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  #501  
Old 24.07.2008, 07:56
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Re: Global Warming - what's behind it?

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A nice solution, but...

Who actually owns the Sahara?


Does this sound like a secure group where Europe should place its future engergy needs??
Quick question, did you even bother to read the article ?
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  #502  
Old 24.07.2008, 08:12
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Re: Global Warming - what's behind it?

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Quick question, did you even bother to read the article ?
Yes, and I first read about the scheme some six months ago.

Let's be clear, I am all for breaking our dependence on fossil fuels, I don't decry climate change or even global warming as tree-huggers' fantasies. I am 100% for the environment. However, I am a realist and if ideas are put forward which appear to simply paper over the cracks, or raise further problems, or appear no more than crack pot day-dreams - I will ask questions.

Thus, I find the Sahara scheme perfect, except that once again the west (Europe in this case) would be placing our energy supply in an area that is and has been politically unstable and decidedly aggressive to 'the west' - see current story on Switzerland and Libya for example...
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  #503  
Old 24.07.2008, 12:08
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Re: Global Warming - what's behind it?

I'd make a start in Morrocco. They're certainly friendlier to Europe at the moment than some places, especially with the idea being touted of the tunnel between them and Spain:

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/africa/3317149.stm

In addition to the rail links, an energy 'pipeline' between the two would certainly keep relations sweet, I reckon. As neighbouring countries see the cash rolling in, they'll want a piece of the action too and I wouldn't be too surprised if some of the Mediterranean-African countries start warming to the EU.
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  #504  
Old 24.07.2008, 12:20
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Re: Global Warming - what's behind it?

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Yes, and I first read about the scheme some six months ago.

Let's be clear, I am all for breaking our dependence on fossil fuels, I don't decry climate change or even global warming as tree-huggers' fantasies. I am 100% for the environment. However, I am a realist and if ideas are put forward which appear to simply paper over the cracks, or raise further problems, or appear no more than crack pot day-dreams - I will ask questions.

Thus, I find the Sahara scheme perfect, except that once again the west (Europe in this case) would be placing our energy supply in an area that is and has been politically unstable and decidedly aggressive to 'the west' - see current story on Switzerland and Libya for example...

The swiss police arrested Moammarr Gaddaffis son. Wtf were they thinking. Forget that I'm sure he carried a diplomatic passport. Forget that they supply 50% of crude to CH. Lockerbie was not that long ago.....
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  #505  
Old 24.07.2008, 12:22
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Re: Global Warming - what's behind it?

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I'd make a start in Morrocco. They're certainly friendlier to Europe at the moment than some places, especially with the idea being touted of the tunnel between them and Spain:

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/africa/3317149.stm

In addition to the rail links, an energy 'pipeline' between the two would certainly keep relations sweet, I reckon. As neighbouring countries see the cash rolling in, they'll want a piece of the action too and I wouldn't be too surprised if some of the Mediterranean-African countries start warming to the EU.
there is already a high capacity link between Morocco & Spain & another connects Morocco with Algeria at present, so obviously the place to start. If you want to delve a little deeper into this, heres a good site :

Rome-Euro Mediterranean Energy Platform
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  #506  
Old 24.07.2008, 22:27
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Re: Global Warming - what's behind it?

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¨
so we have the "how do we generate electricity without fossil fuels" argument ... how about this :

Solar power from Saharan sun could provide Europe's electricity

& all for £35 Bn !!!
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Who actually owns the Sahara?

Does this sound like a secure group where Europe should place its future energy needs??
There's a Caltech (Pasadena, CA, USA) professor who argues that we could power the whole world on the solar panels of today's technology, using 6 strategically located plots (see "Solar Land Area Requirements" slide in the powerpoint presentation on this website: http://nsl.caltech.edu/energy.html; sorry this is a professor's personal site and not condensed into smaller, less technical sound-bites). This is good news for the US, but leaves Europe still dependent on Northern Africa/the Middle East for its power. Nonetheless, surely adaptation on a smaller scale in places like Spain and Morocco (at least it's friendlier to Europe than some of the other places on that list...) would allow Europe to have a large degree of energy independence.

Hmm I'm not sure my post is really adding new information to the debate, except that a lone professor at Caltech backs the idea of the Saharan solar panels...Next post: higher impact!
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  #507  
Old 25.07.2008, 01:11
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Re: Global Warming - what's behind it?

For those of you who still think the Oil companies are the victims of the "global warming conspiracy":

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  #508  
Old 25.07.2008, 01:19
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Re: Global Warming - what's behind it?

Perhaps big brother can benefit from both the fear that global warming presents and also high oil prices. For now, there is not much that society can do with vehicles that use oil and gasoline. Consumption will take place no matter what, including these steep prices creating enormous profits.

The sense of urgency and fear that "global warming" creates, coupled with economic and inflationary concerns breeds an environment where people are willing to give up their rights for the sake of "freedom" and "security".

From here it is a slippery slope of speculation, but these next few years may be interesting.
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  #509  
Old 01.08.2008, 17:20
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Re: Global Warming - what's behind it?

Some positive stuff from the biggest emitter of green house gases:

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/nature/7535839.stm
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  #510  
Old 01.08.2008, 18:43
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Re: Global Warming - what's behind it?

Look, the solution is simple. Everyone: go and open the door to your fridge now!

That was easy. I'm off to disprove Goedel's Incompleteness Theorem.
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  #511  
Old 01.08.2008, 19:58
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Re: Global Warming - what's behind it?

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Some very interesting opinions and discussions on this topic. I have recently read a very amazing book on this subject by Bjorn Lomborn called 'The Sceptical Environmentalist'. He is an associate professor of statistics in the department of political science at a university in Denmark. He is also an ex member of Green Peace. His book looks at the REAL state of the world based on facts, or if the facts are impossible to obtain, the most likely scenarios. It is fascinating reading and I recommend it very highly.
This book has been debunked by experts in the fields in which Bjorn Lomborn explores.

Read more here:
http://www.grist.org/advice/books/2001/12/12/of/
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  #512  
Old 01.08.2008, 20:17
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Re: Global Warming - what's behind it?

Regarding new sources of energy, a very interesting new technological development was just published in the journal Science this week. Basically a new catalyst has been developed which can split water into Hydrogen gas and Oxygen gas (previous catalysts had trouble producing molecular oxygen, which left the water extremely alkaline, and basically a waste product.)

The benefits of this is that solar power can be used during the day to generate electricity and to split water into hydrogen and oxygen which can be stored (think fuel cell), and used at night as a source of energy when the sun isn't shining.

Obviously it will take time for this technology to be turned into marketable products, but it's very encouraging to see these technologies developing.

You can hear more about it a the Science weekly podcast (free):
http://www.sciencemag.org/cgi/conten.../321/5889/710b

The actual science article is only available for a fee, or if you have access through an academic/research institution. If someone is interested, I can send it along.
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  #513  
Old 02.08.2008, 11:12
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Re: Global Warming - what's behind it?

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This book has been debunked by experts in the fields in which Bjorn Lomborn explores.

Read more here:
http://www.grist.org/advice/books/2001/12/12/of/
That's not a debunking at all. As for 'experts', half of them seem to come from one think-tank based in the US (World Resources Institute). All they've done is provide one person's opinion on each of the subjects they've chosen. I could do the same with any subject you like, i.e. find someone somewhere that disagrees with your work and uses some figures to back it up.
The website itself is very heavily biased against anyone who doesn't agree with them, so I don't count that as an impartial debate, let alone a debunking.
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  #514  
Old 02.08.2008, 11:32
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Re: Global Warming - what's behind it?

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The benefits of this is that solar power can be used during the day to generate electricity and to split water into hydrogen and oxygen which can be stored (think fuel cell), and used at night as a source of energy when the sun isn't shining.
I would be interested to know the EROI on that.

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The actual science article is only available for a fee, or if you have access through an academic/research institution. If someone is interested, I can send it along.
Please do.
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  #515  
Old 02.08.2008, 12:16
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Re: Global Warming - what's behind it?

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That's not a debunking at all. As for 'experts', half of them seem to come from one think-tank based in the US (World Resources Institute). All they've done is provide one person's opinion on each of the subjects they've chosen. I could do the same with any subject you like, i.e. find someone somewhere that disagrees with your work and uses some figures to back it up.
The website itself is very heavily biased against anyone who doesn't agree with them, so I don't count that as an impartial debate, let alone a debunking.
So a bit of background, I have a Ph.D. in Atmospheric Science, so I do have a bit of expertise in understanding the climate system. I would be more than happy to answer questions about the scientific understanding behind Climate Change, acknowledging that there are a great deal of misconceptions, misunderstandings, and propaganda out there (from both sides). The climate system is complex, and not an easy thing to dissect into nicely digestable factoids. If there are questions that people have I would be happy to do my best to explain the science behind them (I will readily admit that I am not an expert in all areas of climate, but have a reasonable understanding of how the system works).

Back to the original topic...
When I started in grad school I went to a talk given by the editors at Cambridge University Press where the topic was the Skeptical Environmentalist, and why the editors published something so filled with errors, misstatements, and exaggeration. The editors essentially said (I'm paraphrasing here) that they acknowledge that the book has a great deal of errors, but they stand by their decision to publish it.

On a side note, this book was not subjected to "peer review" as normal scientific papers are. This means that other scientists did not have the chance to scrutinize the findings before they were put into print. Scientific findings published in journals are subject to the scrutiny of other scientists, and this system, while not perfect, would have prevented many of the gross errors in this book from being published.

So a few more links that may hopefully shed some more light on the bad science of this book (not, by any means, an exhaustive list):
Quote from an NY Times article:
"''Objectively speaking,'' the committees found, ''the publication of the work under consideration is deemed to fall within the concept of scientific dishonesty,'' as defined by Danish rules for scientific integrity."
http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpag...gewanted=print

Union of Concerned Scientists examination of the book:
http://www.ucsusa.org/global_warming...mentalist.html

Factual Errors in the book:
http://www.lomborg-errors.dk/
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  #516  
Old 02.08.2008, 12:30
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Re: Global Warming - what's behind it?

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Factual Errors in the book:
http://www.lomborg-errors.dk/
It was written by an economist. What did you expect?
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  #517  
Old 02.08.2008, 12:57
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Re: Global Warming - what's behind it?

It's widely known that a range of Scientists from Denmark have been skeptic about global warming.

One of them earlier said that the global increase in temperature was due to an increased solar activity.

This has been proven wrong, as many other false assumptions coming from Denmark.
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  #518  
Old 02.08.2008, 13:15
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Re: Global Warming - what's behind it?

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If there are questions that people have I would be happy to do my best to explain the science behind them (I will readily admit that I am not an expert in all areas of climate, but have a reasonable understanding of how the system works).
Thanks for the offer pete-d!

Has it been proven that solar cycles don't affect climate change? I've googled Solar Cycle 24 and read a couple of websites but I don't trust every website I read and it seems to be getting harder and harder to get any kind of an unbiased view these days - propaganda on both sides.

I recently listened to a guy on the radio interviewing some "scientist" and their discussion was about the "impending ice age" and food shortages.

Just curious what your opinion is about that.
Thanks.
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  #519  
Old 02.08.2008, 13:26
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Re: Global Warming - what's behind it?

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Has it been proven that solar cycles don't affect climate change? I've googled Solar Cycle 24 and read a couple of websites but I don't trust every website I read and it seems to be getting harder and harder to get any kind of an unbiased view these days - propaganda on both sides.
Try to get as close as you can to the original, peer-reviewed literature.
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  #520  
Old 02.08.2008, 13:46
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Re: Global Warming - what's behind it?

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Thanks for the offer pete-d!

Has it been proven that solar cycles don't affect climate change? I've googled Solar Cycle 24 and read a couple of websites but I don't trust every website I read and it seems to be getting harder and harder to get any kind of an unbiased view these days - propaganda on both sides.
Yes, the internet is a great place to find all sorts of (mis)information on just about any subject.

Regarding the solar cycle here's a quote from Nature (a leading peer reviewed scientific journal) from a fairly recent study:
"Solar activity peaked between 1985 and 1987. Since then, trends in solar irradiance, sunspot number and cosmic-ray intensity have all been in the OPPOSITE (emphaisis added) direction to that required to explain global warming."
You can read a bit more here:
http://blog.petedecarlo.com/?p=41

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I recently listened to a guy on the radio interviewing some "scientist" and their discussion was about the "impending ice age" and food shortages.

Just curious what your opinion is about that.
Thanks.
This is highly debatable. One of the issues with Climate change is the notion of "tipping points". Situations in which the pressure on the climate system forces something within the system to change dramatically. A potential event would be the shutting down of the Thermohaline Circulation (THC), which is the ocean current system responsible for bringing warm water from the tropical regions to the northern latitudes, and is why England and northern Europe in general is not cold for it's latitude. The probability of this occuring is low, but not zero. Consequences of this occuring would likely be an ice age, but this is not certain, nor are the societal effect of a climate shift of this sort.

Anyway, the basic theory behind this is that for the THC to work as normal, cold and salty water needs to sink in the northern oceans, basically pulling, like a conveyer belt, warmer water from the tropics to the north. As glaciers melt there is more fresh water (less dense) mixing with the colder saltier water, slowing down this sinking process, which, in turn can slow down the THC. So that's the basic theory behind this potential "tipping point".

And, as I mentioned before this is a low probablility event, and is still being debated among scientists. Even though some recent popular (extremely unrealistic: http://www.apple.com/trailers/fox/dayaftertomorrow/ ) movies have played it off as a sci-fi thriller.
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