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Member since: 2002
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Yeah, and what?

Perhaps the dumb shit who wrote this precious bit of stupidity isn't aware that the ocean contains over 500 billion curies of potassium 40, and has generally contained more than that for the 4 billion years oceans have existed.

If you would like to produce a credible scientific paper from a reputable journal showing that in the 11 years since Fukushima that as many people as will die in the next hour from air pollution, have died from radiation releases at Fukushima you are invited to do so.

There are many thousands of papers on the subject of radiation releases at Fukushima and their health effects.

Here's one: Michael R Reich, Aya Goto, Towards long-term responses in Fukushima, The Lancet, Volume 386, Issue 9992, 2015, Pages 498-500,

4 years have passed since the nuclear power plant accident at Fukushima, Japan, moving the problems there from an acute nuclear disaster to a chronic environmental disaster, with multiple social, psychological, economic, and political consequences. As described by Ohtsuru and colleagues,1 many people continue to experience multiple losses, both tangible and intangible, at the individual, family, and community levels.

Putting Hiroshima and Nagasaki side by side with Fukushima, as done in this issue of The Lancet, seems inappropriate in major respects. Hiroshima and Nagasaki were intentional governmental acts of war, whereas Fukushima was accidental and negligent industrial behaviour in time of peace. They share exposure to radiation—but at vastly different levels and in different forms.2 In Fukushima, no one has died from radiation exposure, and the UN Scientific Committee on the Effects of Atomic Radiation report3 in 2013 stated that substantial changes in future cancer statistics attributed to radiation exposure are not expected to be observed, although the committee also noted “a theoretical increased risk of thyroid cancer among most exposed children” and recommended they be “closely followed”.4

However, putting these disasters together does reveal some shared characteristics. In Hiroshima and Nagasaki, people were “exposed to explosion” (hibaku in Japanese); while those in Fukushima are “exposed to radiation” (also hibaku in Japanese).5, 6 These words share the same pronunciation, but use different Japanese characters. Both groups are living with the social and psychological uncertainties and implications of possible radiation exposure. Both groups also became higaisha or victims. The apocalyptic disruptions of their lives did not arise from their own choices, but from social and political decisions taken by others. This reaction is common in radiation disasters worldwide.7

The survivors of a chronic environmental disaster typically seek redress around questions of care, compensation, and clean-up.8 Although chronic environmental disasters have important medical dimensions, the human losses go far beyond the medical sphere. Below we briefly explore these three questions for Fukushima, examine the role of community engagement, and highlight changes needed to prevent another nuclear power plant disaster.

I added the bold, the italics and the underlining.

The most serious effects are psychological and stupid people whipping up hysteria are not helping.

The fact is that more people have likely died from the dangerous fossil fuel waste generated by assholes to run their computers to whine about Fukushima and so called "nuclear waste" than have died from the 75 years of commercial nuclear power operations.

What part of the bolded, italicized, and underlined statement in one of the world's most prestigious medical journals escapes the mind of a person who clearly doesn't give a shit about the roughly 70 to 80 million people who died from air pollution since the Fukushima reactors were breached in a natural disaster where 20,000 people died from seawater?

How come dumb shit anti-nukes aren't calling for the banning of coastal cities?

The death toll from air pollution is around 19,000 people per day, about 800 people per hour:

This information can be found here, also in the prestigious medical journal Lancet:

Global burden of 87 risk factors in 204 countries and territories, 1990–2019: a systematic analysis for the Global Burden of Disease Study 2019 (Lancet Volume 396, Issue 10258, 17–23 October 2020, Pages 1223-1249). This study is a huge undertaking and the list of authors from around the world is rather long. These studies are always open sourced; and I invite people who want to carry on about Fukushima to open it and search the word "radiation." It appears once. Radon, a side product brought to the surface by fracking while we all wait for the grand so called "renewable energy" nirvana that did not come, is not here and won't come, appears however: Household radon, from the decay of natural uranium, which has been cycling through the environment ever since oxygen appeared in the Earth's atmosphere.

Here is what it says about air pollution deaths in the 2019 Global Burden of Disease Survey, if one is too busy to open it oneself because one is too busy carrying on about Fukushima:

The top five risks for attributable deaths for females were high SBP (5·25 million [95% UI 4·49–6·00] deaths, or 20·3% [17·5–22·9] of all female deaths in 2019), dietary risks (3·48 million [2·78–4·37] deaths, or 13·5% [10·8–16·7] of all female deaths in 2019), high FPG (3·09 million [2·40–3·98] deaths, or 11·9% [9·4–15·3] of all female deaths in 2019), air pollution (2·92 million [2·53–3·33] deaths or 11·3% [10·0–12·6] of all female deaths in 2019), and high BMI (2·54 million [1·68–3·56] deaths or 9·8% [6·5–13·7] of all female deaths in 2019). For males, the top five risks differed slightly. In 2019, the leading Level 2 risk factor for attributable deaths globally in males was tobacco (smoked, second-hand, and chewing), which accounted for 6·56 million (95% UI 6·02–7·10) deaths (21·4% [20·5–22·3] of all male deaths in 2019), followed by high SBP, which accounted for 5·60 million (4·90–6·29) deaths (18·2% [16·2–20·1] of all male deaths in 2019). The third largest Level 2 risk factor for attributable deaths among males in 2019 was dietary risks (4·47 million [3·65–5·45] deaths, or 14·6% [12·0–17·6] of all male deaths in 2019) followed by air pollution (ambient particulate matter and ambient ozone pollution, accounting for 3·75 million [3·31–4·24] deaths (12·2% [11·0–13·4] of all male deaths in 2019), and then high FPG (3·14 million [2·70–4·34] deaths, or 11·1% [8·9–14·1] of all male deaths in 2019).

Let me know if there are any dumb shits around the world who can find reference to Fukushima in this document.

Let me understand this. Am I supposed to credit the stupid selective attention of a person who clearly has never opened a science book and who clearly knows zero about radiobiology over the fact that people are dying from extreme heat in Asia today? Over the fact that while I've been embracing this dubious conversation with the moral and intellectual equivalent of anti-vax type 800 people or more have died from not using nuclear power?

I've been studying plutonium chemistry in the primary scientific literature for over 30 years; I'm not some paranoid asshole who screams and pulls his brains out through his hair follicles whenever the word "plutonium" is mentioned.

Stick to telling me about how radiostrontium sticks around for a million years. It's pretty fucking typical of people who just don't give a shit about reality.

It is thought that 70,000 people died from heat waves in Europe in the 2003 heatwave there; the death toll from recent extreme heat are sure to exceed that.

Jean-Marie Robine, Siu Lan K. Cheung, Sophie Le Roy, Herman Van Oyen, Clare Griffiths, Jean-Pierre Michel, François Richard Herrmann, Death toll exceeded 70,000 in Europe during the summer of 2003, Comptes Rendus Biologies, Volume 331, Issue 2, 2008, Pages 171-178.

The paper begins with these words:

Everyone remembers the 15,000 additional deaths caused by the heat wave of August 2003 in France [1]. However, four years later, no one knows precisely the cumulative number of European victims, although more than 70 scientific reports related to this event have already been published [2]

Everyone remembers? Really? Would this include the assholes whining endlessly about Fukushima while pushing the bridges of their noses past their hemorrhoids?

I'd suggest that dumb shit anti-nukes shouldn't pretend to give a shit. They don't care how many millions of people die, how many tens of millions of people die, how many hundreds of millions of people die from dangerous fossil fuel waste or any other form of pollution. They only credit their imagination that someone somewhere might die from radiation and it fills their whithered intellects with terror that this might happen.

Their selective attention borders on criminally insane.

Their ethical level is clearly disgusting.

It is no more valuable to discuss the issue of risk with an anti-nuke than it is to discuss the existence of Covid with a Trumper. No amount of information or truth can effect the withered intellects of either of this type.

Enjoy the rest of the weekend.

From the Harvard Library: Hydrogen fuel production by wind energy conversion!!!!!

Hydrogen fuel production by wind energy conversion

Gasoline? Who needs Gasoline?

The Entry from Harvard's Library:

Hydrogen fuel production by wind energy conversion
Ben-Dov, E. ; Naot, Y. ; Rudman, P. S.
The economic feasibility of using wind energy conversion to produce hydrogen fuel by the electrolysis of water is considered. Wind energy production of hydrogen to replace gasoline can be achieved by feeding wind-generated electricity through a utility grid to an electrolysis facility or by means of an electrolysis unit at the wind turbine site and subsequent transmission of the hydrogen produced to points of use. On-site hydrogen production leads to a cost savings of 25% over that of utility-produced hydrogen, due to the use of a fixed pitch rotor in place of the variable pitch rotor necessary for stable frequency and voltage supply to a utility. It is concluded that hydrogen can be produced by on-site electrolysis at a cost less than the current price of gasoline in Europe at wind energy conversion sites with mean wind speeds exceeding only 4 m/sec.

In: Alternative energy sources; Proceedings of the Miami International Conference, Miami Beach, Fla., December 5-7, 1977. Volume 8. (A79-34106 13-44) Washington, D.C., Hemisphere Publishing Corp. 1978, p. 3563-3576.

Pub Date: 1978
Bibcode: Keywords:

Economic Analysis; Electrolysis; Energy Conversion; Hydrogen Fuels; Water; Windpower Utilization; Electric Generators; Gasoline; Rotor Speed; Wind Velocity; Energy Production and Conversion

I added the bold.

Unfortunately only the abstract is available. Conference Proceedings from events held in 1977 are generally not digitalized.

We're saved.

Here's a solution to an environmental problem of which I was completely unaware.

I came across this paper this evening from Senegalese and French scientists: Carbonation of Calcium Silicate Hydrates as Secondary Raw Material from the Recovery of Hexafluorosilicic Acid Samba Ndiaye, Alexander Pisch, Alpha Ousmane Touré, Séverine Camy, Samba Mody Sow, Adrien Chen, Falilou Mbacke Sambe, Laurent Prat, and Laurent Cassayre ACS Sustainable Chemistry & Engineering 2022 10 (18), 6023-6032.

Unfortunately I won't have time to discuss the paper in much detail, but the introduction describes a pollution problem that I seemed to have missed, although I have a strong interest in phosphorous flows as well as fluorine chemistry:

In the worldwide phosphate fertilizer production, more than 2 million tons of hexafluorosilic acid are generated annually as a result of the reaction of phosphate ore and sulfuric acid. (1,2) The valorization of this acid remains a global environmental challenge and generates research efforts. (1,3−6) For instance, superphosphate plants such as Industries Chimiques du Senegal discharge nearly 276000 m3/year of H2SiF6 into the sea for a production of 600000 tons/year of phosphoric acid. In our previous work, (7) we proposed a three-step aqueous process to treat waste solutions containing 250 to 300 g/L of H2SiF6 issued from phosphoric acid production. It consists of a first aqueous reaction between H2SiF6 and NaCl to form solid sodium fluorosilicate Na2SiF6 and a concentrated HCl solution, followed by a reaction between sodium fluorosilicate and lime, allowing to successively generate two solid products: pure CaF2, which can be used as an additive in various pyrometallurgical processes (8) and calcium silicate hydrates (CSH) containing about 10 wt % CaF2.

Due to the large amount of CSH material that could be produced by hexafluorosilic acid processing, a volume application is needed to use this waste stream efficiently, and the field of construction material seems one of the best options. There are basically two possible valorization routes. The first one is the addition of CSH as raw material in Ordinary Portland Cement (OPC) production, as it is reported that small additions of fluorine are beneficial for the burnability of the raw mix in OPC clinker production, reducing the specific heat consumption of the final clinker and therefore the CO2 footprint of the resulting cement. (9−11) However, the amount of fluorine addition is limited to 0.25 wt % F, as for higher amounts considerably longer setting times are observed leading to quality related issues. (12) Therefore, the addition of large amounts of CaF2-containing CSH material is limited by its fluorine content.
The second pathway combines the development of alternative binders, which has been an active research field in the last decades, (13,14) and the CO2 capture in construction materials produced from secondary raw materials (such as stainless steel slags, (15) electric arc furnace slag, (16) ferronickel slags, (17) coal fly ash, or waste gypsum (18)) in the objective of decreasing the overall carbon footprint of concrete fabrication. (19) The pathway investigated in the present work concerns the direct use of CSH in carbonatable calcium silicate cements, based on the idea of cement setting and hardening through carbonation of calcium oxide. (20−25) To make such a process economically viable, carbonation must take place at atmospheric pressure and moderate temperatures (less than 80 °C) while assuming a reaction kinetics of close to 100% conversion in less than 24 h. Recent works (26−33) have confirmed that calcium silicate phases are likely to be carbonated quickly in the presence of CO2 and humidity. Binders based on calcium silicates are thus well-suited for the fabrication of thin precast products such as roof tiles, which allow to capture the CO2 emitted during cement production and to tend toward carbon-neutral cement. Such technology has been developed in the 2010s by the US-based company Solidia Technologies Inc., together with the cement manufacturer LafargeHolcim, using artificial wollastonite as the main raw material to produce clinker at 1200 °C. (34) However, as pointed out in a recent review by Habert et al., (35) wollastonite resources are not well distributed in the Earth’s crust, with a global production of rather low volume (about 500000 tons annually), such cement can thus only be a solution for some specific locations.

In the present work, we chose to investigate this second valorization route, using the CSH product as secondary raw material that could possibly be included in carbonatable cements. The direct carbonation reaction of CSH phases, as well as nonhydrated calcium silicates (CS), is described in eq 1 considering a solid–gas pathway (i.e., with low amounts of water). From a thermodynamic point of view, the Gibbs energy of this reaction is largely negative and thus should proceed spontaneously. Indeed, as reported in Figure 1 for several CS and CSH compounds, the Gibbs energy of carbonation at atmospheric pressure and 40 °C ranges from −37.8 kJ/mol of CO2 for CaSiO3 to −114.7 kJ/mol of CO2 for Ca2SiO4, with the CSH compounds in between. These data show that CS and CSH should have a similar reactivity toward CO2...

I never looked into the process chemistry for the isolation of phosphate from ores.

There's so much to learn, so little time.

This seems to be a cool paper; I hope I'll have time to come back to it.

I have a strong affection for group 2 fluorides and think about them often, basically as tools to recover fluorine from water and air matrices where they are highly problematic.

I know I'm insanely optimistic but I feel pretty damned...

...good about all of our nominees coming out of yesterday's primaries.

I can't see how in a decent world they could lose.

Historically relying on decency has been problematic, but I do believe in the end it prevails.

Extremist Murders by Political Affiliation and Type, 2012-2021.

Murder and Extremism in the United States in 2021, ADL


The reason that the Hate, Racism, and Misogyny Party, aka "Republicans" want their guns so badly is that they are at war with this country because they hate it.

Whence the Heat for This Lithium Battery Recycling Process?

We have bet the planet's atmosphere on so called "renewable energy" and, um, energy storage, generally involving fantasies about big, big, big, big piles of batteries, batteries galore, batteries everywhere.

From my perspective, and only my perspective, it's not going well:

May 15: 421.84 ppm
May 14: 422.04 ppm
May 13: 421.95 ppm
May 12: 421.87 ppm
May 11: 421.71 ppm
Last Updated: May 16, 2022

Recent Daily Average Mauna Loa CO2

Don't worry, be happy. If we chant about batteries - and of course hydrogen - the "renewable energy" god will surely save us.

Here's a recent paper on how we can all "recycle" our billions of tons of batteries:

Alkaline Roasting Approach to Reclaiming Lithium and Graphite from Spent Lithium-Ion Batteries Dongxu Liu, Xin Qu, Beilei Zhang, Jingjing Zhao, Hongwei Xie, and Huayi Yin ACS Sustainable Chemistry & Engineering 2022 10 (18), 5739-5747.

From the introduction:

Graphite is still unbeaten in most of the commercial lithium-ion batteries (LIBs) as an anode material due to its low cost and superior performance including long-term cycling stability, relatively high practical specific capacity (∼360 mA h g–1 vs theoretical capacity of 372 mA h g–1), non-memory-effect feature, low operation potential (∼0.1 V vs Li+/Li), and so forth. (1,2) It is reported that more than 10 million electric cars were on the world’s roads in 2020, and more than 20 countries have electrification targets or internal combustion engine bans for cars by no later than 2050, (3) which results in increasing the demand for graphite anode. However, graphite mines only produce flake graphite of 90–98% purity, and further energy-intensive purification is required to upgrade the flake graphite to 99.5% purity. (4) Meanwhile, the average lifespan of LIBs is 1–3 years for consumer electronics and 8–10 years for energy storage systems and electric vehicles, thereafter bringing about 0.2 million tons of spent consumer LIBs and 0.88 million tons of spent power LIBs by 2023. (5,6) Considering the environmental pollution of hazardous wastes and the scarcity of resources, the recycling of LIBs gains increasing attention. In-depth and extensive research of cathodes, such as LiNixMnyCo1–x–yO2, (7,8) LiCoO2, (9,10) and LiFePO4, (11,12) have been reported in recent years. Unfortunately, the graphite anodes are usually abandoned or incinerated in these studies. However, it has been confirmed that the recovered graphite can be reused in LIBs (Table S1) and Na/K/Al-ion batteries (13,14) and employed as the raw material for composite (15,16) and graphene (17,18) fabrication. Therefore, the spent LIB anode that contains about 12–21 wt % of battery-grade graphite (19,20) is a rich resource that should be recovered, which will help in not only closing the resource cycle but also reducing the environmental footprint.
Because the Li content in the spent graphite anode is much higher than its abundance in the Earth’s crust (3.007 wt % vs 0.0017 wt %), (21) Li should also be recovered in addition to graphite...

Don't worry. Be happy. Chant the word "recycle" and everything will be OK.

The process:

Spent LIBs were obtained from waste cell phones and EVs at a local electronic market (Shenyang, Liaoning province, P. R. China). First, spent LIBs were fully discharged by immersing them in a saturated NaCl (AR, Sinopharm Group Co., Ltd.) solution for 12 h to avoid the short circuit caused by the remaining capacity. Second, the fully discharged spent LIBs were dried and dismantled manually in a fuming hood to separate packaging materials, cathode, anode, and separator...

... The schematic illustration of reclaiming spent graphite anodes is described in Figure 1. First, the spent anode was vacuum-calcinated at 400 °C for 2 h to remove the organic solvent and binder, and then, the anode materials were scraped off from Cu foils. The derived graphites from different anodes were named LCO-VG, NCM-VG, and LFP-VG, respectively. Second, NaOH (AR, Sinopharm Group Co., Ltd.) and VG were mixed at different mass ratios (1:2, 1:1, 2:1, and 4:1). Third, the mixture was roasted under an argon (Ar) atmosphere in a tube furnace. The roasting temperature was maintained at 100–400 °C for 0.5–3 h, and the heating rate was 5 °C min–1. After the roasting process, lithium and graphite were separated by leaching with deionized water and filtrating. Finally, the obtained graphite residue was dried at 80 °C in a vacuum oven for 12 h, and the recovered graphites from different anodes were named as LCO-RG, NCM-RG, and LFP-RG, respectively...

The caption:

Figure 1. Schematic illustration of reclaiming lithium and graphite from spent LIBs by alkaline roasting.

400 °C for 2 hours?

Where are we going to get the heat for this process in our solar and wind nirvana?

I know...

Let's cover all of Southern California's deserts with big mirrors and focus them on little recycling ovens with molten salts that we can use to dry the graphite residue at 80 °C for 12 hours using vacuum pumps with energy provided by battery power.

Jobs! Jobs! Jobs!

Good idea?

My favorite part of this process is the part where:

...the anode materials were scraped off from Cu foils...

No problem. We have large deposits of desperately poor people who can spend 12 to 14 hours a day to do this for us so we can all be "green" and go cruising on Saturday nights down Hollywood Blvd. in our cool electric souped up Teslas.

History will not forgive us, nor should it.

We're saved...

...and have been since 2004.

ARTICLE | 2004

Hypercars, Hydrogen, and the Automotive Transition

By Amory Lovins

Designing and making cars differently and emphasizing ultralight weight, ultralow drag, and integrated design can reduce required propulsive power by about two-thirds. This can make direct-hydrogen fuel cells and commercially available compressed-hydrogen-gas tanks practical and affordable even at relatively high early prices. Coordinating such vehicles with deployment of fuel cells in buildings permits a rapid transition to a climate-safe hydrogen economy that is profitable at each step starting now...

Plus ça change...

In the week beginning May 16, 2004, the concentration of the dangerous fossil fuel waste carbon dioxide in the planetary atmosphere was 380.43 ppm. This morning the concentration was posted as follows:

May 15: 421.84 ppm
May 14: 422.04 ppm
May 13: 421.95 ppm
May 12: 421.87 ppm
May 11: 421.71 ppm
Last Updated: May 16, 2022

Recent Daily Average Mauna Loa CO2

In 2004 Hydrogen was overwhelmingly made using fossil fuels at a thermodynamic loss. In 2022 it still is.

I'm an old man. Yesterday I was at a wedding.

It was the wedding in the family of the owner of the company at which I work.

They are a wonderful family; one I am very proud to know. The founder of the company, who passed away, was one of the finest people I have ever known, smart, scrupulously ethical, fair, balanced and incredibly kind. My grief at his passing was not merely professional; it was deeply personal. I have wept many times at the loss.

While I was at the wedding several people asked me why I haven't retired - I could do so - and I brushed the inquiry off. I like what I do and I'm confident my company values me highly and treats me well. I feel I'm using my experience and knowledge acquired over a lifetime to work to save lives, to participate in discussions designed to develop drugs to treat human diseases that are currently intractable. I will work as long as I can do so.

While we were congregating before the wedding, and later while we were eating food after it, another guest at the wedding, also a friend of the family, to my knowledge a good friend, did something that I found disturbing.

This person came up to me - several times - and tried, not all that subtly, to poach me away from my company - the company owned by our hosts - to join their new start up company.

I have lived too long for this sort of thing. It's nice to be respected in my industry, but the job I have now is the last one I will ever have, a job very much involved in love.

Anyway, we were all guests of the family and somehow it just seemed the wrong place and wrong time to engage me in this way. We've lost a number of people at my company, and I see my duty to do what I can to bridge my company to the future. I owe that to my late boss for who he was.

New Weekly CO2 Concentration Record Set at the Mauna Loa Observatory 421.13 ppm.

As I've indicated repeatedly in my DU writings, somewhat obsessively I keep a spreadsheet of the weekly data at the Mauna Loa Carbon Dioxide Observatory, which I use to do calculations to record the dying of our atmosphere, a triumph of fear, dogma and ignorance that did not have to be, but nonetheless is, a fact.

Facts matter.

As I pointed out in several previous threads, 2020 was an unusual year for worldwide energy consumption, inasmuch as for the first time in history, it was a year in which the worldwide use of energy - which remains, and is increasingly dependent on the use of dangerous fossil fuels - declined, from 613 EJ in 2019, to 589 EJ in 2020. This was not, of course, the result of the world embracing the nonsense ideology of the anti-nuke Amory Lovins about how energy conservation in the suburbia dominated bourgeois world would save the whole world, including places about which he couldn't care less, say Antarctica for example. It was the result of the spread of a terrible highly contagious disease, the resulting lockdowns associated with that disease. (It is interesting however that the disease never killed as many people as air pollution kills without much of a public whimper.)

The data from the 2021 IEA World Energy Outlook I've taken to posting lately in several threads:

Nevertheless despite the brief and almost certainly unsustainable decline in the use of dangerous fossil fuels, the concentrations of the deadly dangerous fossil fuel waste carbon dioxide continues to rise, because 589 EJ is nothing at which to sneeze, and because land use changes and feedback loops persist. As I track these things, I have made a habit of posting threads each year when new records are set, as they are each Northern Hemisphere late winter or early spring. (CO2 concentrations decline each summer because of the vegetation is mostly located in the Northern Hemisphere. Annual peaks are usually observed in April or May.)

Last year's record setting peak was 420.01 ppm, recorded in week 16 of 2021, the week beginning April 25, 2021.

In all the years of tracking the weekly readings at Mauna Loa's CO2 observatory, I have had the impression that 2022 has thus far been a relatively mild year for increases in the concentrations of the dangerous fossil fuel waste CO2 in the atmosphere. There have been, for example, five weeks wherein the increases have been less than 1.00 ppm when compared to the same week of the previous year, the lowest having been the value recorded last week, the week beginning May 1, 2022, when the increase was "only" 0.37 ppm. This is very, very unusual. Overall the average week to week increase in carbon dioxide concentrations in 2022 has been 2.17 ppm/year, compared to the pre-Covid year of 2019, where this same average was 2.90 ppm/year.

One may speculate - I do, given the lockdowns in China, which is the largest overall contributor of climate change gases to the atmosphere, but distantly trails the US in per capita emissions - that Covid and not the outbreak of a so called "renewable energy" nirvana is responsible for the "mild" year 2022 seems to be in the first half.

Nevertheless, a new record has been set for a weekly reading has been set:

This past week, the week beginning May 8, 2022 we exceeded that figure, with a reading of 421.13 ppm:

Week beginning on May 8, 2022: 421.13 ppm
Weekly value from 1 year ago: 418.34 ppm
Weekly value from 10 years ago: 397.38 ppm

Last updated: May 15, 2022

Weekly average CO2 at Mauna Loa (Accessed 05/15/22)

Last year's record was the first to exceed 420 ppm, set less than ten years after we first saw measurements greater than 400 pm, in the week of 5/23/2013, the record for 2013, 400.03 ppm.

The daily data, from which the weekly averages are composed as described on the observatory is also reported at Mauna Loa, although I do not keep a record of this somewhat noisy data in spreadsheets. It is nonetheless disturbing:

May 14: 422.04 ppm
May 13: 421.95 ppm
May 12: 421.87 ppm
May 11: 421.71 ppm
May 10: 421.13 ppm
Last Updated: May 15, 2022

Recent Daily Average Mauna Loa CO2

As 2022 has been a "mild" year for increases, I'm not sure that we will see weekly average readings as high as 422 ppm, but it is certainly not out of the realm of possibility. Most often the new records in the sinusoidal measurements imposed on a monotonically increasing quasi-linear axis are established in May, less frequently in April. The increase measured here, "only" 1.10 ppm higher than last year's record, may be "it." I don't know. The last time a new weekly record for atmospheric concentrations of the dangerous fossil fuel waste CO2 was established in June was 1980, for the week beginning June, 1, 1980, 42 years ago, when the reading was 341.61 ppm, roughly 80 ppm less than we saw this week.

In 1980, a year in which I was quite alive but still young, it was the heyday of the oft repeated statement that nuclear energy is "too dangerous." I was a dumb shit then, and I took up that idiot cry myself. My change of attitude about nuclear energy took place following 1986, when the Chernobyl reactor exploded and the result was not wiping out the then Soviet city of Kyiv, which I had been trained to take as a "given."

The irony of all this is that more people in Kyiv have been killed by weapons powered by dangerous fossil fuels - weapons largely financed by the Russian export of coal, oil and gas to the officially anti-nuke country of Germany - than were killed by radiation released by an exploded reactor less than 100 km away from it.

The data as to whether nuclear energy is "too dangerous" speaks for itself.

German carbon intensity.

French carbon intensity.

One can access the current data at these links at any time of day on any day during any week and see which country is burning more coal in 2022.

Go figure.

If any of this disturbs you, don't worry, be happy. I've been hearing my whole life that so called "renewable energy" would save the world. It didn't happen, it isn't happening, and I firmly believe it won't happen, but you don't have to believe me. There are all sorts of webpages all over the internet with happy talk about wind turbines, solar cells, and electric cars, including those made by that cowboy hero, Elon Musk, who wants you to believe that we can all ride on his rocket ships to Mars once we've completed destroying this planet, and wreck another one. Head over to one of those multitudinous websites. Then you can happily ignore all the facts herein.

Facts, nonetheless, matter.

Have a nice Sunday.

Some Irony: Most Likely Early Sites for Fatal Wet Bulb Extreme Temperatures are in the Persian Gulf.

The paper I'll discuss in this post is this one: Colin Raymond and Tom Matthews and Radley M. Horton ,The emergence of heat and humidity too severe for human tolerance, Science Advances,6,19,eaaw1838,2020,doi 10.1126/sciadv.aaw1838

A thermometer with a bulb wrapped with soaked paper over which air is passing is called a "wet bulb" thermometer. When the air is not saturated with water, such a thermometer will always measure a temperature that is lower than the ambient temperature measured by a dry bulb. It is a crude device for measuring humidity. When I was a high school student, a very long time ago, we attached thermometers to the end of a dowel using a pin, wrapped the bulb with a soaked cotton ball, and swung the thermometer around by swinging the dowel with a wrist motion. One can still do this if one wishes. A simple arrangement with a fan also works.

The extreme temperatures we have been seeing around the world, some exceeding by a large margin 40°C - recent temperatures in India and Pakistan have been higher than 46°C and have approached 49°C - are much higher than normal body temperatures; most in vitro tests designed to mimic physiologic conditions are at 37°C, which can be taken to be "normal" body temperatures.

Having a fever of 42°C (around 106-107°F) is generally fatal, causing general organ failure, and the reason we don't die when ambient temperatures reach those levels, as they do more and more frequently is that we sweat. The high heat of vaporization of water absorbs heat, lowering body temperatures. However the rate at which the body can cool using evaporation is a function of its humidity; the higher the humidity, the less efficient evaporation becomes, and at a high enough wet bulb temperature, generally taken to be 35°C, although fatalities are observed at lower wet bulb temperatures.

Science Advances is an open sourced journal provided to the public free of charge by the American Association for the Advancement of Science; anyone can access the paper cited at the outset. For convenience however, I will excerpt a discussion from the introduction about fatal levels of wet bulb temperatures.

Humans’ bipedal locomotion, naked skin, and sweat glands are constituents of a sophisticated cooling system (1). Despite these thermoregulatory adaptations, extreme heat remains one of the most dangerous natural hazards (2), with tens of thousands of fatalities in the deadliest events so far this century (3, 4). The additive impacts of heat and humidity extend beyond direct health outcomes to include reduced individual performance across a range of activities, as well as large-scale economic impacts (5–7). Heat-humidity effects have prompted decades of study in military, athletic, and occupational contexts (8, 9). However, consideration of wet-bulb temperature (TW) from the perspectives of climatology and meteorology began more recently (10, 11).

While some heat-humidity impacts can be avoided through acclimation and behavioral adaptation (12), there exists an upper limit for survivability under sustained exposure, even with idealized conditions of perfect health, total inactivity, full shade, absence of clothing, and unlimited drinking water (9, 10). A normal internal human body temperature of 36.8° ± 0.5°C requires skin temperatures of around 35°C to maintain a gradient directing heat outward from the core (10, 13). Once the air (dry-bulb) temperature (T) rises above this threshold, metabolic heat can only be shed via sweat-based latent cooling, and at TW exceeding about 35°C, this cooling mechanism loses its effectiveness altogether. Because the ideal physiological and behavioral assumptions are almost never met, severe mortality and morbidity impacts typically occur at much lower values—for example, regions affected by the deadly 2003 European and 2010 Russian heat waves experienced TW values no greater than 28°C (fig. S1). In the literature to date, there have been no observational reports of TW exceeding 35°C and few reports exceeding 33°C (9, 11, 14, 15). The awareness of a physiological limit has prompted modeling studies to ask how soon it may be crossed. Results suggest that, under the business-as-usual RCP8.5 emissions scenario, TW could regularly exceed 35°C in parts of South Asia and the Middle East by the third quarter of the 21st century (14–16)...

Reference 3 is one I've cited a number of times in a number of places, and which I have in my files, this one:

Jean-Marie Robine, Siu Lan K. Cheung, Sophie Le Roy, Herman Van Oyen, Clare Griffiths, Jean-Pierre Michel, François Richard Herrmann, Death toll exceeded 70,000 in Europe during the summer of 2003, Comptes Rendus Biologies, Volume 331, Issue 2,
2008, Pages 171-178.

This paper receives a tiny fraction of the discussions of Fukushima, where roughly 20,000 people died from seawater and almost no one died from radiation exposure, not that we give a rat's ass about the victims of seawater.

Please note the use of the word "regularly" which I have taken the liberty of putting in bold. It is reported that the death toll in India from the extreme heat is 25, but this is almost certainly an extreme under count, given that the death of 70,000 people in Europe was tied to wet bulb temperatures of 28°C. As the authors note, it is the temperature gradient that matters physiologically, bodies do generate heat internally and that heat must be removed in addition to ambient heat.

Anyway, the paper is open sourced. It behooves me only to reproduce a graphic from it and it's caption, noting a problem with the Persian Gulf in particular, and Southeast Asia in General:

The graphic:

Fig. 4 Projections of extreme humid heat exceeding the physiological survivability limit.

(A) Shading shows the amount of global warming (since preindustrial) until TW = 35°C is projected to become at least a 1-in-30-year event at each grid cell according to a nonstationary GEV model. In blank areas, more than 4°C of warming is necessary. Black dots indicate ERA-Interim grid cells with a maximum TW (1979–2017) in the hottest 0.1% of grid cells worldwide. (B) Total area with TW of at least 35°C, as a function of mean annual temperature change 〈T〉 from the preindustrial period. Red (green) vertical lines highlight the lowest 〈T〉 for which there are nonzero areas over land (sea)—the respective ToE. (C) Bootstrap estimates of the ToE. See text for details of this definition and calculation.

Again, the paper is open sourced.

Anyone can read about it if they wish.

It's probably not as interesting as reading about Fukushima, or about how solar energy, wind energy, and electric cars will save the world, although apparently they haven't saved the world, aren't saving the world and won't save the world. These dangerous fantasies are not very good at generated energy, but they do a spectacular job of generating complacency.

No matter.

The die is cast.


We're all melting down, as we might discover if, and only if, we look in the mirror..

Enjoy the weekend.
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