More information about how the polar vortex gets torn apart (Carbon Brief). This post explains some of the details about the nature of “sudden stratospheric warming” and how it comes into play. “There is still significant research ongoing in understanding the dynamical relationships between stratosphere-troposphere interactions.” It’s important to know about because the effects are so severe and can probably be easily repeated in many winters to come.
A compendium of recent news and opinions relevant to sea level rise, from Tim Radford, with plenty of links. There is too much for me to summarize, but you are likely to find some things you haven’t seen before. Don’t miss the information about how huge boulders get tossed around by intensified storms.
–There is one story that Tim overlooked, reported on February 23 by the media in New Zealand and other countries in that area. Dr. Tim Naish is a prominent scientist who is active in the research of ice sheet loss from Antarctica and thinks the future contribution from that source has been underestimated. Speaking at a recent conference he said, “We may have under-estimated the Antarctic contribution by 1 metre, by the end of the century. So add another metre to the 1 metre we’re already predicting for global sea level.”
A new candidate for world’s tallest and most powerful wind turbine has been planned. This model will stand 800 feet tall with blades 335 feet long, ready for offshore deployment in three to five years. GE is committing $400 million to development of the technology. “The Haliade-X shows GE’s commitment to the offshore wind segment and will set a new benchmark for cost of electricity, thus driving more offshore growth.”
Another reason to be wary of hydroelectric dams. With climate change coming on many of them will no longer have a reliable source of water. Pumped hydro, drawing on a stable source of water and serving as a complement to renewable energy, makes much more sense and does far less environmental damage.
The US can meet 80% of its electricity needs with wind and solar energy. This new study basically confirms what others have been saying, that all of the requirements are now available and can be met in an economical way. The other 20% can be met with options other than fossil fuels.