Fluctuating Atlantic … German Experts Say “Things Could Become Very Bitter For The IPCC Forecast Models”!

The latest post by Frank Bosse and Fritz Vahrenholt looks at solar cycle 24 in January, and the climate impacts of the North Atlantic. The two authors write that the IPCC models may be in for a bitter surprise.
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The sun in January 2015 and Atlantic prognoses

By Frank Bosse and Prof. Fritz Vahrenholt
(Translated, edited by P Gosselin)

Solar report January 2015

Last month the sun reached a sunspot number of 67.0 and thus was once again below normal in activity: It reached 85% of what is normal for the particular cycle month.

Fig. 1: The mean activity of the sun since systematic observations have been conducted is shown in blue and the current cycle (24th cycle, red), along with the relatively similar Cycle No. 1 of 260 years ago.

The red curve shows that the sunspot maximum is now over. Up to now that was not so easy to identify because instead of the usual pronounced maximum (compared to the mean curve in Fig. 1), there have been two peaks with a pronounced dip between them.

Observation of the sun’s polar magnetic fields brings certainty rather than guesses. We reported on this in detail before the end of the year. In short the polar fields have a zero polarity during the solar sunspot maximum. The difference of north polar field and south polar field is zero, yet it can occur often when the fields do not reverse at the same time. During the current cycle the fluctuation about the zero line was quite intense:

Figure 2: The difference between the polar fields of the sun, source: leif.org.

The zero value was first approached in fall 2012, in early summer 2013, and again at the beginning of 2014. The maximum dragged on for some 15 months. But now the trend appears to be clearly away from zero and the maximum to be behind us for good. The month with the highest activity was month no. 63 of the cycle, February 2014, with a SSN= 102.8.

We are seeing an unusually weak cycle with a delayed start and delayed maximum. Another thing is noteworthy: The polar fields are building up only very slowly, especially the solar north pole is dipping as before close to zero. Could that be an indication of an even weaker cycle to follow? It is still too early to determine this, but we will know in a few years. What follows is a comparison of all the cycles:

Fig. 3: The summed deviations from the mean value (blue in Fig. 1) for all cycles for all months up to the current one. The right bar in Fig. 3 is growing deeper into negative territory. This indicates a strongly reduced solar activity since approx. 2006.

North Atlantic harboring a bitter surprise?

As some readers may recall, we reported earlier here on the North Atlantic and we suspected that a relatively significant reduction in the Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation (AMOC) could be in the pipeline. Since then there have been additional mesurements of this near surface warm current, which impacts the Atlantic part of the Northern Hemisphere and to some extent other large regions of the Northern hemisphere. Our earlier prognoses are now confirmed:

Fig. 4: The AMOC strength between 2004 and spring 2014. Source: climate-lab-book.ac.uk.

It is the decisive element that controls the AMO, and probably the approximately 65-year temperature oscillation. Earlier it had been positive, the transition from negative to a positive phase precisely coincides with the time frame that most climate models were parameterized: between 1975 and 2004.

Fig.5: The AMO since 1870, Source: climatedataguide.ucar.edu. The signal is determined by measuring surface temperatures of the entire North Atlantic and the deviation from the linear long-term trend. The AMO thus expresses an internal variability.

The additional added heat from the variable oscillation may have led to the models having calculated an excessive forcing from greenhouse gases, just as the AMO will also not be accounted for in the newest CMIP5 models when it comes to the global and northern hemisphere temperatures.

Getting back to the AMOC, if it weakens, it will lead to a falling heat content in the North Atlantic at depths from 0 to 700 meters and so less heat getting conveyed towards the North Pole. This is precisely what has been observed since 2007:


Fig. 6: The heat content of the upper 700 meters in the region of impact of the AMOC, Chart source: Climate Explorer.

It is highly likely that the focus of the AMOC-effect can be found in the sub-polar gyre, which is a relatively small area of the sea in the North Atlantic located off the southern tip of Greenland: 45°N…60°N; 50°W…20W°. Here we are seeing truly dramatic events:

Fig. 7:  The heat content of water between 300 meters depth and 125 m of the sub-polar circulation. The depth limit was chosen in order to exclude falsifications from the effects of atmospheric processes. (Image source: Argo Marine Atlas)

Beginning in the spring of 2014 (after the end of the available direct measurement in Fig. 4) we see the occurrence of a steep drop. Also the forecast of the British Met Office for the next years is now taking this development into account and foresees with some certainty for the next ten years global temperatures at the lower end of the models’ ranges. It is also stated very carefully that a temperature stall could occur over the next 10 years, which for the models would be a real large-scale catastrophe. Just as we wrote back in January, 2014:

The AMO] is not accounted for in the IPCC models and would limit the trend rise in global temperatures since the beginning of the impact of greenhouse gases to about 1°K/ century.  How much longer will we have to wait before the IPCC finally accepts the multidecadal oscillations, as it already has here and is shown in other works?”

The North Atlantic is indeed a special region and could contribute much to understanding our climate. Also a greater impact by the sun than what has been considered up to now would be possible. A new paper by authors in China and Scandinavia examined high resolution proxy summer temperature data from northern Iceland and came to the result that the fluctuations there over the last 3500 years correspond to solar activity, and do so significantly over long time frames (centuries and millennia).

Fig. 8: The coincidence between North Atlantic summer temperatures and solar activity in the gray range over the last 3500 years (top), with the correlation (middle) and significance (bottom – the lower the p -value, the greater the certainty) of the relationship . Source: Figure 5 of the above-mentioned paper.

When one looks very closely at Fig. 8, one sees a time delay in temperature with respect to solar activity characteristic numbers. And when one now looks at Figure 3 of post and notice the especially high activity until the end of the 1980s and the rather dramatic drop afterwards, what do you think the solar drive will do to the Atlantic temperatures?

Things could become very bitter for the IPCC forecast models! With much excitement we look forward to how the climate unfolds.

 

German Experts: New Paper By Gleisner Shows 2013 Cowtan And Way Arctic Data Hole Paper Was A Lemon

German experts Sebastian Lüning and Fritz Vahrenholt tell at their Die kalte Sonne site us why the 2013 Cowtan and Way paper has proven to be a flop.
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Failed spectacularly: Arctic data hole theory for the warming pause collapses
By Sebastian Lüning and Fritz Vahrenholt
(Translated, edited by P Gosselin)

For quite some time climate scientists have been desperately seeking an explanation for the unexpected warming pause. On November 15, 2013 in the Süddeutsche Zeitung Christopher Schrader declared that the solution had been found: There was no pause; the data had only been missing from the Arctic.

Climate change without pause
According to the data, the earth had not warmed over the past years. However, this impression is likely related to missing data from the Arctic. And there the temperature appears to have risen much more strongly than the global average.[…] These [temperature] measurements have large holes: Approximately one sixth of the earth is not covered. Foremost in the Arctic there are not enough thermometers. But according to all signs it is warming considerably more quickly than the rest of the planet. An English and a Canadian scientist now show how this hole can be closed up with estimated values and how the supposed warming pause practically disappears. Kevin Cowtan of the University of York and Robert Way of the University of Ottawa refer to satellite data. […] Thus ultimately Cowtan and Way arrived at the result that the Arctic warmed eight times faster than the rest of the planet. Before that it had been thought that it was warming three times faster.”

Unfortunately Schrader did not mention that the two scientists were climate activists who were close to the IPCC-friendly Internet platform Skeptical Science. Yet, he still was unable to let slip out a couple of critical words about the two authors:

However the process is too complicated in order to find widespread recognition. Doubt will be stirred up among many because both authors have no name in climate science. Kevin Cowtan is a theoretical physicist and computer specialist at the Department of Chemistry at his University. Robert Way is still busy writing his doctorate dissertation.

It’s been a full year since the appearance of the dubious paper by Cowtan and Way, one that was highly praised by Stefan Rahmstorf. So just how was this pioneering paper received by the science community? On January 29, 2015 the answer from their colleagues appeared in the Geophysical Research Letters. The dodgy Arctic data fill-in model has failed spectacularly and has been soundly rejected. The answer to the pause is not to be found in the Arctic as Cowtan and Way suspected, rather it is to be found at the lower geographical geographical latitudes, as a team of scientists of the Danish Meteorological Institute in Copenhagen led by Hans Gleisner reports in a new publication. What follows is the paper’s abstract:

Recent global warming hiatus dominated by low-latitude temperature trends in surface and troposphere data
Over the last 15 years, global mean surface temperatures exhibit only weak trends. Recent studies have attempted to attribute this so called temperature hiatus to several causes, amongst them incomplete sampling of the rapidly warming Arctic region. We here examine zonal mean temperature trends in satellite-based tropospheric data sets (based on data from (Advanced) Microwave Sounding Unit and Global Navigation Satellite System Radio Occultation instruments) and in global surface temperatures (HadCRUT4). Omission of successively larger polar regions from the global mean temperature calculations, in both tropospheric and surface data sets, shows that data gaps at high latitudes cannot explain the observed differences between the hiatus and the prehiatus period. Instead, the dominating causes of the global temperature hiatus are found at low latitudes. The combined use of several independent data sets, representing completely different measurement techniques and sampling characteristics, strengthens the conclusions.

Joe Bastardi Schools Dr. Michael Mann On How To Read A Weather Chart … Heavy Snow “Is Because It’s Cold”

The Northeast USA is being socked by frightful cold and massive snow. The brutal New England winters are back and now we are witnessing last ditch efforts by disgraced climate scientists to blame the brutally cold winters on a warming planet (which in reality has not warmed in 18 years).

At his latest Saturday Summary at WeatherBell Analytics, chief meteorologist Joe Bastardi delivers a stinging critique of Michael Mann’s recent claims: “Sea surface temperatures off the coast of New England right now are at record levels, 11.5C (21F) warmer than normal in some locations.” Mann also claimed there’s two times more moisture in this warm air, and thus is responsible for the turbocharged snowy icebox winter Boston has been experiencing.

At his Saturday Summary Joe thoroughly demolishes these claims.

Falsehood 1: It’s 11.5°C warmer than normal “off Cape Cod”

Joe calls Mann’s assertions a mistake, and shows that the area of warm sea surface water “off the coast of Cape Cod” is in fact way off the coast. At the 2:25 mark Joe shows how the waters along the eastern seaboard “are close to normal” and that a small patch of 3°C above normal water is some 1000 kilometers off the coast, and that a larger patch of 5°C above normal water is in fact 2000 kilometers off the coast (see following figure):

SatSum 14 Feb 2015

Dr. Mann’s warm water is in fact 2000 kilometers “off the coast”. Cropped from WeatherBELL.

Joe tells his viewers, and Dr. Mann, at the 3.00 mark:

There’s no way that that moisture is getting fed back into New England.”

Climatologists need to learn how to read a weather chart

So why would a climatologist like Mann make such an absurd claim? Joe tells us that a climatologist making a statement does not understand how the weather works, and advises them to first learn how to read a weather chart (2:15) before making such statements.

Falsehood 2: Heavy snow due to warm sea surfaces

The real reason it snowed so much over New England, Joe explains, is because of the “tremendous horizontal temperature gradient” in the area where extremely cold Arctic air clashes with normal temperature maritime air (3:30). It’s the cold, stupid!

At 5:27 Joe explains:

Where this storm was embedded, it’s cooler. You cannot use the argument that we use for warm eddies, and hurricanes where we see some blow up over the warm eddy. You can’t use that with these.”

Falsehood 3: Two times higher water vapor in the air

At the 5:45 mark the veteran Penn State graduate meteorologist shows the water vapor situation in the region where the storm developed:

During this time of the snow blitz over New England, the mixing ratios, which is the water vapor, is below normal! It’s below normal! It’s not above normal! In the area that we’re targeting, this period that we’re looking at, that had all this snow, is below normal.”

Snow (surprise!) is due to cold

The reason why water vapor is so low is “because it’s so darn cold”. The heavy snowfalls are related to the extreme cold, and not the unrelated warm patch 2000 kilometers “off Cape Cod” (6:10).

At the 7:47 mark Joe summarizes on warmist climatolgists’ claims:

If they’d looked at this, they would have seen how bogus their argument is. There is nothing above normal in that area. What happened was that it was so darn cold that it creates a very strong horizontal temperature gradient. […] It’s not because it’s so much warmer and humid off the eastern seaboard; it’s the exact opposite reason in this particular case. […] It’s because it’s cold.”

At the 9:30 mark Joe shows a chart of the AMO which that he says “has major implications“. The AMO has dipped sharply downwards, and although the current PDO is warm, it will turn colder within a couple of years. Implication: don’t expect global warming anytime soon.

Also Joe explains how cold winters across the United States are predominantly dependent on the ENSO. In years of El Nino spikes, US winters do greatly tend to be colder.

In summary this year’s brutal New England winter has nothing to do with the bogus, made-up explanations being served up by climatologists who are desperate to salvage their disgraced science.

 

Habitual Offender…Germany’s Wind And Solar Power Go AWOL Third Time In Less Than 30 Days!

Wintertime is when people especially need reliable power for their homes, living and workplaces – especially in a northern country like Germany.

Unfortunately wind and solar power just aren’t able to come through and deliver when the chips are down.

Agora_30 days 14 Jan to 14 Feb 2015
The above chart shows German power supply by the various sources available and demand over the last 30 days. The lion’s share of Germany’s installed renewable energy (wind and sun) went just about completely AWOL three times during the period. Chart source: Agora.
Dark blue – conventional power (fossil and nuclear)
Medium blue – wind
Yellow – solar
Green – biomass

Germany today has a combined installed wind and solar capacity of close to 80,000 MW (see chart below). But as the chart above shows, often they put out only a tiny, measly percentage of that.

Germany renewable enery sun wind 2013

Germany installed sun and wind capacity (2013). Source Wikipedia.

And on the seldom occasions when the sun and wind do both happen to be in supply at near full capacity, the power grid gets severely overloaded, conventional power plants have to throttled, massive amounts of surplus energy need to be dumped at negative prices in foreign countries, power plants have to shut down (and lose money), yet can never be taken off line. Overall the German energy production system system is market hostile where demand is ignored and supply is uncontrolled.

Recently, German energy giant E.ON announced it is getting out of conventional power generation business altogether: too risky and no foreseeable profits in the future.

Former German Economics Minister and socialist party honcho Wolfgang Clement calls the German Energiewendea disaster“.

in a recent stinging op-edpiece, environmentalist centre-left Die Zeit called the Energiewende “a blunder with ugly consequences“.

Renewable energy expert Prof. Fritz Vahrenholt recently called Germany’s energy policy “suicidal”.

Late last year, German Vice Chancellor and socialist party leader Sigmar Gabriel called the mad rush to green energies “ruinous” and said “others think we’ve lost our marbles“.

Overall in Europe wind puts out on average a measly less than 15% of its installed rated capacity.

Much of Germany’s solar system manufacturing, which in its heady days employed tens of thousands, have shuttered their operations – leaving a silicon rust belt in its wake and tens of thousands of disillusioned workers.

To top it all off, Germany’s coal consumption has risen, and not fallen as green energy proponents hoped.

But don’t expect to read this at Winston’s Wikipedia, or to hear any of it from Europe’s green energy swindlers.

 

A Look At The Utopian Minds Of Environmentalists Shows Derangement, Confusion And Reality-Disconnect

of the UK online Spectator presents a highly interesting portrait of environmentalist, doomsday-believer Dylan Evans and his Utopia Experiment. Lewis concludes from it: “Designs for living always end in tears, or worse.”

So disconnected from reality was Evans, and academic, that he believed he could actually make himself a better life departing the comforts of the modern age and getting back to the natural beauty of raw survival with other like-minded persons – in the raw climate of northern Scotland of all places.

Strangely Evans selected a site that he thought would allow the generation of electric power to accompany his natural living.

Some excerpts on how his “Experiment” turned out:

Evans admits that his utopia was doomed to failure. It attracted only idealists and disaffected romantics when what was needed were people with practical skills… […]

…the small group began to disintegrate. One member even started to invent his own religion, building a shrine. […]

He himself was soon fed up with sleeping under rancid fleece blankets  … the sanitary arrangements were grotesque. […]

It soon became apparent that ‘the whole experiment had been a huge mistake’. […]

Evans was eventually detained under the Mental Health Act in a maximum security psychiatric hospital. […]

He fretted unduly about global warming and ‘the looming energy crisis’… Evans, the doctors concluded, was already craving the abyss and in the throes of panic-attacks and a breakdown.”

If the story of Evans tells us anything, it is that it vividly illustrates how far out to lunch academics in the ivory towers can sometimes become. Why on earth would policymakers ever listen to their loony utopian ideas to begin with? Evans just proved that its all lunacy.

Evans and the loads of past academics show that their radical formulae for rendering utopian life are pure delusions of deranged minds. Yet these are precisely the minds behind the doomsday global warming scenarios, and the advocacy of a carbon-free utopia.

The proof that these minds are deranged is the fact that none, except for Evans for a brief time, are willing to give up the carbon life themselves. Man was destined to escape nature, and not to stay at its mercy.

Finally one cannot help but notice the contempt loony academics and pseudo-intellectual journalists hold for humans. Lewis writes;

It’s best to muddle along as we are, not because human beings are morons or suckers, or traitors to the cause, but because life is meant to be messy, muddled, contrary, comic.”

Actually, as Evans clearly illustrates, the real morons are the academics and all the gullible media and policymaker idiots who believe the utopia that they preach. At least there is hope for Lewis as well, who seems to grudgingly concede that maybe the current system isn’t so bad after all and sure beats living in the cold mud.

 

Government (Junk) Science Advances 100 Million Funerals At A Time

According to University of California pediatric endocrinologist Robert Lustig, the US had 6 million “seriously overweight” kids in 2001. Since then that number has skyrocketed to over 20 million.

Worldwide there are 366 million people with diabetes. By 2030, if trends are not curbed, 165 million Americans will be obese and by 2050 100 million will have diabetes. Lustig calls it “a standard pandemic” The related health costs will be astronomical – and unaffordable. No modern civilization can survive that.

Tragically these are the numbers that were necessary to finally get the US government to concede that its longstanding dietary guidelines (once solidly and irrefutably confirmed by the “vast consensus of scientific experts”) had been severely flawed for decades. Read here and here.

Why did it take so damn long for the government to wake up? It gets down to obstinate egomaniacal scientists, greedy food and pharmaceutical industries, and governments corrupted by the same industries. See here.

Because established scientists have a long habit of insisting their pet theories are right and scoff at those who challenge them, renowned German physicist Max Planck once wisely remarked, “Science advances one funeral at a time.” he noticed that false theories don’t die until their founders do. Sadly, as the case of nutritional sciences shows, hundreds of millions of people have gotten or are about to get early funerals. Hence, government science advances 100 million funerals at a time. Such is now the case with the science concerning saturated fats and human health.

The very same tragedy has begun in earnest in climate science today. Just as the saturated fat theory was founded on the junk science and phony 7-Country chart of Ancel Keys, the CO2 global warming theory was founded on the junk science of NASA scientist James Hansen and the dubious hockey stick graph of Michael E. Mann. And just as dissenters were ignored, marginalized and cut off from funding in the nutritional sciences, so are skeptic global warming scientists experiencing the same today. And just as a consensus among all scientists was claimed endorsing the saturated fat theory (fully backed by the National Academy of Sciences and virtually every American medical association), an illusionary 97% consensus is also being claimed in climate science today. And just as the American Dietary Guidelines were promoted and made official by a Democrat Presidential loser candidate (George McGovern), the global warming science and proposed energy dietary guidelines are being promoted today by Democrat Presidential loser candidate Al Gore. The parallels between the two sciences indeed could not be more stunning.

It would be nice if the parallels ended there, but it is unlikely they will. Just as the case has been with the saturated fat theory, the CO2 climate change theory now risks killing hundreds of millions in the future – thanks to energy poverty and starvation. Without energy, people die horrible deaths from exposure.

All of this could be avoided, of course, if only governments were honest in their interpretation of climate data and stopped making up excuses for colder and colder  winters, and 18 years of zero warming. Unfortunately that does not appear likely to happen anytime soon. Tragically it’ll probably take tens of millions of unnecessary premature deaths resulting from energy deprivation to get the governments to realize they have made a horrible mistake. Instead of making a course correction on the climate issue, the US government, led by NASA, is now altering the historical temperature data in a manner that would even make Ancel Keyes blush.

People can argue about the impacts of faulty science on human life. But one thing cannot be argued: Truth leads to life; lies lead to death.

Clearly the US policy will likely have to see another 100 million or so early funerals before it allows climate science to advance.

 

German Climate Group Discussion To Focus On 2014 Global Temperature: “No Evidence Of An Especially Warm 2014″

German climate science critical group Klimakontroverse.de is holding its next meeting at the Freizeitheim Linden in Hannover, Germany, 19 February, at 7:30 pm.

The group regularly has meetings on climate and is known for taking the discussions directly to the public, but doing so with respect, courtesy and politeness. It writes:

The main topic of the next meeting is the reliability of the temperature measurements. There’s the frightening suspicion that NASA (GISS) has manipulated the temperatures upwards. How much of this is true?

At the last meeting we discussed the topic of 2014 being the warmest year in Germany and worldwide since records began.

Short summary:

Germany: Despite the warmest year since records began, the overall trend shows no increasing temperature, (see 1 and 2), over which the German DWD Weather Service has yet to inform the public.

Globe: 2014 was a warm year, like 2010, but it was the warmest with only 38% certainty. The Met Office in Great Britain has even distanced itself from the claim that it has been the warmest ever because the temperature was only 0.02°C above the old record, which is well within the range of uncertainty (Met Office).

Satellite measurements show no evidence of an especially warm 2014 (UAH).

The warm temperatures of 2014 were weather and therefore do not symbolize any temperature trend. The stagnation in global temperature persists.

Satellite measurements by RSS: No temperature increase in 18 years:

2015.01.07_RSS_Monckton_76ed32e8c1_1

Source: The huge stop extends once again.

If you have questions about climate or energy, we’ll gladly answer them.

The discussion is easy to follow and an open discussion that includes varying points of views are at the forefront, and will remain the most important characteristic of this initiative.

Those interested in joining the Hannover discussion are welcome to contact (in English if you prefer): Achim Fahnenschild: info@KlimaKontroverse.de.

 

The Frigid Winters Of Global Warming: “Uncompromising Cold” … “Conditions That May Be Recalled For Generations”

How often have we heard the older folks reminiscing about good old fashioned New England winters we used to get 50 years ago? Well, they’re back.

Ironically today’s winters are in fact so tough that journalist Jason Samenow of the online Washington Post here predicts that we may remember the current one “for generations“.

A “severe cold” is set to blast the eastern U.S. later in the week. And bitter cold is projected to persist well into March.

The WaPo writes that “parts of New England could witness its coldest air in years” and that frosty conditions will dip “into central and parts of south Florida“.

According to the WaPo, the cold “can be traced to the polar vortex” coming from the North Pole regions, and that the winter will likely leave a deep imprint in our minds:

For areas of New England buried under multiple feet of snow, the added element of uncompromising cold will present extreme mid-winter conditions that may be recalled for generations.

Cold plunging from the North Pole deep into the middle latitudes normally means the polar air gets replaced, usually by warmer air from the south. Yet Arctic regions are also seeing polar vortex-like cold effects, with places in Alaska dipping close to -60°F, writes the WaPo.

The cold that is to grip the US east coast is set to come in two waves. The second wave will originate in Siberia, says the WaPo, and temperatures will be at levels that are 30°F below normal along the entire east coast of the US, with bitter cold literally effecting more than 100 million people.

Source: Weatherbell Analytics

Scientists are baffled by the recent severe cold winters that have struck North America. Ten years ago, when North America saw balmy winters, scientists were trumpeting cold and snowy winters as those of the 1960s and 70s, were “a thing of the past“. Now these old fashioned winters are back from the photo albums and the same red-faced scientists are now claiming these are global-warming frigid winters.

The truth and reality are that this has nothing to do with global warming, but has everything to do with natural cycles…the very ones that have sent global warming packing for 18 years.

Scientists have yet to explain how one distinguishes between a global-warming frigid winter and one that is an old fashioned cold one. Both are the same and arecaused by the same thing: predominant pattern of Arctic air dipping far south for the greater part of the winter season.

 

Long List Of Warmist Organizations, Scientists Haul In Huge Money From BIG OIL And Heavy Industry!

Reader Jimbo left a comment which I’ve upgraded to a post.

Below he presents a list of 25 examples where climate alarmism organizations and scientists were more than happy to take in big money from Big Oil and industry. Even Michael Mann (Example no. 19) benefitted from the Koch Brothers!

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By reader Jimbo

We are often called fossil fuel funded climate change deniers. So you can imagine my shock when I came across these past and present takers of fossil fuel money. Imagine if skeptics hauled in such money.

1. Climate Research Unit (CRU)
History

From the late 1970s through to the collapse of oil prices in the late 1980s, CRU received a series of contracts from BP to provide data and advice concerning their exploration operations in the Arctic marginal seas. Working closely with BP’s Cold Regions Group, CRU staff developed a set of detailed sea-ice atlases,

This list is not fully exhaustive, but we would like to acknowledge the support of the following funders (in alphabetical order):
British Petroleum…Greenpeace International…Reinsurance Underwriters and Syndicates…Sultanate of OmanShell……

2. Sierra Club
TIME – 2 February 2012

Exclusive: How the Sierra Club Took Millions From the Natural Gas Industry
TIME has learned that between 2007 and 2010 the Sierra Club accepted over $25 million in donations from the gas industry, mostly from Aubrey McClendon, CEO of Chesapeake Energy—one of the biggest gas drilling companies in the U.S. and a firm heavily involved in fracking…”

3. Delhi Sustainable Development Summit
[Founded by Teri under Dr. Rajendra Pachauri chairman of the IPCC]

2011: Star Partner – Rockefeller Foundation
2007: Partners – BP
2006: Co-Associates – NTPC [coal and gas power generation] | Function Hosts – BP
2005: Associate – Oil and Natural Gas Corporation Limited, India | Co-Associate Shell

4. Berkeley Earth Surface Temperature (BEST) project
Berkeley Earth team members include: Richard Muller, Founder and Scientific Director……Steven Mosher, Scientist…

Financial Support First Phase (2010)
…Charles G. Koch Charitable Foundation ($150,000) The Ann & Gordon Getty Foundation ($50,000)…
Second Phase (2011)
…The Ann & Gordon Getty Foundation ($50,000)…
Third Phase (2012)
…The Ann & Gordon Getty Foundation ($50,000)…Anonymous Foundation ($250,000)…
Fourth Phase (2013)
…The Ann & Gordon Getty Foundation ($100,000)…

5. 350.org

350.org caught up in fossil fuel ‘divestment’ hypocrisy
[Rockefellers Brothers Fund] RBF has given 350.org $800,000 in recent years and almost $2 million to the 1Sky Education Fund, now part of 350.org, according to foundation records.”

6. Union of Concerned Scientists

The 2013 Annual Report PDF

UCS thanks the following companies that matched members’ gifts at a level of $1,000 or more….Chevron Corporation…”

Annual Report 2002 PDF

The Union of Concerned Scientists gratefully acknowledges the following individuals and foundations for their generous contributions of at least $500 during our fiscal year 2002 (October 1, 2001–September 30, 2002)…”

Friends of UCS

The Friends of UCS provide substantial support for the ongoing work of the organization…Larry Rockefeller…Matching Gift Companies…BP Amoco Matching Gift Program…Philip Morris Companies, Inc…”

7. University of California, Berkeley
CalCAP, Cal Climate Action Partnership

What is CalCAP?
The Cal Climate Action Partnership (CalCAP) is a collaboration of faculty, administration, staff, and students working to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions at UC Berkeley.”

8. University of California, Berkeley
UC Berkeley News – 1 February 2007

BP selects UC Berkeley to lead $500 million energy research consortium with partners Lawrence Berkeley National Lab, University of Illinois.”

9. Climate Institute
About Us

The Climate Institute has been in a unique position to inform key decision-makers, heighten international awareness of climate change, and identify practical ways of achieving significant emissions reductions…

Donors
American Gas FoundationBP…NASA….PG&E Corporation [natural gas & electricity]Rockefeller Brothers Fund, Shell Foundation…The Rockefeller Foundation…UNDP, UNEP…”

10. EcoLiving

About
…EcoLiving provides events and hands-on workshops to teach Albertans about ways to reduce our collective ecological footprint, create more sustainable and energy efficient buildings, and share information about local environmental initiatives and services…”

Sponsors
2008 Sponsors: …ConocoPhillips…Shell 2009 Sponsors: …ConocoPhillips Canada…2013 Sponsors:…Shell FuellingChange…”

11. Nature Conservancy
Climate Change Threats and Impacts

Climate change is already beginning to transform life on Earth. Around the globe, seasons are shifting, temperatures are climbing and sea levels are rising…… If we don’t act now, climate change will rapidly alter the lands and waters we all depend upon for survival, leaving our children and grandchildren with a very different world…”

12. Washington Post – 24 May 2010

…What De Leon didn’t know was that the Nature Conservancy lists BP as one of its business partners. The Conservancy also has given BP a seat on its International Leadership Council and has accepted nearly $10 million in cash and land contributions from BP and affiliated corporations over the years….The Conservancy, already scrambling to shield oyster beds from the spill, now faces a different problem: a potential backlash…”

13. America’s WETLAND Foundation

Restore-Adapt-Mitigate: Responding To Climate Change Through Coastal Habitat Restoration”

PDF

Coastal habitats are being subjected to a range of stresses from climate change; many of these stresses are predicted to increase over the next century The most significant effects are likely to be from sea-level rise, increased storm and wave intensity, temperature increases, carbon dioxide concentration increases, and changes in precipitation that will alter freshwater delivery…”

Sponsors

World Sponsor: Shell
Sustainability Sponsors: Chevron, ConocoPhillips, ExxonMobil
National Sponsors: British Petroleum”

14. Green Energy Futures
About Us

Green Energy Futures is a multi-media storytelling project that is documenting the clean energy revolution that’s already underway. It tells the stories of green energy pioneers who are moving forward in their homes, businesses and communities.
Gold Sponsor: Shell”

15. World Resources Institute
Climate

WRI engages businesses, policymakers, and civil society at the local, national, and international levels to advance transformative solutions that mitigate climate change and help communities adapt to its impacts.

ACKNOWLEDGING OUR DONORS (January 1, 2011 – August 1, 2012 PDF 5MB

Shell and Shell Foundation…ConocoPhillips Company…”

16. Purdue Solar
Navitas Takes 1st at SEMA 2013

Last week, Purdue Solar Racing took home first place in the Battery Electric division at the 2013 Shell Eco-marathon. The winning run reached an efficiency of 78.1 m/kWh (a miles per gallon equivalency of approximate 2,630MPGe)…”

17. AGU Fall Meeting
9-13 December 2013
Thank You to Our Sponsors

The AGU would like to take the time to thank all of our generous sponsors who support the
2013 Fall Meeting and the events at the meeting.
ExxonMobil…….BP, Chevron…..Mineralogical Society of America…”

18. Science Museum – Atmosphere
About our funders

…exploring climate science gallery and the three-year Climate Changing… programme. Through these ground-breaking projects we invite all our visitors to deepen their understanding of the science behind our changing climate.

We believe that working together with such a wide range of sectors is something that we’ll all need to be able to do in our climate-changing world….

Principal Sponsors: Shell…Siemens…”

19. Dr. Michael Mann
WUWT – October 15, 2013

…it is enlightening to learn that his current employer, Penn State, gets funds from Koch, and so does where Dr. Mann did his thesis from, the University of Virginia. Those darn facts, they are stubborn things. See the list that follows…”

[Comments]

Jimbo October 16, 2013 at 11:49 am

Why stop at Koch funding?
Exxon Mobil Corporation
2012 Worldwide Contributions and Community Investments
…..Pennsylvania State University [$] 258,230…”

20. Stanford University
New York Times – 21 November 2002
By ANDREW C. REVKIN

Exxon-Led Group Is Giving A Climate Grant to Stanford
Four big international companies, including the oil giant Exxon Mobil, said yesterday that they would give Stanford University $225 million over 10 years for research on ways to meet growing energy needs without worsening global warming….In 2000, Ford and Exxon Mobil’s global rival, BP, gave $20 million to Princeton to start a similar climate and energy research program…”

21. National Science Teachers Association – Jun 11, 2012
by Wendi Liles

You are invited this summer to the 4th Annual CSI: Climate Status Investigations free climate change educator professional development in Wilmington, DE…. You will also get to participate in a climate change lesson with the staff from Delaware Nature Society to investigate the effect of climate change on their urban watershed…..a few fun giveaways thanks to our sponsors-DuPont, Agilent Technologies, Lockheed Martin, Chevron, Delaware Nature Society…”

22. Duke University

ConocoPhillips Pledges $1 Million to Climate Change Policy Partnership at Duke 2007

ConocoPhillips, the third-largest integrated energy company in the United States, has pledged $1 million to support an industry-university collaboration working to develop policies that address global climate change, Duke University President Richard H. Brodhead announced Wednesday.”

23. Alberta Water Council PDF

Growing demands from an increasing population, economic development, and climate change are the realities impacting our water allocation system.
…Breakfast Sponsor: ConocoPhillips Canada…River Level Sponsors….ConocoPhillips Canada”

24. University of California, Davis
Institute of Transportation Studies PDF

10th Biennial Conference on Transportation and Energy Policy
Toward a Policy Agenda For Climate Change
Asilomar Transport & Energy Conferences
VIII. Managing Transitions in the Transport Sector: How Fast and How Far?
September 11-14, 2001. Sponsored by US DOE, US EPA, Natural Resources Canada, ExxonMobil, and Chevron (Chair: D. Sperling)…”

25. Washington Free Beacon – 27 January 2015

Foreign Firm Funding U.S. Green Groups Tied to State-Owned Russian Oil Company
Executives at a Bermudan firm funneling money to U.S. environmentalists run investment funds with Russian tycoons
A shadowy Bermudan company that has funneled tens of millions of dollars to anti-fracking environmentalist groups in the United States is run by executives with deep ties to Russian oil interests and offshore money laundering schemes involving members of President Vladimir Putin’s inner circle……The Sierra Club, the Natural Resource Defense Council, Food and Water Watch, the League of Conservation Voters, and the Center for American Progress were among the recipients of Sea Change’s $100 million in grants in 2010 and 2011….“None of this foreign corporation’s funding is disclosed in any way,” the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee wrote of the company in a report last year…”

 

Analysis Shows Wind And Solar Power In Europe Is On Average 16 Times More Expensive Than Gas-Fired Power!

Charting the costs and effectiveness of renewable energy in Europe

A comparison of both the capital cost and energy production effectiveness of renewable energy in Europe.
By Ed Hoskins
(Some editing by P Gosselin)

The diagrams below show the cost and capacity factors of the major European renewable energy power sources: onshore and offshore wind farms and large scale photovoltaic solar generation. They are compared to the cost and output capacity of conventional gas fired electricity generation.

First two term definitions:
– Capacity factor:  installed nameplate capacity compared to the actual electrical energy output achieved.
– Capital cost:  comparison with the cost of equivalent electrical output produced by gas fired electrical generation.

Screen Shot 2015-01-25 at 11.04.53

Overall European renewable energy has almost 6 times lower capacity than conventional gas-fired power generation and it costs about 16 times more in capital expenditure alone.

In all the capital costs expended by 2013 in Europe amounted to some €1/2 trillion for approximately 170 gigawatts of “nominal” installed renewable energy generation. But because of the reduced capacity factor, those installations provide only approximately 30 gigawatts of real output electrical power.  That output amounts to only about 2.9% of the total European generating capacity of 1024 gigawatts [1].

The following is a table summing up performance of the various wind and solar sources. The

Screen Shot 2015-01-25 at 11.08.22

In addition, electrical output of renewable energies wind and solar power is intermittent and non-dispatchable. Their output cannot respond to electricity demand as and when needed. Energy is fed into the the grid in a haphazard, almost entirely random manner – depending on the weather, time of day and season.

In short, it is inefficient, exorbitantly expensive and often unavailable when it is needed, or severely excessive when it isn’t needed. It offers everything that makes a modern economy uncompetitive.

Renewable energy technologies

When it comes to wind and solar power, onshore wind power is the most effective form of renewable energy in terms of capital cost. It only costs approximately 9 times as much as conventional power generation. On average across Europe, the capacity utilization is about 23%.

Offshore wind too expensive

Offshore wind power is about 17 times more expensive to install, but its increased capacity factors mean that it should be significantly more productive than onshore installations. Nonetheless, in addition to the significant additional capital costs, offshore wind power appears to have major problems with costlier long term maintenance and questionable reliability [4].

The sun sends huge bills

Large scale photovoltaic solar power is proven to be the least economic renewable energy source, costing about 34 times more than gas fired power in terms of capital costs. However, solar power usually has reasonable maintenance costs. On average in Europe, solar PV yields roughly 11% of its nameplate capacity.

In addition to the impacts of cloudy weather, photovoltaic units are susceptible to performance degradation from ice or snow, or obscuration with accumulating dust in drier climates. Solar power might operate reasonably well at mid latitudes, but it is inevitably a poor investment in Northern Europe where yields are low because of latitude, adverse weather, the seasons and the daily rotation of the Earth.

Though the cost of the technical photovoltaic elements of the systems are reducing, these high-tech elements are becoming an ever smaller part of the final installation. The costs of the support infrastructure and linkages to the grid are irreducible. It is also clear that the service life of solar cells is limited, and degrades over time. System degradation of the DC to AC inverters is particularly significant:  they are an expensive element in any solar system with a limited operational lifetime.

Wind and solar make little sense

In summary the following analogy describes the nationally mandated use of renewable energy:

By law a family has to purchase two cars: one works well all the time, is cheap to buy, cheap to maintain and does not cost too much to run. But the other is very expensive to buy and only works about 1/6th of the time. However the fuel costs are very low. But by law the family is forced to use the expensive car if it is working even though it may well let them down at any time. At the same time the cheap car must be kept idling, using fuel but doesn’t go anywhere.

Readers can see Ed’s full analysis here.

 

Germany 2014 Report Card Is In! Its 25,000 Wind Turbines Get An “F-“…Averaged Only 14.8% Of Rated Capacity!

Resistance to wind power in Germany is snowballing. And it needs to be noted that this resistance is grass roots and sustained almost entirely by volunteers and privately donated time and effort.

In the latest wind energy critical site www.vernunftkraft.de here has a report summarizing the performance of Germany’s wind turbines in 2014. Again the result is so ugly that the wind industry does not want anyone to see it.

Vernunftkraft.de writes in response to the wind industry’s recent boastings of yet another successful “record” year:

Rolf Schuster finalized the evaluation of the actual wind energy feed-in data in order to counter the propaganda with honest figures.

The most important result: 14.8 percent.

The following diagrams depict the installed capacity in light blue shading, i.e. the cumulative capacity of all Germany’s wind turbines.

As is easy to see, the installed rated capacity has been expanded because new turbines were installed over the course of the year. This is the so-called ‘record’.

The dark blue area shaded depicts the energy that was actually fed in. Here it is easy to see that wind energy is extremely volatile. During some quarter-hour periods the roughly 25,000 turbines indeed delivered a lot of power. But at other times they delivered practically nothing.

One does not even see any real available baseload – a sort of reliable minimum output to rely on.”

2014

Germany’s 2014 installed wind turbine rated capacity (shaded light blue), and the actual power fed in (dark blue). The average: 14.8%! Chart by Rolf Schuster, see here.

The next three charts at Vernunftkraft.de (not shown here) show the January-April, May-August and September-December periods respectively with a higher resolution so that readers can get a better idea of the extreme volatility one gets with wind energy.

The following table sums up the “honest figures” one really gets with wind turbine energy:

20145

Source: Rolf Schuster, here.

The left box shows a total of 39,612 MW of installed rated capacity. The maximum energy fed in was 29,687 MW (74.9% of rated capacity) briefly in December. The absolute minimum was only 24.0 MW (0.06%), probably barely enough to power a single large cement mill.

The average was 5868 MW or 14.8% of the installed rated capacity.

Theoretically that means 85.2% of the rated capacity did nothing the entire year. Imagine a company where only one of seven workers ever show up for work.

The box above on the right also provides interesting figures. They show that Germany’s wind turbines as a whole ran at between 0 to 10% of their rated capacity 45.5% of the time (3986.75 hrs)! The turbines, which the German government says will become the “workhorse” of the German power industry, ran at over 50% of their rated capacity only for 461 hours, or just 5.2% of the time.

It’s little wonder that wind turbines have been assigned the failing grade of “F”. But what else could one possibly expect from a student who shows up for lectures and does his homework only a few times per semester, and stays in bed 6 out of 7 days a week? And now comes the funny part: The parents of this lazy, total-failure-of-a-student are forced to pay Ivy league level tuition – 20 years long! And don’t expect the lazy bum to have a degree of any sort when he walks off campus at age 38.

Little wonder vernunftkraft.de calls wind turbines the sloth of the energy industry.

 

The Sun And Ocean Cycles Drive Global Temperature…Natural Factors Bringing Cooling For Next 30 Years

It has been clear for a long time to those who simply observe climate that temperatures are driven by, in the long term, orbital and Earth tilt cycles, the Milanković cycles, in the medium term by solar cycles with ocean cycles. like the Atlantic Multi-Decadal Oscillation (AMO), and in the short term, by ocean and atmosphere cycles like the El Niño Southern Oscillation (ENSO).

A few researchers have used this information to project the future. An example can be found on the sidebar of this blog. A problem with these projections is that factors such as volcanoes cannot be predicted. Due to the chaotic nature of most ocean cycles, these also cannot be used to predict the future. Only the AMO is regular enough to extend into the future, and then only for one or two cycles.

The sun is our source of energy, and it also has cycles. The 11-year sunspot number cycles (SSN) are regular but seem not to affect climate in any cyclic way. Only the integrated energy over whole cycles seems to push temperatures, and this affect seems to be delayed by about one whole sunspot cycle. Here is a history of the last 150 years and a simple projection to 2050.

Global Climate Model

 

Figure 1 is a chart of the main influences on global temperature over the last 150 years. The red trace is based on the SSN processed with an 11-year trailing average. The purple AMO trace has been smoothed with a 9-year centered average. These were then combined with the annual average central Pacific El Niño 3.4 to produce the orange trace. The orange trace is a model of global temperature before volcanic cooling. The vertical green lines are named volcanic eruptions, the height of the lines is the volcanic eruption index (VE) using the right side scale. The blue trace is the global annual temperature average as published by GHCN.

For over a hundred years, the orange model follows the GHCN temperature closely except where perturbed by volcanic activity. Volcanoes can warm the atmosphere if they are primarily ash eruptions, or cool the atmosphere if they loft large amounts of sulfur dioxide into the stratosphere. The Askja eruption and caldera collapse in Iceland in 1875 produced primarily ash. That eruption plus a Grand El Niño the following year produced a warm year in 1876. The VE6 eruption of Krakatoa in 1883 and Tarawara three years later, produced five years of cool climate.

Santa Maria and Novarupta were two more VE6 eruptions, that along with a cool sun and a negative AMO sent temperatures plunging in the early 20th century. From 1918 until 1975, temperatures followed the ocean cycles and the sun very closely. Smoke and soot from WWII, along with a strong El Niño in 1942, may have caused the warming from 1939 to 1945. In contrast, a strong La Niña in 1975 that lasted for two years produced a pronounced cooling. This was the “ice age scare” of the late 1970’s.

After 1978 a serious divergence began between this model based on sun and ocean cycles and the GHCN measurements, leading to the current 0.6°C difference. For UAH satellite measurements this difference is less, from 0.3°C to 0.45°C, depending on the level set for the 1979 record beginning relative to GHCN.

To account for this difference, the reader is urged to note the changes over the years to the global temperature records as found by the following reporters:

– Steven Goddard: Data Tampering At USHCN/GISS and about a thousand other posts on the same subject.
– Paul Homewood: Posts Tagged Temperature Adjustments, and Another GISS miss: warming in the Arctic – the adjustments are key
– Ira Glickstein: The PAST is Not What it Used to Be (GW Tiger Tale)
– Willis Eschenbach: The Smoking Gun At Darwin Zero.
– MS at The Hockey Stick: Paper finds more smoking guns of temperature data tampering in Northern Australia.
– Ed Caryl: A Light In Siberia. This was also posted here. And Is GISS Also Cheating In The Arctic?
– Jennifer Marohasy: Corrupting Australia’s Temperature Record, along with here, here, and others.
– Michael and Ronan Connolly: Global Warming Solved

These adjustments can account for the whole difference between the model and the GHCN temperature record. It is not necessary to invoke any CO2 warming. If it is there, it is very slight, on the order of 0.1°C.

The model indicates that it has been cooling since 2010, and that the cooling will continue as solar output declines and the AMO goes negative. Yes, the years from 1998 to 2010 were warmer than the 20th Century average because the globe was at the peak of all the natural cycles. But it is all downhill from here.

Cooling next 30 years

Solar activity is going into a decline as well. We don’t yet know if this decline will be to a Dalton Minimum-like level or a Maunder Minimum level. The model projection into the future does not contain ENSO or volcanic data as that data cannot be predicted. But it will get cooler for the next thirty years. The AMO will turn positive some time in mid-century, and solar output may not decline as much as indicated, so another full-blown ice age is not beginning, but a Little Ice Age may be starting. See here for further projections into the future based on the deVries 230-year cycle and the 1000-year Suess cycle.

 

THE CHART Wind Energy Proponents Fear You’ll See…Offshore Wind Turbines Stay In Bed 4 Of Every 5 Workdays!

Yesterday I published a piece by Fred F. Mueller on Germany’s out-of-control renewable energy transition and how it is in fact transitioning over to a disaster.

What follows below is a graphic that proponents of the offshore wind energy industry don’t want anyone to see. It tells the whole story about how (in)efficient and (un)reliable German offshore wind energy really is (Hat-tip: www.achgut.com):

Wind Energy AWOL_R Schuster

Chart shows the installed nameplate offshore wind capacity (shaded green) and the actual output (blue shaded area) since 2009. Wind’s poor performance and unreliable, wildly fluctuating supply disappoint and risk sinking Germany’s “Energiewende”. Chart source: R. Schuster.

The above chart was prepared by Rolf Schuster, an industrial engineering designer, who during his free time has started a wind power databank in order to check the rosy claims being made by the wind power lobby. The results are not something any fast-talking salesman would want any potential buyer to see. The power that was input (blue) is a mere fraction of the rated capacity (green).

Schuster writes:

If you divide the power fed in (blue) by the rated capacity (green) you get the percent of the rated capacity that actually gets fed into the grid. The linear trend shows a negative tendency – towards 20 percent of the rated capacity. That means: Despite the massively increased capacity in 2014, hardly more power has ended up getting delivered compared to the start of the year. Only one fifth of the rated capacity actually gets fed in.”

Many proponents used to argue that the wind is always blowing at the North Sea, and so a steady supply was a sure thing. Now we have real results coming in. That “steady” wind is only delivering 20% of the installed rated capacity. A fiasco.

Schuster also says that offshore turbines have serious technical problems as well. Foundations are being washed out from underneath; there’s corrosion, and overloads that lead to turbine shutdowns. The harsh conditions of the North Sea a proving much tougher to handle.

There are also major problems with the high-voltage direct current systems that have yet to be solved, Schuster writes. One entire North Sea wind park has been disconnected from the grid as a result. This, Schuster says, “makes one ask if the installation of a major power transmission line from North Germany to South Germany would be a high risk gamble for the German energy supply“.

Green power goes AWOL again!

Also a look at online energy portal Agora here also tracks renewable energy that gets fed into the German power grid. A look at today’s graphic for the last 31 days tells us that once again wind and solar have gone AWOL, and so conventional fuels such as gas, nuclear and coal have to jump in to bail out.

Agora 5 Feb 14_25h

The above chart shows German energy supply and consumption for the last 31 days. Solar power that was fed into the grid is shown in yellow. Wind power is shown in blue. Cropped from Agora.

Yesterday, February 4, we saw very little wind power getting fed into the grid, less than a gigawatt from a nameplate capacity of some 55 gigawatts of installed capacity – less than 2%! On February 4 wind and solar together virtually fed in almost nothing into the grid. If it had not been for coal, gas and nuclear, the country would have gone dark.

 

Germany’s “Energiewende” Leading To Suicide By Cannibalism. Huge Oversupply Risks Destabilization

The coming age of power cannibalism…Germany on the verge of committing energy suicide

By Fred F. Mueller

German politicians see themselves as the saviors of our climate. In the early 1990s German politicians started the policies that ultimately culminated in the “Energiewende”, which aims to eliminate nuclear power generation and some 76% of the fossil fuel power generation. By 2050 some 80% of power generation should come from “renewable” green sources such as wind, solar, biomass, waste incineration and hydro. Since the volatile sources of wind and solar power will have to contribute the lion’s share, politicians reluctantly concede 20% of the energy coming from reliable fossil power sources.

Germany’s endeavor is indeed breathtaking. A look at Figure 1 shows in detail how massively Germany had once relied upon fossil and nuclear power sources to secure a highly reliable power supply. These sources were controllable and highly reliable. And because Germany’s topology offers only limited possibilities for hydropower, that renewable source is minimal.

Mueller_1

Figure 1: In 1990 the German grid was able to count on conventional power sources which were controllable and highly reliable. Renewable hydropower accounted for only 3.6 %

Today, after some two decades of massive green energy policy, the situation has changed dramatically. Wind, solar, biomass and waste incineration plants have been promoted to such an extent that together with hydropower, the share of “green energy” today has reached 25.8 % of the country’s total electric power production. This resulted from Germany’s EEG renewable energy feed-in act which guarantees producers fixed rates for 20 years and forces power companies to buy up all the renewable power produced, regardless of the market conditions. The result has been a massive oversupply which has led to steep price drops on power trading floors, which in turn have pushed fossil fuel utilities to and beyond their profitability limits. Surplus production has been repeatedly dumped onto neighboring markets and resulted in massive disturbances for the respective national power grids. Readers interested in a more detailed description of the policy might have a look at the article of Marita Noon [NOON].

Capacity without control

The problem with the “renewable” power sources of wind and solar is their intrinsic volatility coupled with their poor capacity utilization rates of only 17.4% for wind and 8.3% for solar (average values for Germany).

That poor utilization rate means one has to build up huge overcapacities in order to achieve a certain amount of power production. Worse, the power source fluctuates wildly according to weather conditions. As a consequence, Germany has to maintain a dual power generation infrastructure that comprises a grossly overinflated capacity of “renewable” wind and solar power plants shadowed by a full scale backup set of conventional plants. These conventional power sources must always be on standby, ready to take over when weather conditions aren’t favorable. The production-fluctuation range of the “renewables” wind and solar is incredibly wide and volatile. For example in Germany there is an installed nameplate capacity of nearly 73,000 MW. Yet the minimum power output in Germany in 2014 from both sources was a meager 29 MW (only 0.04% of installed capacity) while the maximum value was 38,000 MW (48%).

The massive buildup in wind and solar power has already resulted in a considerable nominal overcapacity of “renewable” power sources.

The combined rated capacity of all “renewable” power sources already reaches about 87,000 MW, which is the maximum power consumption the grid has been designed to secure. Additionally, a minimum conventional power station capacity of some 28,000 MW has to be constantly connected to the grid in order to secure supply stability. As a result the risk of the grid reaching an oversupply situation if weather conditions are favorable for both wind and solar power plants is growing with every additional “renewable” plant that comes online. Currently 5,000 – 6,000 MW are getting added each year. That situation is aggravated by the fact that there exists no technology to absorb and store any noticeable quantities of oversupply. Neighboring countries are already taking measures to fend off surplus-power-dumping that could destabilize their grids.

Power cannibalism has already started

The result is a grid which at times is so oversupplied with power that something will have to give. Fossil fuel power plants have been throttled to the point where they are no longer profitable and many power companies have started mothballing them, so quickly in fact that Germany had to pass legislation forcing producers to keep their fossil plants on stand-by, and to do so even if they lost money. Even the reliable “classic” renewable power sources – e.g. hydropower – are starting to suffer because most are not supported by government schemes.

As the build-up in renewable capacity continues, even the subsidized “renewable” power sources will sooner rather than later be forced into fierce competition for access to the grid whenever the weather conditions turn favorable. One can speculate that within just a couple of years, the first “renewable” energy sources will slowly be driven out of the market because of oversupply. Eventually the renewable power producers will be forced to cannibalize each other in an increasingly fierce competition for privileged access to the power grid as the unwanted events of over-supply become increasingly more frequent.

Things are set to get much worse

Normally, one would think that a government confronted with such a situation would stop at this point and wait for a technically and commercially viable solution for storing the increasing amounts of produced surplus electric energy – for use during times when weather conditions are less favorable. Unfortunately no such storage solution is currently available at the required scale, and anything being proposed so far is either much too expensive or has efficiency factors that are not worth discussing.

Yet Germany has a unique peculiarity: its leaders sometimes exhibit a stunning inability to recognize when the time has come to abandon a lost cause. So far €500 billion has already been invested in the “Energiewende”, which is clearly emerging as a failure. Yet all political parties continue to throw their full weight behind the policy rather than admitting it is a failure (which would be tantamount to political suicide). Instead, the current government coalition has even decided to shift into an even higher gear on the path to achieving its objective of generating 80% of German electric power from “renewable” sources by 2050. If the situation is practically unmanageable now with 25% renewable energy, it’ll be an uncontrollable disaster when (if) it reaches 80%.

If the government sticks to its targets, the share of the different power sources will probably appear as in Figure 2. Currently just 26% has been achieved so far, and the existing biomass share of some 7% is more or less doomed and thus will also have to be replaced by wind and solar. One can easily see how daunting the task that still lies ahead really is.

Mueller_2

Figure 2. The official goal of achieving 80% power supply from “renewable” sources by 2050 requires further massive investments in wind and solar power technologies. Imagine the huge power supply fluctuations one can expect to see from wind and sun.

Waiting for the grand finale

The real risks that lie ahead for the German power generating infrastructure become more recognizable if one looks at the nameplate capacity buildup that has taken place, e.g. just over the past five years, and compares it to what will additionally be needed by 2050, see Figure 2. Keeping in mind that €500 billion have already been contracted and will have to be paid by the consumer, one gets an idea of the proportions of the task still to be tackled in the coming years.

Mueller_3

Figure 3. The installed nameplate power production capacities for wind, solar and biomass as of 2014 has already severely burdened the German consumer with costs of about €500 billion. That will dwarfed by what lies ahead, if politicians don’t change course. Note how 376,000 MW of wind and sun capacity may be installed to ensure meeting the country’s roughly 70,000 MW of demand.

Apart from the sheer dimensions of the costs that lie ahead, the additional cannibalism aspect will grow to enormous proportions. Since an installed wind and solar capacity of some 73,000 MW in 2014 yielded a combined maximum power output of 38,000 MW, the 376,000 MW that are to be installed by 2050 will generate a peak output of 196,000 MW to a grid that might just be able to take up between 40,000 and 90,000 MW. That means, depending on the weather, between 106,000 and 156,000 MW will have to be dumped somewhere else.

In the fight to get power into an often times severely overloaded grid, that’s when cannibalism amongst “renewable” power sources will really become intense. Will wind farmers sabotage solar plantations? Will solar owners sabotage wind turbines? Time will tell, maybe much sooner than we think.

Fred F. Mueller

Sources
[NOON] Marita Noon: Germany’s “energy transformation:” unsustainable subsidies and an unstable system www.cfact.org/2014/12/16/germanys-unsustainable-subsidies-and-an-unstable-system/

 

Urban Warming – There is More To It Than Just A Heat Island

The descriptions of urban warming dwell on the heating of the air by the local infrastructure. There is more to it than simple conduction to the air mass from warmed surfaces.

In the far infrared, where the peak radiation wavelength is determined by the temperature, much of the energy from warmed surfaces is absorbed by the greenhouse gases in the atmosphere within a meter or so. These gases then re-radiate to any other nearby surfaces or gases further away and conduct by collisions with other air molecules to heat the air. There are also windows in the infrared spectrum that let warm surfaces radiate directly to other surfaces. Thus for a temperature measuring instrument, the temperature measured is a combination of the air temperature conducted to the thermometer by air flowing past it and IR heating from nearby surfaces. This is why in the polar regions when measuring very low temperatures, a person approaching the thermometer will raise the temperature reading.

This second source of increased temperature causes “urban warming” even where the location is strictly rural. A measuring station at an isolated research station or farm can have “urban warming” when the thermometer is in close proximity to just one heated building.

perry-ok-ushcn-visible-and-infrared-1

Figure 1 is a visible and FLIR IR image of the MMTS station at the Perry, Oklahoma Volunteer Fire Department. The image is from an article by Anthony Watts here, used by permission.

Painting the MMTS white only reduces direct heating by sunlight at visible wavelengths. In the long wavelength IR, any paint, black, white, or any other color, has the same emissivity, more than 0.9, and will absorb IR equally well. In Figure 1, the west-facing uninsulated door is very warm compared to the north-facing wall. It is being heated both by the sun and the building interior. The MMTS is slightly warmer (perhaps 2 or 3 degrees) than the mounting pipe. The pipe is unpainted, somewhat shiny, with a lower emissivity, reflecting more of the IR. Thus it appears black, where the MMTS is a warmer dark purple.

Pierre has posted on a German study of the temperature shifts with the installation of electronic thermometers here. This shift is due to the different way a glass thermometer in a wooden shelter responds to IR in the vicinity and the way a compact modern MMTS responds. There is also the issue of the need for cabling that leads to a distance bias to the nearest building.

Every weather station should be checked for IR emissions in the “view-shed”, the surrounding surfaces and buildings. This should be done at several hours of the day, to catch sunlight warming all the surfaces, and internal building heating variations.