-home pay) would you be willing to contribute to fight global warming?

I currently pay 44% taxes (I'm currently in the most unfavorable tax bracket possible. If I'd earn any less my percentage would go down. If I earn any more my percentage will go down).

Yet I think my country is on a good path towards a changeover and a more responsible approach towards energy production, energy conservation and general environmental protection/sustainability. So I don't really begrudge them the taxes I pay. It seems to be working. (And I try to reduce my own footprint somewhat)
NotParker
1.8 / 5 (10) Jan 24, 2013
Wouldn't it be safer to err on the side of caution and do what we can, instead of the usual self-centered instant gratification short attentionspanness of humans?

If we're wrong and we have nothing to do with it and nothing happens, fine, great, but why take the risk? Why are you playing dice with the future of our species? We only have one Earth to live on!



Agreed. I want 100,000 nuclear reactors built to stave off the next ice age and I want 1,000 nuclear tipped missiles in space ready for any approaching meteor or comet and I want all those volcanoes filled in and walls 50 feet high on all coasts to prevent tsunami's and I want .... all your money.
VendicarD
3.4 / 5 (5) Jan 24, 2013
Sounds good.

"I want 100,000 nuclear reactors built to stave off the next ice age." - ParkerTard

At a cost of $10 billion per reactor, where do you intend to get the $1,000,000 billion = $1,000 Trillion to build these reactors?

Are you going to borrow the money and bankrupt the world economy as your borrow and spend Conservative Brothers in crime have borrowed the U.S. into bankruptcy?

Beside every discussion of mental illness there should be a picture of ParkerTard.

VendicarD
3.7 / 5 (7) Jan 24, 2013
North Greenland? Not even all of Greenland.

What happened to your lie about global temperatures being that high?

"the climate in north Greenland rose to about 14 degrees Fahrenheit warmer than today" - Parker Tard

But wait...

"Study shows the Arctic was much colder while Earth was warmer during Eemian warm period" - Watts up with that

http://wattsupwit...-period/

Really ParkerTard. Can't you denialists make up your mind?

Was the North of Greenland warmer as the scientists say or was it much colder as your lying denialist brothers assert?

Are you a liar? Or is your regular source of "information" cough - Watts up with that - lying?

Honest people like me want to know.

Maybe the denialist position should be that it was both warmer and colder on average in the Arctic at the same time.

Your brain disease is advanced enough for you to claim that, isn't it?

NotParker
1.7 / 5 (11) Jan 24, 2013
"But we now know that the Greenland ice was exposed to much greater heat for many thousands of years and lost only a quarter of its mass, so the models are evidently wrong and another IPCC doom warning has been consigned to the dustbin of history"

http://www.thereg..._simply/
VendicarD
4 / 5 (4) Jan 24, 2013
The Register does an adequate job of whining about how the world is ignoring Linux on the desktop, and telling people which video card is best for playing video games.

What makes ParkerTard think that a video game and iPhone review site has any credibility when it comes to climate change?

ParkerTard needs to start interviewing random bums on the street in order to get the real lowdown on dat globalls warmen.

Course it will cost him a bottle of ripple.
runrig
4 / 5 (4) Jan 25, 2013
"the climate in north Greenland rose to about 14 degrees Fahrenheit warmer than today"

Caused by?


http://en.wikiped...l_period


An inter-glacial obviously, but caused by favourable orbital parameters for summer warmth in the NH, which then gave rise to greater atmospheric GHG's.
"CO2 and CH4 and sea levels and temperatures rose higher in the Eemian without SUV's."

So your point was? Because that doesn't sound like sarcasm entirely. Sounds like you're saying GHG's have occurred naturally in the past and are implying they are currently. If that is the case, given I assume you know that the Eemian was a period warmed by greater NH solar, why do you not know that CO2 follows that warmth... err? You are/were quick to state that ice cores point to CO2 lagging warmth aren't you? Using that as an argument against current conditions. Make your mind up - not only are your arguments unscientific and obtuse, you are also mixing them u
Steven_Anderson
1.8 / 5 (5) Jan 25, 2013
NotParker Your estimates of costs of deploying Nuclear solutions are so far off its not even funny. They are based on the cost required to build old reactors with huge containment vessels and pressure vessels to prevent nuclear meltdown. I would suggest you do your research into LFTR reactors. If you do your homework, you will see a huge and I mean a huge cost difference from conventional reactors. Simply because they can't go boom.
NotParker
1.9 / 5 (9) Jan 25, 2013
Warming in the Eemian caused more CO2 to outgas from the ocean and more plant growth which resulted in more CO2 and the same for CH4.

And it was warmer than today.

And it ended. Our Holocene will end too.
VendicarD
3.7 / 5 (7) Jan 25, 2013
Ok Stephen. Lets assume they only cost 1 billion per reactor to build.

Where are you going to get the $100 trillion from?

"NotParker Your estimates of costs of deploying Nuclear solutions are so far off its not even funny." - Stephen
Steven_Anderson
1.7 / 5 (6) Jan 26, 2013
VendicarD Like Parker your way off as well. Here is my figures based on my own calculations adapted from a study done for Australia. It is the most worked out figures I can find and bound to be adjusted as coal reactors are converted to determine costs. Of course costs drop. The first reactor would probably cost us 2 billion to convert and maybe 3 after that. But here goes:

"Converting existing power plants can be done at low cost to any other alternative – we're only changing the heat source, and using the rest of the old plant. This includes the turbines, the switch yard, the power supply contracts – everything but the hot bit. The conversion would then work out to three hundred dollars a kilowatt."

"Power all of Australia while producing merely 48 tonnes of by-product per year (12 bathtubs of valuable, reusable and recyclable by-product, for such uses as lightbulbs, catalytic converters and jewellery)"

"Remaining plant life extended from 25 years to at least 80 years"

Steven_Anderson
1.7 / 5 (6) Jan 26, 2013
Costs of LFTR converted coal reactors.

Item ($ per megawatt-hour)
Now Converted Difference
Capital costs 11.81 22.73 10.92
Decommissioning 0.00 0.011 0.01
Fuel 11.14 0.015 -11.125
Carbon permit cost 10.86 -4.840 -15.710
Operations & maintenance 4.28 6.2 1.92
Total 38.09 24.12 -13.98

typical (500 megawatt) coal plant burns 1.4 million tons of coal each year. As of 2012, there are 572 operational coal plants in the U.S. with an average capacity of 547 megawatts.

Coal generates 44% of our electricity, and is the single biggest air polluter in the U.S.
A Watt is a unit of power, that is, a measure of energy produced or consumed per unit of time. In this case it is 1 Watt = 1 Joule / 1 Second. A megawatt is a million watts. If we want energy use in a specific time period, we don't want to measure it in watts (which are POWER, the RATE of energy use, remember).
Steven_Anderson
1.7 / 5 (6) Jan 26, 2013
Cost of LFTR Reactors converted from coal continued
The usual way to measure electric energy consumption (e.g. for your house) is kilowatt-hours (that is, how much power you consume in kilowatts times the number of hours you consumed it). For the US we could use Megawatt-hours (1 megawatt = 1000 kilowatts). From the Department of Energy we find:
"Electricity consumption by 107 million U.S. households in 2001 totaled 1,140 billion kWh. The most significant end uses were central air-conditioning and refrigerators, each of which accounted for about 14 percent of the U.S. total."

But that's only houses. Wikipedia tells us the US uses 4,104,900,000,000 kWh per year. We can divide by 365 to get kWh per day and by 1000 to get megaWatt-hours per day. That is 11,246,301 mWh per day. That's a lot! Divide by 24 hours in a day to get hourly. That comes out to be 468595.875 mW per hour at a cost of $10.92 for capital cost per mW-hour.
Steven_Anderson
1.7 / 5 (6) Jan 26, 2013
Cost of LFTR Reactors converted from coal continued

It would cost an estimated $5,117,066.955 per Capital per MW-hour to convert the current coal plants to LFTR reactors Liquid salt only reactors. Toothpaste safe.

That translates to $44,825,506,525.8 roughly 45 billion per year, or over 80 years capital expenditure upfront would be 3,586,040,522,064 or 3.6 Trillion dollars which buys us 80 years of infrastructure. That would be to convert the whole USA economy to LFTR. However since Coal is responsible for only 44% of our consumption and a very dirty percent at that. That would be an 80 year investment cost of 1.577,857,829,708.16 or 1.6 Trillion dollars over 80 years.
Feel Free to check my math!
http://bravenewcl...stralia/
wiki pedia also contributed to some of this math. as well as Yahoo answers for the watt definitions.

runrig
4 / 5 (4) Jan 26, 2013
Warming in the Eemian caused more CO2 to outgas from the ocean and more plant growth which resulted in more CO2 and the same for CH4.

And it was warmer than today.

And it ended. Our Holocene will end too.


Parky, you are arguing all around yourself.

The Eemian was caused by the Earth's orbital characteristics favouring greater NH summer warmth. That warmth gave rise to greater global GHG's, causing a positive feed-back and more warmth. The Earth's orbit eventually returned to a cooler phase for the NH .... and the Eemian ended. This without mankind to CHANGE the dynamic.

You cannot argue that warming will naturally end now by comparing the current situation with the Eemian. The dynamics are vastly different. As I've said to you before - try and look at the science in the whole. To simplistically state that it did so and so then and it will do so again, frankly staggers me.
Steven_Anderson
1.9 / 5 (7) Jan 26, 2013
Cost of LFTR Reactors converted from coal continued

Just to make clear. When I say investment cost. I mean an upfront cost. We have spent trillions to promote wars for oil safety for partner nations around the world. I see no reason to not spend a 1.6 Trillion to save the planet. The reduced operational costs of LFTR Reactors over coal fired plants would return huge sums over the 80 year life of the reactors. In addition. It would buy us 80 years to perfect nuclear fusion, if we continue to properly fund this technology. We could also make part of this plan a mandate that the worst and easiest to remove 10% of inefficiency from our infrastructure be removed. This would reduce the cost of this implementation by 63 billion dollars. 63 billion better spent removing the gross waste out of the system with a shorter term gain that will further spur the economy in the short term while the planning is being done for this implementation. We could mix it with solar and wind where it makes sense
Steven_Anderson
1.6 / 5 (8) Jan 26, 2013
Carbon permit costs (If I am not mistaken are set at a world value) If I an not correct in this assumption then please excuse my ignorance on the matter. Then we would save 25 dollars/megawatt hour which would save us a rather small but significant sum of 11.714 million on carbon taxes. Which would offset the cost of added operations and maintenance cost which is 899,704.08 dollars/megawatt hours that it takes to operate these above the cost of coal fired plants. (Don't forget we are also significantly increasing the life of these plants.) Also the use of Concrete could utilize new techniques for manufacturing that increases strength durability and longevity while making the concrete absorbs loads of CO2 from borrowed ash from Steel plants which is currently just waste and further increase it's negative CO2 footprint.
Steven_Anderson
1.3 / 5 (6) Jan 26, 2013
Note before someone calls me out on it. I said mW which is milliwatts. This should be corrected to MW which is MegaWatts. The calculations should be the same.
NotParker
1.7 / 5 (11) Jan 26, 2013
Warming in the Eemian caused more CO2 to outgas from the ocean and more plant growth which resulted in more CO2 and the same for CH4.

And it was warmer than today.

And it ended. Our Holocene will end too.


Parky, you are arguing all around yourself.

The Eemian was caused by the Earth's orbital characteristics favouring greater NH summer warmth. That warmth gave rise to greater global GHG's, causing a positive feed-back and more warmth. The Earth's orbit eventually returned to a cooler phase for the NH .... and the Eemian ended. This without mankind to CHANGE the dynamic.


The warming earth caused CO2 to rise over 100ppm.

When the earth started cooling, it took over 10,000 years for CO2 to drop more than 20ppm. In those 10,000 years, temperature dropped over 5C.

http://www.ferdin...ian.html

Higher CO2 did not stop the cooling.
Steven_Anderson
2.8 / 5 (8) Jan 26, 2013
NotParker You don't understand any science at all the suns output and relative angle and distance has more effect than anything we can do to it. If the suns output rose by 5% we would probably all be dead. (Don't quote me on the math its an example only NotParker. What's your response to my post or haven't you got one?
runrig
4.2 / 5 (5) Jan 26, 2013

Higher CO2 did not stop the cooling.


But why would you expect it too?

CO2 is the mediator of the energy balance of the Earth. It responds to Solar insolation ( excepting mankind's efforts ). Of course it will not stop the cooling - that is inevitable given falling NH solar.
NotParker
1.8 / 5 (12) Jan 26, 2013

Higher CO2 did not stop the cooling.


But why would you expect it too?


I don't.

Warming causes more CO2, not the other way around.

Cooling results in less CO2, not less CO2 causes cooling.

CO2 is a very weak unimportant GHG. Water Vapor is the king of GHG's. CO2 is a wimp.

http://wattsupwit...t-clear/
runrig
4.2 / 5 (5) Jan 26, 2013

Higher CO2 did not stop the cooling.


But why would you expect it too?


I don't.

Warming causes more CO2, not the other way around.

Cooling results in less CO2, not less CO2 causes cooling.

CO2 is a very weak unimportant GHG. Water Vapor is the king of GHG's. CO2 is a wimp.



I think we've been around this circle before, so one more time.

Indeed warming does cause more CO2 ... if the Earth is left to its own devices. Point is, it isn't - we have a state where anthro CO2 is leading the warming ( ie NOT natural ). Put simply, CO2 goes hand-in-hand with warming. It doesn't matter which comes first.
You are right about WV being a more potent GHG, however, the important/crucial difference is that it follows temperature. It is in equilibrium at a given temperature given that air can only hold so much at a given temp and must precipitate out if exceeded.
It therefore is a feed-back and not the cause.

NotParker
1.4 / 5 (9) Jan 26, 2013

You are right about WV being a more potent GHG, however, the important/crucial difference is that it follows temperature.



So does CO2 as the Eemian graph shows.

As last 16 years have shown, rising CO2 can result in no change temperature at all despite predictions that it would end the world.
extinct
1.8 / 5 (5) Jan 26, 2013
Is there any ice core sample with 390ppm of atmospheric CO2? Not that I know of. So in this case, the past cannot *fully* predict the future. Only in the past 2 centuries have we started to meddle with natural ecosystems to the degree that we are today, especially with our "hockey stick" population chart. Before roughly 1850, there was an extra level of ecosystem stability that we have squandered away with modern society.
Long story short, global warming will get worse and worse. Temperature extremes in the hot *and* in the cold will get more extreme. Phenomena like hurricanes, tornadoes, flooding, sea level rise, and overall just heat, humidity and mass extinction will get worse and worse over the next few centuries. We will be at a point of deciding whether to 1) keep intervening to the highest degree possible (hasn't worked so far) or 2) try to remove all human influence from earth's ecosystem (the smart thing to do) and we of course will choose poorly, as humanoids are prone to do.
Whydening Gyre
2.1 / 5 (9) Jan 26, 2013
Interestingly enough, planet Earth will make the decision on when it's had enough...
or we'll kill it...
runrig
4.4 / 5 (7) Jan 26, 2013
So does CO2 as the Eemian graph shows.

You continue to equate today with a time before humans, one where orbital parameters favoured NH warmth. Today is very different. The NH receives of the order of 7% less solar insolation than the SH. If anything it should be cooling. The natural order IS for CO2 to follow, that is why it did so in the Eemian. Today is NOT natural. Human influence comes from outside of the climate system. As previously stated CO2 can follow or lead.

As last 16 years have shown, rising CO2 can result in no change temperature at all despite predictions that it would end the world.


Correct - it can result in no change in temperature for periods as model simulations have shown - but only because of overlying climate cycles. See the vid in this link ...http://www.carbon...-stopped

PS: no one ever said that "the world would end" as you put it. The advance of changes will take decades to accrue.
VendicarE
5 / 5 (3) Jan 26, 2013
That is an amazing statement given that every time you make it, we show that it is a lie.

"As last 16 years have shown, rising CO2 can result in no change temperature at all. - ParkerTard

Do you have some form of brain wasting disease ParkerTard?

http://www.woodfo...97/trend
VendicarE
5 / 5 (3) Jan 26, 2013
Direct physical measurement shows that CO2 absorbs Infared Radiation and re-radiates it in a random direction.

It immediately follows that radiation from one direction which would necessarily continue in that direction, when passing through a gas like CO2 will have some of that radiation re-radiated back to the source.

Hence the source increases in temperature.

With ParkerTard the stupidity train never stops.

"Warming causes more CO2, not the other way around." - ParkerTard

ParkerTard has a long history of denying basic science that was settled in the early 1800's even after he has been repeatedly corrected again, and again and again.

His inability to learn is part of his mental disease.
VendicarE
5 / 5 (4) Jan 27, 2013
"80 year investment cost of 1.577,857,829,708.16 or 1.6 Trillion dollars over 80 years." - Anderson

Your conversion cost comes in at 126 trillion spread over 80 years.

However you are only converting existing plants and presuming no growth in electricity consumption.

Presuming electricity consumption will double over the next 80 years as the world economies mature and population size increases, you will need to build twice as many plants and half of the from scratch. So your cost of 126 trillion really turns out to be closer to 378 trillion and this presumes that existing plants can be converted as cost effectively as you claim.

I will consider that the $378 trillion is a reasonable lower limit to the price.

Where are you going to get the $375 trillion from?

Steven_Anderson
1 / 5 (5) Jan 27, 2013
VendicarE I challenge you to show me where in my calculation I am wrong. The investment of converting them comes to 1.6 Trillion dollars which is in line with the original studies findings where the conversion was for a population the size of Australia's population. Please point out the math error before calling me out on my calculation.
Whydening Gyre
1.6 / 5 (7) Jan 27, 2013
[q Where are you going to get the $375 trillion from?
Amortise it over a longer period of time..

Over 80 years, 1.6 trillion DOES seem a tad low...
Steven_Anderson
1 / 5 (5) Jan 27, 2013
No that is a pre-amortization calculation. I am assuming its an upfront investment. Someone here might take and do the 80 year amortization calculation. In fact it might be better to say 40 years. That way we can start investing in Nuclear Fusion for the next 40 years and be able to deploy it in 80 when its all mature. Sorry for the confusion. I will include whatever someone reasonable comes up with for 40 years in my calculations for future posts.
VendicarE
5 / 5 (4) Jan 27, 2013
Your "calculations" were incoherent.

"VendicarE I challenge you to show me where in my calculation I am wrong." - Stephen Anderson

Try again.
Steven_Anderson
1 / 5 (5) Jan 28, 2013
Here is the full We the People Petition http://wh.gov/VZM5 and the math details outlined clearer found here at http://RAWCELL.com on the front page. Please sign the petition for the study of the efficacy of implementing a migration of existing coal fire plants to LFTR nuclear reactors.
Howhot
4.2 / 5 (5) Jan 28, 2013
Steven, for the same money, you could cover the roofs of a large city with solar panels and provide peak energy in excess of nuclear solutions without the hazards of nuclear waste disposal or proliferation issues. Once solar is established, the continuing costs are just maintenance. With nuclear you will always have costs long after the plant is decommissioned.
Steven_Anderson
1.6 / 5 (7) Jan 28, 2013
Howhot: You are basing your facts on nuclear waste and proliferation problems associated with conventional reactors. Not LFTR Reactors. There is no proliferation risk because they can not self sustain a reaction. Can't go boom! Can't make bombs or dirty bombs! Can't explode and only need a small amount of storage relative to their currently used counterparts. I would suggest you do some reading on LFTR reactors. Don't disregard a solution based on unfounded fears of a technology that don't exist. Further more solar is only developed (and so is wind for that matter) to a point where they still require subsides which they can not exist without. It will take another 10 years before they can be on par with coal fired plants. LFTR reactors don't need another 10 years. A Manhattan style project (like the one I propose) would be sufficient to bring them to life in a couple of years. We don't have another 10 years to wait.
Steven_Anderson
1 / 5 (6) Jan 28, 2013
If you were to do the numbers for solar you would find that it would cost a lot more. As you scale the number of solar plants up you will run into problems obtaining the necessary elements in order to produce that many solar panels which will serve to raise costs even further and prevent you from achieving that goal. Solar panels will take another 10 years to mature to be competitive and to eliminate the rare earths out of the mix. I would suggest replacing the other 56 % of our energy consumption with solar panels, wind energy, switch grass power, wave power. This will buy us valuable time.
antialias_physorg
3.7 / 5 (3) Jan 28, 2013
As you scale the number of solar plants up you will run into problems obtaining the necessary elements in order to produce that many solar panels which will serve to raise costs even further and prevent you from achieving that goal.

Depends which kind of solar you use. Solar thermal requires no materials that aren't abundant.

Concentrator solar panels and thin film solar require a lot less materials than current monocrystalline panels do (and the top-of-the-line thin film solar you can get today are as good as the monocrystalline silicon ones that are currently deployed in powerplants)

PV is already cheaper than solar thermal - but solar thermal still has the edge on storability of the power (via molten salts).

And we haven't even started to deploy high altitude wind powerplants (I know there are a couple of startups - but nothing deployed yet). The winds up there are very steady and usable for base load without the necessity for storage.
antialias_physorg
3.7 / 5 (3) Jan 28, 2013
they still require subsides which they can not exist without

This is true of all new energy sources (and nuclear couldn't exist currently if it wasn't subsidized. It has actually NEVER been a viable powersource without the subsidies).

Alternative power sources are already surpassing nuclear in energy generated in some countries at 1/6th to 1/8th of the subsidies invested.

Nuclear isn't viable because it also requires trained people to operate. You can't just magically create the millions of nuclear techs needed run nuclear powerplants on the scale that would make any difference.
LFTRs aren't a proven concept. The theory is sound - but theory and real-life operations are two different things.
Until they'd be ready (tested) and deployed it'd be far too late.
Shootist
1 / 5 (8) Jan 28, 2013
So you propose what? All of the knee-jerk reaction about the Earth possibly getting warmer does not automatically indicate that humans are the direct cause, or that we can stop it. Now does it indicate that it's ridiculous to allow Carbon Taxes to spread across the world that do nothing bu enrich those with connections in governments decrease the rate by which humans raise their standard of living.


Man, you got that right
Steven_Anderson
1 / 5 (5) Jan 28, 2013
antialias_physorg I appreciate your well thought out objections. I would like to point out a couple problems I have with your conclusions. If we take a look at the Manhattan project, the United States spent lots of effort (and money to develop Nuclear weapons practically from scratch) "The Manhattan Project (or the creation of the first atomic bomb) began in 1942, although it had been discussed as early as 1939. The bombs were essentially part of an arms race against the Nazi scientists. It ended in 1946 a little after we bombed Japan because it wasn't perfect when we used it on Hiroshima and Nagasaki." I feel we could do the same for LFTR Reactors in as little half that time two years instead of four years since we know a lot more about nuclear now than we did then and the materials have already been refined, the physics laid out, the math done, the design nearly complete.
antialias_physorg
4 / 5 (4) Jan 28, 2013
I feel we could do the same for LFTR Reactors in as little half that time two years instead of four years

Blowing stuff up and containing same reaction are orders of magnitude different in complexity.
The last LFTR protoypes (fraught with problems) are 40 years old. We'd have to start from scratch. Just building one isn't enough. You need to test it for years to see how well it runs and where the weakpoints are.
Then redesign for the faults and run again (and since you can't modify them once they are built you'd have to at least build a second round of testing reactors)

Thorium reserves are also concentrated in few countries - so you'd be back to having wars/disputes over finite resources. Something we should desparately try to avoid given today's weapon technologies.

As for dirty bombs: Thorium is a viable component of those. There's no way huge numbers of reactors could be kept safe enough.
Steven_Anderson
1 / 5 (5) Jan 28, 2013
On the competitiveness of solar. Solar that uses concentrators requires huge changes to the electrical infrastructure. A problem this solution does not. It has a long distance transport limitation so its good for only some areas of the country. Solar only shines during the day so storage is a necessary huge expense. It also does not shine and produce high energy outputs at all part s of the day. I would be interested in seeing some numbers on the power efficiency of the other types and a similar study for solar (also wind) that includes the end to end costs. So far we have not made either profitable. (Not to say we wont eventually) which is why my complete solution involves 56% solar, wind, switch grass ground power, wave power, and some biomass and waste(from trash and sewage) but gives them 10 years to become competitive. Note: I object to Ethanol as a solution.
Steven_Anderson
1.7 / 5 (6) Jan 28, 2013
The significant thorium deposits in the united states. There is lots of sources in the US.

http://energy.usg...abid=489

The first Molten-Salt Breeder prototype was built at Oak Ridge in 1950, with an operational reactor running from 1965 to 1969. Six heavy-water thorium reactors are planned in India, which has the world's largest thorium deposits
"It has been estimated that the nuclear energy available in thorium is greater than that available from all of the world's oil, coal and uranium combined. In addition, thorium generally is present in higher concentrations (2-10%) by weight than uranium (0.1-1%) in their respective ores, making thorium retrieval much less expensive and less environmentally damaging per unit of energy extracted. "
So how much thorium is needed to supply the USA with 46% of its power consumption for 1000 years? Stay tuned.
Steven_Anderson
1.7 / 5 (6) Jan 28, 2013
Lehhi Pass alone has enough thorium in 1400 acres to power all of the USA for a Millennium for 100% of the United States energy consumption we are asking only for 80 years for 46% of the country. Lemhi Pass is a high mountain pass in the Beaverhead Mountains, part of the Bitterroot Range in the Rocky Mountains and within Salmon-Challis National Forest. The pass lies on the Montana-Idaho border on the continental divide, at an elevation of 7373 feet (2247 m) above sea level. this is one pass to supply all United States needs. Think how much more we dig up for coal, oil, and natural gas and to supply solar panels and windmills with rare earth elements!
Steven_Anderson
1.7 / 5 (6) Jan 28, 2013
"The Thorium Energy Alliance (TEA), an educational advocacy organization, emphasizes that "there is enough thorium in the United States alone to power the country at its current energy level for over 10,000 years. "
"hypothetical 5 ton, truck-sized 1 MW thorium reactor might run for only $250,000 but would generate enough electricity for 1,000 people for the duration of its operating lifetime, using only 20 kg of thorium fuel per year, running almost automatically, and requiring safety checks as infrequently as once a year."
If the amount of fuel scales linearly then 20kg * 500 gives the weight of 1000KG/Yr for fuel for one reactor multiplied by 80 years gives us 80,000 Kg of fuel for 80 years! If we multiply this by the 572 reactors being converted we come to the conclusion that we would need 45,760,000 Kg of fuel for 80 years. If we wish to calculate the waste weight of the fuel at 1% waste we come up with the figure of 457,600 Kg of waste if we divide this by the density of thorium.
Steven_Anderson
1.7 / 5 (6) Jan 28, 2013
Wikipedia tells us the density of thorium is The density of thorium is 11.7 g/cm 3,457,600 Kg = 457,600,000 g =39,111 cm3 which is less than 1 Cubic meter of waste....hmmm that doesn't seem right a little small even after refinement of the waste. Let me do that calculation another way.

"Thorium produces about a thousand times less waste throughout the supply chain than uranium. It is mostly consumed in the reaction. Of the remaining quantity, which is quite small (I've been told it's about the size of a coke can for every billion kilowatt hours), 83 percent is safe within ten years and the remaining 17 percent requires 300 years of storage before it becomes safe. " If this is right than we can simply say since we are producing 46 % of the USA energy from LFTR Reactors, then Wikipedia tells us the US uses 4,104,900,000,000 kWh per year then we would have 4104.9 coke cans laying around to guard for 10 years and 697.833 coke cans for 300 years per year. 80 years would be 328,392 cans.
Steven_Anderson
1.7 / 5 (6) Jan 28, 2013
328,392 cans would be reduced to 55,826.64 coke cans in 10 years time. Which would be 2326.11 cases of coke for 300 years. I am willing to bet that would easily fit the 56 thousand cans inside one mountain that we already store heavy elements in, and don't forget we would be consuming these other heavy elements at the same time. We could put a whole army site around it.
Steven_Anderson
1.7 / 5 (6) Jan 28, 2013
Oh and before I forget thats 328,392 cans times 80 years of life of the reactors which would be 2,6271,360 cans total or 1,094,640 cases total, that is a lot but still would fit in a mountain or two and don't forget that would only be 10 years of storage. So 3,283,920 cans in a 10 year period or 136,830 cases held at one time the cans saved for 80 years at 17% or 1,860,888 cans of coke stored for 300 years or 77,537 cases stored for 300 years. I wonder how many cases of coke are in one coke cola warehouse?
VendicarE
5 / 5 (3) Jan 28, 2013
Where are you going to get the $375 trillion dollars from Stephen?
antialias_physorg
4 / 5 (4) Jan 28, 2013
Just make a 375 trillion dollar coin.
Solar that uses concentrators requires huge changes to the electrical infrastructure

That change is already being made. And it costs far less than building nuclear.
Energy grids are already constinent-wide. The 'local sunshine/wind' argument never was a real argument.
The significant thorium deposits in the united states.

The US is not the world.

All the numbers on thorium are hypothetical - since there isn't an existing real powerplant in operation. As noted: we need solutions that are feasible now - not in 30 years.
Steven_Anderson
1.6 / 5 (7) Jan 28, 2013
oh my. I have no idea where you guys get your numbers from. I am not sure you know where you get them from. The numbers work out to the amounts I said. That is 1.6 Trillion dollars which could be amortized over 40 years. Over the five years of the project that would mean an investment of one fifth of the 1.6 Trillion per year. No more. No Less. India will have there first LFTR reactor running this YEAR! Send them a few billion to learn from their mistakes and save a couple years! VendicarE stop being a troll. First of all my name is Steven if you can read any better than you can do math! antialias_physorg No need to make 375 trillion dollar coins that's almost enough money to fund building a Death Star. Show me your math. Not your made up numbers.
Steven_Anderson
1 / 5 (3) Jan 28, 2013
antialias_physorg what is your point about the US not being the world. My concern and the We the People Petition I setup concerns the United States's burning of coal as a contributor to global warming. I am simply saying with this relatively low cost solution that can be deployed within a year or two with a Manhattan style effort would eliminate that large segment of carbon out of the equation. I don't understand why there is such resistance to facts. If I am wrong in my math or am wrong about a facet of energy derived from wind and solar due to outdated or propaganda as in VendicarE, or NotParker, then please show me where I am wrong. I am willing to listen. But don't go making up things for the sake of winning an argument that you can't win with logic.
Howhot
4 / 5 (4) Feb 01, 2013
@Steven, I like your enthusiasm for a thorium fusion reactor, but right now the only country I know that has any program studying the thorium chain is China! There is not a commercial interest in thorium that I know of, and as far as real-life energy production, I think Cold Fusion has surpassed it. I've studied the thorium cycle and I think it has commercial potential if China develops it under a communistic system. I don't think it has capitalistic roots. Not enough even to get a start-up experimental reactor built. That will take Government spending from somebody like the DOE, who according to the republican wing-nuts, needs to be de-funded and eliminated.

Solar on the other hand is easy. $6000 per household and a smart energy grid lasts forever. It builds an industry and distributes wealth. Earth surface roughly 196,935,000 square miles

There is roughly 12.2 trillion watt-hours per square mile per year of solar energy. It is that huge Steven.

Howhot
4 / 5 (4) Feb 01, 2013
Actually, I want to correct some points I was making. China isn't the only thorium reactor developer. Just a little googling showed several countries developing this power source. Still my argument stands that nothing beats solar for long term industrial strenght energy production. It is a different philosophy, of centralized vs de-centralized. Economically I see the de-centralized approach as a better long-term solution.
Whydening Gyre
1 / 5 (5) Feb 02, 2013
It is a different philosophy, of centralized vs de-centralized. Economically I see the de-centralized approach as a better long-term solution.

Reminds me of the shift to computer networks in the 70s and 80s...
an' look at us now, Ma...:-)
VendicarE
5 / 5 (3) Feb 02, 2013
"That is 1.6 Trillion dollars which could be amortized over 40 years." - Steven Anderson

So in your view, decreasing the value of $1.6 billion dollars over 40 years will give you $375,000 billion.

Clearly you neither know what the words "amortization" or "billion" mean.

Are you 12 years old?

Steven_Anderson
1 / 5 (3) Feb 02, 2013
VendicarE. I am not an economics major. Perhaps the term would be to "Finance it over 40 years" 1.6 Trillion financed over 40 years. Rather than Amortizing it.

Although Wiki Defines it as "When used in the context of a home purchase, amortization is the process by which loan principal decreases over the life of a loan. With each mortgage payment that is made, a portion of the payment is applied towards reducing the principal, and another portion of the payment is applied towards paying the interest on the loan. An amortization table shows this ratio of principal and interest and demonstrates how a loan's principal amount decreases over time." Which I believe is in line with what I said!
Steven_Anderson
1 / 5 (3) Feb 02, 2013
How To: Solar doesnt work 24 hours a day. It needs to be subsided with other energy creating technologies or with expensive storage. So does Wind Energy. Although solar is more reliable during working hours in places like the deserts of the west. These are limitations which LFTR Reactors would not have.
VendicarE
4.5 / 5 (2) Feb 03, 2013
Very true. But you can't covert the wind into a nuclear weapon.

"These are limitations which LFTR Reactors would not have." - Anderson
Steven_Anderson
1.8 / 5 (5) Feb 03, 2013
VendicarE The only nuclear waste that you can convert to a dirty bomb (not possible to convert to Atomic Bomb type) is .1% of the waste from these reactors. In fact they consume Uranium or spent Uranium in the process of there operation so we actually end up with less waste. Not to mention the waste is in a form that is not easily transformed into a dirty bomb. It's contained and thoroughly dispersed in a large amount of liquid until its extracted. Many have suggested that you could bury the reactors with a set amount of fuel for 30 years. Keeping it 30 meters underground makes it a very hard target to get to never mind convert it to a bomb. Designated places can be setup to recover the small amount of waste. The very small amount of waste about the size of a coke can per 1GW of power. A single Coke Cola Warehouse could hold enough waste for 80 years. http://rawcell.com

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