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  #901  
Old 17.02.2010, 18:52
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Re: Global Warming - what's behind it?

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Only in the third world parts of Europe, like Italy.

And Italy's part of Africa, anyway, so it doesn't count.
How did you get all those green boxes on your reputation? You seem to be a tireless (yet lousy) provoker.
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  #902  
Old 17.02.2010, 19:02
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Re: Global Warming - what's behind it?

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How did you get all those green boxes on your reputation? You seem to be a tireless (yet lousy) provoker.

Well, I didn't get them by groaning anybody who asked a question I didn't like.

How did you get your red blobby, old chap?
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  #903  
Old 17.02.2010, 19:34
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Re: Global Warming - what's behind it?

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Only in the third world parts of Europe, like Italy.

And Italy's part of Africa, anyway, so it doesn't count.
Nope. Italy's on the Eurasian Plate.
Now, if you wanted to argue that Italy was an Asian country....

B.
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  #904  
Old 17.02.2010, 19:37
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Re: Global Warming - what's behind it?

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...You seem to be a tireless (yet lousy) provoker.
I dunno, I always thought he had a natural talent for it.
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  #905  
Old 17.02.2010, 21:24
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Re: Global Warming - what's behind it?

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I get quite amazed why people can not makwe their own judgements based upon their own obervations.

I am 57 years old and come from Northern Ontario Canada. I have seen the results of pollution and global warming.

I lived close to Detroit where on some days I could write my name on my car due to pollution. My children suffered from chronic asthma as a result of the pollution.

I have been in cities where I can suffer from the pollution
There is a huge difference between CO2 and toxic pollution (like the one you mentioned above. First, CO2 is not toxic. We all emit CO2 when we breathe. Plants actually need CO2 for photosynthesis.
It's something entirely different whether we talk about toxic pollution or whether we talk about CO2.

In some cases reducing CO2 will also lead to less toxic pollution, i.e. if you decide to walk instead of using your car.
However, in other cases the efforts to curb CO2 emissions will actually lead to an increase of toxic emissions.

A good example is the Swiss car market. Until a few years ago, almost no diesel cars were sold here. Most cars were gasoline cars with catalytic converters, i.e. the cleanest technology available for the mass market. As a result of the Kyoto protocol, the government started putting enormous pressure on the importers of cars to reduce CO2 emissions. The easiest way to bring down CO2 in car while still delivering adequate power is to the use diesel engines, so importers, dealers and the press started promoting diesel cars. The result is that currently more than a third of vehicles use diesel instead of gasoline. Unfortunately, even modern EURO-5-compliant diesel engines are allowed to emit up to three times more toxic nitrogen oxide (NOx) than cars that run on gasoline. Only the most modern EURO-6-compliant diesel engines bring down the NOx-emissions to a comparable level. Unfortunately there are very few such vehicles on the market and EURO 6 won't become mandatory until 2014!
The increase in diesel vehicles is believed to be the main reason why air quality in Switzerland is not improving anymore like it was from the mid-eighties until about a few years ago.
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  #906  
Old 17.02.2010, 22:19
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Re: Global Warming - what's behind it?

They aren't trying to reduce co2 because of it's toxicity.
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  #907  
Old 17.02.2010, 22:22
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Re: Global Warming - what's behind it?

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Great! And to what extent will reducing CO2 emissions actually prevent people from starving?
Long term runs of climate models predict that as the planet warms, weather patterns will change. A major driver of the weather is the temperature difference between tropics and poles. The polar regions are warming at a much faster clip than other latitudes. Thus, the temperature differential reduces. This has to result in large scale changes. Deserts may start to receive rainfall, other areas may become drier...

In a warmer world, rainfall might increase on the average, but be more intense. So expect periodic flooding in some areas, and consequent crop damage and soil erosion, followed by dry spells.

I understand grains won't tolerate temperatures above 40C for very long. So it might only take a few prolonged heatwaves to knacker the crops in a given region.

So by avoiding CO2 emissions we might prevent people from starving.

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AFAIK there's still enough food to feed all people on this planet.
Well, yes. Technically there is. But that statement assumes BAU. By what rate must global food production fall before food runs out in, say, one year?

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The main problem is distribution. So, if you care about people starving there might be a better and slightly more direct approach than reducing CO2 emissions and hoping (or praying) that this will magically lead to less starvation, don't you think?
Agreed.

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Even more so since plants actually thrive on CO2!
Up to a point.

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The widespread uptake of nuclear power would be an excellent first step towards this goal.
It might not be as easy as you think. Question for you. Starting today, how long would it take to double the electricial supply from nuclear power in Europe? The calculation should take into account lost generating capacity from decommissioned nuclear power plants as new capacity is added.

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Waste management is a political, not technical, problem.
Agreed.

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Further, after proper reprocessing, nuclear waste is both less dangerous, and vastly less plentiful, than the waste produced by coal, gas, or oil-fired power.
Can you elaborate?
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  #908  
Old 18.02.2010, 00:35
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Re: Global Warming - what's behind it?

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They aren't trying to reduce co2 because of it's toxicity.
I know that very well. My point is that I see a very undesirable tendency to neglect other environmental issues (such as NOx in the example above) which, unlike CO2, are proven to cause damage to humans and the environment.
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  #909  
Old 18.02.2010, 04:30
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Re: Global Warming - what's behind it?

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It might not be as easy as you think. Question for you. Starting today, how long would it take to double the electricial supply from nuclear power in Europe? The calculation should take into account lost generating capacity from decommissioned nuclear power plants as new capacity is added.
I never said it would be easy, I said it would be a good idea.

In your question, do you want to consider only the technical aspects of expanding nuclear power generation, or do you want to take into consideration the political influences of the NIMBYs ?

Perhaps a more relevant questions are, how long would it take to double the electrical supply using non-nuclear power, and how much pollution would be produced doing so ? Most importantly, how much pollution results per watt of electricity generated ?

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Can you elaborate?
The use of breeder reactors (and similar) reduces the amount of actual waste produced to relatively tiny levels, with relatively low radioactivity.To oversimplify a bit , if it's radioactive enough to be seriously dangerous, it's radioactive enough to still be used for fuel.

Heck, much of what is today classed as "nuclear waste" should really be called "unused nuclear fuel". This is particularly true in the US.

The simple fact is that, given known technology, nuclear really is the only viable solution in the forseeable future without seriously curtailing living standards, or massively increasing pollution. Nearly all the "problems" around it are political, and typically those eventually boil down to generic hysteria about nuclear power because of events like freakin' Chernobyl, which, put in context, would make a decision to never get in a car again after reading about the Ford Pinto look balanced and rational.
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  #910  
Old 18.02.2010, 08:11
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Re: Global Warming - what's behind it?

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I know that very well. My point is that I see a very undesirable tendency to neglect other environmental issues (such as NOx in the example above) which, unlike CO2, are proven to cause damage to humans and the environment.
The Euro 6 technology is ready. It is urea injection. Diesels sold in the US now have this technology. It requires a separate tank. I read somewhere that the urea injection system costs around $1,000.
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  #911  
Old 18.02.2010, 10:00
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Re: Global Warming - what's behind it?

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The Euro 6 technology is ready. It is urea injection. Diesels sold in the US now have this technology. It requires a separate tank. I read somewhere that the urea injection system costs around $1,000.
Yes, it's ready, but unlike the US where it's actually required to meet emission regulation it's still not widely available in Europe and probably won't be for several years.

Example: Mercedes' brand new E-class is sold in Switzerland with six different diesel engines. Five of them meet EURO 5 specs only as currently required by law. Only one of them (E 350 BlueTEC) is EURO 6 compliant and of course it's the most expensive one except for one 4Matic model. The extra cost might be only $1000 but they still sell it a whopping markup of more than 5,000 francs over the comparable E 300 CDI model. Of course that's on top of their already inflated European prices...
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Old 18.02.2010, 10:05
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Re: Global Warming - what's behind it?

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I know that very well. My point is that I see a very undesirable tendency to neglect other environmental issues (such as NOx in the example above) which, unlike CO2, are proven to cause damage to humans and the environment.
One wonders what level of proof you need. I think you won't be happy till the theory is tested by pumping large amounts of CO2 into the atmosphere and seeing if large changes in climate occur.

Last edited by cyrus; 18.02.2010 at 10:25.
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  #913  
Old 18.02.2010, 10:18
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Re: Global Warming - what's behind it?

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I know that very well. My point is that I see a very undesirable tendency to neglect other environmental issues (such as NOx in the example above) which, unlike CO2, are proven to cause damage to humans and the environment.
Which aspect of Carbon Dioxide's impact do you feel is unsupported by evidence ? Its function as a "greenhouse gas" ? The strong correlation in the geological record between atmospheric CO2 and temperature increases ? Something else ?
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  #914  
Old 18.02.2010, 16:15
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Re: Global Warming - what's behind it?

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I never said it would be easy, I said it would be a good idea.

In your question, do you want to consider only the technical aspects of expanding nuclear power generation, or do you want to take into consideration the political influences of the NIMBYs ?
I think what I was getting at was that it takes 10 - 15 years to bring a new nuclear station online. So the answer is "10 - 15 years".

I was ignoring NIMBYism and also fuel uranium supply concerns. There might not be as much uranium as you think. Plutonium, I dunno.

So how can we in Europe reduce emissions at the rate required, if we don't get any more nuclear power for 10 - 15 years? Surely deferring reductions until nuclear power comes online is not an option.

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The use of breeder reactors (and similar) reduces the amount of actual waste produced to relatively tiny levels, with relatively low radioactivity.To oversimplify a bit , if it's radioactive enough to be seriously dangerous, it's radioactive enough to still be used for fuel.
And of course, breeder reactors are available right now. Albeit it still takes 10 - 15 years to bring a new one online. The future might look rosier if ideas like pebble bed designs, and even thorium cycle reactors were researched and scaled up to commercial size. Apparently there is more energy available from the thorium in coal mine tailings than from the coal that was mined.

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Heck, much of what is today classed as "nuclear waste" should really be called "unused nuclear fuel". This is particularly true in the US.
I concur. I recall that only a few percent of the fissile material in a fuel rod is actually fissioned.

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The Euro 6 technology is ready. It is urea injection. Diesels sold in the US now have this technology. It requires a separate tank. I read somewhere that the urea injection system costs around $1,000.
So soon it will be OK to **** in your fuel tank?
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  #915  
Old 18.02.2010, 17:29
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Re: Global Warming - what's behind it?

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I think what I was getting at was that it takes 10 - 15 years to bring a new nuclear station online. So the answer is "10 - 15 years".
I have little doubt that if the commitment was there to make the decisions today, and there weren't any political holdups, the first reactors would be coming online in more like 5 years. There are claims that certain types of reactors could be up and running in as little as 3 years after the decision is made.

Plus, of course, it's not like you're limited to one every five years. You can have multiple plants being built in parallel.

Again, the biggest hurdles are political, not technical.

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I was ignoring NIMBYism and also fuel uranium supply concerns. There might not be as much uranium as you think. Plutonium, I dunno.
There's oodles of fuel, particularly if it's used efficiently, rather than throwing ~90% of it away like they do now.

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So how can we in Europe reduce emissions at the rate required, if we don't get any more nuclear power for 10 - 15 years? Surely deferring reductions until nuclear power comes online is not an option.
It's not about reducing emissions today - indeed, that's a relatively minor issue - it's about reducing pollution and maintaining living standards in the long term (and even 15 years doesn't really qualify as "long term"). This is particularly true for Europe, which is one of - if not the - "cleanest" region on the planet when it comes to electricity generation (in no small part due to the French investment in nuclear power).

The world's appetite for electrical power is increasing, and will continue to do so dramatically both as countries like India and China raise their living standards, and as services previously powered by fossil fuels switch to electricity (most prominently, transport, but also consider heating). The countries that embrace nuclear power sooner will be the ones running the world at the end of this century.

Last edited by drsmithy; 18.02.2010 at 17:39.
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  #916  
Old 18.02.2010, 18:16
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Re: Global Warming - what's behind it?

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I have little doubt that if the commitment was there to make the decisions today, and there weren't any political holdups, the first reactors would be coming online in more like 5 years. There are claims that certain types of reactors could be up and running in as little as 3 years after the decision is made.
I hope that is true, and I am sure that it is. Out of interest, do you have any pointers to studies that conclude this?

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Plus, of course, it's not like you're limited to one every five years. You can have multiple plants being built in parallel.
Of course. But you don't get the first unit of extra power until after the commisisioning period. What to do in the meantime?

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Again, the biggest hurdles are political, not technical.
True. The politics determines not only what is done, but what we can try to find out about other ways to do it (e.g. thorium cycle, pebble bed, etc.)

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There's oodles of fuel, particularly if it's used efficiently, rather than throwing ~90% of it away like they do now.
Hmmm. Can you define "oodles", and quote sources. As for throwing away >90%, while in principle the stuff can be reprocessed and reused, right now, I am not aware of any proven techniques for doing so. We don't know how long how it will take to prove these and scale them up to a commercial size. So right now, we can't plan on having any (certainly not many) of these online.

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It's not about reducing emissions today - indeed, that's a relatively minor issue
I strongly disagree. And brings us back on topic .

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- it's about reducing pollution and maintaining living standards in the long term (and even 15 years doesn't really qualify as "long term"). This is particularly true for Europe, which is one of - if not the - "cleanest" region on the planet when it comes to electricity generation (in no small part due to the French investment in nuclear power).
This thread is about climate change. Whether it is enough of a cut or not, let's look at the EU's recent statement on reductions targets.

Climate change: European Union notifies EU emission reduction targets following Copenhagen Accord

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The European Union has today formalised its support for the Copenhagen Accord on climate change and presented its commitments for emission reduction targets. In a joint letter with the Spanish Presidency of the Council, the European Commission has formally notified the EU's willingness to be associated with the Accord and submitted for information the EU's established greenhouse gas emissions reduction targets for 2020. These consist of a unilateral commitment to reduce the EU's overall emissions by 20% of 1990 levels and a conditional offer to increase this cut to 30% provided that other major emitters agree to take on their fair share of a global reduction effort. Under the Accord, notifications are to be submitted by 31 January 2010.
Let's take 5 years as a very optimistic delivery date for "enough" nuclear power. How much nuclear power would have to be online, starting March 1 2016, and how much by Jan 1 2020, to achieve the emissions reduction goal above? Bear in mind that this "clean" power must be replacing "dirty" power generation.

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The world's appetite for electrical power is increasing, and will continue to do so dramatically both as countries like India and China raise their living standards, and as services previously powered by fossil fuels switch to electricity (most prominently, transport, but also consider heating). The countries that embrace nuclear power sooner will be the ones running the world at the end of this century.
Unless the world has undergone a 2C or more increase by then, brought about by too high CO2E concentration.
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  #917  
Old 18.02.2010, 23:26
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Re: Global Warming - what's behind it?

Are you people serious? The ocean sediment cores have proven that our planet goes through warming and cooling cycles as our solar system moves through the Milky Way. How do you explain the Medieval Warming period when temperatures were much higher, agriculture flourished and we had much less CO2 output?
The arrogance of man to assume we can control the weather and temperatures on this planet is laughable. One oceanic volcano will do more to heat the oceans than all the CO2 or methane or any other "greenhouse" gas will.
The whole AGW scam is nothing more than a liberal plan to tax the wealthy countries and use those funds to enslave the developing world by forcing them to abondon burning pletiful wood and coal and making them dependent on foreign aid.
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  #918  
Old 19.02.2010, 00:07
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Re: Global Warming - what's behind it?

You're trolling, right? Really, what unsubstantiated drivel you spout.

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Are you people serious? The ocean sediment cores have proven that our planet goes through warming and cooling cycles as our solar system moves through the Milky Way.
How do ocean sediment cores prove a link between Earth's climate and the interstellar environment? Fossilised starlight perhaps ? Please quote some sources.

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How do you explain the Medieval Warming period when temperatures were much higher, agriculture flourished and we had much less CO2 output?
"When temperatures were much higher" than what? Quantify "much higher".

Here's an expert's opinion on MWP. See G and H.

Q&A: Professor Phil Jones

Why not dig around a bit to find out why MWP was not definitely a global phenomenon? Do you understand that this uncertainty about MWP does not bolster the starlight-induced climate change idea?
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Old 19.02.2010, 11:50
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Re: Global Warming - what's behind it?

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Hmmm. Can you define "oodles", and quote sources. As for throwing away >90%, while in principle the stuff can be reprocessed and reused, right now, I am not aware of any proven techniques for doing so. We don't know how long how it will take to prove these and scale them up to a commercial size. So right now, we can't plan on having any (certainly not many) of these online.
To partly answer my own question, I found this bad news about pebble bed reactors.

The demise of the pebble bed modular reactor
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  #920  
Old 19.02.2010, 14:01
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Re: Global Warming - what's behind it?

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One wonders what level of proof you need.
Certainly something a little more convincing than the current level of uncertainty which is being peddled to the general public as "the truth".

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The strong correlation in the geological record between atmospheric CO2 and temperature increases ?
Correlation does not imply causation.


BTW: Northern Hemisphere Snow Extent Second Highest on Record
(Of course, it's just "weather". If it was the lowest on record, it wouldn't be "weather" but "global warming".)

Last edited by Mark75; 19.02.2010 at 21:29.
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