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neilzero
2011-Dec-31, 12:47 AM
If global warming is as much a threat as some claim, resistance is futile, but perhaps a bunch of solutions can be implemented without destroying the world economy nor personal freedom.
We can build a HVDC = high voltage direct current power line alongside Interstate 10 from West Texas, which already has a glut of large wind turbines, to perhaps Pensacola Florida, then across the Gulf of Mexico to Tampa, Florida. Wikipedia has a good write up with the title HVDC.
We can build new buildings and new homes which generate some of their own electricity with natural gas or other less polluting fuels than coal. The turbine or other can also rotate a refrigerant compressor which supplies refrigerators deep freeze, heat pump and air conditioning, when the electric grid doesn't need electricity. These units can be water cooled instead of air cooled in warm weather, providing preheat for the hot water heater. Possibly the turbine can also be water cooled and the solar panels, if any. In cold weather this heat supplies all or most heat needed, if the building is constructed to take advantage of the Winter sun. Some changes in local codes are likely needed to encourage instead of discourage such innovations.
We can grow algae in transparent pipes in places like New Mexico The pipes make water evaporation losses negligible, and the carbon dioxide and some water vapor can be obtained from natural gas powered turbines and other sources that are presently entering our atmosphere = carbon nuetral, even if the algae oil is burned as fuel. Perhaps far more important than reducing carbon dioxide emissions is reducing our dependency on foreign oil
We can generate electricity at Yellowstone National Park, perhaps several gigawatts with only minor degrading of the gysers etc. Even better, extracting energy may delay the eruption of this super volcano. Lesser volcanoes such as Mount Saint Helens, can likely also produce electricity. These 4 together don't solve the problems, but every little bit helps and more solutions are likely within our grasp.
There are good excuses for not doing each of these, but trade offs are normal in nearly everything. Neil

Swift
2011-Dec-31, 01:18 AM
If global warming is as much a threat as some claim, resistance is futile, but perhaps a bunch of solutions can be implemented without destroying the world economy nor personal freedom.
The technologies you mention, like improved transmission lines all sound fine. But frankly, I can't think of any of the proposed solutions I've heard of that would "destroy the world economy or personal freedom".

neilzero
2011-Dec-31, 04:22 AM
The technologies you mention, like improved transmission lines all sound fine. But frankly, I can't think of any of the proposed solutions I've heard of that would "destroy the world economy or personal freedom".
I'm unsure how to answer that without getting political. You don't think the already imposed carbon tax is delaying recovery from the current world wide resession? Is forbiding the sale of incandesent light bulbs at least a slight errosion of our freedom? Apparently the new smart grid wil be able to turn off our appliences without our approval. I admit, I was excessive as these proposals related to global warming are only a small part of the threats to the world ecconomy and personel freedom. Neil

danscope
2011-Dec-31, 05:36 AM
Hi Neil, Your life in the modern world will change and be slightly different from your grandfather's day. Where he stoked a wood stove to cook supper, you turn a knob and hear a 'click-click-click...wump' and your gas flame ignites and gives you instant gratification. It is more likely that you will put some neo-sporin on that deep cut rather than
mecurichrome ( we 'are' dating ourselves if you remember that practice...lol :) ) There are a good many sound reasons for regulation and rules that we live by . Comparing life within a community to a severe loss of "freedom" is much like the gas guzzler crowd who wants a return to the 427 hemi with a supercharger and ripplewalls to simply purchase groceries. It's a modern world , and we shall all move inexorably closer to it, by degrees, day after day.
I shall admit that it needs to be a little easier to change your airfilter on your car. What used to employ a 1/4 20 wingnut and a kleenex in 30 seconds will now require an 8 inch metric allen or....torx wrench and 30 minutes. :(

Strange
2011-Dec-31, 12:46 PM
Many such technologies are being investigated and developed. As well as things like agricultural practices, new crops, etc. There is obviously no single solution. You might want to look into something called the.wedge model (?) which is a way of analysing the contributions different solutions fan make.

I suppose you could consider removing a hazardous product from the market as infringing on "freedom" but then so is telling you which side of the road to drive on, or not selling morphine over the counter in pharmacies.

Swift
2011-Dec-31, 03:30 PM
I'm unsure how to answer that without getting political. You don't think the already imposed carbon tax is delaying recovery from the current world wide resession? Is forbiding the sale of incandesent light bulbs at least a slight errosion of our freedom? Apparently the new smart grid wil be able to turn off our appliences without our approval. I admit, I was excessive as these proposals related to global warming are only a small part of the threats to the world ecconomy and personel freedom. Neil
You are right to be careful of politics on BAUT (me too), but no, I have heard no economists say carbon taxes (and there is no carbon tax in the US) is delaying economic recovery. More generally, the economic effects of environmental regulations are not negative, but mixed. For example, for every industry that might be hurt by them (coal mining, electrical generation) others are helped (natural gas industry, makers of scrubbers). Most of the analysis that I've seen say they are neutral to slightly positive, looking at the economy as a whole.

And yes, technically restricting the sales of incandescent light bulbs is a restriction on our freedom. So is the fact that I can't by gasoline with lead in it, nor drive 174 mph on most roads. Such is the nature of living in a society with other people.

Strange
2011-Dec-31, 03:41 PM
And, on the economics, companies (and countries) that leapt on the new "green technologies" bandwagon first are probably gaining a competitive advantage over those who wanted to carry on with "business as usual" and now have to catch up (or buy the technology from others).

swampyankee
2011-Dec-31, 04:02 PM
Every civilized country has limits on individual freedom. None, for example, will permit human sacrifice for religious reasons, even if the sacrificed persons are completely willing. Indeed, the general mantra among almost all political stripes has been individual freedoms end when they interfere with another person's freedoms. All environmental regulations are concerned with use of finite commons; the complaints about "restrictions of freedom" has been largely because of groups whose behavior with regards to the commons is being brought under regulation for the first time. I can't just dump the sewage from my house through a pipe into my neighbor's yard. This is certainly a constraint on my freedom, but I find it difficult to believe any person living in any kind of society would consider this to be an outré restriction.

Incidentally, to put some numbers on carbon dioxide:

Total mass of the atmosphere is about about 5.1 x 1018kg. About 15 x 1015kg of that is CO2].

Humans put about 8x1012kg/year into the atmosphere. Volcanoes put in about 2x1011kg/year into the atmosphere.

Sources?
Berner, Robert A. “The long-term carbon cycle, fossil fuels, and atmospheric composition” Nature, Vol 246, 20 Nov 2003, pp323-6.

“The Carbon Cycle: Feature Articles,” http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/Features/CarbonCycle/, accessed 4 Dec 2010

“Earth Fact Sheet,” http://nssdc.gsfc.nasa.gov/planetary/factsheet/earthfact.html, accessed 4 Dec 2010

“Greenhouse Gases, Climate Change, and Energy,” http://www.eia.doe.gov/oiaf/1605/ggccebro/chapter1.html, accessed 4 Dec 2010

Gruber, Nicolas, and Galloway, James N., “An Earth-system perspective of the global nitrogen cycle” Nature, Vol 251, 17 Jan 2008. doi:10.1038/nature06592

“Which produces more CO2, volcanic or human activity?”, http://hvo.wr.usgs.gov/volcanowatch/2007/07_02_15.html, accessed 4 Dec 2010

Solfe
2011-Dec-31, 04:04 PM
I think some of the issues with solutions is in the implementation processes required to start up creates inequality. This is merely the observation that as new processes and systems come on line in certain areas, while other areas do not move in lock step.

For a non-specific real world example picture a small community with an abundance of both conventional and clean energy. The small community supplies several larger communities and as a consequence pays more for its energy needs due to supply and demand. As new clean energy initiatives come on line, all of the communities have a smaller base of energy to work with as the older tech is decommissioned. The start up cost of a new power source is large and the community who starts such a program pays for it. Since none of the communities can't move in lock step with each other, someone is going to have to eat the higher cost.

At some times, the larger communities with have more energy resources than smaller neighbours, and then the situation reverses to the favor of the smaller localities. All the communities will see a downside to this: higher rates. Cost saving will not be remembered for very long, that is just human nature.

There is also the tendency of ignoring side benefits: such as new infrastructure or businesses created for new power needs serving the public with jobs and better local services.

Swift
2011-Dec-31, 05:48 PM
And, on the economics, companies (and countries) that leapt on the new "green technologies" bandwagon first are probably gaining a competitive advantage over those who wanted to carry on with "business as usual" and now have to catch up (or buy the technology from others).
I think it telling that some of the oil companies are diversifying into such things as solar.

Swift
2011-Dec-31, 05:55 PM
By the by... I don't think there is a solution to global warming.

First, there will be no single technology (or even few technologies) that will fix the problem. Renewables, nuclear, CO2 capture, alternative fuels, improved efficiencies, etc., etc. will all be needed and used. To say we need a multi-pronged approach is an understatement.

Second, IMO, it is way too late, even with a concerted effort (which I don't think will happen) to solve (as in stop or fix) global warming. Our only choice now is whether we get a moderate amount of warming or a larger amount of warming. And yes, that is an important decision. We will also need to start putting technologies (and other cultural, political, and societal things) in place to deal with the consequences of global warming. How much we have to mitigate the problems will be directly related to how much we limit the amount of warming.

peteshimmon
2011-Dec-31, 06:19 PM
If a trillion fast growing trees could be
planted all over the World and they each
sequester at least a kilogram of CO2 a
year that might make a noticeable
impression on this 8 trillion kgms/year
mankind is putting there. Would be a
worthwhile experiment at least.

Jim
2011-Dec-31, 07:28 PM
... Is forbiding the sale of incandesent light bulbs at least a slight errosion of our freedom? Apparently the new smart grid wil be able to turn off our appliences without our approval. ...

Without getting political, let's clear up a couple of things.

Incandescent bulbs have not been "outlawed." The new regs require energy efficient light bulbs (http://www.cnn.com/2011/12/31/opinion/sloane-edison-bulbs/) and incandescents are - were - not. There are energy efficient incandescents coming on the market now.

Electric power grids can turn off your appliance now, along with everything else in your house. Most grids have a priority system... useres who require power for life maintaining purposes, those which do not and have fairly flat usage rates, and those which do not and have "spiking" usage rates. In the event of a crunch, users will be turned off - without their approval - in reverse order.

Ara Pacis
2011-Dec-31, 11:04 PM
Actually, incandescents are very efficient... at generating heat. A friend of mine complained that she can no longer buy an incandescent bulb for the pumphouse on her farm to keep the pipes from freezing (although I suspect she was just waxing political and could find them). On the other hand, the E-Z Bake Oven's days are numbered. ;)

I've actually drafted a proposal for distributed generation of electricity by homeowners once we get efficient and/or cheap solar panels in large quantities available. Part of that would be to develop and include batteries (preferably flywheel) and a secondary outlet system so that even in an outage or brownout, key appliances and healthcare equipment will continue to receive normal power as long as possible. Of course, that doesn't need smart appliances, it just needs a smart house.

We might consider altering the atmosphere to block sunlight, perhaps by seeding the stratosphere with certain aerosols. Of course, it's only a stopgap measure and reduced sunlight might have a deleterious effect on plant growth.

Squink
2011-Dec-31, 11:18 PM
If global warming is as much a threat as some claim, resistance is futile
What does this even mean in english?
You'll join the collective?
You'll just give up and die in the face of any serious threat?
If global warming is not as much of a threat as 'the collective claims' you will resist it?

I'd like to see someone try to resist a CO2 molecule.
That would be entertaining.

Please clarify your opening statement without resorting political jargon, if you can.

adapa
2012-Jan-01, 12:01 AM
Electric power grids can turn off your appliance now, along with everything else in your house.
This is one of the many reasons why I am currently planning the construction of an off the grid house. When you (literally) own your utilities, it is much harder for some entity to take them away.

Robert Tulip
2012-Jan-01, 04:35 AM
If a trillion fast growing trees could be planted all over the World and they each sequester at least a kilogram of CO2 a year that might make a noticeable impression on this 8 trillion kgms/year mankind is putting there. Would be a worthwhile experiment at least.

The question though would be where to get the land for fast growing trees, and whether this would take away land otherwise used to produce food.

In fact, the fastest growing plant by several orders of magnitude is micro-algae, which could according to one company (http://www.algaecake.com/about.html) sequester 18 tons of C02 per acre per year. For your 8 trillion kg, that would require 500 million acres, about 850,000 square miles, roughly 0.4 % of the global ocean surface. Doubling that area to around 1% of the sea would rapidly reduce CO2 level.

So rather than growing trees, it is far better to grow algae. If this could be done at sea, so much the better, as 71% of our planet is ocean, and the sea has power sources in waves, tides, currents, wind and sun, and nutrient sources in deep water. 10% of the world ocean is classified as desert.

Petroleum was produced by algae in shallow seas. If we can mimic the natural process by using tide and wave energy to upwell deep rich water to algae farms floating on the ocean surface, we may get a technology that can suck carbon out of the air to prevent dangerous warming, while also producing abundant diesel, fertilizer and fish food at low cost.

Ara Pacis
2012-Jan-01, 05:44 AM
This is one of the many reasons why I am currently planning the construction of an off the grid house. When you (literally) own your utilities, it is much harder for some entity to take them away.You don't have to go off the grid to do that.

korjik
2012-Jan-01, 08:10 AM
The question though would be where to get the land for fast growing trees, and whether this would take away land otherwise used to produce food.

In fact, the fastest growing plant by several orders of magnitude is micro-algae, which could according to one company (http://www.algaecake.com/about.html) sequester 18 tons of C02 per acre per year. For your 8 trillion kg, that would require 500 million acres, about 850,000 square miles, roughly 0.4 % of the global ocean surface. Doubling that area to around 1% of the sea would rapidly reduce CO2 level.

So rather than growing trees, it is far better to grow algae. If this could be done at sea, so much the better, as 71% of our planet is ocean, and the sea has power sources in waves, tides, currents, wind and sun, and nutrient sources in deep water. 10% of the world ocean is classified as desert.

Petroleum was produced by algae in shallow seas. If we can mimic the natural process by using tide and wave energy to upwell deep rich water to algae farms floating on the ocean surface, we may get a technology that can suck carbon out of the air to prevent dangerous warming, while also producing abundant diesel, fertilizer and fish food at low cost.

Technically, if you suck it out of the air then burn it, you didnt really suck it out of the air. Some of the carbon has to be sequestered, that is taken out of the air and kept out.

Robert Tulip
2012-Jan-01, 10:09 AM
Technically, if you suck it out of the air then burn it, you didnt really suck it out of the air. Some of the carbon has to be sequestered, that is taken out of the air and kept out.

Use of algae to fuel diesel engines or electricity stations would be a zero emission technology, because the CO2 would be sourced from the air. Power stations built near the sea could send their emissions into algae farms as a better version of the proposal made by NREL (http://www.nrel.gov/docs/fy08osti/42414.pdf).

Use of algae for fish food or fertilizer would sequester CO2. Sequestration does not have to be permanent, it just has to be extremely large in scale, such that the amount sucked out of the air greatly exceeds the rate of return to the air. If CO2 is sequestered into a location with economic benefit, such as soil or the ocean, it is better than just burying it.

If algae factories used CO2 extraction devices such as artificial trees (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carbon_dioxide_removal#Artificial_trees) they could be highly productive to make the ocean deserts bloom. Much better than burying CO2 below the earth.

Robert Tulip
2012-Jan-01, 10:10 AM
Technically, if you suck it out of the air then burn it, you didnt really suck it out of the air. Some of the carbon has to be sequestered, that is taken out of the air and kept out.

Use of algae to fuel diesel engines or electricity stations would be a zero emission technology, because the CO2 would be sourced from the air. Power stations built near the sea could send their emissions into algae farms as a better version of the proposal made by NREL (http://www.nrel.gov/docs/fy08osti/42414.pdf).

Use of algae for fish food or fertilizer would sequester CO2. Sequestration does not have to be permanent, it just has to be extremely large in scale, such that the amount sucked out of the air greatly exceeds the rate of return to the air. If CO2 is sequestered into a location with economic benefit, such as soil or the ocean, it is better than just burying it.

If algae factories used CO2 extraction devices such as artificial trees (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carbon_dioxide_removal#Artificial_trees) they could be highly productive to make the ocean deserts bloom. Much better than burying CO2 below the earth.

neilzero
2012-Jan-01, 02:07 PM
~What a great way to start the new year with some solutions, instead of objections. I'm glad to hear that some of the new regulations are not harming the economy.~
Total mass of the atmosphere is about about 5.1 x 1018kg. About 15 x 1015kg of that is CO2. ~That is about 300 times more atmosphere than carbon dioxide which is about 4 times more CO2 than 380 parts per million, unless my arithmetic has failed. Perhaps it should be 1.5 X 1015 CO2. Subsequent post by swampyyankee makes this correction, and I just corrected 250 to 380 parts per million.~
~Better than trees is algae on the ocean surface, except we have not yet done a significant pilot program. We can build our new buildings strong enough to grow young trees on the roof. We can grow small trees in the medium of highways = large trees are a hazard to out of control vehicles. Young trees sequester CO2 proportionally better than older trees. Companies named Saphire and Verde have done algae in transparent pipe pilot programs, but I don't think details have been made public.
Off grid solar, and/or wind turbine is less costly, if you are sufficiently knowlegeable and don't try for the government incentives, but will likely cost you twice as much as just paying a monthy utility bill in the long run, worse in an average, instead of very favorable location, both large and small scale. Neil~

swampyankee
2012-Jan-01, 03:58 PM
According to http://nssdc.gsfc.nasa.gov/planetary/factsheet/earthfact.html, Earth's CO2 is at 380ppm, but it doesn't specify whether this is a mass fraction or a molar fraction. If it's a mass fraction, that's about 2x1015 kg.

Typo when I transcribed the numbers; 15 x 1015 should have been 1.5 x 1015. Of course, this makes the human CO2 contribution look even worse...

Swift
2012-Jan-01, 06:16 PM
Actually, incandescents are very efficient... at generating heat. A friend of mine complained that she can no longer buy an incandescent bulb for the pumphouse on her farm to keep the pipes from freezing (although I suspect she was just waxing political and could find them). On the other hand, the E-Z Bake Oven's days are numbered. ;)

I heard a story on NPR the other day about this and apparently they have redesigned the E-Z Bake Oven to have a specifically designed heater instead of a lightbulb. I suspect they will also continue to sell heating lamps, i.e., incandescents designed for their heat generation.

Ara Pacis
2012-Jan-01, 07:09 PM
Use of algae to fuel diesel engines or electricity stations would be a zero emission technology, because the CO2 would be sourced from the air. Power stations built near the sea could send their emissions into algae farms as a better version of the proposal made by NREL (http://www.nrel.gov/docs/fy08osti/42414.pdf).

Use of algae for fish food or fertilizer would sequester CO2. Sequestration does not have to be permanent, it just has to be extremely large in scale, such that the amount sucked out of the air greatly exceeds the rate of return to the air. If CO2 is sequestered into a location with economic benefit, such as soil or the ocean, it is better than just burying it.

If algae factories used CO2 extraction devices such as artificial trees (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carbon_dioxide_removal#Artificial_trees) they could be highly productive to make the ocean deserts bloom. Much better than burying CO2 below the earth.

Temporary Sequestration by turning atmospheric CO2 into fuel to be burned later will reduce the net amount of CO2 for a time, but if we continue to use fossil fuels, it will soon catch up unless the alge cycle can satisfy all carbon fuel needs. And will the amount you can temporarily sequester be enough to reverse the amount that has been emitted and is already causing problems and may already be enough to have sent us over a tipping point?

Trakar
2012-Jan-01, 11:04 PM
I have only skimmed the posts so far, but there seems to be a fundemental disconnect between addressing the primary human forcings of climate change, and the various technological and behavioral adaptations that will be helpful in adjusting personal and societal lifestyles to the changes required to eliminate or minimize those human forcings.

The main issue in addressing anthropogenic climate change forcings is that we have to cease and desist from the wholesale emissions of previously sequestered carbon and address our land use changes that are contributing to the degradation and destruction of valuable carbon sink reservoirs. Improved energy efficiency and distributed/diversified energy production via non-fossil fuelled systems are great adaptation strategies that will help us advance into the future while meeting our energy needs, but they answer the need of energy, not the need of slowing and stopping the source of the problem. Electric cars, rooftop solar panels, etc., are all great and wonderful contributions to helping us as individuals and a society to survive the transition beyond fossil fuels, but until we seriously tackle the steps of moving away from fossil fuels themselves and reconstituting the rich natural biomes that help in the natural sequestration of carbon, all of this is mere porcine lip-gloss. Nuclear, wind, solar, tidal, wave, geothermal, etc., in themselves, will not get us off of fossil fuels.

To directly address environmental carbon issues we could apply revenue neutral carbon taxes which would be a direct blow against the primary behavior responsible for anthropogenic climate forcing.

A Harvard analysis of a carbon tax.
"THE INCIDENCE OF A U.S. CARBON TAX: A LIFETIME AND REGIONAL ANALYSIS"
http://isites.harvard.edu/fs/docs/icb.topic192820.files/Metcalf%20paper.pdf

neilzero
2012-Jan-02, 02:54 AM
For about a million dollars = cheap, we can do a variation of algae in pipes in the ocean. A 5 to 10 meter boat is modified so the exhaust gas can be captured. We put algae starter (like sour dough starter) algae fertilizer and a half liter of tap water in plastic bags like your Sunday paper comes in = up to about 3 liters. On the way to the algae farm at sea we fill the bags with motor exhaust and seal with a baggie tie, then place them in gently in the ocean = they are fragile. A few days later we pick up the ones we can find easily = This is a pilot program, so we don't need high efficiency. We dump the contents in 5 gallon plastic buckets such as used for paint. In a few minutes some of the algae oil rises to the top and we can use it to suppliment the boat motor fuel for the trip back to shore. Solid material is caught on the fuel filter which can make more algae oil when we get back to our lab which is on shore. The almost empty plastic bags can also be squeezed to extract some additional algae oil. For diesel equivelent, I understand the algae oil needs to be treated with methanol, which can possibly be obtained from the algae meal, except the algae meal is likely more valuable as animal feed. Some of the bags will rip thus seeding the ocean in that vicinity.
Larger bags are possibly more practical, or not, as the algae facing the sun gets more sun light than the algae on the shaded side. The bags do float high in the water. If we net 10 gallons of quality diesel fuel, for our million dollars, we likely have a success as improvements may be cost effective. I'm really more interested in getting us off foreign oil, but any green house warming benefits are welcome. Neil

Trakar
2012-Jan-02, 06:18 PM
For about a million dollars = cheap, we can do a variation of algae in pipes in the ocean. A 5 to 10 meter boat is modified so the exhaust gas can be captured. We put algae starter (like sour dough starter) algae fertilizer and a half liter of tap water in plastic bags like your Sunday paper comes in = up to about 3 liters. On the way to the algae farm at sea we fill the bags with motor exhaust and seal with a baggie tie, then place them in gently in the ocean = they are fragile. A few days later we pick up the ones we can find easily = This is a pilot program, so we don't need high efficiency. We dump the contents in 5 gallon plastic buckets such as used for paint. In a few minutes some of the algae oil rises to the top and we can use it to suppliment the boat motor fuel for the trip back to shore. Solid material is caught on the fuel filter which can make more algae oil when we get back to our lab which is on shore. The almost empty plastic bags can also be squeezed to extract some additional algae oil. For diesel equivelent, I understand the algae oil needs to be treated with methanol, which can possibly be obtained from the algae meal, except the algae meal is likely more valuable as animal feed. Some of the bags will rip thus seeding the ocean in that vicinity.
Larger bags are possibly more practical, or not, as the algae facing the sun gets more sun light than the algae on the shaded side. The bags do float high in the water. If we net 10 gallons of quality diesel fuel, for our million dollars, we likely have a success as improvements may be cost effective. I'm really more interested in getting us off foreign oil, but any green house warming benefits are welcome. Neil

The extraction and refinement process from algae to fuel is a bit more complicated than this, it takes time for the algae to mature and the oil produced is only a very small fraction of the total algae mass. Your bags had better not be too fragile they are going to have to hold tons of seawater and algae mix (each cubic meter of your grow bag will weigh about a metric ton) and be strong enough to be towed against their own mass and drag resistance, not to mention waves wind and flotsam.

Jim
2012-Jan-02, 06:24 PM
You have a built in environmental problem.


... We put algae starter (like sour dough starter) algae fertilizer and a half liter of tap water in plastic bags like your Sunday paper comes in ... then place them in gently in the ocean = they are fragile. A few days later we pick up the ones we can find easily ... Some of the bags will rip ...

Generating plastic waste to make biofuel is not exactly "going green."

danscope
2012-Jan-02, 06:36 PM
There will be many many designs, attitudes and practices , each contributing to the solutions to these problems.
It won't be one big 'magic bullet' . I can only hope that each and every contribution to a cleaner and greener world does not get overlooked and lost in the background noise.
Green is a good thing.
Live green and prosper,
Dan

HenrikOlsen
2012-Jan-02, 06:54 PM
Making a plastic that doesn't degrade fast from the UV from the sun is also going to be a problem.

Trakar
2012-Jan-02, 09:29 PM
There will be many many designs, attitudes and practices , each contributing to the solutions to these problems.
It won't be one big 'magic bullet' . I can only hope that each and every contribution to a cleaner and greener world does not get overlooked and lost in the background noise.
Green is a good thing.
Live green and prosper,
Dan

Truely Green is good, but the bigger concern of primary importance is to begin reducing the harm and adopting a schedule and process to eliminate the harm. No matter how many bandaids we use we aren't going to cure the cancer.

Trakar
2012-Jan-02, 09:35 PM
Making a plastic that doesn't degrade fast from the UV from the sun is also going to be a problem.

I suspect a very limited useful lifespan. Integrating recycling/remanufacture of the growth cells (giant plastic bag tubes) into the overall process would probably be a wise move.

adapa
2012-Jan-03, 12:55 AM
You don't have to go off the grid to do that.
This is true. However, having a photovoltaic system with a grid tie inverter means going through the process (permits, fees, etc.) of making sure that your system will automatically match the grid power (including phase). It also means proving to the authorities that your system will disconnect from the grid if the grid loses power or if there is a fault in your A.C. output, which makes sense. However, experience has shown that the inverter is the component in a photovoltaic system that is most likely to fail. In fact the solar power systems in many off grid houses today keep their critical electrical equipment on D.C. power for this very reason. This reason also makes it clear that if your inverter fails in a grid tie system, you could also lose grid power thus leaving you without any A.C. power. In addition, if you send more energy to the grid than you consume from the grid, then in many cases you will not get paid.

So you are correct about me being able to stay on the grid and still having solar power. However, why on earth would I want to?

Trakar
2012-Jan-03, 08:01 PM
This is true. However, having a photovoltaic system with a grid tie inverter means going through the process (permits, fees, etc.) of making sure that your system will automatically match the grid power (including phase). It also means proving to the authorities that your system will disconnect from the grid if the grid loses power or if there is a fault in your A.C. output, which makes sense. However, experience has shown that the inverter is the component in a photovoltaic system that is most likely to fail. In fact the solar power systems in many off grid houses today keep their critical electrical equipment on D.C. power for this very reason. This reason also makes it clear that if your inverter fails in a grid tie system, you could also lose grid power thus leaving you without any A.C. power. In addition, if you send more energy to the grid than you consume from the grid, then in many cases you will not get paid.

So you are correct about me being able to stay on the grid and still having solar power. However, why on earth would I want to?

1) Deep cell batteries are not cheap, and generally have a relatively short lifespan and need to be regularly replaced

2) Once your batteries are fully charged, excess generation is wasted.

3) The time you generally need grid power the most is in Winter when the cold weakens batteries, and short days and long nights minimize power generation and maximize power usage.

If you live in the US:
Energy Policy Act of 2005, under Sec. 1251
‘‘(11) NET METERING.—Each electric utility shall make available upon request net metering service to any electric consumer that the electric utility serves. For purposes of this paragraph, the term ‘net metering service’ means service to an electric consumer under which electric energy generated by that electric consumer from an eligible on-site generating

facility and delivered to the local distribution facilities may be used to offset electric energy provided by the electric utility to the electric consumer during the applicable billing period."

Of course, if your billing period is one month and you generate more energy than you buy from the utility, this federal law doesn't require the company to compensate you for that excess. In most states, however, there are companion bills/practices which allow you to rollover these overages to the end of the billing year. There are a few states with some peculiar limits and setups.

In the US, in California, Oregon, Florida, Hawaii, Maine, Vermont and Puerto Rico, state law uses a Feed-In Tariff system that seperately meters the power you sell back to the utility and generally pays you for the power you sell on a monthly or quarterly basis.

If your state isn't one of these places, turn out and vote, or vote with your feet.

adapa
2012-Jan-04, 04:48 AM
1) Deep cell batteries are not cheap, and generally have a relatively short lifespan and need to be regularly replaced

2) Once your batteries are fully charged, excess generation is wasted.
It seems here that you do not realize that if your photovoltaic system does not have battery backup, then loss of grid power or your inverter will cause total loss of electrical power in your home.



3) The time you generally need grid power the most is in Winter when the cold weakens batteries, and short days and long nights minimize power generation and maximize power usage.
This statement makes it clear that you are unaware of the capabilities of off grid housing technology today. Please watch this video (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_ozX_nt5A4o) and learn something about off grid housing technology. Also, here is another primer (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2TbxhpG-Y4Q) by the Weather Channel.
When you watch these, please keep the following in mind:

1. These are not pie in the sky dreams. People have been living in these houses for decades.

2. These videos do not cover the latest models (which would likely amaze you). For example, the Global Model (not depicted) will passively (no active heating) maintain between 70 and 75 degrees Fahrenheit even on winter nights when outside temperatures drop to below minus 20 degrees Fahrenheit. Also, it can function in many climates from tropical to sub-arctic.

3. These are not the only types (http://enertia.com/) of off grid housing around today.


For now, I will give you the benefit of the doubt and not fault you for being unaware of current day passive solar home technology. However, if you really wish to argue this topic further, then I strongly suggest that you use the time instead to learn about the physics relating to thermal mass, passive solar gain, thermal wrap, passive convection engines and other technology relating to off grid homes.




If your state isn't one of these places, turn out and vote, or vote with your feet.
Actually I am planning to move to build my off grid house.

Robert Tulip
2012-Jan-04, 07:40 AM
Off grid solutions may work for individuals, but I doubt that they are scaleable for cities. We need coordinated industrial processes to deliver mass energy to address peak oil and global warming.

My view remains that ocean based algae production will be a decisive technology in shifting to a sustainable energy future. There is plenty of ocean, and wave and tide deliver free processing energy for algae production.

The R&D question is design of cost-effective plastic containers for algae production on industrial scale. It is true that UV damage to plastics is a key constraint. If algae can produce plastic on mass scale, then the plastic itself serves as a temporary sequestration, usable to build more algae farms. Some research on plastic from algae is available here (http://www.popularmechanics.com/science/energy/biofuel/algae-to-plastic).

I previously discussed my own ideas on mass production of algae here (http://www.bautforum.com/showthread.php/94976-Patent-to-Reverse-Global-Warming?highlight=algae+biofuel).

Trakar
2012-Jan-04, 03:36 PM
It seems here that you do not realize that if your photovoltaic system does not have battery backup, then loss of grid power or your inverter will cause total loss of electrical power in your home.

Amazing, I've been generating my own solar (and microhydro) power for more the better part of three decades, and both designed and built my home and business well before sell back to the grid was even a realistic consideration for most. Since however, you seem to know everything about what you want to do, please carry on, I was simply offering information that from your writings, seemed to be lacking, please pardon my attempts at assistance. I wish you well.

Ara Pacis
2012-Jan-04, 11:55 PM
This is true. However, having a photovoltaic system with a grid tie inverter means going through the process (permits, fees, etc.) of making sure that your system will automatically match the grid power (including phase). It also means proving to the authorities that your system will disconnect from the grid if the grid loses power or if there is a fault in your A.C. output, which makes sense. However, experience has shown that the inverter is the component in a photovoltaic system that is most likely to fail. In fact the solar power systems in many off grid houses today keep their critical electrical equipment on D.C. power for this very reason. This reason also makes it clear that if your inverter fails in a grid tie system, you could also lose grid power thus leaving you without any A.C. power. In addition, if you send more energy to the grid than you consume from the grid, then in many cases you will not get paid.

So you are correct about me being able to stay on the grid and still having solar power. However, why on earth would I want to?

Do you plan to live so far out that there is no electrical service, not even SWER? I didn't say you had to integrate your entire home with the grid, just that you can connect to it. If you can get household items that run on DC, then ditch the inverter and convert the incoming AC to DC. Alternately, some items can run on an AC circuit, while other items can run on the DC circuit. If you want to have the capability of running certain items on both then you could then use an inverter or rectifier, etc on a third circuit. I'm not advocating going guerrilla solar (or wind), as you could convert excess generation into wasted mechanical work once you've topped up any energy storage systems you may have, instead of trying to send it to the grid.

How much electricity do you need? A lot can be done with combustion-powered systems, passive solar and solar thermal, thermal mass, passive cooling/ventilation, ice harvesting, green roofs and landscaping.

As to why would you want to: cost, backup capability, and complexity of maintenance come to mind.

adapa
2012-Jan-06, 11:32 PM
Trakar,
When I saw your post, I got the impression (likely erroneously) that you were arguing against the existence of things that were around for decades. In that case, I apologize.




Do you plan to live so far out that there is no electrical service, not even SWER? I didn't say you had to integrate your entire home with the grid, just that you can connect to it. If you can get household items that run on DC, then ditch the inverter and convert the incoming AC to DC. Alternately, some items can run on an AC circuit, while other items can run on the DC circuit. If you want to have the capability of running certain items on both then you could then use an inverter or rectifier, etc on a third circuit. I'm not advocating going guerrilla solar (or wind), as you could convert excess generation into wasted mechanical work once you've topped up any energy storage systems you may have, instead of trying to send it to the grid.

How much electricity do you need? A lot can be done with combustion-powered systems, passive solar and solar thermal, thermal mass, passive cooling/ventilation, ice harvesting, green roofs and landscaping.

As to why would you want to: cost, backup capability, and complexity of maintenance come to mind.
Actually, I plan to live about 15 minutes from the nearest town. I do intend to have both A.C and D.C equipment. However, I believe that the money spent running a line out to the house is better spent on extra batteries, extra panels, etc. Also, the Power Organizing Module produced by Biotecture has been demonstrated over the years to be extremely reliable. It includes not 1 but 2 inverters (1 1700 Watt and 1 2500 Watt). It also places much of the vital equipment (fridge, water pumps, built in lighting) on D.C. power. In fact, it reminds me of an airplane's electrical system (with reliability to match). This is probably due to convergent evolution of technologies after 40 years of experience by its makers.

The electricity needed is shockingly little. Believe it or not, these houses function on a less than 2 kilowatt system with more than enough left over keep the batteries fully charged. They were evolved when the price of solar panels were very high so they were designed down by eliminating or reducing the electrical requirements of some of the "heavy hitters". For example:

Heating & Cooling: Passively accomplished with thermal mass inside insulation, combined with solar gain. Also, cooling tubes with a passive convection engine cools and dehumidifies like an air conditioner.

Refrigeration: D.C. powered fridges use roughly about 15% the power of a conventional fridge of the same size. For example, the RF-19 fridge by Sunfrost uses about 350 watt hours per day that is about 15 watts (average) being used by a 19 cubic foot fridge.

Water heating: Glycol mixture based solar water with a drain back system that has its own PV panel to drive the pump. It also has a (rarely used) gas on demand backup water heater for those long stretch of cloudy days. I will have an oversized system because my wife seems to like her bath/shower water to feel like volcanic lava.

Kitchen: Rather spartan. A 2 burner electric stove. Also, the kitchens on the older models come with a built in solar oven that maintains an internal temperature of between 350 to 400 degrees F during the daytime. It is big enough to fit a distiller to provide distilled water for the batteries. I plan on getting a gas stove/oven in addition to the above.

Overall, I will be living in a sunny climate so I will conservatively estimate that a 2.5 KW system will give me about 8 kilowatt hours per day on the average. I would rather waste the extra electricity than subject the deep cycle batteries to repeated deep cycles.

Now, with the prices of solar panels in free fall, a lot of this could change.

There is a great deal more to this than I have the time to say right now.

Trakar
2012-Jan-07, 02:24 AM
Trakar,
When I saw your post, I got the impression (likely erroneously) that you were arguing against the existence of things that were around for decades. In that case, I apologize.


No problem at all, grudges are for narrow minds and lost causes, I applaud your goals and determination and was sincere in my well wishes for your future. Please consider this the non-issue that it was. Feel free to contact me if there is ever any way I might be of assistance to you.

Ara Pacis
2012-Jan-08, 07:47 AM
Actually, I plan to live about 15 minutes from the nearest town. ...

Sounds like you got everything figured out. Although... I've heard that induction stovetops are even more efficient than standard electric or IR stoves. I know the brand names are expensive here in the States, but they are popular and cheap in asia. Of course, you have to use the right kind of cookware.

I've thought of building a self-sufficient house. I even designed a thermal window system for it for both heating and cooling, though I don't know if it would be worth the expense.

loglo
2012-Jan-08, 08:31 AM
My parents had a hot water system in their country property which I had never seen before or since. They had a conventional solar water heater but the plumbing somehow also wrapped around the flue of the wood burner they used for heating in winter. Since their property had plenty of firewood available their water and home heating costs were virtually zero. They had no problems with it over the 15 years or so they lived there.
Unfortunately they don't recall who installed it so I have no idea what the system is called. I always thought it was a pretty neat solution though.

HenrikOlsen
2012-Jan-08, 10:24 AM
I've seen it done one step better, with a moderate windmill driving a heating element as well. It's fairly common to have wind and sun max at different times so using both to heat the water smoothed out production and kept the need for using the wood burner for water heating down.

MikeMcc
2012-Jan-08, 10:49 PM
I've not seen anybody mention geothermal heat pumps yet. On new builds they appear to have good returns. In the winter the warmed fluid preheats water for heating and hot water, reducing the requirement for external heating sources. In the summer it can be used as a heat dump to reduce the need for air-conditioning.

transreality
2012-Jan-08, 11:15 PM
The R&D question is design of cost-effective plastic containers for algae production on industrial scale. It is true that UV damage to plastics is a key constraint. If algae can produce plastic on mass scale, then the plastic itself serves as a temporary sequestration, usable to build more algae farms. Some research on plastic from algae is available

There is way too much plastic in the oceans as it is. How do we stop the plastic been torn apart in storms, for example. How do we prevent it ending up in the stomachs and gills of marine life, or the food entire marine food chain, on which we sit ourselves. First, figure out how to eliminate the great plastic garbage patch (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Great_Pacific_Garbage_Patch)in the mid-pacific gyre then you may be on the way.

Robert Tulip
2012-Jan-09, 05:03 AM
There is way too much plastic in the oceans as it is. How do we stop the plastic been torn apart in storms, for example. How do we prevent it ending up in the stomachs and gills of marine life, or the food entire marine food chain, on which we sit ourselves. First, figure out how to eliminate the great plastic garbage patch (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Great_Pacific_Garbage_Patch)in the mid-pacific gyre then you may be on the way.

Plastic managed on industrial scale can clean up the ocean. As plastic nears the end of its useful life it can be recycled before it breaks down. During storms plastic factories can be sunk below the surface. The great plastic garbage patch can be eaten by robot whales.

HenrikOlsen
2012-Jan-09, 07:07 AM
Plastic managed on industrial scale can clean up the ocean.
Who will pay?

As plastic nears the end of its useful life it can be recycled before it breaks down.
We're talking weeks here.

During storms plastic factories can be sunk below the surface.
How?

The great plastic garbage patch can be eaten by robot whales.
Do you actually understand the composition of the patch?
Do you have any comprehension of the scale of it and the energy required?

Robert Tulip
2012-Jan-09, 07:41 AM
Who will pay? How? Do you actually understand the composition of the patch? Do you have any comprehension of the scale of it and the energy required?

Hi Henrik

I'm not wanting to hijack this thread, but rather respond to the request for new ideas in the opening post:

solutions can be implemented without destroying the world economy ... We can grow algae in transparent pipes ... more solutions are likely within our grasp.

The thread is about imaginative innovations to address global warming. The key to workable solutions is that they have to be sustainable at scale. So, to your questions.

Industrial scale plastic systems in the world ocean can be funded commercially if they produce biodiesel and other products in a way that is cost competitive with fossil fuel. Such a system would need to make most of its own resources and use only renewable energy (wave, tide, wind, current, sun).

NASA is now experimenting with plastic bags that will sink during storms. If the bag system is floated by submarine sacks of air, then emptying these sacks will cause it to stabilise at depth. The sacks can be filled again with air using wave energy.

Wikipedia says the plastic garbage patch is about twice as big as Hawaii. A robot whale is a plastic contraption mimicking a baleen whale and using wave power for propulsion, just as whales do (http://www.jstor.org/pss/49479). If it can eat plasticated water it can excrete pellets or rope using no fossil energy input. This may be an entirely new idea, but I don't at all see why it would not work. I raised this in response to the question from transreality about the problem of plastic in the ocean, just to indicate that this is not an impossible task. Fixing the plastic dump would probably not be profitable, as the plastic excreted would have limited use, but I can't imagine a better way to do it. I don't think municipal authorities now make money from collecting trash. Robot whales might also have a range of other practical uses.

adapa
2012-Jan-09, 06:49 PM
No problem at all, grudges are for narrow minds and lost causes, I applaud your goals and determination and was sincere in my well wishes for your future. Please consider this the non-issue that it was. Feel free to contact me if there is ever any way I might be of assistance to you.
Thanks. I felt really bad about what I wrote.
Do you think that low maintenance absorbed glass mat batteries (vs flooded lead acid) are worth the extra cost? I plan on having the batteries in a separate box that is vented to the outside anyway. Servicing them would be slightly inconvenient but not terribly so. Also, I am becoming biased in favor of the thin film solar panels. Although they give less power per unit area, I understand that they are so much cheaper that they give more power per dollar. Also, I understand that they will still produce a reasonable amount of power on a cloudy day. Can you think of any caveats that I did not?




Sounds like you got everything figured out. Although... I've heard that induction stovetops are even more efficient than standard electric or IR stoves. I know the brand names are expensive here in the States, but they are popular and cheap in asia. Of course, you have to use the right kind of cookware.

I've thought of building a self-sufficient house. I even designed a thermal window system for it for both heating and cooling, though I don't know if it would be worth the expense.
Actually, I still have a lot of details to work out. Also, I have been giving the induction stove serious consideration. Besides, all of our pots and pans are stainless steel (ferromagnetic) anyway.

I certainly applaud your consideration of a self sufficient house because I believe that self sufficient houses place a relevant part of the environmental solution directly into the hands of individuals. Also, these houses come with perks that extend far beyond their energy efficiencies and are too many for me to elaborate on in this post. Also, living off grid does not necessarily mean living out in the wilderness. In fact, there will be the construction of a totally self sufficient house in Manhattan this summer.

Due to lack of time, I cannot write much more but I would like to read about your window design if it okay with you.

transreality
2012-Jan-09, 10:12 PM
Wikipedia says the plastic garbage patch is about twice as big as Hawaii. A robot whale is a plastic contraption mimicking a baleen whale and using wave power for propulsion, just as whales do (http://www.jstor.org/pss/49479). If it can eat plasticated water it can excrete pellets or rope using no fossil energy input. This may be an entirely new idea, but I don't at all see why it would not work. I raised this in response to the question from transreality about the problem of plastic in the ocean, just to indicate that this is not an impossible task. Fixing the plastic dump would probably not be profitable, as the plastic excreted would have limited use, but I can't imagine a better way to do it. I don't think municipal authorities now make money from collecting trash. Robot whales might also have a range of other practical uses.

Whales don't run on wave energy. They eat other organisms and convert the chemical energy via metabolism to the energy they require to move. That wave energy will be continually eroding your plastic bags as will UV, wind and every other form of energy in the environment to which they are exposed. A storm is merely a bad case. A plastic bag in the ocean will be continually releasing these tiny polymeric particles, as will your plastic whale and the pellets they produce. Every drop of water in the ocean contains organisms that will be exposed to your plastic. The wave energy is not a free source you can use to run any number of free floating devices. If it was that easy animals would have harnessed it via evolution for purposes other than random dispersion of larva, instead most organisms spend alot of energy alleviating its effects. Its like running a space ship on gravity, in fact most of a spaceship is designed to combat it. I suspect your ideas assume an ocean devoid of inhabitants, disregard any impact on them; and have the likely outcome of a destroyed ecosystems. Not even to investigate the effects of the algae released when the bags rupture etc. How much energy to you think it will take to suddenly submerge a whole lot of bags full of air, or later retrieve them from the depths, compared to gradual energy you can recover from them? If you are not recovering all of the plastic that you put into the ocean, then it is just another unsustainable exploitation of the environment that will require a net warming of the world to alleviate.

I'm not saying that wave energy cannot be derived by industrial processes, but it is not a free and easy solution for small free-floating objects, the available flux is difficult to harness and the erosive costs are considerable and must be factored in.

Robert Tulip
2012-Jan-10, 01:26 AM
Whales don't run on wave energy. They eat other organisms and convert the chemical energy via metabolism to the energy they require to move. Hi Transreality, thanks for your comments. They are all easy to answer.

Whales have evolved into the most efficient available body shapes for long distance oceanic travel. They actually do use wave energy to increase the power of their flukes for propulsion, cracking their body like a whip and releasing the wave energy in the tail. So a whale is an excellent natural model for a self-propelled floating plastic robot. In the example of the Pacific Gyre, they do not have to move very fast to gradually vacuum up most of the plastic rubbish.
That wave energy will be continually eroding your plastic bags as will UV, wind and every other form of energy in the environment to which they are exposed. Trivially, just as nature erodes the steel of shipping tankers. When products approach the end of their commercial life they are replaced.
A storm is merely a bad case. A plastic bag in the ocean will be continually releasing these tiny polymeric particles, as will your plastic whale and the pellets they produce. Every drop of water in the ocean contains organisms that will be exposed to your plastic. That just reads as hyperbole. How do you know that plastic will continually release dangerous particles at any measurable rate? The information I have is that such plastic should have a working life of ten years. The aim of this example is to reduce the amount of plastic pollution, not increase it. The further aim is to make biodegradable plastic from produced algae.
The wave energy is not a free source you can use to run any number of free floating devices. If it was that easy animals would have harnessed it via evolution for purposes other than random dispersion of larva, instead most organisms spend alot of energy alleviating its effects. But as I pointed out, whales have harnessed free wave energy for their migrations.
I suspect your ideas assume an ocean devoid of inhabitants, disregard any impact on them; and have the likely outcome of a destroyed ecosystems. Wow, don't you think that assessment is slightly exaggerated? In fact my ideas are purely about fixing the ocean and regulating global climate. More than 10% of the world ocean (>50 million square kilometres) is classified (http://www.noaanews.noaa.gov/stories2008/20080305_oceandesert.html) as desert, having very low surface chlorophyll. Using wave energy to bring nutrient-rich deep water to the surface is a practical way to massively expand marine life and counteract the damage of over-fishing. Coastal algae biofuel farms should be a sustainable commercial method to suck up the CO2 emitted by electricity plants and mines.
Not even to investigate the effects of the algae released when the bags rupture etc. Fish will eat it. An algae plant in the dead zone in the Gulf of Mexico would go a long way to restore that area to health.
How much energy to you think it will take to suddenly submerge a whole lot of bags full of air, or later retrieve them from the depths, compared to gradual energy you can recover from them? It will take very little energy. Changing ballast causes rapid stabilization of vessel depth. A wave powered air pump system can easily refloat a submerged plastic factory.
If you are not recovering all of the plastic that you put into the ocean, then it is just another unsustainable exploitation of the environment that will require a net warming of the world to alleviate.The aim is to recover more than all the plastic put into the ocean. All these ideas require proof of concept through pilot projects.
I'm not saying that wave energy cannot be derived by industrial processes, but it is not a free and easy solution for small free-floating objects, the available flux is difficult to harness and the erosive costs are considerable and must be factored in.The main point, in terms of the theme of this thread, is that geo-engineering solutions using the energy and space and resources available in the world ocean have immense potential. All these questions raised by transreality are very relevant and good, and should be properly considered regarding environmental impact if and when there is ever any pilot testing.

Ara Pacis
2012-Jan-10, 09:54 AM
I certainly applaud your consideration of a self sufficient house because I believe that self sufficient houses place a relevant part of the environmental solution directly into the hands of individuals. Also, these houses come with perks that extend far beyond their energy efficiencies and are too many for me to elaborate on in this post. Also, living off grid does not necessarily mean living out in the wilderness. In fact, there will be the construction of a totally self sufficient house in Manhattan this summer.

Due to lack of time, I cannot write much more but I would like to read about your window design if it okay with you.In addition to off-the-grid, I've been thinking about monolithic domes. I know some people don't like the idea of using concrete and would prefer something more sustainable and green, like rammed-earth blocks or tires or even cob, but I like the safety of steel-reinforced concrete, in case of storms. My optimal dome-home design is always evolving in my head, but I've been thinking of something with a 25-30 ft radius. It would look a little like a baseball cap too since the southern exposure would have a 4-season porch under a monolithic deck extension, to help reduce solar gain in the summer, but with large windows to allow it in the winter.

On other parts of the fenestration exposed to the sun, I was thinking of adapting an idea for a thermal-mass window. The idea, if you're not familiar with it, is similar to a Trombe wall, in that you use a thick glass panel to absorb IR and/or other wavelengths and then vent the window to the outside in summer and to the inside in winter. I didn't invent the idea, but I took the basic idea and adapted it from the movable design some suggested to a fixed panoramic panel that integrated into a monolithic structure (load bearing) and uses vents built into it in such a way that you can adjust the effect seasonally. It may not be worth the effort though, if you just shade it in the summer using awnings, building geometry or a floating roof (sail). I see that someone else is working on water-filled thermal windows for a similar effect.

loglo
2012-Jan-10, 11:07 AM
In addition to off-the-grid, I've been thinking about monolithic domes. I know some people don't like the idea of using concrete and would prefer something more sustainable and green, like rammed-earth blocks or tires or even cob, but I like the safety of steel-reinforced concrete, in case of storms. My optimal dome-home design is always evolving in my head, but I've been thinking of something with a 25-30 ft radius. It would look a little like a baseball cap too since the southern exposure would have a 4-season porch under a monolithic deck extension, to help reduce solar gain in the summer, but with large windows to allow it in the winter.

On other parts of the fenestration exposed to the sun, I was thinking of adapting an idea for a thermal-mass window. The idea, if you're not familiar with it, is similar to a Trombe wall, in that you use a thick glass panel to absorb IR and/or other wavelengths and then vent the window to the outside in summer and to the inside in winter. I didn't invent the idea, but I took the basic idea and adapted it from the movable design some suggested to a fixed panoramic panel that integrated into a monolithic structure (load bearing) and uses vents built into it in such a way that you can adjust the effect seasonally. It may not be worth the effort though, if you just shade it in the summer using awnings, building geometry or a floating roof (sail). I see that someone else is working on water-filled thermal windows for a similar effect.

Eco-cement (http://www.tececo.com/technical.tececo_cements.php) may be a possible answer. It can be made to be carbon neutral.

Trakar
2012-Jan-10, 08:58 PM
...Do you think that low maintenance absorbed glass mat batteries (vs flooded lead acid) are worth the extra cost?

Tough decision. I am currently debating the transition to more modern battery storage systems, that weren't an option a few decades ago. The life-span and overall costs of these systems, however, are severely restraining my decision for the time being. Lead acid batteries are easily and routinely recycled and replaceable at relatively low cost compared to most modern batteries.

My personal circumstances allow me to store significant amounts of power in my hydro system, by using excess generated power to run pumps that fill a set of storage ponds up-elevation from my house. In addition to providing power, these also provide potable and cleaning water, irrigation water (for lawns and gardens), not to mention low level aquaculture.

My battery shack only has enough racks to provide a bit more than a day's worth of above baseline power to my system, but it is only designed to cover emergencies (running at baseline I have several day's of battery power - 'friges/freezers, attic water reservoir pumps, and basic communications and computer power), but that is still a lot of batteries. For the time being, I'll probably stick with the lead-acids, but if I were building new today, I'd have to examine the issue much more closely, especially if I were planning on depending upon those batteries everytime the sun wasn't shining enough to meet my power requirements.



I plan on having the batteries in a separate box that is vented to the outside anyway. Servicing them would be slightly inconvenient but not terribly so. Also, I am becoming biased in favor of the thin film solar panels. Although they give less power per unit area, I understand that they are so much cheaper that they give more power per dollar. Also, I understand that they will still produce a reasonable amount of power on a cloudy day. Can you think of any caveats that I did not?


lifespan. I like the way thin-film (and even some "paint") applications are progressing, but I am concerned that they are somewhat pricey and if I have to replace them after every storm or even after a couple of seasons of weathering, that they aren't going to be cheap enough in relation to base costs and labor to match up with more structurally stable and rigorous systems. As a foldable charging tarp for an electric assisst mountain bike, however, that I can stretch out and relax/rest beneath between evening runs along wilderness trails, they will be a godsend!

Trakar
2012-Jan-10, 09:09 PM
In addition to off-the-grid, I've been thinking about monolithic domes. I know some people don't like the idea of using concrete and would prefer something more sustainable and green, like rammed-earth blocks or tires or even cob, but I like the safety of steel-reinforced concrete, in case of storms. My optimal dome-home design is always evolving in my head, but I've been thinking of something with a 25-30 ft radius. It would look a little like a baseball cap too since the southern exposure would have a 4-season porch under a monolithic deck extension, to help reduce solar gain in the summer, but with large windows to allow it in the winter.

On other parts of the fenestration exposed to the sun, I was thinking of adapting an idea for a thermal-mass window. The idea, if you're not familiar with it, is similar to a Trombe wall, in that you use a thick glass panel to absorb IR and/or other wavelengths and then vent the window to the outside in summer and to the inside in winter. I didn't invent the idea, but I took the basic idea and adapted it from the movable design some suggested to a fixed panoramic panel that integrated into a monolithic structure (load bearing) and uses vents built into it in such a way that you can adjust the effect seasonally. It may not be worth the effort though, if you just shade it in the summer using awnings, building geometry or a floating roof (sail). I see that someone else is working on water-filled thermal windows for a similar effect.

I've always liked domes, but much like the Yurts I use as guest cottages, there are problems with wasted space in non-rectangular areas. I do like steel and concrete (and its varients) designs, but have gradually moved more to underground or bermed design considerations. The trick to avoiding claustrophobic impressions is to keep rooms large with lots of open space, generous lighting, and "sink hole" arboretums.

Ara Pacis
2012-Jan-11, 09:57 AM
I've always liked domes, but much like the Yurts I use as guest cottages, there are problems with wasted space in non-rectangular areas. I do like steel and concrete (and its varients) designs, but have gradually moved more to underground or bermed design considerations. The trick to avoiding claustrophobic impressions is to keep rooms large with lots of open space, generous lighting, and "sink hole" arboretums.

That's one of the reasons I was thinking of such a large radius (50-60 ft diameter at ground/basement level). Then I would probably have that on top of a stem wall as well as nestled into a hillside and using split level design. At the lower levels, the walls would be vertical enough, but at the top it would be curving in a lot. So, for that I do a couple different things. I cut a vaulted ceiling into a lower level, and so the higher level has a knee wall flowing into the dome curve. In addition, that upper level has a cut-in balcony to open up another arc of the perimeter. Another part can be used as stairwell, which often has wasted space anyways. Finally, some of it has a cabinet storage behind a knee-wall to the dome envelope. As for the horizontal curvature of the rooms, maybe it would be open space with cabinets and furniture in the middle or against interior walls.

By a sink-hole arboretum, do you mean a central atrium/courtyard with with a skylight/oculus above? That was in my first dome home design, but it was too grand a vision, with a radius of 40-50 ft (ground-level diameter of 90-100 ft). But I wanted to have potted trees in that atrium, plus a reflecting pool and a tall-spouting fountain.

Trakar
2012-Jan-11, 05:13 PM
That's one of the reasons I was thinking of such a large radius (50-60 ft diameter at ground/basement level). Then I would probably have that on top of a stem wall as well as nestled into a hillside and using split level design. At the lower levels, the walls would be vertical enough, but at the top it would be curving in a lot. So, for that I do a couple different things. I cut a vaulted ceiling into a lower level, and so the higher level has a knee wall flowing into the dome curve. In addition, that upper level has a cut-in balcony to open up another arc of the perimeter. Another part can be used as stairwell, which often has wasted space anyways. Finally, some of it has a cabinet storage behind a knee-wall to the dome envelope. As for the horizontal curvature of the rooms, maybe it would be open space with cabinets and furniture in the middle or against interior walls.

By a sink-hole arboretum, do you mean a central atrium/courtyard with with a skylight/oculus above? That was in my first dome home design, but it was too grand a vision, with a radius of 40-50 ft (ground-level diameter of 90-100 ft). But I wanted to have potted trees in that atrium, plus a reflecting pool and a tall-spouting fountain.

Yeah, I was speaking more about traditional cube buildings, but I guess there are ways to incorporate them into domes. I've just lost my enthusiasm over dome structures.

danscope
2012-Jan-11, 07:37 PM
One of the big problems is condensation and mold. Research this subject very carefully.

transreality
2012-Jan-11, 11:40 PM
Hi Transreality, thanks for your comments. They are all easy to answer.

Whales have evolved into the most efficient available body shapes for long distance oceanic travel. They actually do use wave energy to increase the power of their flukes for propulsion, cracking their body like a whip and releasing the wave energy in the tail. So a whale is an excellent natural model for a self-propelled floating plastic robot. In the example of the Pacific Gyre, they do not have to move very fast to gradually vacuum up most of the plastic rubbish..... Trivially, just as nature erodes the steel of shipping tankers.

If it is that easy, just deploy wave powered ships. They would be so cheap to operate they would replace oil powered ships virtually instantaneously, solving a huge transportation overhead. No more beached tankers breaking up on reefs. Can't wait to see the prototype...

see this thing the japanese Mighty Whale (http://www.caddet-re.org/assets/199art3.pdf)

Notice that it is towed around, and to make power it has to be moored to the sea-floor. Then notice it makes 120KW from a 4000 ton ship. 120KW will not move such a ship out of its own way, even if it were possible to generate that power while free floating. Effectively, what you are describing is a perpetual motion machine.

Robert Tulip
2012-Jan-12, 08:45 AM
If it is that easy, just deploy wave powered ships. They would be so cheap to operate they would replace oil powered ships virtually instantaneously, solving a huge transportation overhead. No more beached tankers breaking up on reefs. Can't wait to see the prototype...

see this thing the japanese Mighty Whale (http://www.caddet-re.org/assets/199art3.pdf)

Notice that it is towed around, and to make power it has to be moored to the sea-floor. Then notice it makes 120KW from a 4000 ton ship. 120KW will not move such a ship out of its own way, even if it were possible to generate that power while free floating. Effectively, what you are describing is a perpetual motion machine.

Wave powered transport will not replace oil power for global trade because wave energy is too slow. That is why wind and oars were replaced by steam and diesel. In the example of a vessel designed to eat plastic at sea, it is better to have a slow moving craft that requires no fossil fuel, hence the wave powered robot whale. The motion here is not perpetual but comes from the energy of the ocean. It relies on the key concept of fresh water floating on salt water, an idea with numerous potential applications for use of wave, tide, sun and current energy. It may be possible to float spheres of fresh water a kilometer in diameter around the world and build cities on top of them.

Drawings I did of these ideas a few years ago are attached.

Ara Pacis
2012-Jan-12, 04:07 PM
Yeah, I was speaking more about traditional cube buildings, but I guess there are ways to incorporate them into domes. I've just lost my enthusiasm over dome structures.Why's that?

One of the big problems is condensation and mold. Research this subject very carefully. Like is possible with almost any structure?

Trakar
2012-Jan-12, 05:02 PM
One of the big problems is condensation and mold. Research this subject very carefully.

Same is true of any of the more well-sealed construction systems that are prevelant in energy-efficient design.

Trakar
2012-Jan-12, 05:21 PM
Why's that?

Mainly a matter of taste, mine changed. There are the issues mentioned before that non-rectangular/cubic rooms contain lots of "dead space" that are not functionally usable and are awkward to decorate and furnish traditionally. There are also practical problems in adequately outfitting such homes with plumbing, wiring, and duct work. Not that any of these issues are without work-arounds and addressments. I was really smitten with domes a few decades ago, but after discussions with several dome owners, contractors engaged in remodels on them, and spending some vacation time in a couple of different dome rentals (as well as my own experiences with round-rooms from the yurt guest cottages), I have just lost most of my early enthusiasm. This isn't to say that I hate them or anything, they just aren't attractive to me the way they once were.

transreality
2012-Jan-13, 12:40 AM
Wave powered transport will not replace oil power for global trade because wave energy is too slow. That is why wind and oars were replaced by steam and diesel. In the example of a vessel designed to eat plastic at sea, it is better to have a slow moving craft that requires no fossil fuel, hence the wave powered robot whale. The motion here is not perpetual but comes from the energy of the ocean. It relies on the key concept of fresh water floating on salt water, an idea with numerous potential applications for use of wave, tide, sun and current energy. It may be possible to float spheres of fresh water a kilometer in diameter around the world and build cities on top of them.



its true that alternate forms are too slow, for a zero-emission surface vessel sails would be the classic and easiest answer. Any submerged vessel has a lot more water that needs to displaced on an on-going basis and therefore requires much more power than a surface vessel for any speed, as well as more drag from water along the surface area of the hull.

For wave power there are practical issues, waves are only viable close to the shore, and even then periods of calm exist. On the open sea, the periods of calm will be normal, the only time wave energy will be possible are during storms, when survival will take a higher priority and the paltry power available won't be enough to even keep a safe heading, or if submerged the wave energy becomes minimal.

To generate energy from wave power the pump of the turbine has to be driven relative to hull, that's why the Great Whale must be moored to develop power. Once it is free floating the hull moves up at the same amplitude as the pump, meaning that no power results. This is why I say that a free-floating wave power machine must be a perpetual motion machine, it is trying to bootstrap itself.

A real blue whale (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blue_whale) weighs 150 tonnes or so, requires around 1.5 million calories of krill per day, which is something like about 1100Kw/hour, and can generate about 350kw of propulsion power. Compared to the the mechanical 'whale' which weighs 4000tonnes and can produce 120kw/hour, while moored in the ground swell, and needs to be towed to move at all.

adapa
2012-Jan-13, 02:32 AM
One of the big problems is condensation and mold. Research this subject very carefully.
That is a valid concern. However, some of the newer off grid houses have effectively mitigated this problem.

The primary means is via underground cooling tubes in the earth berm (screened to keep out bugs) that are sloped away from the house. This allows condensation in the cooled air to drain away from the house, thus allowing the air entering the house to be cooler and drier. This airflow is powered by warm air in the top of the greenhouse exiting through the skylight thus creating a low pressure that sucks air into the house through the cooling tubes. This whole process is one example of a convection engine, and it cools and de-humidifies like an air conditioner. They even paint the skylight a dark color to enhance this effect.

The other method that I will implement has more to do with my strong belief in having an emergency source of potable water. I plan to have an atmospheric water generator in the attached greenhouse that will harvest some of the humidity and turn it into filtered potable water. In fact, one of the models that I am considering is the ASWRHB-90TK 15L AWG made by Atlantis Solar. It comes with its own solar power system complete with panels, inverter and low maintenance deep cycle battery, and it is separate from the main house power supply. It can generate a little over 3 gallons of purified water per day in average conditions and it can also be plugged into the main house power supply if needed. Although it is primarily for emergencies, I plan to run it a few days per week depending on humidity, water level in the storage tanks, etc.

Ara Pacis,
I am familiar with Trombe Walls and I do like the fact that they put the solar gain directly into the thermal mass. If the area behind the glass is dark, that would be good. If you have 2 panes of glass, then that is even better. But if there is enough space between the panes, and you can install a highly reflective shade between them that can be raised and lowered from inside the house, then that would be truly superb. However, (as you probably know) stay away from Low E glass. Also, in spite of the negative publicity against concrete, it is an excellent source of thermal mass. Besides, I do not think that it can be much worse than chopping down scores of trees and burning loads of energy to transport them over long distances.

Trakar,
I believe in earth berming too. One of the newest practices is putting the rigid insulation about 3 to 4 feet out into the berm (with appropriately placed moisture barriers) and then capping the enclosed earth with more insulation before covering the whole thing with more earth. This has the effect of adding an extra 125+ tons (over quarter million pounds) of compacted earth to the thermal mass of the already massive walls.

whimsyfree
2012-Jan-13, 02:41 AM
To generate energy from wave power the pump of the turbine has to be driven relative to hull, that's why the Great Whale must be moored to develop power. Once it is free floating the hull moves up at the same amplitude as the pump, meaning that no power results. This is why I say that a free-floating wave power machine must be a perpetual motion machine, it is trying to bootstrap itself.


I think the wave-powered mechanical whale concept is silly but I don't think you're right. Ships can extract energy from waves. If the wavelength is not great relative to the ship, then, because the ship is a rigid body, at any point in time some parts of the ship will be further out of the water than others, and which parts are higher out of the water varies with time. If you put a float in a vertical cage attached to the hull, the float would go up and down relative to the hull. From such a mechanism one could extract energy.

If you want a self-powered plastic collector it would be more plausible for the "whale" to burn the plastic.

Robert Tulip
2012-Jan-13, 03:12 AM
its true that alternate forms are too slow, for a zero-emission surface vessel sails would be the classic and easiest answer. Any submerged vessel has a lot more water that needs to displaced on an on-going basis and therefore requires much more power than a surface vessel for any speed, as well as more drag from water along the surface area of the hull.

For wave power there are practical issues, waves are only viable close to the shore, and even then periods of calm exist. On the open sea, the periods of calm will be normal, the only time wave energy will be possible are during storms, when survival will take a higher priority and the paltry power available won't be enough to even keep a safe heading, or if submerged the wave energy becomes minimal.

To generate energy from wave power the pump of the turbine has to be driven relative to hull, that's why the Great Whale must be moored to develop power. Once it is free floating the hull moves up at the same amplitude as the pump, meaning that no power results. This is why I say that a free-floating wave power machine must be a perpetual motion machine, it is trying to bootstrap itself.

A real blue whale (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blue_whale) weighs 150 tonnes or so, requires around 1.5 million calories of krill per day, which is something like about 1100Kw/hour, and can generate about 350kw of propulsion power. Compared to the the mechanical 'whale' which weighs 4000tonnes and can produce 120kw/hour, while moored in the ground swell, and needs to be towed to move at all.

I obviously have not adequately explained this concept. If you look at the diagrams in my previous post, the mechanism is described. There is no turbine, it is just a simple spine and fluke system like a whale.

The idea is that a floating flexible plastic waterbag of indicative length 100 meters has a semi-rigid spine that moves with ocean surface waves. The spine is connected to a set of flukes at the rear end, so all the energy in the wave motion of the spine goes into the flukes. The flukes go up and down driving the vessel forward. The only use of power in this example is to propel the vessel.

NOAA global data (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Nww3_pa.anim.gif) shows many pelagic areas where wave height averages five meters or more, so the suggestion that wave energy is not viable for propulsion in the deep sea appears untrue.

HenrikOlsen
2012-Jan-13, 07:11 AM
NOAA global data (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Nww3_pa.anim.gif) shows many pelagic areas where wave height averages five meters or more, so the suggestion that wave energy is not viable for propulsion in the deep sea appears untrue.
You've only shown the existence of waves, you haven't shown how much energy can be gotten from them. Numbers on table please.

Robert Tulip
2012-Jan-13, 10:23 AM
You've only shown the existence of waves, you haven't shown how much energy can be gotten from them. Numbers on table please.

This is a great question Henrik. And it helps to bring the thread back to the topic of solutions to global warming.

Wave Basics (http://www.stormsurf.com/page2/tutorials/wavebasics.shtml) says "If the waves in a wave train have sufficient energy (normally a period equal to or greater than 15 seconds), they can continue with little loss of size or energy, for thousands of miles or until they reach land and break. That's because at these periods (or wavelength) all the energy is traveling deep under the oceans surface, and there's little that can stop it (except for shallow water). A wave with a 14 second period reaches down into the ocean about 516 feet. A 17 second period wave at 761 ft, 20 second at 1053 ft and 25 secs to a whopping 1646 ft."

If it is possible to convert 0.1% of the enormous quantity of wave energy in the global ocean into usable form, wave power can make a significant contribution to shifting the planet to a sustainable energy mix without harmful environmental impacts.

My view, as I have explained before, is that the key to accessing wave energy is using floating bags of fresh water. Such bags become part of the wave, and move up and down with the swell. They do not need to be tethered, but can produce energy in the open ocean at low cost. They provide a low cost pumping and electricity source.

I have already described one method of extracting wave energy, using robot whales as propulsive devices. Another method is to convert the wave energy into a spinning wheel. A camshaft (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Camshaft) piston system built on floating waterbags could power very large electrical generators. Linking to algae production systems, wave energy can pump energy rich water from below the theromocline to the surface, to mimic upwelling of cold currents. Wave energy can also pump algae from the surface to the deep and back to separate the oil from the protein and carbohydrate.

Waterbags are a new paradigm for energy production. These methods need laboratory prototyping. I do not have any resources to take this forward, so discussion here is as far as it gets for me.

swampyankee
2012-Jan-13, 12:26 PM
Wave powered transport will not replace oil power for global trade because wave energy is too slow. That is why wind and oars were replaced by steam and diesel. In the example of a vessel designed to eat plastic at sea, it is better to have a slow moving craft that requires no fossil fuel, hence the wave powered robot whale. The motion here is not perpetual but comes from the energy of the ocean. It relies on the key concept of fresh water floating on salt water, an idea with numerous potential applications for use of wave, tide, sun and current energy. It may be possible to float spheres of fresh water a kilometer in diameter around the world and build cities on top of them.

Drawings I did of these ideas a few years ago are attached.

The reasons for the replacement of sail by steam for merchant ships was more complex than speed, per se: early 20th Century steam ships were not enough faster to displace sail. Indeed, sailing merchant ships were significant in cargo carriage until the Great War. A major reason for their displacement was predictability: you could rely on a steamer taking x weeks to get from India to Liverpool, while a sailing ship on the same route may take x weeks, or it may take 2x weeks. Businessmen are not typically fond of unpredictable schedules, and are frequently willing to pay a premium to know that their order of left-handed monkey wrenches will arrive by a given date. As an aside, when the Liberty ships were built, they were actually towards the fast end of contemporary cargo ships, at about 11 knots. The Preussen was doing about 16 knots when she was rammed, and (according to http://wiki.model-space.co.uk/%28S%28a0vonc45nubvbp45umiv5u3c%29%29/Default.aspx?Page=PREUSSEN&Code=1&AspxAutoDetectCookieSupport=1) averaged over 11 knots for 3000 nautical miles.

When I worked for a US wholesaler which imported most of its product from China, transit times (from port to port, excluding time from factory to port in China and from port to warehouse in the US) tended to be about 4 weeks (googling produced transit times of 11 days -- see http://wiki.answers.com/Q/How_long_does_it_take_a_cargo_ship_to_travel_from_ China_to_the_USA -- but this was not the experience at the wholesaler). There were also fairly frequent weather delays, of up to a week.

whimsyfree
2012-Jan-14, 12:42 PM
The reasons for the replacement of sail by steam for merchant ships was more complex than speed, per se: early 20th Century steam ships were not enough faster to displace sail.

That doesn't seem right. When the first trans-atlantic (paddle!) steamers started in the 1830s they were already considerably faster than the average speed of their sail competition, at least according to Wikipedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SS_Sirius_%281837%29).

swampyankee
2012-Jan-14, 02:57 PM
Neither does the Wikipedia article -- the crossing in the wikipedia article was a stunt. Burning the furniture is certainly not going to be normal practice ;)

Trans-Atlantic times for sailing ships were as little as 13 days (see http://www.authorama.com/old-merchant-marine-8.html), but not consistently. At a guess, average was more like twice that, and extremes twice that, again. For comparison, current New York - Liverpool voyage time is from ten to fourteen days (see http://www.aclcargo.com/transitTimes.php). At the turn of the 20th century, a steam-powered cargo ship would probably have a cruising speed of eight to ten knots (remember, the WW2 era Liberty ship, at 11 knots, was towards the high-speed end of breakbulk cargo carriers), so transit from NY to Liverpool (about 2850 nautical miles) for a cargo ship would be from 11 to about 15 days (gee, not much different from today...). Of course, the last refuges of sail were long routes, like the Chilean nitrate trade. Guano doesn't particularly care about trip times.

whimsyfree
2012-Jan-15, 04:49 AM
Neither does the Wikipedia article -- the crossing in the wikipedia article was a stunt. Burning the furniture is certainly not going to be normal practice ;)


Well at least they didn't have to burn their clothes. That time was bettered the next day and trans-atlantic liners that provided the "flagship" passenger transport were soon considerably faster. I agree freight steamers were slower, but most freight is more price sensitive and less time sensitive.


Trans-Atlantic times for sailing ships were as little as 13 days (see http://www.authorama.com/old-merchant-marine-8.html), but not consistently. At a guess, average was more like twice that, and extremes twice that, again.

The article claimed the average for sail competition was 40 days, which seems a bit excessive but it is referenced.


For comparison, current New York - Liverpool voyage time is from ten to fourteen days (see http://www.aclcargo.com/transitTimes.php). At the turn of the 20th century, a steam-powered cargo ship would probably have a cruising speed of eight to ten knots (remember, the WW2 era Liberty ship, at 11 knots, was towards the high-speed end of breakbulk cargo carriers), so transit from NY to Liverpool (about 2850 nautical miles) for a cargo ship would be from 11 to about 15 days (gee, not much different from today...).


That's comparing sailing records with steam averages. If you want to compare records, at the turn of c20 Deutschland was completing the westward crossing at more than 23 knots (a more appropriate comparison than the 5.5 days it took). The relevant comparison is averages with averages, and steamers averaged a lot closer to their records than sailing ships did.

HenrikOlsen
2012-Jan-15, 10:03 AM
The relevant comparison is averages with averages, and steamers averaged a lot closer to their records than sailing ships did.
Which is actually making swampyankee's point that steam was more consistent.

(For some reason I spelled that as swapmyankee which sounds like the title of a reality show:))

swampyankee
2012-Jan-15, 04:04 PM
Which is actually making swampyankee's point that steam was more consistent.

(For some reason I spelled that as swapmyankee which sounds like the title of a reality show:))

Yankee magazine had a "swop" column for decades. I don't believe there were ever any people advertised ;)

Consistency was my point. It's obvious, even before the "invention" of "just-in-time" inventory that having stuff sitting in warehouses is not the best use of capital. Stocking a warehouse remains non-trivial: warehouse space costs money, customers get annoyed when they're told "we don't have that now," and inventory ties up capital (upon which interest will have to be paid). When transit time can vary from two weeks to two months, it's a lot tougher than when the transit time can vary from 36 days to 38, even if the average is the same. The major problem the wholesaler where I worked had was not the transit time, which was usually (about 95% of the time) 28 days, but that the total lead time was highly variable, from 16 weeks (minimum) to at least 28.

The trades where sail continued into the 20th Century -- the Chilean nitrate trade and the Australian grain trade -- were seasonal commodities which had to be shipped long distances.

danscope
2012-Jan-15, 05:08 PM
The convenience of steam propulsion is perhaps best appreciated when you are manuvering in harbor, and especially in a heavy tidal current. Sailing ships 'get by' , but have to await a favorable tide and subsiding current.
Steam proulsion enjoys many advantages in time, safety and convenience. No question.

transreality
2012-Jan-15, 10:53 PM
If it is possible to convert 0.1% of the enormous quantity of wave energy in the global ocean into usable form, wave power can make a significant contribution to shifting the planet to a sustainable energy mix without harmful environmental impacts.

Waterbags are a new paradigm for energy production. These methods need laboratory prototyping. I do not have any resources to take this forward, so discussion here is as far as it gets for me.

That's just handwaving. It is not unreasonable to expect that the Great Whale represents the state of the art in extracting wave energy with mechanical devices. I put numbers so you can see that energy derived by such a machine is short by orders of magnitude from the energy actually required to move the vessel at any useful speed. Remember, your plastic bags are fully submerged and subject to alot of drag, being much less hydrodynamically sound than a blue whale. You say your design is simple, a plastic bag with a semi-rigid spine. Then implement a prototype in miniature, put it a tub and demonstrate it can move. As for environmental impact the problem of decomposing plastics in the ocean has been flagged... that will become significant at any useful scale of implementation.

whimsyfree
2012-Jan-16, 12:22 AM
Which is actually making swampyankee's point that steam was more consistent.


Wrong. It is making the point that steam was faster on average. Consistency is not a great virtue per se. If steam had been consistently slower than sail (say a reliable 60 days to cross the Atlantic) then that feature would have been a negative, not a positive.

swampyankee
2012-Jan-16, 12:59 AM
Wrong. It is making the point that steam was faster on average. Consistency is not a great virtue per se. If steam had been consistently slower than sail (say a reliable 60 days to cross the Atlantic) then that feature would have been a negative, not a positive.

Consistently slower, no. Indeed, sail could probably make a 60 day crossing of the Atlantic over 90% of the time. If steam had the same mean time but a much smaller standard deviation -- say a range of 35 to 38 days trans-Atlantic for steam, vs a range of 13 to 60 for sail -- I believe it would still displace sail, although it would have taken longer. I also think that it's likely that steam would not have displaced sail without the near-simultaneous development of trans-oceanic telegraphy. Speed of transport is an interesting optimization problem: with breakbulk (pre-container) cargo ships, speeds of much more than 10 or 12 knots were uneconomic for the trans-Atlantic trade, as the turnaround time at either end would dominate the ship's productivity. Passenger liners were different -- the self-loading cargo could be loaded and unloaded in a few hours, and they were willing to pay a premium to get someplace faster -- so their optimum speed was higher.

Optimum speed is also affected by cost. I'm sure that a 1910 steamer could transport guano from the Chilean coast to Britain (or wherever they needed vast quantities of bird poop) faster than a sailing ship, but it wasn't profitable to do so. Same with the Australian grain trade.

Raise fuel costs enough, and commercial sail may return, or their may be wave-powered ships. I don't know how much is enough, but well before that happens, long-distance transport will be seriously curtailed.

Robert Tulip
2012-Jan-16, 03:21 AM
Henry Ford said, “If I’d asked people what they wanted, they would have said faster horses.” Steve Jobs said “It’s not the customer’s job to know what they want.”

Emission reduction is the equivalent today of customer request for faster horses. Reducing emissions just won't cut it as far as transforming the global climate to address global warming. What we need is geoengineering.

Geoengineering was the subject of a major US report released in 2011, The Bipartisan Policy Center’s Task Force On Climate Remediation Research (http://www.bipartisanpolicy.org/sites/default/files/BPC%20Climate%20Remediation%20Final%20Report.pdf).

An interview with the group chair, Jane CS Long, is at Thinking the Unthinkable: Engineering Earth’s Climate (http://e360.yale.edu/feature/thinking_the_unthinkable_geoengineering_earths_cli mate/2452/).

The report addresses two fundamental things: that the world has still not come to its senses on global warming, and that science would be remiss if it didn’t consider the possibility that CO2 emissions will continue to soar for decades. This scenario lies at the heart of the report issued by the task force, composed of noted experts in climate science, social science, and foreign policy. It called for a comprehensive study of geoengineering options — including removing CO2 from the atmosphere and reflecting solar energy back into space — in case the Earth’s climate crosses certain tipping points, such as a mass release of methane from the Arctic that would drastically warm the planet.

transreality
2012-Jan-16, 03:59 AM
Global warming represents a modification of the environment by the emissions consequent of humanities massive development or population. If solutions to global warming involve further modification of the environment we need to be very careful. For example, if a solution would be large mirrors in placed in space, we would would happen if at some point we lose the capability to disassemble the mirrors, at some point an irreversible ice age may precipitate. We need to wary of side effects. For this reason the highest priority must be reducing our impact, rather than masking the impact with large scale environmental modification, especially if the underlying issues remain unaddressed. Otherwise, this is the old lady swallowing a spider to fix having swallowed a fly.

whimsyfree
2012-Jan-16, 04:19 AM
Otherwise, this is the old lady swallowing a spider to fix having swallowed a fly.

Humanity swallowed the spider a long time ago. Everything we do has and will have an impact on the environment. There's no going back to pristine nature.

Robert Tulip
2012-Jan-16, 04:48 AM
priority must be reducing our impact, rather than masking

The implication is that reduced impact requires reduced energy use, and reduced economic activity. No one will buy that. Reduced emissions are probably not feasible, given the stunning lack of progress in global agreement. We should plan for increased emissions, but support research and development into managing the impact through commercial methods to regulate the climate, through methods to suck out more carbon from the air than we put in.

The ideal solution would be a cost-effective way to mine carbon from the air. This is not as silly as it sounds - artificial trees (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carbon_dioxide_removal#Artificial_trees) can provide carbon as feedstock for algae production, which can make fuel, fertilizer, food and plastic. Low algae production costs require renewable energy sources for pumping - such as waves and tides.

The climate debate is fixated by the idea that we need to make sacrifices in order to save the planet. It is far better to look for opportunities for transformative growth that will use new technology to address global climate goals while enabling a high energy economy.

Ara Pacis
2012-Jan-16, 07:24 AM
Why bother growing algae in the ocean when we can do it in the sky. Just float them within a lot of mile-sized Bucky-spheres. This can also induce localized cooling from reduced sunlight.

I'm not saying it's a good idea, just possible.

Robert Tulip
2012-Jan-16, 08:02 AM
Ara - do I detect mockery of my assertion that a mile wide sphere of fresh water can float at sea? There is no reason such a sphere is impossible. Fresh water is 2.5% lighter than sea water, and most of the ocean is several kilometers deep. Start with a one megalitre sphere (12.5 meter diameter) and incrementally expand the models. It depends on whether any practical use can be found for such large devices (eg airports, cities. water transport). If there are real engineering factors preventing it the only way to find out is by testing. There is certainly plenty of fresh water flowing out of big rivers and falling as rain. I look forward to you defending your bucky castle in the air ATM :)

transreality
2012-Jan-16, 10:30 PM
The implication is that reduced impact requires reduced energy use, and reduced economic activity. No one will buy that. Reduced emissions are probably not feasible, given the stunning lack of progress in global agreement. We should plan for increased emissions, but support research and development into managing the impact through commercial methods to regulate the climate, through methods to suck out more carbon from the air than we put in.


The climate debate is fixated by the idea that we need to make sacrifices in order to save the planet. It is far better to look for opportunities for transformative growth that will use new technology to address global climate goals while enabling a high energy economy.

No one is going to make money just by sucking carbon from emissions. On the other hand, money is being made and a lot of it, by people who are pumping carbon into the air as an unregulated side effect of their business. We now know this is irresponsible, just as using ozone destroying compounds in aerosols are cheaper than their replacements, or lead making paint cheaper to produce. It is the manafacturer of the damaging product that has the initial responsibility for preventing the damage caused, rather than the market that buys the product. If you are sold a toxic plastic toy for your child, whose responsibility is it, your child who is poisoned, you the legal guardian, or the person who profitted from the production and sale of that toxic toy. I'd say the latter. Therefore the responsibility for reducing the carbon emissions resides with the supplier of energy.

We have a logical right to assume that the energy supplied to us is not destroying our collective environment. We may have to pay more as a practical outcome, just as we pay more for a genuine approved toy, rather than for an illegal bootleg copy from an unregulated factory, that may or may not be toxic.

The carbon tax puts the cost back to the producer. This raises the cost of the product they supply, which is bad in the short-term, however, this money is not disappearring into profit going to individuals, but rather to the government where it adds to the income taxes we pay adding to the collective wealth of the nation. The government can invest it on our behalf. This investment then stimulates the development of industry and technology which may not be profitable in the short-term, but which can work in the transforming world you refer to. In addition this is a cost that does not apply to non-carbon emitting energy sources and makes them more competitive and economically practical.

Who is going to pay for geo-engineering, which does not supply a product to the individual: the governments of nations will expected to foot the bill; eg; the tax-payers. Or if a corporation pays for it, how will they profit by their investment: through exercise of political power and influence, to leverage their other industries.

Carbon sequestration is functional, and modern power plants are now required to install these technologies when they are built, in any developing nation. This is technology that is driving research, and employing scientists and technicians.

The spectre of increasing growth forever, in terms of population or economic capacity is no longer assummed. In developed countries populations are dropping, economic growth is maintained only by immigration from countries that are still emerging, chinas population in twenty years or so will have a declining aging profile just like Japans, Africa is beyond but still likely to evolve to a similar profile. Then what. Eventually, declining global population is inevitable; as the world bourgeoifies. At the same time we can expect real transformative technology to turn up: fusion power, etc developed by the carbon economy perhaps, that will be a complete game changer.

Ara Pacis
2012-Jan-17, 12:32 AM
Ara - do I detect mockery of my assertion that a mile wide sphere of fresh water can float at sea?

No (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cloud_nine_%28Tensegrity_sphere%29).

Ara Pacis
2012-Jan-17, 12:39 AM
No one is going to make money just by sucking carbon from emissions

They could. A law just need to mandate that all carbon released be sequestered by the polluters who have the option of hiring other companies to do that work for them. No only do these companies get paid for sucking carbon, they have all this free carbon to play with. Maybe some will turn it into useful products instead of just dumping it underground. Eventually, even that carbon will be seen as a resource and converted into useful fuels and products.

HenrikOlsen
2012-Jan-17, 12:42 AM
They could. A law just need to mandate that all carbon released be sequestered by the polluters who have the option of hiring other companies to do that work for them. No only do these companies get paid for sucking carbon, they have all this free carbon to play with.
Except that money aren't energy and the carbon wouldn't be free.

Ara Pacis
2012-Jan-17, 12:48 AM
Except that money aren't energy and the carbon wouldn't be free.The carbon would be free to the third party company. It's the same concept of someone making money hauling garbage... and many landfills are now making money off the methane byproduct.

HenrikOlsen
2012-Jan-17, 01:04 AM
That company may have been paid to remove the carbon, but as that requires more energy to do than was gotten by burning it in the first place, it's going to take some mighty interesting wrangling for their profit not to be eaten by the sequestration tax on the energy they're going to use.

And if any sort of exception is made for anyone, it's going to get gamed to uselessness.


Making money from hauling garbage is a really broken analogy, as garbage is a valuable resource which contains more energy than is required to remove it.

transreality
2012-Jan-17, 01:04 AM
They could. A law just need to mandate that all carbon released be sequestered by the polluters who have the option of hiring other companies to do that work for them. No only do these companies get paid for sucking carbon, they have all this free carbon to play with.

That's the point, the law establishes the carbon economy. The supplier is required to make that investment. Otherwise, there is no imperative.


Maybe some will turn it into useful products instead of just dumping it underground. Eventually, even that carbon will be seen as a resource and converted into useful fuels and products.

Carbon nano-tube towers to Orbit!

Robert Tulip
2012-Jan-17, 05:53 AM
... free carbon to play with. Maybe some will turn it into useful products instead of just dumping it underground. Eventually, even that carbon will be seen as a resource and converted into useful fuels and products.

Futuristic science should explore possible stable global energy systems. The ocean really is the big game. Wave and tide and current energy are massive. If wave and tide power can be used for pumping, all the emissions from a coastal coal-powered electricity or cement plant or gas mine could be fed into contained algae farms in shallow bays, for close to zero operating cost, turning all that carbon waste into useful products. Northern Australian waters would be ideal for this method, for example using the emissions from the Gorgon project (http://sequestration.mit.edu/tools/projects/gorgon.html) estimated at three megatonnes per year. Gradually evolving industrial algae production methods would select for strains and system designs that maximise yield and safety and replicability. Eventually there is no reason in principle why such a method for making diesel and other useful products should be more expensive than fossil fuels. If global population and per capita wealth continue to grow at projected rates, we will need far more energy than is available from cheap fossil sources, so we will have to invent sustainable methods.

Geoengineering that does not produce a profitable product is as useless as geosequestration. Forget space mirrors, we can build big mirrors on the surface of the sea to reduce ocean temperature and convert the contained surface solar energy into fuel via algae. It is all about mimicking how the fuel deposits were originally created. It is a way to maintain the flexibility, convenience and installed capacity of the internal combustion engine as a primary transport system, while also growing food for an expanding population. If oceanic algae production can exceed total emissions, we do not need to worry about emission reduction. Sustainable world human population could reach fifty billion if we colonize the oceans and give most of the continents back to the animals.

whimsyfree
2012-Jan-17, 05:55 AM
That company may have been paid to remove the carbon, but as that requires more energy to do than was gotten by burning it in the first place,


I don't believe that is the case. The figures I have seen for depleted oil well sequestration of CO2 from coal fired power generators are more like 30% (mostly goes into liquefying it). Of course this isn't so much "sucking carbon out of the air" as stopping it from getting there in the first place. Photosynthetic organisms will suck carbon out of the air. This may require more energy to do than was gotten by burning it in the first place, but the energy they use is solar energy which would otherwise be wasted. Some forms of geo-sequestration are theoretically energy positive.

Trakar
2012-Jan-18, 04:40 AM
I don't believe that is the case. The figures I have seen for depleted oil well sequestration of CO2 from coal fired power generators are more like 30% (mostly goes into liquefying it). Of course this isn't so much "sucking carbon out of the air" as stopping it from getting there in the first place. Photosynthetic organisms will suck carbon out of the air. This may require more energy to do than was gotten by burning it in the first place, but the energy they use is solar energy which would otherwise be wasted. Some forms of geo-sequestration are theoretically energy positive.

Please provide references to support these contentions. It is certainly interesting and worth further investigation and discussion if accurately described, feasible and provides secure geologically long-term sequestration.

Trakar
2012-Jan-18, 04:57 AM
The carbon would be free to the third party company. It's the same concept of someone making money hauling garbage... and many landfills are now making money off the methane byproduct.

If that carbon originally came from fossil fuels, it is a problem regardless if it is emitted initially in the combustion of coal, oil or gas, or by someone who extracts it from combustion process and then makes a new fuel out of it. If we aren't removing this carbon and sequestering it from the active carbon cycle long-term (tens of thousands of years at the least, millions preferrably) then you are still contributing to the problem of increasing the amount of carbon in the active carbon cycle. Land-fill carbon is predominantly from the active carbon cycle already, burning the methane from the bacterial release of that carbon does not add previously sequestered carbon to the active cycle, it merely returns some of the carbon from the active cycle back to the atmosphere, no different from leaves rotting in the anaerobic shallows of swamps.

Robert Tulip
2012-Jan-18, 07:04 AM
If we aren't removing this carbon and sequestering it from the active carbon cycle long-term (tens of thousands of years at the least, millions preferrably) then you are still contributing to the problem of increasing the amount of carbon in the active carbon cycle. More than 50 million square kilometers of world ocean has low surface chlorophyll. Increased carbon/algae level in this big part of the ocean would not sequester, but could drive down atmospheric CO2 level while increasing food and energy productivity and climate stability. Win-Win. Nothing wrong with having carbon in the active cycle as long as there is less in the air.

Ara Pacis
2012-Jan-18, 07:15 AM
If that carbon originally came from fossil fuels, it is a problem regardless if it is emitted initially in the combustion of coal, oil or gas, or by someone who extracts it from combustion process and then makes a new fuel out of it. If we aren't removing this carbon and sequestering it from the active carbon cycle long-term (tens of thousands of years at the least, millions preferrably) then you are still contributing to the problem of increasing the amount of carbon in the active carbon cycle. Land-fill carbon is predominantly from the active carbon cycle already, burning the methane from the bacterial release of that carbon does not add previously sequestered carbon to the active cycle, it merely returns some of the carbon from the active cycle back to the atmosphere, no different from leaves rotting in the anaerobic shallows of swamps.

I know, I point this out to people constantly. That wasn't the point. The point was that Transreality's statement was economically incorrect within his frame of reference.

Ara Pacis
2012-Jan-18, 07:23 AM
That company may have been paid to remove the carbon, but as that requires more energy to do than was gotten by burning it in the first place, it's going to take some mighty interesting wrangling for their profit not to be eaten by the sequestration tax on the energy they're going to use.

Depends on what you do with it, obviously. Pipe it up to Floating Bucky Eco-Spheres where it can be converted by various plants as the sphere floats around the sky on thermal-buoyancy lift while both shading warm regions, sequestering carbon for feedstock until it can be converted into biomass for longer-term sequestration.

Maybe we could also transport the CO2 to Antarctica and use local resources to convert it to dry ice to be buried deep in the cryosphere.

Trakar
2012-Jan-19, 06:58 AM
I know, I point this out to people constantly...

I was under that impression, but was confused by the manner of your wording.

Trakar
2012-Jan-19, 07:00 AM
More than 50 million square kilometers of world ocean has low surface chlorophyll. Increased carbon/algae level in this big part of the ocean would not sequester, but could drive down atmospheric CO2 level while increasing food and energy productivity and climate stability. Win-Win. Nothing wrong with having carbon in the active cycle as long as there is less in the air.

If it is burned (energy production) or eaten (where do you think the carbon in our exhalations comes from) it is adding to the atmospheric carbon burden.

Van Rijn
2012-Jan-19, 08:20 AM
If we aren't removing this carbon and sequestering it from the active carbon cycle long-term (tens of thousands of years at the least, millions preferrably) then you are still contributing to the problem of increasing the amount of carbon in the active carbon cycle.

Well, maybe, but I'd think much shorter sequestration could be useful to slow the rate of increase and give more time to adapt, for life in general, and for us technologically and socially.

Also, while I didn't previously see much point in the ocean algae idea, I'm wondering, given the acidification argument if it might be useful after all for reducing acidification?

Robert Tulip
2012-Jan-20, 11:50 AM
much shorter sequestration could be useful to slow the rate of increase and give more time to adapt, for life in general, and for us technologically and socially. Also, while I didn't previously see much point in the ocean algae idea, I'm wondering, given the acidification argument if it might be useful after all for reducing acidification?
Ocean acidification is one of the immense impacts of CO2 emissions. It is currently happening up to 100 times faster (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ocean_acidification#Rate)than any time in the last 20 million years (and ten times faster than PETM (http://e360.yale.edu/content/feature.msp?id=2241)), with unknown biological impact. The World Bank Biodiversity Adviser argued (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ocean_acidification#cite_note-2009ng_acidrate-19) it is unlikely that marine life can adapt.

Ocean Acidification: Carbon Dioxide Makes Life Difficult for Algae (http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/05/110510101506.htm) says "coccoliths, which are an important part of the marine environment, dissolve when seawater acidifies."

It appears there is debate whether algae would increase or decrease as a result of a sudden massive increase in dissolved CO2. If acidification means that algae could not rapidly adapt, then you would have to suspect (http://www.sciencemag.org/content/327/5966/676) this change would cause a positive feedback effect to increase the rate of atmospheric CO2 increase.

This is all really quite a significant security issue, as unknown feedback processes could cause human extinction. Large scale research and development is needed to regulate the global climate by managing ocean processes on industrial scale.

kathy faye
2012-Feb-01, 11:35 PM
Just saw a special on HAARPS. If there are so many HAARP stations around the world heating the ionosphere to very high temps, wouldn't that have an effect on global
temperatures?

loglo
2012-Feb-02, 04:38 AM
Just saw a special on HAARPS. If there are so many HAARP stations around the world heating the ionosphere to very high temps, wouldn't that have an effect on global
temperatures?


There aren't and they don't so it doesn't.

swampyankee
2012-Feb-02, 10:54 AM
Just saw a special on HAARPS. If there are so many HAARP stations around the world heating the ionosphere to very high temps, wouldn't that have an effect on global
temperatures?

The HAARP stations only emit 3.6 MW. Total insolation is about 10 orders of magnitude greater than that. Direct energy addition probably will not cause the same change flow in heat flow rate as significant changes in the atmosphere's heat transfer properties.

kathy faye
2012-Feb-03, 10:44 PM
The HAARP stations only emit 3.6 MW. Total insolation is about 10 orders of magnitude greater than that. Direct energy addition probably will not cause the same change flow in heat flow rate as significant changes in the atmosphere's heat transfer properties.

Thanks. I'll mark this off my "Worry About" list.

Robert Tulip
2012-Feb-14, 12:59 AM
The UN Convention on Biological Diversity is seeking views on geoengineering. It has invited comments on a report by 22 February. See http://www.cbd.int/climate/geoengineering/review/

It is an interesting way to frame the debate. The two main methods of geoengineering are carbon dioxide removal (CDR) and solar radiation management (SRM).

These are broken down as follows

Proposed SRM techniques include:
1. Space-based approaches: reducing the amount of solar energy reaching the Earth by positioning sun-shields in space with the aim of reflecting or deflecting solar radiation;
2. Changes in stratospheric aerosols: injecting sulphates or other types of particles into the upper atmosphere, with the aim of increasing the scattering of sunlight back to space;
3. Increases in cloud reflectivity: increasing the concentration of cloud-condensation nuclei in the lower atmosphere, thereby whitening clouds with the aim of increasing the reflection of solar radiation;
4. Increases in surface albedo: modifying land or ocean surfaces with the aim of reflecting more solar radiation.


Proposed types of CDR approaches include:
1. Ocean Fertilization: the enrichment of nutrients in marine environments with the principal intention of stimulating primary productivity in the ocean, and hence CO2 uptake from the atmosphere, and the deposition of carbon in the deep ocean;
2. Enhanced weathering: artificially increasing the rate by which carbon dioxide is naturally removed from the atmosphere by the weathering (dissolution) of carbonate and silicate rocks;
3. Increasing carbon sequestration through ecosystem management: through, for example: afforestation, reforestation or enhancing soil carbon;
4. Sequestration of carbon as biomass and its subsequent storage: through, for example, biochar or long term storage of crop residue; and
5. Direct capture of carbon from the atmosphere and its subsequent storage, for example, using “artificial trees” and storage in geological formations or in the deep ocean.

nota
2012-Feb-14, 05:26 AM
if the sun goes into a lower out put phase for a long period

we may need to release CO2 or other stuff like methane
just to not cool too much

big question is the current cycle a hiccup a short blip or a longer phase
like dalton, maulder or even longer tern shift

ice ages are the common recent condition for the last few million years
with brief warms like now

so maybe this is all practice to learn how to change temps

Ara Pacis
2012-Feb-14, 09:52 AM
if the sun goes into a lower out put phase for a long period

we may need to release CO2 or other stuff like methane
just to not cool too much

big question is the current cycle a hiccup a short blip or a longer phase
like dalton, maulder or even longer tern shift

ice ages are the common recent condition for the last few million years
with brief warms like now

so maybe this is all practice to learn how to change temps

If we continue to release CO2, even if the warming is to offset cooling, we'd still have problems with ocean acidification, I think.

Trakar
2012-Feb-14, 10:57 PM
If we continue to release CO2, even if the warming is to offset cooling, we'd still have problems with ocean acidification, I think.

That is one of many concerns, what should be even more concerning is the fact that even throughout one of the mildest solar cycles in the last half century, we recorded record high global average temperatures. Solar Cycle 24 (current cycle started on 8 January 2008), with 2010 being the # 1, globally averaged warmest year on record, and 2009 being the sixth warmest.

transreality
2012-Feb-14, 11:40 PM
if the sun goes into a lower out put phase for a long period

we may need to release CO2 or other stuff like methane
just to not cool too much

big question is the current cycle a hiccup a short blip or a longer phase
like dalton, maulder or even longer tern shift

ice ages are the common recent condition for the last few million years
with brief warms like now

so maybe this is all practice to learn how to change temps

In general the sun is getting hotter and will keep doing so into the long-term. Ice ages have been getting shorter and less severe. Recent ice ages have possibly been due to local conditions. Even the little ace age may have been as much to do with volcanoes, and the local conditions with the ocean currents around Europe, rather than a connection to the sunspot cycle or the suns heat output. I guess as it gets hotter we need to lock more and more CO2 away forever. Which look to be the methodologies listed in post #109

Trakar
2012-Feb-15, 03:36 PM
In general the sun is getting hotter and will keep doing so into the long-term. Ice ages have been getting shorter and less severe. Recent ice ages have possibly been due to local conditions. Even the little ace age may have been as much to do with volcanoes, and the local conditions with the ocean currents around Europe, rather than a connection to the sunspot cycle or the suns heat output. I guess as it gets hotter we need to lock more and more CO2 away forever. Which look to be the methodologies listed in post #109

Until we reduce the rate of increase and begin eliminating our own CO2 emissions, talking about pulling CO2 out of the atmosphere and sequestering it is just so much plate spinning.

Gigabyte
2012-Feb-15, 03:43 PM
Why?

nota
2012-Feb-17, 05:06 AM
In general the sun is getting hotter and will keep doing so into the long-term. Ice ages have been getting shorter and less severe. Recent ice ages have possibly been due to local conditions. Even the little ace age may have been as much to do with volcanoes, and the local conditions with the ocean currents around Europe, rather than a connection to the sunspot cycle or the suns heat output. I guess as it gets hotter we need to lock more and more CO2 away forever. Which look to be the methodologies listed in post #109


no THE SUN IS NOT GETTING HOTTER NOW

I am not saying GW is not a concern BUT
we just noticed solar a out put decline
question is how much and how long

ice ages last I checked made up most of the last few million years
warms periods were brief

AFAIK iceage triggers and endings are not well understood
facts we do know
stars vary in output some radically some only a little over time
we thought our star less variable then most
we maynot be correct

long term plans need to take all worst and best case outcomes under consideration
there looks to be a anti-carbon movement growing

ocean acidification?
was not the far past CO2 levels far higher ?

Van Rijn
2012-Feb-17, 05:30 AM
Until we reduce the rate of increase and begin eliminating our own CO2 emissions, talking about pulling CO2 out of the atmosphere and sequestering it is just so much plate spinning.

Why? The point is to control atmospheric CO2 levels. Sequestering atmospheric CO2 is a valid method for doing that.

Ari Jokimaki
2012-Feb-17, 11:09 AM
ocean acidification?
was not the far past CO2 levels far higher ?

Yes, but ocean life back then was adapted to those levels of acidity. Current life is adapted to less acidic conditions and the acidity is changing very rapidly which means there is not much time to adapt. In near future we will see a large scale test of the limits of evolution.

Robert Tulip
2012-Feb-17, 11:53 AM
Until we reduce the rate of increase and begin eliminating our own CO2 emissions, talking about pulling CO2 out of the atmosphere and sequestering it is just so much plate spinning.
Why? The point is to control atmospheric CO2 levels. Sequestering atmospheric CO2 is a valid method for doing that.

My view on this is in between Van Rijn and Trakar. Sequestering is very expensive unless there is a commercial use for the CO2. The commercial and therefore political temptation, in considering geosequestration, is to say that putting CO2 into geological burial is a needless expense, and why not just put it in the air where no one can see it anyway?

Scientifically, we know this temptation is a fool's paradise, because the greenhouse effect means that piling CO2 into the air will destabilise planetary climate and risk human extinction. So the challenge is to find a commercial use for all this CO2 we want to extract from the atmosphere.

I know people here get tired of me talking about algae, but really there is no alternative. If we mix CO2 with ocean water from the deep, we get algae, which can be used for fuel, fertilizer, food and plastic. It is the only commercial bulk commodity that can readily be made from CO2. Producing algae at sea addresses both carbon dioxide removal (CDR) and solar radiation management (SRM), combining the best of both for a profitable commercial sustainable industry that mimics the original process of petroleum deposition. Large surface plastic ponds on the ocean can trap incoming solar radiation as heat, and convert the heat into algae. It needs to be done at sea because wave and tide provide pumping power, and because ocean surface is big and cheap. Local cooling of the ocean is essential to prevent dangerous warming. The produced algae can make plastic for exponential growth to the scale needed for ecological stability and growth.

If we can build algae farms on 0.1% of the world ocean, we can emit to our heart's content, and expand the human population. The issue is net CO2 level. If we can work out simple mass scale technology that will commercially remove more CO2 than we put in to the air, then coal powered electricity and internal combustion engines are just fine. We will even find it is commercial to pipe all the emissions from power stations to algae farms at sea. This is the next Apollo and Manhattan Project.

Van Rijn
2012-Feb-18, 12:48 AM
My view on this is in between Van Rijn and Trakar. Sequestering is very expensive unless there is a commercial use for the CO2. The commercial and therefore political temptation, in considering geosequestration, is to say that putting CO2 into geological burial is a needless expense, and why not just put it in the air where no one can see it anyway?


I'm not sure what view you think I have, but I didn't say anything about expense or how it's to be sequestered. However, IF your goal is to control CO2 in the atmosphere, removal and sequestion is a valid method. Traker seems to be rejecting it categorically though, and it isn't clear to me why, so I asked for clarification.

danscope
2012-Feb-18, 12:48 AM
I'm going out on a limb and suggest that we plant trees as often and everywhere we can. It wouldn't hurt.

Ara Pacis
2012-Feb-18, 12:58 AM
I'm going out on a limb and suggest that we plant trees as often and everywhere we can. It wouldn't hurt. And the reduction in food crop fields, by being converted to forest, would force an acute reduction in population, which means a reduction in energy use and GHG production. Kill two birds with one stone. Good Thinking.

transreality
2012-Feb-18, 02:06 AM
Sequestering is very expensive unless there is a commercial use for the CO2. The commercial and therefore political temptation, in considering geosequestration, is to say that putting CO2 into geological burial is a needless expense, and why not just put it in the air where no one can see it anyway?

Scientifically, we know this temptation is a fool's paradise, because the greenhouse effect means that piling CO2 into the air will destabilise planetary climate and risk human extinction. So the challenge is to find a commercial use for all this CO2 we want to extract from the atmosphere.

I know people here get tired of me talking about algae, but really there is no alternative. If we mix CO2 with ocean water from the deep, we get algae, which can be used for fuel, fertilizer, food and plastic.

Aside from the problems that have been brought up regarding incidental pollution and the failure of this method to remove carbon from the active cycle, there is yet another. The phanerozoic has been characterised by the widespread coastal deposition of limestone, and the active reefs still extant are related to this. This is a characteristic of high sea-levels in particular. If atmospheric and especially oceanic levels of carbon dioxide rise then carbonate (CaCO3) solubility increases. The reefs will dissolve, carbonate secreting creatures will face extinction, and carbon sequestered in limestone will return to the active cycle. It becomes yet another positive feedback loop returning CO2 to the atmosphere, where we may not see it, but the effects are certainly being felt.

Notas above notes that periods in the past had high CO2 levels, and the cretaceous was one of those, which is also a time of high-sea level where limestone deposition was also inhibited. The response by nature, was to lock up carbon dioxide in vast forests, which in turn supported a megafauna. The problem now there is no area or opportunity for such ecosystems to arise, since the suitable areas are already being exploited for agriculture, that is, turnover in the active cycle. To be suitable for commercial sequestration the lifetime of an individual tree must exceed a hundred years, the duration of the forest must be many times that of the trees of which it is comprised, these durations do not apply to algae.

A possibility though suggested by these considerations is a coastal shallow water algae farm, that takes carbon out of the ocean and out of the atmosphere and locks it up in deposited carbonates, how possible or stable this is on the scale we require and what other impacts it would have... not sure.

Robert Tulip
2012-Feb-18, 08:55 AM
incidental pollutionThat is a rather facile criticism. Ocean based algae production is a new idea that is in its infancy. Pilot studies have not even been done to investigate pollution risks and benefits. Condemning an idea because a critic lacks imagination regarding possible measures to address problems is less than constructive.
failure of this method to remove carbon from the active cycleThere is more than 50 million square kilometers of ocean desert. If the surface algae level across much of this vast space can be minimally increased, the amount of CO2 required would be greater than total world emissions, and would reverse declining fishery stocks. It is about establishing a stable carbon cycle.
[if] oceanic levels of carbon dioxide rise then carbonate (CaCO3) solubility increasesYes. That is why converting CO2 into algae should be a way to reduce ocean acidification.
vast forests, which in turn supported a megafauna. The problem now there is no area or opportunity for such ecosystems to arise, since the suitable areas are already being exploited for agricultureThat is why we should use the ocean, which contains 71% of the planetary surface. And algae grows many times faster than trees.
To be suitable for commercial sequestration the lifetime of an individual tree must exceed a hundred years, the duration of the forest must be many times that of the trees of which it is comprised, these durations do not apply to algae.
Well doesn't that just show how silly and irrelevant the rules are for commercial sequestration?

A possibility though suggested by these considerations is a coastal shallow water algae farm, that takes carbon out of the ocean and out of the atmosphere and locks it up in deposited carbonates, how possible or stable this is on the scale we require and what other impacts it would have... not sure.No need to lock carbon up in useless sequestration when keeping it in the active carbon cycle can reduce atmospheric CO2 level and enable rapid economic growth and sustainable fuel, food, fertilizer and fabric production.

Robert Tulip
2012-Feb-18, 10:27 AM
I'm not sure what view you think I have, but I didn't say anything about expense or how it's to be sequestered. However, IF your goal is to control CO2 in the atmosphere, removal and sequestion is a valid method. Traker seems to be rejecting it categorically though, and it isn't clear to me why, so I asked for clarification.
There should be little question that sequestration is 'valid' in the sense that it is technically feasible. However, validity is not sufficient to make it a practical solution to global warming.

Solar radiation management may also be valid, in that we can technically put mirrors in between the earth and the sun. Space mirrors are quite a scary prospect, with the idea that we can lift CO2 levels and compensate by reducing heat hitting the earth. However, if methods for CO2 removal and radiation management provide no market incentive for reduced extraction of fossil fuel, they may be unworkable as practical strategies to address global warming.

My objection to sequestration is that it is not market driven. Burying carbon dioxide costs a lot and provides no immediate commercial return. There is always the incentive for rogue countries to be free riders while others are responsible about pollution. The political management issues around emission reduction show the intense practical difficulties, with emission rates accelerating despite pious hopes of future cuts. That is why I say that we have to make CO2 a profitable commodity in a way that is ecologically, socially and commercially sustainable. The best way to turn CO2 into fuel, food, fertilizer and fabric is to establish a new industry growing algae at sea.

Ara Pacis
2012-Feb-18, 06:28 PM
We could also try non-profit-motive driven motivations.

Robert Tulip
2012-Feb-18, 08:47 PM
We could also try non-profit-motive driven motivations.

If ecological objectives can be achieved in a way that is commercially viable, the profit motive provides the incentive for replication and rapid expansion. When we stick to methods that are not commercial, it all requires massive subsidy from taxpayers and is unsustainable.

Charitable motives distort markets and provide only small scale results. Just look at poverty reduction. China has succeeded in lifting hundreds of millions of people out of poverty through use of the profit motive, whereas aid programs based on non-profit motives do not show the same massive systemic success.

transreality
2012-Feb-18, 10:15 PM
That is a rather facile criticism. Ocean based algae production is a new idea that is in its infancy. Pilot studies have not even been done to investigate pollution risks and benefits. Condemning an idea because a critic lacks imagination regarding possible measures to address problems is less than constructive.
.

yeah it doesn't take much to imagination to see what a stinking mess your scheme will make of the oceans, or what kind of political resistance it would face if any government was daft enough to attempt to implement it.


Well doesn't that just show how silly and irrelevant the rules are for commercial sequestration?
.

You seem to ignorant of these fact that these legislative guidelines apply to commercial operations that are already working. This is beyond the pilot scheme. The legislators and scientific consultants that erected this legislation are not silly and irrelevant. People are already acting, this is not pie in the sky. These guidelines recognise to need to remove CO2 out of the active cycle, and ensure that funding is directed towards effective measures. They are there to ensure that trees are planted for the purpose sequestration, are not subsequently exploited a few years down the track.



No need to lock carbon up in useless sequestration when keeping it in the active carbon cycle can reduce atmospheric CO2 level and enable rapid economic growth and sustainable fuel, food, fertilizer and fabric production.

wrong, dangerously wrong.

Hector
2012-Feb-18, 11:04 PM
If global warming is as much a threat as some claim, resistance is futile, but perhaps a bunch of solutions can be implemented without destroying the world economy nor personal freedom.


Guide me on this. I have some already modeled designs for adapting to a world that may result in a good deal of flooding, at the least, with quite a few other features such as integrated alternative energy systems. How should I go about presenting these to those who'd like to see them?

Robert Tulip
2012-Feb-19, 12:44 AM
yeah it doesn't take much to imagination to see what a stinking mess your scheme will make of the oceans, or what kind of political resistance it would face if any government was daft enough to attempt to implement it.Producing algae at sea for biofuel and other products would not make a mess, it would repair the damage that humans are inflicting. Your vivid imagination is running away with ideas that bear no relation to anything I advocate. Political acceptance relies on incremental safe development and clear explanation of risks and benefits. Condemning out of hand something that is presented only as concept sketch is very hasty.

You seem to ignorant of these fact that these legislative guidelines apply to commercial operations that are already working. This is beyond the pilot scheme. The legislators and scientific consultants that erected this legislation are not silly and irrelevant. People are already acting, this is not pie in the sky. These guidelines recognise to need to remove CO2 out of the active cycle, and ensure that funding is directed towards effective measures. They are there to ensure that trees are planted for the purpose sequestration, are not subsequently exploited a few years down the track.
I know full well what is now happening, and I also know that it is failing dismally to reverse dangerous climate change. What is needed is new thinking on large scale. Planting trees is a tiny fraction of the work needed to stabilise the climate, which needs industrial operations at planetary scale, where the only feasible ecological niche available is the ocean, which can be cooled, PH stabilised and protected through large scale algae production.

Well meaning scientists and legislators in Germany have developed a solar power scheme that may delay dangerous warming by a day at cost of billions of euro, according to analysis by the Copenhagen Climate Institute. Just because a scheme has big political backing at the moment does not make it sensible.

We add about 30 gigatons of CO2 to the atmosphere per year. The question, assuming we desire to return the planet to a 250 ppm CO2 state, is whether there is any way to suck CO2 out of the air and sea on a scale approaching 50 billion tons per year, assuming we continue to emit 30 billion tons, and whether such change can be made politically attractive by being self-financing and ecologically beneficial.

As far as I can see, large scale algae production is the only feasible answer. If algae can fix 100 tons of CO2 per hectare per year, then algae farms covering one percent of the world ocean (ie five million square kilometres) will be needed to stabilise the world climate. Even higher yield may also be feasible, reducing the scale of required operations. Such farms would be more than 'bandaids on Gaia', as they would produce a wide range of valuable commodities. Enough of the produced carbon could remain unburned, in the form of fertilizer, fish food, plastics and solid carbon, to have material impact on climate stability, while product that is burned would reduce the need for digging up fossil fuels. It may be possible to build infrastructure such as roads and buildings out of carbon sourced from algae, as part of a commercial market system to stabilise the world climate.

HenrikOlsen
2012-Feb-19, 02:38 AM
If ecological objectives can be achieved in a way that is commercially viable, the profit motive provides the incentive for replication and rapid expansion. When we stick to methods that are not commercial, it all requires massive subsidy from taxpayers and is unsustainable.
Subsidy IS aiming at the profit motive, by lowering the cost of implementing things early it changes which solution is economically optimal for the implementors.
Same with taxation which makes the unwanted solutions more expensive.

Incidentally, subsidies are not always unsustainable if you look at the very large picture, as they also drive development of the wanted technologies at an earlier times than would otherwise happen, thereby making the time when they're economically optimal without subsidies happen earlier.
For example, this is why Denmark is one of the leading countries in wind turbine technology these days, early subsidies made it economically feasible for companies to start developing the technology earlier than in most of the rest of the world.

neilzero
2012-Feb-19, 04:53 AM
A hundred small trees or other plants could be grown on my 200 square meter roof, with the help of hydroponics. These could then be sold for reforestation projects. Both the summer and winter heat pump energy would likely be reduced for our house. The house construction is not stromg enough for growing in dirt, or even for large trees in hydroponics, but new houses could be built stronger and that would sequester the carbon in the extra wood used for the house for about a century.
Present lumber gathering leaves the unsaleable portion of the trees in the forest to return carbon dioxide and methane to our atmosphere, in about one decade. This biomass can mostly be collected and converted to something useful with small subsidies. Admittedly these ideas are only a few parts per million of the total problem, but it is a start, probably less costly than the tiny bit we have done so far. Removing dead biomas from forests would also reduce the number of square kilometers burned by wild fire each year which must add several parts per million to the carbon dioxide in our biosphere. Neil

HenrikOlsen
2012-Feb-19, 06:00 AM
A while ago in another thread I calculated that it would take complete sequestration of the result of continuously growing 8-9 Texas'es worth of trees (as coppiced willow harvested at 3-4 years of age, one of the fastest crops by biomass) to keep up with the amount of coal burned currently.

Wildfires don't add anything that wouldn't get back anyway as it rots or gets eaten.

Robert Tulip
2012-Feb-19, 09:17 AM
Subsidy IS aiming at the profit motive, by lowering the cost of implementing things early it changes which solution is economically optimal for the implementors.True in many instances, but there are also many examples where subsidy is a political reward for rent seekers. This is why protectionism is seen as inefficient and unjust.

If subsidy is calculated objectively according to criteria such as least cost abatement, it is unlikely in my view that geosequestration would be supported, although carbon storage research ranked highly in a major study. At fixtheclimate.com (http://fixtheclimate.com/component-1/the-result-prioritization/), Bjorn Lomborg provides the following ranking of subsidy priorities to address global warming, listing each proposed solution and its category. These rankings were agreed by a panel of Nobel Economics Laureates, so should not be simply dismissed.

Copenhagen Consensus on Climate: Findings of the Expert Panel
“Very Good”
1 Marine Cloud Whitening Research - Climate Engineering
2 Energy R&D - Technology
3 Stratospheric Aerosol Insertion Research - Climate Engineering
4 Carbon Storage Research - Technology

“Good”
5 Planning for Adaptation - Adaptation
6 Research into Air Capture - Climate Engineering

“Fair”
7 Technology Transfers - Technology Transfers
8 Expand and Protect Forests - Forestry
9 Stoves in Developing Nations - Cut Black Carbon

“Poor”
10 Methane Reduction Portfolio - Cut Methane
11 Diesel Vehicle Emissions - Cut Black Carbon
12 $20 OECD Carbon Tax - Cut Carbon

“Very Poor”
13 $0.50 Global CO2 Tax - Cut Carbon
14 $3 Global CO2 Tax - Cut Carbon
15 $68 Global CO2 Tax - Cut Carbon

The emphasis on research and development in the top priorities has been controversial, with some critics asserting we know the best way already and should just implement, for example by subsidising carbon capture and storage. But the fact is that funds for implementation are in competition with funds for research, and bad subsidies can suck up the money that could have been spent on developing more competitive and sustainable methods. Algae biofuel research would fit in both energy R&D and carbon storage R&D. These findings also contradict the broad view that tax is the key to saving the climate.


Same with taxation which makes the unwanted solutions more expensive. Incidentally, subsidies are not always unsustainable if you look at the very large picture, as they also drive development of the wanted technologies at an earlier times than would otherwise happen, thereby making the time when they're economically optimal without subsidies happen earlier. For example, this is why Denmark is one of the leading countries in wind turbine technology these days, early subsidies made it economically feasible for companies to start developing the technology earlier than in most of the rest of the world.

Again, Lomborg provides a rather savage critique of the Danish wind program (http://www.lomborg.com/dyn/files/news_news/345-file/BL%20Op-ed%202011-11%20Nov%20Seeming%20Green.pdf?PHPSESSID=5cdaf850b 784a7b7a4be1416fee58461) as based on appearances not reality, as exporting emission production to China, as futlie within the EU context, and as an overall national money loser for Denmark.

HenrikOlsen
2012-Feb-19, 02:06 PM
These rankings were agreed by a panel of Nobel Economics Laureates, so should not be simply dismissed.
But they're economists, what do they know about implementation costs of unproven technology? Especially how can they with any confidence claim to be able to prioritize the economic viability of projects that uses unproven technology that requires unknown development costs.

As for Lomborg, he's an AWG adaptionalist who doesn't like wind. Don't take his word as gospel.

Again, economists are not likely to be the best people to consult on technical solutions.

Ara Pacis
2012-Feb-19, 07:46 PM
If ecological objectives can be achieved in a way that is commercially viable, the profit motive provides the incentive for replication and rapid expansion. When we stick to methods that are not commercial, it all requires massive subsidy from taxpayers and is unsustainable. I don't see any reason why a subsidy need be unsustainable unless you consider it a sine qua non for ideological reasons.


Charitable motives distort markets and provide only small scale results. Just look at poverty reduction. China has succeeded in lifting hundreds of millions of people out of poverty through use of the profit motive, whereas aid programs based on non-profit motives do not show the same massive systemic success.When I wrote non-profit, I wasn't referring to non-profit organization, but as other than that of profit-motive. If we had other items of value for which industrialists competed instead of money, such as prestige in the form of titles and awards, then we might see them using their own money.

I wouldn't consider what China has done as an appropriate analogy. It's due to a race to the bottom and is more akin to socioeconomics arguments of the Antebellum South (US) than modern, western mixed economies.

However, I do agree that subsidies aren't the answer because they tend to result in rent-seeking behavior. A full-on socialist government response is probably the best solution because the lead times may be too long or too distant from their causes (in time and space) for profit-motivated entities to feel compelled to budget for them in their calculations of overhead unless such behavior is coerced. If the floating algae thing works, that's great, if not, then we need to consider alternatives.

transreality
2012-Feb-20, 10:37 PM
Planting trees is a tiny fraction of the work needed to stabilise the climate, which needs industrial operations at planetary scale, where the only feasible ecological niche available is the ocean, which can be cooled, PH stabilised and protected through large scale algae production.

We add about 30 gigatons of CO2 to the atmosphere per year. The question, assuming we desire to return the planet to a 250 ppm CO2 state, is whether there is any way to suck CO2 out of the air and sea on a scale approaching 50 billion tons per year, assuming we continue to emit 30 billion tons, and whether such change can be made politically attractive by being self-financing and ecologically beneficial.

As far as I can see, large scale algae production is the only feasible answer. If algae can fix 100 tons of CO2 per hectare per year, then algae farms covering one percent of the world ocean (ie five million square kilometres) will be needed to stabilise the world climate. Even higher yield may also be feasible, reducing the scale of required operations. Such farms would be more than 'bandaids on Gaia', as they would produce a wide range of valuable commodities. Enough of the produced carbon could remain unburned, in the form of fertilizer, fish food, plastics and solid carbon, to have material impact on climate stability, while product that is burned would reduce the need for digging up fossil fuels. It may be possible to build infrastructure such as roads and buildings out of carbon sourced from algae, as part of a commercial market system to stabilise the world climate.


It is true that planting trees is not going to produce a short-term reversal of global warming... the effects of hundreds years of deforestation, burning coal and other fossil fuels cannot be so quickly reversed. But it is a step in the right direction, and as well the planting of vegetation on roof tops etc produces cooler local environments and alleviates the impact of global warming such as the human mortality from heat exhaustion from summer heat waves for example, which has an additional cost itself.

The current operations in progress are about limiting the impact of continuing resource use, and moving away from the worst sources including coal. So large natural gas operations, for example, are required sequester their carbon dioxide back close to the source. Making such energy sources cleaner are more feasable that cleaning up coal, we can hope this is the point of wind and solar operations as well. But the same government organisations that are mandating these rules, and providing the basic research for the techniques and suitability of reservoirs are also concerned with related issues that will cause costs, such as maintaining marine biodiversity, and avoiding expensive disasters.

Apparently the cost of Hurricane Katrina, and the devastation in New Orleans, was similar to the cost of the Iraq war to the US economy. So the costs of solutions to global warming can be significantly offset by preventing these major costs. These costs can include the loss of fishing, tourism, and other ecological based industries, the loss of major infrastructure in catastrophes related to global warming, such as sea-level rise and severe weather, health impacts, subsequent insurance overheads, forced migration and resettlement of populations. We need a broad range of considered and integrated solutions, rather than operations of unknown efficiency and impact; or that merely mitigate on-going irresponsible behaviour.

Hector
2012-Mar-11, 09:27 PM
The question is whether GW is artificial or natural. Natural demands we prepare or suffer, still, even if we did it ourselves we may have gone too far. I was of the "man created GW" camp, but as of the last few years especially, I've been leaning in the direction that nature of the solar system is the force we are going to need to address and likely very soon.

I envision a change in architecture to protect against all possible scenarios, crack pot or mainstream. Mainstream is NASA warning us a flare could knock out our technology. That means we need to protect our technolgy and even revamp it to include climactic changes to the biosphere. I have a design for what I've dubbed "Podules" but they are essentially houseboats that resist everything from floods and Magnetic Events to being showered with 18 feet of snow or even volcanic ash. Building them to replace demolished structures in quake or flood areas would have a benevolent effect on the economy just by making jobs and, since the Pods incorporate indoor farming, there's the tree planting many are discussing.

Swift
2012-Mar-11, 09:33 PM
The question is whether GW is artificial or natural.
In the Science & Technology forum of BAUT it is not the question. Here the mainstream science is AGW. If you would like to argue otherwise, start a thread in ATM.

Policy stated here (right at the top of the Science & Technology forum) (http://www.bautforum.com/showthread.php/103687-New-Global-Warming-Discussion-Policy)

whimsyfree
2012-Mar-12, 04:08 AM
Subsidy IS aiming at the profit motive, by lowering the cost of implementing things early it changes which solution is economically optimal for the implementors.
Same with taxation which makes the unwanted solutions more expensive.

Incidentally, subsidies are not always unsustainable if you look at the very large picture, as they also drive development of the wanted technologies at an earlier times than would otherwise happen


Doesn't that require governments to know what are the best technologies in advance? Governments are likely to be guided by political popularity.



, thereby making the time when they're economically optimal without subsidies happen earlier.
For example, this is why Denmark is one of the leading countries in wind turbine technology these days, early subsidies made it economically feasible for companies to start developing the technology earlier than in most of the rest of the world.

There's still debate as to the usefulness of wind turbines in AGW reduction.

HenrikOlsen
2012-Mar-12, 08:17 AM
It was an example of how subsidies can drive technological development. I'm well aware of what Bjørn (we should adapt to climate-changes instead of trying to prevent them) Lomborg thinks about them.

Trakar
2012-Mar-12, 03:00 PM
It is true that planting trees is not going to produce a short-term reversal of global warming... the effects of hundreds years of deforestation, burning coal and other fossil fuels cannot be so quickly reversed. But it is a step in the right direction, and as well the planting of vegetation on roof tops etc produces cooler local environments and alleviates the impact of global warming such as the human mortality from heat exhaustion from summer heat waves for example, which has an additional cost itself.

The current operations in progress are about limiting the impact of continuing resource use, and moving away from the worst sources including coal. So large natural gas operations, for example, are required sequester their carbon dioxide back close to the source. Making such energy sources cleaner are more feasable that cleaning up coal, we can hope this is the point of wind and solar operations as well. But the same government organisations that are mandating these rules, and providing the basic research for the techniques and suitability of reservoirs are also concerned with related issues that will cause costs, such as maintaining marine biodiversity, and avoiding expensive disasters.

Apparently the cost of Hurricane Katrina, and the devastation in New Orleans, was similar to the cost of the Iraq war to the US economy. So the costs of solutions to global warming can be significantly offset by preventing these major costs. These costs can include the loss of fishing, tourism, and other ecological based industries, the loss of major infrastructure in catastrophes related to global warming, such as sea-level rise and severe weather, health impacts, subsequent insurance overheads, forced migration and resettlement of populations. We need a broad range of considered and integrated solutions, rather than operations of unknown efficiency and impact; or that merely mitigate on-going irresponsible behaviour.

Wouldn't it make more sense to compare the costs of rebuilding after Katrina, to the costs of rebuilding Iraq after our destruction of it, rather than comparing the cost of rebuilding after Katrina to the cost of destroying Iraq?

Swift
2012-Mar-12, 03:06 PM
Wouldn't it make more sense to compare the costs of rebuilding after Katrina, to the costs of rebuilding Iraq after our destruction of it, rather than comparing the cost of rebuilding after Katrina to the cost of destroying Iraq?
I am becoming uncomfortable with the direction this thread is going and with the analogies people are using. The war in Iraq, and even the aftermath of Katrina, are rather political topics, at least in the US. Global warming is enough of a troublesome issue without comparing it to these.

Let's just get back to the technical aspects of global warming, if we could.

Thanks,

whimsyfree
2012-Mar-13, 12:54 AM
It was an example of how subsidies can drive technological development. I'm well aware of what Bjørn (we should adapt to climate-changes instead of trying to prevent them) Lomborg thinks about them.

That still misses my point. Even among people who believe our energy sources should change to mitigate AGW differ. Some are pro-wind. Some say wind is almost useless and that solar is the solution. A few support tides or waves. Some even endorse nuclear power. I know people from the left of politics (which I am not) who were once strongly anti-nuclear and have now done an about face and support nuclear power. I don't know what the best solution will be and I don't think anyone does because what will be best 30 years or more depends on technological advances that have not yet been made.

HenrikOlsen
2012-Mar-13, 01:28 AM
Part of my point is that we can't really know if a technology will help mitigate the problems until it matures, which means it makes sense to help as many of the potential technologies to mature before the need for the best of them becomes desperate. Because by that time it's not certain the resources to develop the best one are still going to be there.

Swift
2012-Mar-13, 01:58 AM
That still misses my point. Even among people who believe our energy sources should change to mitigate AGW differ. Some are pro-wind. Some say wind is almost useless and that solar is the solution. A few support tides or waves. Some even endorse nuclear power. I know people from the left of politics (which I am not) who were once strongly anti-nuclear and have now done an about face and support nuclear power. I don't know what the best solution will be and I don't think anyone does because what will be best 30 years or more depends on technological advances that have not yet been made.
Here are my thoughts about this, posted early in this thread:

By the by... I don't think there is a solution to global warming.

First, there will be no single technology (or even few technologies) that will fix the problem. Renewables, nuclear, CO2 capture, alternative fuels, improved efficiencies, etc., etc. will all be needed and used. To say we need a multi-pronged approach is an understatement.

Second, IMO, it is way too late, even with a concerted effort (which I don't think will happen) to solve (as in stop or fix) global warming. Our only choice now is whether we get a moderate amount of warming or a larger amount of warming. And yes, that is an important decision. We will also need to start putting technologies (and other cultural, political, and societal things) in place to deal with the consequences of global warming. How much we have to mitigate the problems will be directly related to how much we limit the amount of warming.
I don't think what is best has anything to do with what technologies will be available 30 years from now. There is no "best" and all of these technologies can help now.

For example, solar power is probably a great technology for the desert Southwest of the United States, but not so much for Northeast Ohio, where wind power is making a push. It doesn't make sense to define a global "best" technology and there is no need to.

And yes, I am a pro-nuclear environmentalist. Used properly, nuclear has a place in this too.

Trakar
2012-Mar-13, 05:59 PM
Here are my thoughts about this, posted early in this thread:

I don't think what is best has anything to do with what technologies will be available 30 years from now. There is no "best" and all of these technologies can help now.

For example, solar power is probably a great technology for the desert Southwest of the United States, but not so much for Northeast Ohio, where wind power is making a push. It doesn't make sense to define a global "best" technology and there is no need to.

And yes, I am a pro-nuclear environmentalist. Used properly, nuclear has a place in this too.

Fully agreed.

Not only is a diversity of distributed power tuned to local circumstances a good idea regarding the addressment of AGW, it makes sense from a broad range of perspectives. The ony sources of power I don't like right now are those employing Coal, Petroleum, or NG as fuel sources, as they exasperate rather than reduce the human climate footprint.

Swift
2012-Mar-13, 06:04 PM
The ony sources of power I don't like right now are those employing Coal, Petroleum, or NG as fuel sources, as they exasperate rather than reduce the human climate footprint.
And even there, I think there is room for some of these technologies.

The local power company, CEI, is thinking of converting one of their local ancient coal plants to a gas turbine unit, to be used on a "as-needed" basis, instead of continously (gas turbines can fairly quickly be turned on and off to match demand). Sure, burning natural gas still produces CO2, but it has a much greater efficiency than an old coal plant, with much less non-CO2 pollution. Not ideal, but a step in the right direction.

Trakar
2012-Mar-13, 06:59 PM
And even there, I think there is room for some of these technologies.

The local power company, CEI, is thinking of converting one of their local ancient coal plants to a gas turbine unit, to be used on a "as-needed" basis, instead of continously (gas turbines can fairly quickly be turned on and off to match demand). Sure, burning natural gas still produces CO2, but it has a much greater efficiency than an old coal plant, with much less non-CO2 pollution. Not ideal, but a step in the right direction.

Speaking only for myself, this is a long and hard considered issue, and I can't condone any new carbon-fuelled systems based on at-will compliance on when they will or won't use that system and assurances that they are being built to replace "older dirtier" systems that will eventually be decommissioned and deconstructed. There are too many "peak overload" gas systems running 24/7 right now providing baseload profits because existing systems are cheaper to use than buying and building new systems as energy demands continue to rise.

On paper, yes, a swap out of coal and diesel systems for gas turbines might be short-term advantageous, but they also delay and forestall investments in truely carbon neutral systems.

danscope
2012-Mar-13, 10:17 PM
Hi Ara Pacis, In reply: "And the reduction in food crop fields, by being converted to forest, would force an acute reduction in population, which means a reduction in energy use and GHG production. Kill two birds with one stone. Good Thinking. "

If you study history, you may recall an incident durring the early thirties called"The dust bowl". The lessons learned included the planting of trees. Trees and agriculture co-exist quite well.

Ara Pacis
2012-Mar-13, 10:51 PM
Hi Ara Pacis, In reply: "And the reduction in food crop fields, by being converted to forest, would force an acute reduction in population, which means a reduction in energy use and GHG production. Kill two birds with one stone. Good Thinking. "

If you study history, you may recall an incident durring the early thirties called"The dust bowl". The lessons learned included the planting of trees. Trees and agriculture co-exist quite well.

Maybe if you want to create a windbreak (although you wrote "as often and everywhere we can"), but sequestration of CO2 is another matter.

Swift
2012-Mar-14, 01:10 AM
Speaking only for myself, this is a long and hard considered issue, and I can't condone any new carbon-fuelled systems based on at-will compliance on when they will or won't use that system and assurances that they are being built to replace "older dirtier" systems that will eventually be decommissioned and deconstructed. There are too many "peak overload" gas systems running 24/7 right now providing baseload profits because existing systems are cheaper to use than buying and building new systems as energy demands continue to rise.

On paper, yes, a swap out of coal and diesel systems for gas turbines might be short-term advantageous, but they also delay and forestall investments in truely carbon neutral systems.
I can appreciate and understand that position.

neilzero
2012-Mar-14, 05:09 AM
Guide me on this. I have some already modeled designs for adapting to a world that may result in a good deal of flooding, at the least, with quite a few other features such as integrated alternative energy systems. How should I go about presenting these to those who'd like to see them?
The one's I think of, I just blab, and hope someone will improve the idea enough to make it doable.
Did you really mean that your designs would cause flooding? Flooding wet lands and populated area would meet with intense opposition.
If we are building a steam turbine near the top of a tall tower and using large streeraable mirrors as the heat source, we can build one story houses at selected locations between the tall mirror supports. When a mirror can't usefully supply useful energy to the tower (such as near sunrise and sunset, The mirror can direct light to the yards of houses that request the extra light Possibly to make their plants grow better, or just to reduce the deepening twilight.
The tower can have PV panals to catch some of the light that misses the energy collection opening and a small wind turbine above the opening. Is that an example of intigrated design? Neil

Jerry
2012-Mar-15, 04:00 PM
This paper is not published or peer reviewed yet:

http://www.columbia.edu/~jeh1/mailings/2012/20120105_PerceptionsAndDice.pdf

The standard deviations in temperature extremes are hitting the 4-5 sigma levels, but only on the high ends. This is perhaps the best affirmation yet that the recent extremes are anthropologic.

lomiller1
2012-Mar-15, 05:37 PM
This paper is not published or peer reviewed yet:

http://www.columbia.edu/~jeh1/mailings/2012/20120105_PerceptionsAndDice.pdf

The standard deviations in temperature extremes are hitting the 4-5 sigma levels, but only on the high ends. This is perhaps the best affirmation yet that the recent extremes are anthropologic.

I’m not sure if it’s 5 sigma but our current temperature is 6 deg C higher than the previous record for this date. Tomorrows forecast would put us at 10 deg C higher than the previous record high, and the forecast for Sun would put us a full 14 Deg C higher than the previous record high.

publiusr
2012-Mar-16, 10:26 PM
The worst implement we ever constructed was not the drill head, but the plow. We will still need hydrocarbons for chemical foodstocks, and gas wells for that is where we get helium for instruments--but go back to hydrogen for kids balloons. Hey--we sell fireworks anyway...

Cap-and-trade itself may do very little, as evidenced by a study that shows that "even if all greenhouse emissions were to stop today, atmospheric ozone will remain high for millennia, and ocean surface temperatures will stay elevated for even longer" (DISCOVER MAGAZINE, page 18, September 2009 issue.) Worse, many ways considered to suck up carbon dioxide "will hardly have any impact at all, a new study in the journal Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics found."

http://www.wired.com/wiredscience/2009/01/georank/
http://www.atmos-chem-phys-discuss.net/9/2559/2009/acpd-9-2559-2009.html

The earth scientists write that "only stratospheric aerosol injections or sunshades in space have the potential to cool the climate back toward its pre-industrial state." Since further pollution by aerosols is unwise, the only solutions that can be had is the sunshade concept.

http://spacesolarpower.wordpress.com/

Future power
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Superconducting_magnetic_energy_storage

Eric Yam came up with a lot of space-based solar power research for his winning ASTEN concept--but the powersat on page 65 of the ASTEN PDF is a must see.
http://www.nas.nasa.gov/About/Education/SpaceSettlement/Contest/Results/2009/index.html
http://arvanhalleorg.com/tag/eric-yam/

Large structures in space are perfect for this storage medium
"a SMES installation would need a loop of around 100 miles (160 km). This is traditionally pictured as a circle, though in practice it could be more like a rounded rectangle. In either case it would require access to a significant amount of land to house the installation, and to contain the health effects." This will not be a problem in space.

This is the only large scale engineering that gets us a two-fer: cool the planet while giving clean power...

Robert Tulip
2012-Mar-17, 12:18 AM
...the only solutions that can be had is the sunshade concept.. space-based solar power... is the only large scale engineering that gets us a two-fer: cool the planet while giving clean power...
Large scale ocean based algae production would deliver these results and more - cooling the planet, providing clean power and also sucking up CO2 at minimal cost - a three for one. The energy comes from the sun and sea, the surface area is available at low cost, in ways that would provide insurance against rising temperature in endangered locations such as coral reefs, and the product pays for expansion through a range of valuable bulk commodities.

The space-based options have the dangerous implication that they do not reduce CO2, but allow CO2 concentration to increase while treating the symptom of growing heat. Far better to also address the cause with a method that will suck CO2 out of the air and convert it into usable fuel, food, fertilizer and fabric, in order to stabilize the long term carbon cycle.


nuclear has a place in this too.

The Economist magazine has a special report on nuclear power in its current issue, available on line at http://www.economist.com/node/21549098

whimsyfree
2012-Mar-17, 01:48 AM
Cap-and-trade itself may do very little, as evidenced by a study that shows that "even if all greenhouse emissions were to stop today, atmospheric ozone will remain high for millenia,

I think you need to find a better source because atmospheric ozone has precious little to do with causing greenhouse warming. Ozone loss may cause stratospheric cooling.

peteshimmon
2012-Mar-20, 09:51 PM
Things are serious, Parliament has an
"emergency commitee" on Arctic warming.
Worries about methane release. Talk about
towers on the Faroes to spray sea water into
the upper atmosphere. Ask Denmark afterwards
I think.

Ara Pacis
2012-Mar-22, 10:59 AM
Well, it has been warm this year in North America. Summer arrived 3 months early, and winter never really had a foot hold. The farmers are already planting because even though there may be a risk of a frost, the ground is warm and never got really cold. The local weatherman showed a map of NA with ground temps and it's really warm, so perhaps it may cause problems farther north in permafrost/frozen-methane land.

Trakar
2012-Mar-24, 05:39 PM
Well, it has been warm this year in North America. Summer arrived 3 months early, and winter never really had a foot hold. The farmers are already planting because even though there may be a risk of a frost, the ground is warm and never got really cold. The local weatherman showed a map of NA with ground temps and it's really warm, so perhaps it may cause problems farther north in permafrost/frozen-methane land.

Speaking only of the west coast, it actually seems to have been a bit cooler the last two winters,...at least in comparison to the previous 5-6 winters (which were largely non-existent). But, that is a subjective impression and concerns weather much moreso than climate.

HenrikOlsen
2012-Mar-24, 10:02 PM
Well, 2011 definitely was relatively cool, but that's to be expected of a La Niña year. Interesting is that 2011 is the warmest La Niña year on record.

publiusr
2012-Mar-25, 09:17 PM
I think you need to find a better source because atmospheric ozone has precious little to do with causing greenhouse warming. Ozone loss may cause stratospheric cooling.

That was probably a mind...blip..we will say in that global temperatures were what were being discussed. Another of my senior moments. Removing CO2 can be helpful, but I think the points for sun-shades do make a lot of sense. They also allow for space infrastructure--instead of cometing with it for monies.

Also-all this oil-producing algae talk has me a bit worried. I'm not a technophobe by any streatch of the imagination. I support the responsible use of nucear power and drilling. Wwe still need helium from natural gas wells and chemical foodstocks from hydrocarbons that I'd rather not get by farming and perhaps cause another Dust Bowl. Heck--its how we found the dino-killing asteroid crater IIRC. Playing with the genetic code to have something excrete fuel? eh...

transreality
2012-Mar-26, 12:48 AM
Also-all this oil-producing algae talk has me a bit worried. I'm not a technophobe by any streatch of the imagination. I support the responsible use of nucear power and drilling. Wwe still need helium from natural gas wells and chemical foodstocks from hydrocarbons that I'd rather not get by farming and perhaps cause another Dust Bowl. Heck--its how we found the dino-killing asteroid crater IIRC. Playing with the genetic code to have something excrete fuel? eh...

No need to play with the code. Botryococcus braunii (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Botryococcus_braunii) has been doing this at least since the Cambrian. That's 500 million years for a single species, not bad. And no doubt its day will come again. No need to cultivate it in plastic bags, just let the oceans rise and inundate low laying coastal lands. Oceans full of hydrocarbon producing algae will be the outcome of inaction on global warming, not a solution.

HenrikOlsen
2012-Mar-26, 12:57 AM
No need to play with the code. Botryococcus braunii has been doing this at least since the Cambrian. That's 500 million years for a single species, not bad. And no doubt its day will come again. No need to cultivate it in plastic bags, just let the oceans rise and inundate low laying coastal lands. Oceans full of hydrocarbon producing algae will be the outcome of inaction on global warming, not a solution.
Nope, their growth is primarily limited by the amount of available phosphorus, not by the amount of CO2. Increased CO2 won't result in increased growth.

And it's not perfect for biodiesel production as the oil is a triterpene rather than a triglyceride, which means it required hydrocracking instead of transesterification to turn in into car fuel.

transreality
2012-Mar-26, 01:33 AM
Nope, their growth is primarily limited by the amount of available phosphorus, not by the amount of CO2. Increased CO2 won't result in increased growth.

from this study (http://www.scielo.cl/pdf/ejb/v10n1/a08.pdf), increased CO2 will result in increased growth, and water acidity is not too important.

Since the lands most likely to be inundated by rising sea levels are among our richest and longest-cultivated farm lands, and then the ocean will be adjacent to more marginal lands that will need to be fertilised to increase productivity, then perhaps phosphate will not be short supply.

HenrikOlsen
2012-Mar-26, 02:47 AM
from this study (http://www.scielo.cl/pdf/ejb/v10n1/a08.pdf), increased CO2 will result in increased growth, and water acidity is not too important.
The study used an artificial growth medium in which carbon was missing, then added CO2 in varying doses as the limiting factor.
You can't really use those results to conclude anything about behavior when CO2 isn't the limiting factor.

Ara Pacis
2012-Mar-27, 12:10 AM
from this study (http://www.scielo.cl/pdf/ejb/v10n1/a08.pdf), increased CO2 will result in increased growth, and water acidity is not too important.

Since the lands most likely to be inundated by rising sea levels are among our richest and longest-cultivated farm lands, and then the ocean will be adjacent to more marginal lands that will need to be fertilised to increase productivity, then perhaps phosphate will not be short supply.

Depending on where you live and how high and how fast seas rise, some of that land can be protected by dikes. Now, if we're looking to the day when all the ice is melted and the submerged portions of Greenland and Antarctica rise out of the sea, displacing more water volume, while current dry continental land on the other side of the see-saw sinks in response to isostatic adjustment, we might see an almost unblockable 200-300ft of sea level increase... but that'd take a few thousand years.