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Comment: Re:The less-energy-for-poor-countries "solution" (Score 1) 385

Solar power is reliably absent for 12 hours of the day and marginal for another 4-6 hours. Wind is reliably unreliable in just about any place with human habitation for at least half of the year. And that is not a political problem, but a simple problem of being unable to sustain power production and anythng you might want to do with that power. Of course, all those problems are on top of the fact that they cost more than the alternatives.

Comment: Re:The less-energy-for-poor-countries "solution" (Score 1) 385

You go to a developing country and tell them they're fine. They don't need development. They don't need electricity unlike all the developed countries.

And what is all the "suffering" you're talking about? You mean like New Orleans where all the politicians were too corrupt to build a couple of levees for a few tens of million dollars, even though engineers had warned them for decades in advance that the city will be flooded the next time cat 3 hurricanes comes along? Or do you mean hurricane Sandy that was a cat. 0 hurrican in New York and nobody was prepared, even though real cat.2 and cat. 3 hurricanes hit the city in 1938, 1896, 1869, 1821 and 1815 and nobody bothered preparing for the next time that would happen for the only reason that the last time was so long ago? Or do you mean hurricane Haiyan that was the third time the city of Tacloban was leveled by a hurricane, after 1898 and 1912? Do you mean the floods in Pakistan in 2010, that were lower than those of 1929? Or do you mean a couple of mild droughts that are the "worst" since the 1950ies, deliberately leaving out the dust bowl in the 1930ies? Or the droughts in California that ignore the geological record? Or do you mean the droughts on the atolls that weren't brought about by lack of rain, but by a three to fivefold increase of population (and thus water consumption) in the last 50 years?

What suffering do you mean?

Comment: The less-energy-for-poor-countries "solution" (Score 1) 385

I'm absolutely sure that you can reduce emissions that way. But at what cost?

Power plants are not being built for fun, they actually serve a purpose, namely that of generating electricity in places that need electricity. In the world today, that happens mainly in places where electricity is scarce and absolutely needed to get out of poverty. It so happens to be the case that fossil power plants are much less expensive on a per-kWh basis and far more reliable than wind and solar. Hydro is a serious competitor but it doesn't matter where you want to build a hydrodam, there will always be greenpeace or some other transnational pseudo-environmental outfit that will organize protests for whatever madeup reason without any sort of constructive suggestions or criticism at all. (To pick the most recent example, Chile could have replaced some 20% of electricity generation with hydro, but protests against the dam prevented it.)

What happens when you invest the money that currently goes to fossil power plants into "renewables" like solar or wind? (Which are the only ones left for the most part.) You'll have less power. You'll have a completely unreliable supply of power. Sure that "solves" the problem, but only if you pretent that electricity really isn't necessary. Which is what our so-called enviromentalists tend to think, because they live in countries where there has never been such a problem.

Comment: Re:WUWT (Score 1) 441

by tp1024 (#47348867) Attached to: Researchers Claim Wind Turbine Energy Payback In Less Than a Year

Fortunately, peer review is such a great instrument of science, that it alone confers to a paper 100% validity and correctness. Because of that fact, once a peer reviewed paper has been published, it is completely unheard of that facts, processes or conclusions of peer reviewed literature have been wrong.

Ever since the institution of peer review, we all understand, science is merely concerned with enumerating the truths that the peer review process already knows about and surely science will never need to backtrack from any of the truths that the peer review process revealed to humankind, because they are peer reviewed truths.

For you must know that the peers of peer review are no mere mortals. They are omniscient beings, certainly not scientists, who are not beholden to such menial tasks as their own research projects. They dedicate their full time to reviewing other peoples papers - for surely that is required given the number of papers being published - they are re-enacting their experiments and calculations and never let any mistake slip through.

Hence, once a paper has passed through the holy rite of peer review, it must never be doubted.

Comment: Re:GLobal warming scien is simple (Score 1) 547

by tp1024 (#47306577) Attached to: NOAA: Earth Smashed A Record For Heat In May 2014, Effects To Worsen

When water condenses, it heats up the air or makes it cool down more slowly than completely dry air. When air is warmer or less cold than in a comparative case, it will radiate more heat to space. The water itself will proceed to precipitate back down to the surface. That's what you call the water cycle and I don't care who was the first to describe it, because it is a basic enough phenomenon that I don't need to refer to higher authority to say it's true.

Also, if you had actually read the piece by Arrhenius you would have noticed that he assumes away the processes which I described and said that nothing about the convective heat transfer changes, because those things are much harder to calculate.

Comment: Re:GLobal warming scien is simple (Score 1) 547

by tp1024 (#47304327) Attached to: NOAA: Earth Smashed A Record For Heat In May 2014, Effects To Worsen

Congratulations, you've acurately described what happens when you put a couple of glass panes on the moon. Your "atmosphere" isn't an atmosphere.

An atmosphere consists of gasses. You may want to review the properties of gasses. One of them is: they are not solid. This means, when a part of a gas attains a higher temperature than the surrounding gas within a field of gravitation, the hot gas will rise up. The hot gas is rising up, it takes thermal energy with it, regardless of how much CO2 is in the gas. The amount of heat thus carried by a given amount of gas depends linearly on the temperature of the gas. The amount of gas actually carried depends linearly on the temperature gradient of the atmosphere (that is: the temperature difference between the cold upper part and the warm lower part). The stronger the effects you described the a) higher the temperature of the gas and b) the larger the gradient.

Beyond that, the surface of the earth consists to a fairly good approximation entirely of water. Under the conditions of our atmosphere, water will evaporate. Its rate of evaporation depends on the temperature of the water surface and the relative moisture content of the atmosphere. The relative moisture content of the atmosphere is controlled by precipitation. Hence, a rise in temperature will lead to increased evaporation. Evaporation "consumes" energy which is "released" when the water condenses again. Evaporation happens in lower areas of the atmosphere than condensation. Heat is being released in the upper atmosphere, that came from the lower atmosphere. (That's true even when rain evaporates before reaching the surface.) Heat is being transported and CO2 didn't have anything to do with it.

In both cases, the higher the temperature at the surface, the higher the heat transport. And you know how much heat is already being transported in those two ways? 60% of the total.

Science is when you don't ignore stuff that is important.

Comment: Re:confused (Score 1) 105

by tp1024 (#47274669) Attached to: SpaceX Falcon 9R Vertical Take-Off and Landing Test Flight

Simple. You don't.

First stage separation happens at a very modest mach 6 (which accounts for part of the 30% performance loss when reusing the 1st stage) and pretty high up at a fraction of the normal atmospheric pressure. There had been doubts as to whether you could use rocket engines that way or not, but as it turns out the answer is: hell yeah.

Comment: Re:"and climate change deniers tout that" (Score 1) 298

by tp1024 (#47127299) Attached to: Shrinking Waves May Save Antarctic Sea Ice

Why would anybody but a bunch of desperate doomsayers do a study like "quantifying the consensus" that will only lend further credibility in the eyes of people who already believe in the consensus anyway, instead of addressing legitimate concerns about the huge deviations between climate models an climate reality?

Comment: Re:"and climate change deniers tout that" (Score 4, Informative) 298

by tp1024 (#47119005) Attached to: Shrinking Waves May Save Antarctic Sea Ice

Well, if you had read the paper you cited then you would have written:

He and a bunch of other people frequenting "www.scepticalscience.com" had a look at 11944 ABSTRACTS of arcticles that explicitly deal with the topics "global warming" or "global climate change". NOTHING ELSE. To put it bluntly, even the phrase "global cooling" doesn't pass muster. If the topic was something objective like "climate modelling" without explicitly putting "global warming" or "global climate change" in the topic it didn't pass muster.

The abstracts were evaluated among the 12 people who read them and the allowed to compare notes and re-evaluate their findings, thus building further consensus among the already biased evaluators. In the end, about 8000 of those abstracts evaluated by biased examiners chosen through a biased selection process were evaluated to contain no such statement and were hence excluded. That's 66.4%. Some 32.6% were found to agree with the global warming or global climate change hypothesis necessarily expoused as a topic. Oh the surprise.

You can't find disagreement if you close your eyes. or pretent they don't say anything.

Comment: Re:The real cost of nuclear is the long tail of wa (Score 1) 187

by tp1024 (#47106345) Attached to: US Nuclear Plants Expanding Long-Term Waste Storage Facilities

There are no Gen I reactors still operating. (Whether you count Wylfa in the UK as Gen I is a different matter that will be resolved this year, when it shuts down.) Almost everything is Gen II (and has been for decades).

Why are they still running? They are reliable, they were designed for the liftime they're at and margins were generous. Also, alternatives haven't been forthcoming in the last 20-30 years. (30 in the US, 20 in Europe) The trouble I see is not, why are they still running, but why (especially) BWRs haven't been fitted with filtered containment vents. It has been known since 1966 they would leak after a meltdown and a filtered containment vent would provide a leak that conveniently doesn't contaminate the area around the power plant too much. (In Germany the rule is that 99.99% of the Cs and 99% of Iodine must be filtered out.) That is the main problem. When the shit hits the fan, the (Mark I and Mark II) containment of a BWR doesn't do nearly enough. PWRs are just better in this respect, but still have been fitted with filters Germany and France.

There has historically been quite a bit of resistence of the utilities in the US towards any kind of major retrofitting of the internals of the powerplants. There seem to have been efforts to upgrade emergency power supply, even before Fukushima, and provisions against flooding, storms etc. But no major retrofitting of the kind we saw in Europe in the years around 1990, or what we see today in Japan. (Can't think why that would be.)

For a long time it seems that many nuclear reactors in the US were operated by small utilities that genuinely couldn't afford retrofitting. (Which is meant purely as an explanation, not as an excuse.) While in Japan the utilities were large enough and too closely connected to the government to avoid most additional safety measures. It's quite telling that the Japanese government only started thinking about accident management in 1992 and took all the way to the year 2002 to implement anything, which includes such things as a rule that every reactor should have at least two emergency power generators. Hydrogen recombiners or filters were not part of it until 2012 and 2013 respectively. For comparison: In 2006 every operator of nuclear power plants in Europe was made to check their safety measures because two out of four emergency power generators failed to start up in a nuclear power plant in Sweden, due to faulty electrics ...

Comment: Re:The real cost of nuclear is the long tail of wa (Score 1) 187

by tp1024 (#47099317) Attached to: US Nuclear Plants Expanding Long-Term Waste Storage Facilities

No containment can contain a meltdown, if it wasn't built to do so. The BWR containments, as used in Fukushima Daiichi, just weren't, because it wasn't deemed necessary. Nureg/CR-6042 made it pretty clear that the focus back in the early 1960ies was on definitively preventing "catastrophic deaths". Preventing contamination just wasn't the goal. From the perspective they had, it was sufficient if meltdowns were unlikely. This has changed, but at least in the US and Japan, the power plants weren't changed to accomodate this.

And I'm not cherrypicking my sources. Any of the well known and often discussed reports like Wash-1400 or Nureg-1150 make it very clear that such BWR containments would overpressurize and leak soon after a meltdown due to hydrogen generation (hydrogen can't be condensed, unlike water steam), leading to widespread contamination after a meltdown. That's not merely a chance, but a certainty. (Whether a meltdown can be prevented is a different matter.) All three also clearly state that flooding and tsunamis (in Wash-1400 "tidal waves") are a potential cause for a meltdown, despite the redundancy of safety equipment, because they cause a full station blackout.

All this is quite different in other containments. Pressure water reactors typically have a large dry containment, that is capable of containing a meltdown, at the very least long enough for most contaminants to settle down in the containment and not outside of it. (Without power to run any pumps, it takes some 20 hours for 99% of the Cesium to settle down. With power, you can run containment sprays and do it in a bit more than half an hour. BWR Mark I/II containments generally don't have such sprays.) Newer BWR containments are also much larger and much more capable of containing a meltdown.

Other countries such as Sweden, France and Germany fitted filtered containment vents to their nuclear power plants in 1980(Sweden) and 1988 (Germany/France). Which would have prevented any significant fallout, because the containments wouldn't overpressurize.

No amount of careful planning will ever replace dumb luck.

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