Skeptical Science posts: 23 April 2015

Posted in McSafavi | Leave a comment

Windfarm wars: are they a majestic man-made wonder – or a blight on the countryside? | Environment | The Guardian

The village of Redwick lies on the outskirts of Newport, a small, pretty run of houses whose position on the Caldicot and Wentloog Levels serves as a reminder of the force of both humans and environment: on the horizon lies the city’s docks, while a scratchpost at the ancient parish church is marked with a reminder of just how high the waters rose in the Bristol Channel flood of 1607.
Read more…

Posted in McSafavi | Leave a comment

RAF Coltishall £50m solar farm begins power generation – BBC News

A giant solar energy farm generating 32 Megawatts of power has been unveiled on the site of a former RAF base.

The Scottow Enterprise Park, located on the former RAF Coltishall airbase, in Norfolk, is now generating enough renewable energy to power 10,000 homes.
Read more…

Posted in McSafavi | Leave a comment

The History of Climate Science

The fact that carbon dioxide is a ‘greenhouse gas’ – a gas that prevents a certain amount of heat radiation escaping back to space and thus maintains a generally warm climate on Earth, goes back to an idea that was first conceived, though not specifically with respect to CO2, nearly 200 years ago. The story of how this important physical property was discovered, how its role in the geological past was evaluated and how we came to understand that its increased concentration, via fossil fuel burning, would adversely affect our future, covers about two centuries of enquiry, discovery, innovation and problem-solving.
Read more…

Posted in McSafavi | 1 Comment

Terrestrial water fluxes dominated by transpiration : Nature : Nature Publishing Group

Global-scale estimates of transpiration from climate models are poorly constrained owing to large uncertainties in stomatal conductance and the lack of catchment-scale measurements required for model calibration, resulting in a range of predictions spanning 20 to 65 per cent of total terrestrial evapotranspiration (14,000 to 41,000 km3 per year). Here we use the distinct isotope effects of transpiration and evaporation to show that transpiration is by far the largest water flux from Earth’s continents, representing 80 to 90 per cent of terrestrial evapotranspiration. On the basis of our analysis of a global data set of large lakes and rivers, we conclude that transpiration recycles 62,000 ± 8,000 km3 of water per year to the atmosphere, using half of all solar energy absorbed by land surfaces in the process. We also calculate CO2 uptake by terrestrial vegetation by connecting transpiration losses to carbon assimilation using water-use efficiency ratios of plants, and show the global gross primary productivity to be 129 ± 32 gigatonnes of carbon per year, which agrees, within the uncertainty, with previous estimates6. The dominance of transpiration water fluxes in continental evapotranspiration suggests that, from the point of view of water resource forecasting, climate model development should prioritize improvements in simulations of biological fluxes rather than physical (evaporation) fluxes.
Read more

Posted in McSafavi | Leave a comment

NASA’s new Orbiting Carbon Observatory shows potential tectonically-induced CO2 input from the ocean? | Watts Up With That?

Using the Smithsonian Volcano database, it is seen that these CO2-hotspots occur above seafloor features which are suspected to issue CO2, CH4 and occasionally large amounts of heat (especially for FH and EH). Here, it can be seen that the TH occurs over a deep-water accretionary subduction wedge. This is a collision zone, where huge amounts of oceanic sediments pile up before they sink into and are swallowed up beneath the island masses to the north (Fig. 2). In such settings, it is well-known that continuous seepage of methane occurs out of the seafloor. Therefore, it is here speculated that the underwater and aerial oxidation of this excess methane gas provides the regional CO2-anomaly detected by OCO2.

The seafloor beneath the FH is also highly tectonized (Fig. 3), but in a completely different fashion to that of the TH. At Fiji, there are both colliding plates and rifting zones. The whole region is highly contorted and there are lots of seepage, both hot vents and cold, methane-dominated vents. Transmittal of methane and CO2 to the atmosphere is likely also here.
Read more

Posted in McSafavi | Leave a comment

Oceans of Water Locked 400 Miles Inside Earth : Discovery News

http://news.discovery.com/earth/oceans/oceans-of-water-found-locked-deep-inside-earth-140612.htm

Posted in McSafavi | Leave a comment