A note on Arctic sea ice
Alaska’s exceptional summer continues.
The most rapidly changing state in the U.S. has no sea ice within some 150 miles of its shores, according to high-resolution sea ice analysis from the National Weather Service. The big picture is clear: After an Arctic summer with well above-average temperatures, warmer seas, and a historic July heat wave, sea ice has vanished in Alaskan waters.
“Alaska waters are ice free,” said Rick Thoman, a climate specialist at the Alaska Center for Climate Assessment and Policy.
“This is definitely an extreme year — even by more recent standards in a changed Arctic,” noted Walt Walt Meier, a senior research scientist at the National Snow and Ice Data Center.
In the continually warming Arctic, sea ice has completely melted around the Alaskan coast before, notably during 2017’s melt season, but never this early. “It’s cleared earlier than it has in any other year,” said Thoman. (Sea ice starts regrowing again in the fall, when temperatures drop.)
Simple solution: forget the trillions (or tens of trillions) of dollars some politicians want to invest in renewable — or added efficiency — along with all the requisite monopoly on social organization that their vast plans will take.
Just go nuclear.
Even if we got to 50% renewables today the other 50% would have to be nuclear (thermonuclear in distant future). 50% renewables today will only amount to 5% of world power needs 100 years from now.
If it were not for that one accident in Japan what could any opponents of nuclear say? The accident was easily avoidable — merely situate the back up power supply high enough so it would not be swamped by a tsunami which they were warned could happen. Three Mile Island doesn’t mean anything. The Russian accident doesn’t count.
Just target all those financial and social effort resources on going 100% nuclear instead of 50% nuclear (later thermonuclear — it all comes down to making old fashioned steam :-]).
Denis, nuclear is expensive and relies heavily on DOEn money to get the projects off the ground. Were talking billions with a Bah for a two core reactor. The question is where to put the waste and most people freak out about that one. Small solar and wind outfits can slowly build out, which has been the appetite. I do agree that we should 100% throw money into nuclear. It is the cleanest, cheapest(in the long run) way to generate electricity. And I agree, the 3 disasters could have been avoided.
Its mostly the perception problem we have. Nuclear power plants look like oil distillation towers with their ominous cooling towers and infrastructure. It looks down right mean. Now with solar and wind, the depiction is always “look at this green pasture with these cows under these huge windmills, doesn’t that look like a good time?”
One word response to Nuclear: Plutonium
“could have been avoided”
But here in the real world they weren’t avoided.
You really sure the nuclear reactors in Slovakia, South Sudan, and Sri Lanka will be more safely run than the ones in Japan over the next 100 years?
I’m open to nuclear, particularly for the next 50 years. But I’m extremely dubious that in the long run it doesn’t mean there is a very large wikipedia, or whatever, page listing all the cities that have been abandoned for a thousand or ten years while they cool off.
The only country that took nuclear seriously was France, and even they have a fuel recycling problem. They can do one round of reprocessing, then they are stuck. The Super-Phenix breeder reactor has been under development for ages, and it seems no closer to reality.
Meanwhile, wind and solar have been ramping up as low marginal cost power sources. Even better, they can be phased in incrementally for millions or even thousands of dollars. In some ways, it seems like the tortoise and the hare.
Personally, I doubt we could reverse global warming in a meaningful way even if we wanted to. I suppose we could technically, but as developed nations move to wind or solar or even to nuclear power, this keeps fossil fuel prices down. China, with its Belt and Road program, is selling low tech coal plants to less developed nations hungry for electricity. They want as much electricity as they can get and don’t care about pollution, CO2 and other first world problems. If we’re lucky, we might slow or stop global warming, but arctic ice will increasingly be an oddity.
Tend to agree. Weigh the cost differences for us and other advanced nations with developing nations using fossil fuel or developing nations supplying the technology and infrastructure to developing nations to use resulting in less pollution. Is there an over all gain? Should we pass this ability to them and avoid the pollution from their catching up to us?
The physics say we have to go 100% nuclear — how we are going to finance that, what with China and the whole “developing” world pumping coat, etc., I’ve got no idea. Just so we know it’s the only physical way. ???
Don’t know what the disposal problem is — must be because everybody says it. One pound of nuclear fuel (which takes many pounds of raw uranium to make) has the power of 220,000 pounds of coal. If we have been taking all that coal out of deep in the earth for couple of hundred years, shouldn’t that leave some room to put something back? 🙂
If it weren’t for the Japanese accident, nobody would have anything to point to on safety. By the time third world countries get around to nuclear they should be in better shape technically — hopefully.
First and last, I think it comes down to the simple equation: if we reached an unimaginable (?) 50% renewables today, it would only amount to 5% of tomorrow’s need, 100 years from now when the world will need 10X as much power.
“First and last, I think it comes down to the simple equation: ‘if we reached an unimaginable (?) 50% renewables today, it would only amount to 5% of tomorrow’s need, 100 years from now when the world will need 10X as much power.'”
So, we should do nothing as it will still not be enough? You left a dangler allowing the reader to decide.
Of course I support doing whatever will ultimately be insufficient to stave off the bitter end for as long as we can. :-[