Definitions and Some Background: Arctic Oscillation (1)

By: Dr. Ricky Rood , 11:12 PM GMT on August 18, 2013

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Definitions and Some Background: Arctic Oscillation (1)

Every now and then I take an unexpected blogging hiatus because the day job is overwhelming. That’s the last three weeks as the project that I have been working on the past couple of years came to its first major milestone – a workshop on the evaluation of model projections to improve their usability in planning. Plus it is canning season – any good chutney recipes?

During the run up to the workshop, thanks to my expertise in time management, I gave a seminar on the Arctic Oscillation for a National Park Service webinar series “Climate Change in America's National Parks - Post-Sandy Recovery Series I: Storms, Barrier Islands, and Implications for the Atlantic Coastline.” I’m going to spend a few entries going through some the ideas in the presentation. First, however, here is the link to my presentation. It was recorded, but I have not figured out how to post that yet. Also here is a link to the GLISAclimate.org project workspace where I collected together the materials I used in the presentation - Arctic Oscillation: Climate variability in the Great Lakes.

The reason I was asked to give this talk followed from my participation in a planning exercise for Isle Royale National Park. During that planning project the Arctic Oscillation emerged as a topic of special interest. I have written a number of blogs in the past that discussed the Arctic Oscillation, regionally often referred to as the North Atlantic Oscillation, and its role in variability of winter and spring temperatures. We hear about the Arctic Oscillation the most when winters in the eastern half of the United States are cold and snowy. People get excited and start writing that climate change is bogus. I have put just a few of the links to previous blogs at the end.

What is the Arctic Oscillation? Here from the CPC Climate Glossary is the start of the definition of the Arctic Oscillation. “The Arctic Oscillation is a pattern in which atmospheric pressure at polar and middle latitudes fluctuates between negative and positive phases.” I think the definition is a little easier to explain if I focus on the North Atlantic Oscillation and, again from the glossary, “The North Atlantic Oscillation is often considered to be a regional manifestation of the Arctic Oscillation.” In the negative phase of the North Atlantic Oscillation there is higher than average pressure over the pole and lower than average pressure over the North Atlantic, for example, over Iceland. In the positive phase of the North Atlantic Oscillation there is lower than average pressure over the pole and higher than average pressure over the North Atlantic. Going back to the original focus, the Arctic Oscillation, rather than the pressure differences at sub-polar latitudes being over the North Atlantic, they might be over some other place, like the North Pacific. Here is a schematic figure showing the North Atlantic Oscillation from educational material at Lamont-Doherty.



Figure 1: Positive Phase of the North Atlantic Oscillation. from LDEO



Figure 2: Negative Phase of the North Atlantic Oscillation. from LDEO


These changes in the weather pattern have large consequences on the weather in the U.S. When the North Atlantic Oscillation is in its positive phase, the winters in the Mid-Atlantic and Southeastern U.S. are moist and mild. When the North Atlantic Oscillation is in the negative phase, the winter in the same regions of the U.S. are cold and snowy. Though snowy, the actual amount of water that falls from the sky is less than average.

The discussion of the Arctic Oscillation often focuses on the winter and spring because in the U.S. the discussion of weather and climate often over emphasizes what is happening in the Interstate 95 corridor. (Isn’t it great that I-95 has its own website?). However, the Arctic Oscillation is the dominant mode of variability in the Northern Hemisphere middle latitudes, and this is true all of the year. When we say that something is the “dominant mode,” we mean that if we formally measure the variance and then try to describe the variance by recognizable patterns, then the single largest way to describe the variance is with the Arctic Oscillation.

Meteorologists describe the Arctic Oscillation as an atmospheric phenomenon as opposed to a phenomenon that might represent the coupling between the atmosphere and the ocean. The El Nino – La Nina oscillation involves both the atmosphere and ocean. Since the ocean is important, El Nino and La Nina are at least a little bit predictable. The Arctic Oscillation is notoriously difficult to predict.

The reason the Arctic Oscillation took on as much importance as it did in the Isle Royale National Park project was its impact on ecosystems. In the area around Lake Superior, when the Arctic Oscillation is in the positive phase it tends to be warm and dry. There is very little snow. When the Arctic Oscillation is in the negative phase, there are cold air outbreaks from Canada and the likelihood of large snowstorms is higher. If the atmosphere bounces back and forth between the positive and negative phase, then you can imagine a snowstorm followed by a thaw. This stands to change the ebb and flow of the annual water cycle with winter thaws and perhaps winter floods. There might be a lot of snow in the winter, but there is less snow on the ground going into spring. An example of an ecosystem impact is in the forest – if it is warmer and dryer in the spring at peak growth time, this is a major stress on the forest. Next blog a little more on the Arctic Oscillation and temperature.



r

(I will look for new likes on old blogs!)

Confounding Variability: A short blog from the early times.

Bumps and Wiggles (8)Ocean, Atmosphere, Ice, and Land

La Nina and Missouri River Flooding

Jeff Masters Extreme Arctic Oscillation

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1365. philhoey
11:41 AM GMT on September 10, 2013
Dr. Rood - can't help you with the canning this year. What the stink bugs didn't get the deer got. The deer are smart enough to know that in spite of all the noise in the world from two dogs - dogs cannot climb over fences. I guess the deer find the antics of two dogs going nuts to be rather amusing. :)
Member Since: August 25, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 56
1364. WunderAlertBot (Admin)
4:49 AM GMT on September 10, 2013
RickyRood has created a new entry.
1363. SteveDa1
4:08 AM GMT on September 10, 2013
Member Since: October 17, 2006 Posts: 60 Comments: 1297
1362. RevElvis
2:59 AM GMT on September 10, 2013
New Water Plan Could Turn New Orleans Into The Next Amsterdam

If current trends continue, it’s possible that 2013 could end up one of the quieter hurricane seasons in recent years. In coastal Louisiana, however, where parts of New Orleans have yet to be rebuilt after the catastrophe of Hurricane Katrina in 2005, city planners aren’t assuming that this so far mild season is anything like what the future holds.

Last week, Greater New Orleans Inc. — a regional economic development organization — unveiled its Urban Water Plan for Orleans, Jefferson and St. Bernard parishes. The plan re-envisions New Orleans as a flexible, permeable metropolis of canals and ponds, instead of a desperately fortressed city hiding behind higher and higher levies.

In addition to protecting New Orleans from the effects of extreme weather and erosion, the plan could have a major economic impact. GNO, Inc. estimates that full implementation of the Urban Water Plan would result in an $8 billion reduction in flood damages, for example.

For years, New Orleans’ only real strategy for coping with the floodwater that is sure to come when you build a city on swampland between a river and a lake in an area prone to hurricanes, has been to pump — pump more and pump faster. Water pumped out of the city ends up in Lake Pontchartrain. This historical approach is not only expensive, but also increasingly futile in the face of climate change and the predicted increases in sea-level rise and hurricane frequency and intensity.

“Water management doesn’t have to look like a wall a pump or a fence,” Mark Davis, director of the Tulane Institute on Water Resources Law and Policy told a local radio station.

The new approach to storm water management is all about living with water instead of constantly trying to get rid of it —

thinkprogress.org/climate
Member Since: September 18, 2005 Posts: 25 Comments: 948
1361. yoboi
2:47 AM GMT on September 10, 2013
Quoting 1359. JohnLonergan:
I just spotted this a ClimateCrocks:


New Ad Clobbers Keystone Economics

Billionaire climate change activist Tom Steyer is launching a four-part, $1 million ad buy that attacks the proposed Keystone XL oil sands pipeline.

The former hedge fund chief’s first ad, slated to run during today’s political talk shows, alleges Keystone wouldn’t help the U.S. because the oil would be “refined and loaded on ships to be sold overseas to countries like China.”

“Foreign countries will get more access to more oil to make more products to sell back to us, undercutting our economy and our workers,” the ad states.

The Obama administration is weighing whether to grant a cross-border permit for TransCanada Corp.’s pipeline, which would bring oil from Canadian oil sands projects to Gulf Coast refiners.

Keystone pipeline supporters have pushed back against activists’ allegations that Keystone would largely be an export pipeline, either for crude it carries or refined products made with it.



Well of course it will be exported.....they are sinking billions now in swla and setx to start exporting natural gas....
Member Since: August 25, 2010 Posts: 7 Comments: 2323
1360. FLwolverine
2:21 AM GMT on September 10, 2013
Web of life unravelling, wildlife biologist says. Link

Wildlife biologist Neil Dawe says he wouldn't be surprised if the generation after him witnesses the extinction of humanity.

All around him, even in a place as beautiful as the Little Qualicum River estuary, his office for 30 years as a biologist for the Canadian Wildlife Service, he sees the unravelling of "the web of life."

"It's happening very quickly," he says.
Member Since: January 6, 2013 Posts: 3 Comments: 2307
1359. JohnLonergan
1:03 AM GMT on September 10, 2013
I just spotted this a ClimateCrocks:


New Ad Clobbers Keystone Economics

Billionaire climate change activist Tom Steyer is launching a four-part, $1 million ad buy that attacks the proposed Keystone XL oil sands pipeline.

The former hedge fund chief’s first ad, slated to run during today’s political talk shows, alleges Keystone wouldn’t help the U.S. because the oil would be “refined and loaded on ships to be sold overseas to countries like China.”

“Foreign countries will get more access to more oil to make more products to sell back to us, undercutting our economy and our workers,” the ad states.

The Obama administration is weighing whether to grant a cross-border permit for TransCanada Corp.’s pipeline, which would bring oil from Canadian oil sands projects to Gulf Coast refiners.

Keystone pipeline supporters have pushed back against activists’ allegations that Keystone would largely be an export pipeline, either for crude it carries or refined products made with it.
Member Since: June 27, 2012 Posts: 0 Comments: 3126
1358. zampaz
1:02 AM GMT on September 10, 2013
Quoting 1246. yoboi:



I am sure one day it will get there....one positive note most water wells we use are going to electric no more burning diesel to run the wells.....they upgraded the electrical lines in rural communties to support running 3 phaze

I'll bet most commenting never learned how to move an 8 inch irrigation pipe half packed with wet sand.
I had to be taught.

I'm coming late to the "farm debate" but those who think that farming involves casting out a few seeds and hauling in a harvest are not uninformed, they are stupid.

Modern agriculture is based in science and economics of scale. Every farm has its own infrastructure to maintain, and adversaries include weather, pests, disease and global market prices.

The work is back breaking, seasonal and intense even with diesel powered equipment. You have no clue what level of internal infrastructure it takes to keep a farm going at an inconsistent profit if you've never worked on a farm.

We may choose to be "organic" eaters but it is modern agricultural methodology that feeds the world, not just a few families. Farms that can afford to change to a greener infrastructure will as time and money permit but few farmers are in a position financially to modify existing internal infrastructures to a point where "organic" farming is practical.

With fewer food calories of land available for free range cattle and other livestock, diminishing ground water available many areas in the Texas panhandle are becoming less profitable to farm.

Fresh water availability and famine go hand in hand with AGW. In the US corporate farms will be able to survive losses due to increased intermittent regional drought and flooding that family farms cannot. The big fish will eat the little fish.

What's the deal with Syria, why the rebellion? Drought, famine and more money required for fewer food calories. The wise rule by weakening minds and stuffing bellies.
Member Since: February 2, 2011 Posts: 3 Comments: 903
1357. Xandra
12:31 AM GMT on September 10, 2013
From Neven's ASIB:

IPCC crisis meeting

Some eminent journalism experts say that David Rose is a serial liar, in the pay of the GWPF. The latest scam he pulls off with the help of his fellow tribe member Judith Curry is easily debunked by Dana Nuccitelli on his Guardian blog. As always, Rose's propaganda is full of holes and lies by omission, and I wouldn't even have bothered to write this short blog post if it weren't for this gem:

The continuing furore caused by The Mail on Sunday’s revelations – which will now be amplified by the return of the Arctic ice sheet – has forced the UN’s climate change body to hold a crisis meeting.



Why would a rebound from last year's minimum mega-record spur the IPCC on to hold a crisis meeting? The IPCC's stance, after all, is that we won't be seeing an ice-free Arctic for many decades (see this piece I wrote at the end of last year: The real AR5 bombshell). This is very conservative, as even most mainstream cryospheric scientists nowadays go for somewhere after 2030.

Of course, funny as it is, the sad thing is that this kind of propaganda sticks in the minds of people. We could have a new record in the next 3 years, and a lot of people will still think the ice has rebounded because they read Rose's article that's completely devoid of depth or nuance. Work by Larry Hamilton demonstrates how fake skeptics who cried 'recovery' from 2008-2010 still has some folks thinking that Arctic sea ice is recovering. This, of course, is what Rose and the GWPF count on.

Some more debunking on the Econnexus, ClimateCrocks and HotWhopper blogs.
Member Since: November 22, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 1281
1356. yoboi
10:34 PM GMT on September 09, 2013
Quoting 1303. Naga5000:


It was never proven or prosecuted. Why would he make the claim? To push for public opinion over voter ID laws to prevent voter fraud. (SC has recently passed these ultra restrictive laws that limit early voting, eliminate voting on the last Sunday before the election, and require ID when some people cannot afford them, or cannot get them due to lack of documentation (mostly elderly)

Here is a link you may find useful. Link


took some time to read but that was a good article Naga.....why would the AG from SC make such claims I really do not know.....and Looked for voter fraud convictions in that state and the numbers just don't add up...
Member Since: August 25, 2010 Posts: 7 Comments: 2323
1355. FLwolverine
10:28 PM GMT on September 09, 2013
Quoting 1351. Birthmark:

Oh, yeah? Then how did little ice ages end before people put out black carbon? Huh? /sarcasm
Maybe it was the campfires? /sarc
Member Since: January 6, 2013 Posts: 3 Comments: 2307
1354. ScottLincoln
10:15 PM GMT on September 09, 2013
Quoting 1332. galvestonhurricane:


My experience with climate scientists has been meeting/talking with arrogant, pretentious wind bags who give unsubstantiated claims. I'm talking both sides of the climate debate. That's part of the reason why the general public does not care about climate change or any discussion about it. The discussion is marked by misinformation and "scientists" claiming they know exactly what is happening.

It's strange. You just described the very thing you came in here and did. Almost word for word. We could be the meanest people in the world, and it wouldn't change the science one bit. Science is true whether or not you believe, and remains true whether or not you think people are being arrogant to you.

Wait until you become a college educated person and you have people barely out of high school trying to tell you off. You might get a bit bothered to. You'll get there one of these days.

Quoting 1319. galvestonhurricane:


Please provide the published source of the graph...instead of www.woodfortrees.org.

woodfortrees.org takes information that is freely available and performs some simple math functions upon the data as input by the user. Have you used MS Excel before to do simple analyses like linear regression? Same concept.

Real Climate has a great webpage that links to many of the frequently-requested data sources. You will probably find that helpful while trying to locate the various global temperature datasets.
http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/data-sources /
Member Since: September 28, 2002 Posts: 5 Comments: 3159
1353. yoboi
10:12 PM GMT on September 09, 2013
Quoting 1346. Birthmark:

As I recall, it was 'slam dunk' that led us into war.

And I was (rightly) skeptical of those words.


I hear ya....we will be paying for a long time for the clinton era Intel.....
Member Since: August 25, 2010 Posts: 7 Comments: 2323
1352. ScottLincoln
10:09 PM GMT on September 09, 2013
Quoting 1308. galvestonhurricane:
Global warming? No, actually we're cooling, claim scientists
A cold Arctic summer has led to a record increase in the ice cap, leading experts to predict a period of global cooling.


http://www.telegraph.co.uk/earth/environment/clim atechange/10294082/Global-warming-No-actually-were -cooling-claim-scientists.html

Just a friendly warning... this blog thread won't be quite like Dr. Masters' where several other like-minded individuals with limited climate science experience will back you up. It won't just be me correcting issues you are having with atmospheric physics when you post here.

When you get to some upper-level coursework that explains the difference between climate and weather, you are going to feel really silly about the type of stuff you post.

In the meantime, ask questions, be skeptical, learn. That's what your college years are for.
Member Since: September 28, 2002 Posts: 5 Comments: 3159
1351. Birthmark
9:30 PM GMT on September 09, 2013
Quoting 1348. JohnLonergan:
Industrial Revolution likely brought the Little Ice Age to an end

Oh, yeah? Then how did little ice ages end before people put out black carbon? Huh? /sarcasm
Member Since: October 30, 2005 Posts: 7 Comments: 5469
1350. FLwolverine
9:20 PM GMT on September 09, 2013
I was intrigued by one of the paragraphs in the Daily Mail article:

The Northwest Passage from the Atlantic to the Pacific has remained blocked by pack-ice all year. More than 20 yachts that had planned to sail it have been left ice-bound and a cruise ship attempting the route was forced to turn back.

I've been following the travels of a 14 meter sailboat (aka yacht) named Traversay III, one of several boats trying to negotiate the Northwest Passage this summer. Their website is here: Link

In one post, Traversay mentions that sailors in previous years had complained that there wasn't enough ice, so they weren%u2019t getting the true %u201CNorthwest Passage experience%u201D. That wasn%u2019t the case this year. At this website, which more or less keeps track of the boats attempting the Northwest Passage: Link, there%u2019s a status list for the boats. There are a number of question marks: the page is dependent on information from the boats themselves, and as you can imagine, communication from a small boat on the north shore of Canada can sometimes be pretty tricky.

In any event, you can see from this list that the Mail statement is untrue - there are NOT 20 icebound yachts in the Northwest Passage, and in fact several (including Traversay III) have made it into the (corrected to Beaufort, not Bering) Sea on their way to Nome.

I didn%u2019t find anything on the web about a cruise ship being forced to turn back.

I did however find an article from Cruising World, February 2013, about the number of boats which have recently transited the Northwest Passage successfully: Link.

Also, here is an article from the Alaska Dispatch about traffic through the %u201CNorthern Sea Route%u201D: Link with some interesting observations:

If Alaska and the U.S. hope to cash in on the increase in Arctic shipping through the NSR, perhaps the best way to do it is via construction of a deepwater port along the Bering Strait. It%u2019s an idea that%u2019s long been bandied about, though it%u2019s received a boost in the last year with an Army Corps of Engineers study that examined the feasibility of various Alaska communities to host a deep-draft port for Arctic access, and the White House%u2019s %u201CNational Strategy for the Arctic Region,%u201D an outline of U.S. interests in the region.

A deepwater port could benefit the U.S. in a number of ways -- the National Strategy document acknowledges that improved infrastructure in or near the Arctic could advance U.S. security interests and bolster commercial endeavors in the area.

The Army Corps of Engineers determined that Port Clarence, along with the nearby Northwest Alaska community of Nome were the best candidates for such a port. The problem with building a port intended for commercial purposes and not just as a staging area for Coast Guard or U.S. Military assets, though, is a possible lack of demand, Brigham [professor at University of Alaska Fairbanks] said.
Member Since: January 6, 2013 Posts: 3 Comments: 2307
1348. JohnLonergan
8:41 PM GMT on September 09, 2013
Industrial Revolution likely brought the Little Ice Age to an end

Black carbon emissions from industrialization led to increased melting

In the mid-1800s, a peculiar thing happened to the glaciers of the European Alps. Rather than growing as would have been expected given the temperature and precipitation at the time, they began to shrink. Scientists now think that soot from the Industrial Revolution might be to blame for the glaciers’ abrupt retreat.

Between the end of the 13th century and the middle of the 19th century, the glaciers in the European Alps were considerably larger than they are today. Around 1865, they began to retreat rapidly, generally becoming shorter than they had been in the previous 500 years—a retreat that continues to this day. Their retreat marked the end of the Little Ice Age. But according to the temperature and precipitation records, the glaciers should have continued to grow until around 1910. The discrepancy led scientists to consider other factors that weren’t being captured by the climate data.

At about the same time that the Alps’ glaciers were melting, human civilization was going through a massive change: the Industrial Revolution. In Western Europe, this transition began in Great Britain in the mid-18th century, spread to France in the early 19th century, and moved to Germany and the rest of Western Europe by the mid-19th century. Along with the machinery and factories that defined the Industrial Revolution came an increase in emissions of black carbon, which came from coal combustion for industry and the burning of coal and biomass for heating.

In the midst of the intensive industrialization and black carbon emissions stood the Alps. Rail systems were built to parallel existing roads and became more extensive as transport and tourism grew. This greatly expanded the human footprint in the region and brought new emissions into close proximity to the regions’ glaciers. Estimates of historical emissions for Europe show that black carbon emissions increased dramatically after 1850.

Ice cores from high elevations in the Alps reflect the increased black carbon emissions, with an indication of its presence starting between 1850 and 1870 and continuing until well into the 20th century. Scientists from NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory now think these increases in black carbon may be responsible for the glaciers’ retreat that began around 1865.

Glaciers exist in a delicate balance of accumulation of new ice and melting. Each summer, the glacier melts at lower elevations when the snow cover disappears completely, exposing the darker glacier ice to increased energy fluxes, and each winter it accumulates more snow. The difference between accumulation and melt controls whether the glacier grows or shrinks. Snow and ice covered in black carbon, more commonly known as soot, absorb more sunlight, leading to surface warming and increased melting.

Black carbon is now considered the second leading cause of global warming after carbon emissions. Soot’s impact on glacier mass in the mid-19th century pushes back scientists’ understanding of when humans began altering Earth’s climate.





PNAS, 2013. DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1302570110
Member Since: June 27, 2012 Posts: 0 Comments: 3126
1347. Birthmark
8:28 PM GMT on September 09, 2013
Quoting 1344. luvtogolf:


I believe that calling a person a monkey because they have a different scientific view of something could get you and this blog in some hot water.

No one was called a monkey.

There is no other scientific view that is based on the available data and observation. The "skeptics" ignore the vast bulk of data and observation in favor of cherry-picked trivia. That is neither science nor skeptical. But it is a different view, that is true.

It just happens to be baseless and wrong.
Member Since: October 30, 2005 Posts: 7 Comments: 5469
1346. Birthmark
8:25 PM GMT on September 09, 2013
Quoting 1340. yoboi:


Those honest words have lead us into military wars......

As I recall, it was 'slam dunk' that led us into war.

And I was (rightly) skeptical of those words.
Member Since: October 30, 2005 Posts: 7 Comments: 5469
1345. BaltimoreBrian
8:21 PM GMT on September 09, 2013
For galvestonhurricane

Here is the surface temperature chart of the globe made by NASA's Goddard Institute for Space Studies.



And here is a table of global surface temperature changes. Note the new record highs in 2005 and 2010, compared with a base period of 1951-1980
Member Since: August 9, 2011 Posts: 26 Comments: 8550
1344. luvtogolf
8:21 PM GMT on September 09, 2013
Quoting 1343. Xandra:


I believe that calling a person a monkey because they have a different scientific view of something could get you and this blog in some hot water.
Member Since: June 12, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 924
1343. Xandra
8:17 PM GMT on September 09, 2013
Member Since: November 22, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 1281
1342. luvtogolf
8:15 PM GMT on September 09, 2013
Love the chart showing sea ice declines over the past 30 YEARS! I do believe!
Member Since: June 12, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 924
1341. JohnLonergan
7:58 PM GMT on September 09, 2013
From Stanford News:


Stanford scientists calculate the energy required to store wind and solar power on the grid

Conventional grid-scale batteries are fine for solar farms, but technological improvements are needed for efficient storage of wind power, Stanford scientists say.

Renewable energy holds the promise of reducing carbon dioxide emissions. But there are times when solar and wind farms generate more electricity than is needed by consumers. Storing that surplus energy in batteries for later use seems like an obvious solution, but a new study from Stanford University suggests that might not always be the case.

"We looked at batteries and other promising technologies for storing solar and wind energy on the electrical grid," said Charles Barnhart, the lead author of the study and a postdoctoral scholar at Stanford's Global Climate and Energy Project (GCEP).

"Our primary goal was to calculate their overall energetic cost – that is, the total amount of fuel and electricity required to build and operate these storage technologies. We found that when you factor in the energetic costs, grid-scale batteries make sense for storing surplus solar energy, but not for wind."

The study, which is supported by GCEP, is published in the online edition of the journal Energy and Environmental Science.

Climate change and renewable energy

Most electricity in the United States is generated at power plants that run on coal and natural gas – fossil fuels that contribute significantly to global warming by emitting large amounts of carbon dioxide. Solar and wind power are emissions-free and renewable, but depend on sunlight or wind to operate.

"For the grid to function efficiently, power supply needs to match power demand at all times, but with renewables, that's not always the case," Barnhart said. "For example, wind farms sometimes produce too much electricity at night when demand is low. That excess energy has to be stored or used elsewhere. Otherwise it will be lost. However, the U.S. grid has very limited storage capacity."

A wide variety of technologies are being developed to address the lack of grid-scale storage. The Stanford team looked at several emerging technologies, including five battery types – lead-acid, lithium-ion, sodium-sulfur, vanadium-redox and zinc-bromine.

In a previous study, Barnhart calculated the energetic cost of building and maintaining each of the five battery systems for grid-scale storage. Lead-acid batteries had the highest energetic cost, lithium-ion the lowest, he found.

"We calculated how much energy is used over the full lifecycle of the battery – from the mining of raw materials to the installation of the finished device," Barnhart said. "Batteries with high energetic cost consume more fossil fuels and therefore release more carbon dioxide over their lifetime. If a battery's energetic cost is too high, its overall contribution to global warming could negate the environmental benefits of the wind or solar farm it was supposed to support."

For this study, he and his colleagues calculated the energetic cost of grid-scale photovoltaic solar cells and wind turbines.

"Both wind turbines and photovoltaics deliver more energy than it takes to build and maintain them," said GCEP postdoctoral scholar Michael Dale, a co-author of the study. "However, our calculations showed that the overall energetic cost of wind turbines is much lower than conventional solar panels, which require lots of energy, primarily from fossil fuels, for processing silicon and fabricating other components."

To store or curtail?

Next, the scientists looked at the energetic cost of curtailment – the practice of shutting down solar panels and wind turbines to reduce the production of surplus electricity on the grid.

"Curtailment of renewable resources seems wasteful," Barnhart said. "But grid operators routinely curtail wind turbines to avoid a sudden, unexpected surge of excess electricity that could overload transmission lines and cause blackouts. Curtailment rates in the U.S. will likely increase as renewable energy becomes more prevalent."

Shutting down a clean source of electricity seems counterproductive, but is storing surplus energy in batteries a practical alternative?

To find out, the researchers compared the energetic cost of curtailing solar and wind power versus the energetic cost of grid-scale storage. Their calculations were based on a formula known as "energy return on investment" – the amount of energy produced by a technology, divided by the amount of energy it takes to build and maintain that technology.

Using that formula, the researchers calculated that the amount of energy required to create a solar farm is comparable to the energy used to build each of the five battery technologies. "Using batteries to store solar power during periods of low demand would, therefore, be energetically favorable," Dale said.

The results were quite different for wind farms. The scientists found that curtailing wind power reduces the energy return on investment by 10 percent. But storing surplus wind-generated electricity in batteries results in even greater reductions – from about 20 percent for lithium-ion batteries to more than 50 percent for lead-acid.

"Ideally, the energetic cost of curtailing a resource should at least equal the amount of energy it cost to store it," Dale said. "That's the case for photovoltaics, but for wind farms, the energetic cost of curtailment is much lower than for battery storage. Therefore, it would actually be more energetically efficient to shut down a wind turbine than to store the surplus electricity it generates."

He compared it to buying a safe. "You wouldn't spend a $100 on a safe to store a $10 watch," he said. "Likewise, it's not sensible to build energetically expensive batteries for an energetically cheap resource like wind, but it does make sense for photovoltaic systems, which require lots of energy to produce."

Increasing the cycle life of a battery would be the most effective way to improve its energetic performance, Barnhart added. Conventional lithium-ion batteries last about four years, or 6,000 charge-discharge cycles. Lead-acid batteries only last about 700 cycles. To efficiently store energy on the grid, batteries must endure 10,000 to 18,000 cycles, he said.

"Storing energy consumes energy, and curtailing energy wastes it," Barnhart said. "In either case, the result is a reduction in the overall energy return on investment."

Other options

In addition to batteries, the researchers considered other technologies for storing renewable energy, such as pumped hydroelectric storage, which uses surplus electricity to pump water to a reservoir behind a dam. Later, when demand for energy is high, the stored water is released through turbines in the dam to generate electricity.

"Pumped hydro is used in 99 percent of grid storage today, " Barnhart said. "It works fantastically from an energetic perspective for both wind and solar. Its energy return on investment is 10 times better than conventional batteries. But there are geologic and environmental constraints on where pumped hydro can be deployed."

Storage is not the only way to improve grid reliability. "Energy that would otherwise be lost during times of excess could be used to pump water for irrigation or to charge a fleet of electric vehicles, for example," Dale said.

It's important for society to be energy-smart about implementing new technologies, Barnhart added. "Policymakers and investors need to consider the energetic cost as well as the financial cost of new technologies," he said. "If economics is the sole focus, then less expensive technologies that require significant amounts of energy for their manufacture, maintenance and replacement might win out – even if they ultimately increase greenhouse gas emissions and negate the long-term benefits of implementing wind and solar power."

"Our goal is to understand what's needed to build a scalable low-carbon energy system," said co-author Sally Benson, the director of GCEP and a professor of energy resources engineering. "Energy return on investment is one of those metrics that sheds light on potential roadblocks. Hopefully this study will provide a performance target to guide future research on grid-scale energy storage."

Related paper here >>

Member Since: June 27, 2012 Posts: 0 Comments: 3126
1340. yoboi
7:38 PM GMT on September 09, 2013
Quoting 1336. SteveDa1:


That doesn't mean all of them are like that. When I read a paper, an article coming from a respectable source or a book such a "The rough guide to Climate Change" I never get the feeling that they are trying to shovel what they are saying down our throats. I very often notice that they use honest words such as 'likely', 'probable', 'computer models suggest' and so forth...


Those honest words have lead us into military wars......
Member Since: August 25, 2010 Posts: 7 Comments: 2323
1339. Patrap
7:36 PM GMT on September 09, 2013
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 419 Comments: 127375
1338. Xulonn
7:36 PM GMT on September 09, 2013
Quoting 1322. galvestonhurricane:


If you seek to inform "skeptics" about climate change, may I suggest checking sarcasm, arrogance, and haughtiness in at the door?
True skeptics are treated with respect here, but you didn't come here wearing skeptics clothing. Denialists are fair game for sarcasm and snark. I don't think you came here "to be informed" because you came armed with denialist claptrap to post, and not to ask intelligent questions. However, you can change that if you really want to - it's up to you.

You haven't proven yourself to be a skeptic. You charged into the discussion using a totally bogus tabloid news report that has no foundation on which to stand. What you posted was an already rebutted and discredited article that is the current shining light of the AGW/CC denialist network.

Until and unless you back away from the denialist industry and establish yourself as a true skeptic - willing to read hard science and hard science reporting - you will not be able to shake your quickly acquired reputation as an AGW/CC denialist. Whining won't help.
Member Since: June 11, 2012 Posts: 0 Comments: 1396
1337. JohnLonergan
7:34 PM GMT on September 09, 2013
Quoting 1333. SteveDa1:


And sorry if you thought I was being arrogant and scornful. Sadly, I was merely saying the honest truth.


They say "The truth hurts", it especially hurts those who don't want to hear it.
Member Since: June 27, 2012 Posts: 0 Comments: 3126
1336. SteveDa1
7:32 PM GMT on September 09, 2013
Quoting 1332. galvestonhurricane:


My experience with climate scientists has been meeting/talking with arrogant, pretentious wind bags who give unsubstantiated claims. I'm talking both sides of the climate debate. That's part of the reason why the general public does not care about climate change or any discussion about it. The discussion is marked by misinformation and "scientists" claiming they know exactly what is happening.


That doesn't mean all of them are like that. When I read a paper, an article coming from a respectable source or a book such a "The rough guide to Climate Change" I never get the feeling that they are trying to shovel what they are saying down our throats. I very often notice that they use honest words such as 'likely', 'probable', 'computer models suggest' and so forth...
Member Since: October 17, 2006 Posts: 60 Comments: 1297
1335. Patrap
7:31 PM GMT on September 09, 2013
TEN SIGNS OF A WARMING WORLD



Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 419 Comments: 127375
1334. Patrap
7:30 PM GMT on September 09, 2013
Funny the Insurance Moguls Globally and the Pentagon are Investing in Climate Change Science.




But what do they know ?

One Bloggers feelings isn't going to change the Science.









Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 419 Comments: 127375
1333. SteveDa1
7:27 PM GMT on September 09, 2013
Quoting 1322. galvestonhurricane:


If you seek to inform "skeptics" about climate change, may I suggest checking sarcasm, arrogance, and haughtiness in at the door?


And sorry if you thought I was being arrogant and scornful. Sadly, I was merely saying the honest truth.
Member Since: October 17, 2006 Posts: 60 Comments: 1297
1332. galvestonhurricane
7:26 PM GMT on September 09, 2013
Quoting 1328. SteveDa1:


You know, I'm 24 and I only have a high-school diploma (In college now). I have never taken any course on climate change or anything such as that.

Yet, I am almost fully (and rightfully so) informed about Climate Change. The information is out there and there's plenty of it.


My experience with climate scientists has been meeting/talking with arrogant, pretentious wind bags who give unsubstantiated claims. I'm talking both sides of the climate debate. That's part of the reason why the general public does not care about climate change or any discussion about it. The discussion is marked by misinformation and "scientists" claiming they know exactly what is happening.
Member Since: June 18, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 528
1331. yoboi
7:23 PM GMT on September 09, 2013
Quoting 1316. Neapolitan:
I see the site's ignorati continue to pour in to breathlessly share links to the "The ice is growing; the planet is cooling" idiocy published this weekend in the UK, without realizing or caring that we've already seen and commented on the latest eruption of denialsim.

Sigh...

ice



Neap what are your thoughts about solar 25?????
Member Since: August 25, 2010 Posts: 7 Comments: 2323
1330. Birthmark
7:23 PM GMT on September 09, 2013
Quoting 1325. galvestonhurricane:


It doesn't matter. Name-calling doesn't help anything.

Neither does not name-calling, so name-calling becomes merely a matter of preference and circumstance.
Member Since: October 30, 2005 Posts: 7 Comments: 5469
1329. Birthmark
7:21 PM GMT on September 09, 2013
Quoting 1319. galvestonhurricane:


Please provide the published source of the graph...instead of www.woodfortrees.org.

The sources are clearly labeled in the upper left-hand corner of the graph. It is a simple linear trend of the cited data. The trends in the graph are correct.

If you believe those trend lines to be in error, please post what you believe to be the correct trend lines. Otherwise, join the newspaper scientists in fretting over every wiggle in the data. lol
Member Since: October 30, 2005 Posts: 7 Comments: 5469
1328. SteveDa1
7:20 PM GMT on September 09, 2013
Quoting 1322. galvestonhurricane:


If you seek to inform "skeptics" about climate change, may I suggest checking sarcasm, arrogance, and haughtiness in at the door?


You know, I'm 24 and I only have a high-school diploma (In college now). I have never taken any course on climate change or anything such as that.

Yet, I am almost fully (and rightfully so) informed about Climate Change. The information is out there and there's plenty of it.
Member Since: October 17, 2006 Posts: 60 Comments: 1297
1327. yoboi
7:20 PM GMT on September 09, 2013
Quoting 1304. Birthmark:

A guy said something on TV? That's...well, unpersuasive. Where's the documentation? Where are the prosecutions and convictions?

(It should also be noted that SC is one of the most Republican states in the US. It is unlikely that Democrats have the organizational ability to gin up 900 fake votes. They'd be caught instantly.)

IOW, I'm calling TV shenanigans on SC's AG until he makes with the verifiable documentation.


I will see if i can find any cases that were prosecuted...
Member Since: August 25, 2010 Posts: 7 Comments: 2323
1326. yoboi
7:15 PM GMT on September 09, 2013
I did find this on the SC AG website...



Attorney General Wilson Leads Bi-Partisan Group of 21 AGs in
Calling on EPA to Defer Climate Control Regulations
Columbia, S.C. – South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson sent the following letter today to EPA
Administrator Lisa Jackson on behalf of a group of twenty-one (21) bi-partisan Attorneys General from
across the country. The letter calls on the EPA to defer rapid implementation of its greenhouse gas
regulatory program so that Congress can evaluate the need and timing of such regulations.
The immediate consequences of these regulations include a construction ban on a multitude of buildings
including some houses of worship, hospitals, hotels, and retail stores and contain other “absurd results,”
as characterized by the EPA.




Member Since: August 25, 2010 Posts: 7 Comments: 2323
1325. galvestonhurricane
7:13 PM GMT on September 09, 2013
Quoting 1324. SteveDa1:


I'm referring to hard-core denialists like our friend, Mr. Watts.


It doesn't matter. Name-calling doesn't help anything.
Member Since: June 18, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 528
1324. SteveDa1
7:12 PM GMT on September 09, 2013
Quoting 1322. galvestonhurricane:


If you seek to inform "skeptics" about climate change, may I suggest checking sarcasm, arrogance, and haughtiness in at the door?


I'm referring to hard-core denialists like our friend, Mr. Watts.
Member Since: October 17, 2006 Posts: 60 Comments: 1297
1323. Xulonn
7:12 PM GMT on September 09, 2013
Quoting 1316. Neapolitan:
I see the site's ignorati continue to pour in to breathlessly share links to the "The ice is growing; the planet is cooling" idiocy published this weekend in the UK, without realizing or caring that we've already seen and commented on the latest eruption of denialsim.

Sigh...
Ignorati, indeed!

If the denialists here were aware of the magnitude of their ignorance with respect to AGW/CC, they would be very embarrassed.

Today's posts are no exception - the ongoing b.s. Gish-gallop posts that have been slapped down with a heavy doses of facts and reality are truly cringe-worthy.
Member Since: June 11, 2012 Posts: 0 Comments: 1396
1322. galvestonhurricane
7:10 PM GMT on September 09, 2013
Quoting 1321. SteveDa1:


Like I said... they observe and react. Like animals...


If you seek to inform "skeptics" about climate change, may I suggest checking sarcasm, arrogance, and haughtiness in at the door?
Member Since: June 18, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 528
1321. SteveDa1
7:08 PM GMT on September 09, 2013
Quoting 1316. Neapolitan:
I see the site's ignorati continue to pour in to breathlessly share links to the "The ice is growing; the planet is cooling" idiocy published this weekend in the UK, without realizing or caring that we've already seen and commented on the latest eruption of denialsim.

Sigh...

ice


Like I said... they observe and react. Like animals...
Member Since: October 17, 2006 Posts: 60 Comments: 1297
1320. galvestonhurricane
7:07 PM GMT on September 09, 2013
Quoting 1313. FLwolverine:
Asked and answered.

Note: I know you're probably in a great hurry to tell us how wrong we all are, but you really should read the previous comments before posting. Start with #1260.

Cheers.


I'm in no hurry. Just wanted the articles in question addressed. Thanks for pointing me in the right direction.
Member Since: June 18, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 528
1319. galvestonhurricane
7:05 PM GMT on September 09, 2013
Quoting 1318. Birthmark:

Tell these scientists to look at actual data before jumping to conclusions.

img src="">

Now, if there is some relevant and in-context data that refutes the above, just pass it along, please. I'll be most interested to see it. :)


Please provide the published source of the graph...instead of www.woodfortrees.org.
Member Since: June 18, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 528
1318. Birthmark
7:01 PM GMT on September 09, 2013
Quoting 1311. galvestonhurricane:

Tell these scientists to look at actual data before jumping to conclusions.

">

Now, if there is some relevant and in-context data that refutes the above, just pass it along, please. I'll be most interested to see it. :)
Member Since: October 30, 2005 Posts: 7 Comments: 5469
1317. cyclonebuster
6:58 PM GMT on September 09, 2013
Quoting 1311. galvestonhurricane:
And now it's global COOLING! Record return of Arctic ice cap as it grows by 60% in a year
Almost a million more square miles of ocean covered with ice than in 2012 BBC reported in 2007 global warming would leave Arctic ice-free in summer by 2013
Publication of UN climate change report suggesting global warming caused by humans pushed back to later this month

A chilly Arctic summer has left nearly a million more square miles of ocean covered with ice than at the same time last year %u2013 an increase of 60 per cent.

The rebound from 2012%u2019s record low comes six years after the BBC reported that global warming would leave the Arctic ice-free in summer by 2013.

Instead, days before the annual autumn re-freeze is due to begin, an unbroken ice sheet more than half the size of Europe already stretches from the Canadian islands to Russia%u2019s northern shores.


global cooling


The Northwest Passage from the Atlantic to the Pacific has remained blocked by pack-ice all year. More than 20 yachts that had planned to sail it have been left ice-bound and a cruise ship attempting the route was forced to turn back.

Some eminent scientists now believe the world is heading for a period of cooling that will not end until the middle of this century %u2013 a process that would expose computer forecasts of imminent catastrophic warming as dangerously misleading.

The disclosure comes 11 months after The Mail on Sunday triggered intense political and scientific debate by revealing that global warming has %u2018paused%u2019 since the beginning of 1997 %u2013 an event that the computer models used by climate experts failed to predict.

In March, this newspaper further revealed that temperatures are about to drop below the level that the models forecast with %u201890 per cent certainty%u2019.

The pause %u2013 which has now been accepted as real by every major climate research centre %u2013 is important, because the models%u2019 predictions of ever-increasing global temperatures have made many of the world%u2019s economies divert billions of pounds into %u2018green%u2019 measures to counter climate change.

Those predictions now appear gravely flawed.


THERE WON'T BE ANY ICE AT ALL! HOW THE BBC PREDICTED CHAOS IN 2007



Only six years ago, the BBC reported that the Arctic would be ice-free in summer by 2013, citing a scientist in the US who claimed this was a %u2018conservative%u2019 forecast. Perhaps it was their confidence that led more than 20 yachts to try to sail the Northwest Passage from the Atlantic to the Pacific this summer. As of last week, all these vessels were stuck in the ice, some at the eastern end of the passage in Prince Regent Inlet, others further west at Cape Bathurst.


Shipping experts said the only way these vessels were likely to be freed was by the icebreakers of the Canadian coastguard. According to the official Canadian government website, the Northwest Passage has remained ice-bound and impassable all summer.


The BBC%u2019s 2007 report quoted scientist Professor Wieslaw Maslowski, who based his views on super-computer models and the fact that %u2018we use a high-resolution regional model for the Arctic Ocean and sea ice%u2019.


He was confident his results were %u2018much more realistic%u2019 than other projections, which %u2018underestimate the amount of heat delivered to the sea ice%u2019. Also quoted was Cambridge University expert

Professor Peter Wadhams. He backed Professor Maslowski, saying his model was %u2018more efficient%u2019 than others because it %u2018takes account of processes that happen internally in the ice%u2019.


He added: %u2018This is not a cycle; not just a fluctuation. In the end, it will all just melt away quite suddenly.%u2019
..

BBC


The continuing furore caused by The Mail on Sunday%u2019s revelations %u2013 which will now be amplified by the return of the Arctic ice sheet %u2013 has forced the UN%u2019s climate change body to hold a crisis meeting.

The UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) was due in October to start publishing its Fifth Assessment Report %u2013 a huge three-volume study issued every six or seven years. It will now hold a pre-summit in Stockholm later this month.

Leaked documents show that governments which support and finance the IPCC are demanding more than 1,500 changes to the report%u2019s %u2018summary for policymakers%u2019. They say its current draft does not properly explain the pause.

At the heart of the row lie two questions: the extent to which temperatures will rise with carbon dioxide levels, as well as how much of the warming over the past 150 years %u2013 so far, just 0.8C %u2013 is down to human greenhouse gas emissions and how much is due to natural variability.




More...
Ready for lift-off: Virgin's SS2 spacecraft reaches the STRATOSPHERE - and carrier confirms that commercial space flights are 'on track' for 2014
'One small step towards a brighter future for all': Kirobo goes down in history by becoming the first robot to talk in space
Riddle of the African 'fairy circles' solved? Patches of barren land are down to grasses competing for water, claims scientist


In its draft report, the IPCC says it is %u201895 per cent confident%u2019 that global warming has been caused by humans %u2013 up from 90 per cent in 2007.



This claim is already hotly disputed. US climate expert Professor Judith Curry said last night: %u2018In fact, the uncertainty is getting bigger. It%u2019s now clear the models are way too sensitive to carbon dioxide. I cannot see any basis for the IPCC increasing its confidence level.%u2019

She pointed to long-term cycles in ocean temperature, which have a huge influence on climate and suggest the world may be approaching a period similar to that from 1965 to 1975, when there was a clear cooling trend. This led some scientists at the time to forecast an imminent ice age.

Professor Anastasios Tsonis, of the University of Wisconsin, was one of the first to investigate the ocean cycles. He said: %u2018We are already in a cooling trend, which I think will continue for the next 15 years at least. There is no doubt the warming of the 1980s and 1990s has stopped.


Then... NASA satelite images showing the spread of Artic sea ice 27th August 2012
Then... NASA satelite images showing the spread of Artic sea ice 27th August 2012



...And now, much bigger: The spread of Artic sea ice on August 15 2013
...And now, much bigger: The same Nasa image taken in 2013





%u2018The IPCC claims its models show a pause of 15 years can be expected. But that means that after only a very few years more, they will have to admit they are wrong.%u2019



Others are more cautious. Dr Ed Hawkins, of Reading University, drew the graph published by The Mail on Sunday in March showing how far world temperatures have diverged from computer predictions. He admitted the cycles may have caused some of the recorded warming, but insisted that natural variability alone could not explain all of the temperature rise over the past 150 years.

Nonetheless, the belief that summer Arctic ice is about to disappear remains an IPCC tenet, frequently flung in the face of critics who point to the pause.

Yet there is mounting evidence that Arctic ice levels are cyclical. Data uncovered by climate historians show that there was a massive melt in the 1920s and 1930s, followed by intense re-freezes that ended only in 1979 %u2013 the year the IPCC says that shrinking began.

Professor Curry said the ice%u2019s behaviour over the next five years would be crucial, both for understanding the climate and for future policy. %u2018Arctic sea ice is the indicator to watch,%u2019 she said.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2415191/G lobal-cooling-Arctic-ice-caps-grows-60-global-warm ing-predictions.html



LOL! Global cooling where is it? The past 7 years I don't see it....




.
Member Since: January 2, 2006 Posts: 127 Comments: 20390
1316. Neapolitan
6:57 PM GMT on September 09, 2013
I see the site's ignorati continue to pour in to breathlessly share links to the "The ice is growing; the planet is cooling" idiocy published this weekend in the UK, without realizing or caring that we've already seen and commented on the latest eruption of denialsim.

Sigh...

ice
Member Since: November 8, 2009 Posts: 4 Comments: 13442
1315. Naga5000
6:56 PM GMT on September 09, 2013
Quoting 1312. yoboi:



thanks for the link naga i will give it a read....


Please do. This is something I worked passionately on for long hours for too little money. The amount of actual fraud is absurdly low and mainly comes post voting.
Member Since: June 1, 2010 Posts: 4 Comments: 3216

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About RickyRood

I'm a professor at U Michigan and lead a course on climate change problem solving. These articles often come from and contribute to the course.

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