The first large scale wind-power installation, some 100 km (65 miles) offshore the northwest coast of Germany has finally been connected to the grid. The Offshore-Windpark Deutsche Bucht is a wind farm with a total of 80 wind turbine towers, each with a hub height of 100 m (300 ft.) above the sea and a combined design output of some 400 Megawatts in electric power.
Connection to the Grid
Because of delays in getting the underwater cabling and connection to the power grid on land, the whole power park was standing idle for the last two years. In order to prevent potential damage to gear boxes and turbines, each tower was supplied with energy from small gasoline-powered electricity generators for that time.
Several years behind schedule, the Bard 1 wind farm finally came altogether in March 2014. The wind farm was connected to the electric grid and started to deliver energy. Alas, it did not last very long. In March, the separate AC-to-DC converter station at the facility suffered a “meltdown.” A new converter installed a few days ago was shut down not much later without explanation.
The alternating current (AC) coming from the turbines cannot be directly transmitted to the grid. Instead, it needs to be converted to high voltage direct current (HVDC) first. In principle, that is a straight forward task and has been solved for a long time. All the high-tension electric power transmission lines around the world use such HVDC converters. So what’s the problem with the wind farm converter?
Pick up a research paper on battery technology, fuel cells, energy storage technologies or any of the advanced materials science used in these fields, and you will likely find somewhere in the introductory paragraphs a throwaway line about its application to the storage of renewable energy. Energy storage makes sense for enabling a transition away from fossil fuels to more intermittent sources like wind and solar, and the storage problem presents a meaningful challenge for chemists and materials scientists… Or does it?
Several recent analyses of the inputs to our energy systems indicate that, against expectations, energy storage cannot solve the problem of intermittency of wind or solar power. Not for reasons of technical performance, cost, or storage capacity, but for something more intractable: there is not enough surplus energy left over after construction of the generators and the storage system to power our present civilization.
The problem is analysed in an important paper by Weißbach et al.1 in terms of energy returned on energy invested, or EROEI – the ratio of the energy produced over the life of a power plant to the energy that was required to build it. It takes energy to make a power plant – to manufacture its components, mine the fuel, and so on. The power plant needs to make at least this much energy to break even. A break-even powerplant has an EROEI of 1. But such a plant would pointless, as there is no energy surplus to do the useful things we use energy for.
There is a minimum EROEI, greater than 1, that is required for an energy source to be able to run society. An energy system must produce a surplus large enough to sustain things like food production, hospitals, and universities to train the engineers to build the plant, transport, construction, and all the elements of the civilization in which it is embedded.
For countries like the US and Germany, Weißbach et al. estimate this minimum viable EROEI to be about 7. An energy source with lower EROEI cannot sustain a society at those levels of complexity, structured along similar lines. If we are to transform our energy system, in particular to one without climate impacts, we need to pay close attention to the EROEI of the end result.
Eighteen years (less one month) and counting; that’s the time since the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) predicted “global warming” of the earth’s climate but, given the length of the current cooling cycle, the “warmists” are now calling it a “warming pause.”
Of the approximately 30 different models—all based on carbon dioxide (CO2) levels in the air—used in their scenarios, none has proven correct. In fact, even the model predicting the least amount of warming over this period is substantially wrong: there was no warming at all, period.
This fundamental fact appears to be unknown to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
EPA & CO2
Regardless of that fact, the EPA presses ahead with sweeping controls on power generation from carbon sources in the country. The EPA wants to reduce the amount of “warming” that supposedly has or could be happening at some time in the future. The EPA takes its cues from the IPCC models, despite their miserable failure to predict anything on the basis of CO2 levels that have been rising in the atmosphere.
Of course, there is a simple explanation for it: the CO2 levels have no correlation with the current or near future climate or its change. That’s because all the absorbable (infrared) back-radiation of the earth’s surface is captured by the little amount of CO2 within the first 200 meters (approximately 500 feet) above ground. All the CO2 in the atmosphere above that elevation, about 98% of all atmospheric CO2 has no additional effect. Therefore, neither any increase nor any decrease in CO2 would make a difference.
Electric sparks might have helped break down lunar dirt, suggesting the moon may be significantly more active than previously thought, a new study finds.
This kind of sparking might take place throughout the solar system, from Mercury to the satellites of Jupiter and Saturn, researchers added.
The giant craters that pockmark the face of the moon bear witness to a violent past full of cosmic impacts. Meteorites continue to bombard the moon, breaking down or "weathering" its soil. Indeed, the moon is much harder hit than Earth, whose thick atmosphere protects the planet from many incoming space rocks. [The Greatest Moon Crashes of All Time]
The moon is also constantly hit by high-energy electrically charged particles. For instance, electrons and protons often burst from the sun, and more energetic particles known as cosmic rays also regularly strike from elsewhere in the Milky Way galaxy.
Previous studies only investigated how these high-energy particles electrically charge the uppermost layer of the lunar surface. Lead study author Andrew Jordan, a space physicist at the University of New Hampshire, and his colleagues explored whether high-energy electrically charged particles might also penetrate deeper into the moon.
Lunar soil is an electrical insulator, meaning it has extremely low conductivity. Any electrically charged particles that do penetrate deep into it can thus get trapped inside and accumulate.
For decades, scientists have known this phenomenon, known as deep dielectric charging, can occur in spacecraft. If too much charge accumulates, the resulting electrical sparks can damage electronics.
The researchers focused on craters near the lunar poles that host permanently shadowed regions. These dark areas can reach temperatures as low as minus 400 degrees Fahrenheit (minus 240 degrees Celsius). The colder lunar soil gets, the more electrically insulating it becomes.
Approximately every 11 years, the sun undergoes a complete personality change from quiet and calm to violently active. The height of the sun's activity, known as solar maximum, is a time of numerous sunspots, punctuated with profound eruptions that send radiation and solar particles out into the far reaches of space.
However, the timing of the solar cycle is far from precise. Since humans began regularly recording sunspots in the 17th century, the time between successive solar maxima has been as short as nine years, but as long as 14, making it hard to determine its cause. Now, researchers have discovered a new marker to track the course of the solar cycle—brightpoints, little bright spots in the solar atmosphere that allow us to observe the constant roiling of material inside the sun. These markers provide a new way to watch the way the magnetic fields evolve and move through our closest star. They also show that a substantial adjustment to established theories about what drives this mysterious cycle may be needed.
Historically, theories about what's going on inside the sun to drive the solar cycle have relied on only one set of observations: the detection of sunspots, a data record that goes back centuries. Over the past few decades, realizing that sunspots are areas of intense magnetic fields, researchers have also been able to include observations of magnetic measurements of the sun from more than 90 million miles away.
"Sunspots have been the perennial marker for understanding the mechanisms that rule the sun's interior," said Scott McIntosh, a space scientist at the National Center for Atmospheric Research in Boulder, Colorado, and first author of a paper on these results that appears in the September 1, 2014, issue of the Astrophysical Journal. "But the processes that make sunspots are not well understood, and far less, those that govern their migration and what drives their movement. Now we can see there are bright points in the solar atmosphere, which act like buoys anchored to what's going on much deeper down. They help us develop a different picture of the interior of the sun."
The Sun had a flurry of flare activity at the end of August, releasing over half a dozen solar flares in a day, some of which were accompanied by coronal mass ejections.
NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory spotted the activity in images captured at extreme ultraviolet wavelengths, which can only be done from the vacuum of space.
The EUV channels span a range of extremely hot temperatures – up to ten million degrees Celsius – making it a good way to have a peek at such a dynamic active region of our nearest star.
The two larger flares from the Sun were M-class, which stands for moderate, while all the others were just small flares. However, the activity also set off some coronal mass ejections – massive bursts of solar wind and plasma that erupt into space.
CMEs are usually caused by large flares and can release up to a hundred billion kilos of super-heated electrons, protons and heavy nuclei at speeds of up to two million miles per hour. They are the biggest explosions in our solar system, according to NASA, roughly approaching the power of a billion hydrogen bombs.
Read more at www.theregister.co.uk
NEW YORK – As the United Nations prepares for its 2014 Climate Summit in New York this month with an agenda to advance a new carbon-emissions regulatory agreement to supersede the 1997 Kyoto Protocol, the Russian scientist who correctly predicted the lack of global warming over the past 19 years has gained new scientific support for his belief that Earth is in the beginning of a prolonged ice age.
A new study from Lund University in Sweden, published Aug. 17 in Nature Geoscience, has reconstructed solar activity during the last ice age, the last so-called “global maximum” extending from 20,000 to 10,000 years ago. Analysis of trace elements in ice cores in Greenland and from cave formations in China indicates the growth and melting of a thick ice sheet stretching from the Arctic to northern Germany were related to variations in the sun’s UV radiation output.
“The study shows an unexpected link between solar activity and climate change. It shows both that changes in solar activity are nothing new and that solar activity influences the climate, especially on a regional level. Understanding these processes helps us to better forecast the climate in certain regions,” said Raimund Muscheler, lecturer in quaternary geology at Lund University and co-author of the study, in a widely cited interview published by LaboratoryEquipment.com.
The recently published Lund University solar research lends support to the research of Russian scientist Habibullo Abdussamatov, the head of the prestigious Pulkovo Astronomical Observatory in St. Petersburg. Abdussamatov has compiled scientific data supporting the theory “sun heats earth,” refuting global warming theorists that insist greenhouse gases are the culprit in a phenomenon of anthropogenic global warming
Using data analyzing sunspot activity going back to the 19th century, Abdussamatov argues that total sun irradiance is the primary factor responsible for climate variations on Earth, citing evidence for his theory the earth is about to enter a prolonged cooling phase because sunspot activity has been in a weak “mini-max” in the current Solar Cycle 24 after hitting a “solar minimum” in 2009.
A new book ‘About Face!’ by two respected scientists and an economist makes the case for adding more CO2 to earth’s atmosphere.
The scientists are Madhav Khandekar in Canada and Cliff Ollier in Australia, plus economist Arthur Middleton Hughes in the USA. They show us why CO2 is essential to all life on earth. It is plant food.
The authors say, “We believe that the more CO2 there is in the atmosphere the bigger and better plants will grow all over the world. Three million people die each year because the prices of food are too high for them. We want to increase CO2 in the atmosphere and reduce world malnutrition.”
The Authors' Synopsis
This book is highly controversial as billions of dollars are involved in ethanol and climate control. The Obama Administration is planning to shut down all coal fired electric plants because they emit CO2 in amounts more than the EPA permits. This will cost more than $300 billion dollars and result in more than 100,000 unemployed. We say that such actions are unnecessary and wrong.
The UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) issues periodic reports that predict the warming of the earth and that the warming will raise the level of the oceans, and bring on wild weather such as hurricanes, droughts, floods, tornadoes, etc. None of this is true. It has no scientific basis.
Today, more than one million people die from malaria in Africa and other less developed areas. None die from malaria in the US, Europe, Australia or other developed countries where the mosquitos that spread malaria have been wiped out using DDT.
The US and UN have forbidden these less developed areas to use DDT. This must be changed. More than three million people die from malnutrition because of the high price of food partly due to 14% of the world corn crop being converted to ethanol. We cite studies that show that increasing CO2 in the atmosphere by 300 ppm will increase food production by 36% in every country in the world on all continents.
GREENBELT, Maryland, August 29, 2013 (ENS) – Using ice-penetrating radar, scientists have discovered a long, deep canyon that exists a mile beneath the Greenland ice sheet, data from a NASA airborne science mission and an international research team reveals.
The scientific team identified a continuous bedrock canyon that extends from almost the center of the island and ends at its northern extremity in a deep fjord connecting to the Arctic ocean.
The canyon looks like a winding river channel at least 460 miles (750 kilometers) long, making it longer than the Grand Canyon of the Colorado River in the United States. In some places, it is half a mile deep, on the same scale as parts of the Grand Canyon.
Scientists say this immense feature beneath the Petermann Glacier fjord is even older than the ice sheet that has covered Greenland for the last few million years.
“One might assume that the landscape of the Earth has been fully explored and mapped,” said Jonathan Bamber, professor of physical geography at the University of Bristol in the United Kingdom, and lead author of the study.
“With Google Streetview available for many cities around the world and digital maps for everything from population density to happiness one might assume that the landscape of the Earth has been fully explored and mapped,” said Bamber. “Our research shows there’s still a lot left to discover.”
New ebook exposes so-called “greenhouse gases” as not the cause of global warming. Author, Anthony Bright-Paul demonstrates how science and the observable facts prove precisely the opposite - such gases encourage our planet to cool.
Guided by years of private correspondence gleaned from eminent scientists not invested in the cause of human-caused climate change, Bright-Paul demonstrates for lay readers that such “greenhouse gases” scatter, deflect and reflect the incoming solar radiation. “This is not only obvious to scientists but also to any normal sentient observant being,” insists the author.
The book ‘Climate for the Layman’ thereby builds a seemingly irrefutable case that the Sun warms the Earth and Oceans, and they in turn warm the atmosphere from the bottom upwards.
The book argues that far from cutting down on Carbon Dioxide (CO2) emissions, this gas, which every human being and member of the animal kingdom exhales night and day, could (and should) naturally increase from the current supposedly “dangerous” 350 parts per million (ppm) to 1,000 ppm in order to make Earth a truly green planet.
A veritable thumb in the eye to alarmist propaganda, this books demonstrates that plants love Carbon Dioxide and produce Oxygen as a by-product; an inescapable and well-known Biological fact.
As Bright-Paul and other informed skeptics (Natural News) are telling us:
“Practically everything you have been told by the mainstream scientific community and the media about the alleged detriments of greenhouse gases, and particularly carbon dioxide, appears to be false, according to new data compiled by NASA's Langley Research Center. As it turns out, all those atmospheric greenhouse gases that Al Gore and all the other global warming hoaxers have long claimed are overheating and destroying our planet are actually cooling it, based on the latest evidence.”
This has long been the assessment of independent climate analyst, Hans Schreuder and his associates. Schreuder, a key figure in Principia Scientific International (PSI) has his essay, Greenhouse Gases cool the atmosphere made a central feature in this book.
Bright-Paul espouses a core theme of Schreuder and PSI scientists - that the atmosphere is warmed from the bottom upwards and the principal heat exchange mechanism is conduction and convection (not radiation, as per current climate science orthodoxy). This heat exchange is taking place simultaneously over the whole surface of the Planet. It warms and cools the atmosphere - everywhere and all at once.
As respected Canadian Geophysicist, Norm Kalmanovitch, explains:
“Virtually all the heat uptake of the atmosphere is from conduction and latent heat transfer from water vapour condensing into clouds with the majority of this coming from latent heat transfer. By comparison gases like water vapour with a permanent dipole moment or gases like CO2 which can have a dipole moment induced at wavelengths resonant with particular internal molecular vibrations have the capability of absorbing and re-emitting photons in random directions but since this process only redirects energy without permanent absorption there is no net transfer of energy to these molecules and therefore no net heat uptake.”
Scientific, Technical, and Medical (STM) publishing is big business. It generates $19 billion in revenue per year, the majority of which is earned by a few powerful publishers that enjoy profit margins of up to 40 percent. Inflated subscriptions sold to academic libraries keep them moving ahead because the librarians feel they have no choice but to buy. These companies add little value to the actual publishing product but they are entrenched.
Many forces are now at work to change the status quo which has existed for more than 100 years.
The primitive publishing model employed by these publishers is actually a detriment to science. Research paid for by taxpayers is often restricted behind pay walls, major breakthroughs that could potentially save lives languish in articles whose publication is delayed for no reason. In some cases, published findings that have passed a traditional peer review process are subsequently found to be fraudulent.
Performed behind a smokescreen of anonymity, these publishers are the master puppeteers pulling the strings of scientific research to no one’s benefit but their own. The issue is that science publishing is not an esoteric academic silo with no impact on the world. Scientific findings ultimately affect every human being on the planet. Something has to change.
Until now, despite moving from paper to pixels, the publication of scientific research had not harnessed the full potential of the internet. Most journals still use a system that’s rooted in the pre-web era of print and its associated rhythms and rules. Although solving some of these problems requires a significant cultural shift in academia, many of them are solvable using existing technologies that are already standard in other industries and in the culture of the web at large.
America’s Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the mainstream media and scientific journals are participating in what may be the most heinous and far-reaching medical cover up of our time.
The long running controversy over the role of vaccines in the steadily expanding autism epidemic – which the CDC says affects 1 in every 68 U.S. children – continues to bubble to the surface. With the recent publication of a study revealing African-American boys receiving their first MMR vaccine before 36 months of age are 3.4 times more likely to develop autism vs. after 36 months, and the confessions of William Thompson, a senior CDC scientist turned whistleblower, who revealedthat his own agency covered up the autism-vaccine link in African-American boys over at least the past decade, we may be witnessing the long suppressed emergence of the truth about vaccine-induced brain damage.
But powerful forces are at play here, and only hours ago, it was was revealed that the journal that published the highly concerning MMR/autism study -- Translational Neurodegeneration -- removed it suddenly from their website, with the following explanation:
"This article has been removed from the public domain because of serious concerns about the validity of its conclusions. The journal and publisher believe that its continued availability may not be in the public interest. Definitive editorial action will be pending further investigation."
One would assume stories of this magnitude -- with direct health implications to millions of U.S. children -- would make national headlines, or that there would at least be critical responses and/or denials in major news outlets or by public and private health organizations whose responsibility it is to respond to these concerns and/or allegations. To the contrary, what we are witnessing is an eerie and highly conspicuous silence surrounding Thompson's revelations, who has been called a "medical Edward Snowden," in acknowledgment of how devastating and unrecoverable these charges are to the CDC's credibility, and by implication, it's entire ever-expanding one-size-fits-all immunization schedule.