Comments by Jim Baird Subscribe

On Taking the Heat out of Global Warming

Okay let's talk disasters.

"Hansen et al 2015 found, that the shutdown or substantial slowdown of the AMOC, besides possibly contributing to extreme end-Eemian events, will cause a more general increase of severe weather. Additional surface cooling from ice melt increases surface and lower tropospheric temperature gradients, and causes in model simulations a large increase of mid-latitude eddy energy throughout the midlatitude troposphere. This in turn leads to an increase of baroclinicity produced by stronger temperature gradients, which provides energy for more severe weather events." Wikipedia.

Hansen paper - "Ice melt, sea level rise and superstorms: evidence from paleoclimate data, climate modeling, and modern observations that 2 °C global warming is highly dangerous". doi:10.5194/acpd-15-20059-2015.

The deaths per year from cyclones are 10,000 and the present annual global damage from tropical cyclones is US$26 billion. (Hurricane Sandy alone caused $75 billion in damage and killed 233.)

Massive OTEC will sap the power of these storms while Rajagopalan and Nihous show that 14TW of OTEC will significantly boost the thermohaline circulation (the AMOC) and thus prevent the increase in severe weather Hansen points to.

The little bit of heat nuclear would add to the oceans you referred to in one of the deleted posts would of course exascerbate this damage and increse the number of deaths.

There is no reason for Japan to go back to fossil fuels in the long run to replace their nukes. They have people working on OTEC.

Just as dangerous as methane is hardly a reason to forego hydrogen.

Nathan et al. I know nukes are going to be around for a long time and are superior to FF. IMHO they are just not the best solution available .


February 3, 2016    View Comment    

On Taking the Heat out of Global Warming

Excellent question Bob, I have no idea except maybe has something to do with message I recieved earlier that TEC has been sold.

February 3, 2016    View Comment    

On Mending the Burst Canadian Energy Bubble

Joris, I think this makes the point about nuclear power's social license; in a lot of jurisdictions it has evaporated.

January 11, 2016    View Comment    

On Mending the Burst Canadian Energy Bubble

Nathan I don't understand the ""lesser" countries to support US hegemony" comment. My understanding was lack of the need for reprocessing was the main selling point. 

The history of reprocessing is pretty ugly and although new processes may be great improvements it still is a hard sell.

I had some correspondence with Bernard Eastlund about his large volume plasma process when I was working on the problem and although it seem to have great promise it has never gone anywhere as far as I know.

I was a supporter of nuclear energy for a long time but have since come around to Joe Romm's point of view. I have come to believe OTEC is a better answer to the warming problem because of the multiplier effect. The more energy produced by the process the more the ocean surface and thus the atmosphere is cooled. With nukes you compound the heating and although waste heat is considered small potatoes in terms of global warming it still is better to convert warming heat to work and move the bulk into the abyss.Marvel et al refer to ocean heat uptake as "unrealised radiative imbalance" and we need a lot more of it. Particularly when you can produce as much energy as we now get from fossil fuels by unrealising the trapped heat. 

January 8, 2016    View Comment    

On Mending the Burst Canadian Energy Bubble

Bob, bit diameters range from 8.5 to 36 inches. The o.d. of the largest fuel bundles are less than 10 inches. Although conventional drill pipe is not big enough to accomodate these bundles casings are. It too can be fitted with threaded male and female ends which should allow them to be tripped in and out of a drill hole just like drill string is tripped every day. Further the pipe will be hot and have a greater diameter going in than once it has cooled. 

I don't recommend it but I believe it is possible.


January 7, 2016    View Comment    

On Mending the Burst Canadian Energy Bubble

Bob, emplacing spent fuel in an oil sands formation encased in a drill string does not preclude recovery of the fuel and its recycling once the oil sands have been produced and the fuel has cooled.

Why let good heat go to waste or for that matter bad heat in the case of ocean surface heat?

Heat management is the foundation of this approach and that of heat pipe OTEC.



January 7, 2016    View Comment    

On Mending the Burst Canadian Energy Bubble

Hops, a number of quid pro quos for Keytone XL were offered here and here to no avail. Nuclear waste was one of them.

Now Trans Canada has taken the matter to court where I suspect they have a fair chance of winning or at least recovering significant damages.

January 7, 2016    View Comment    

On Mending the Burst Canadian Energy Bubble

Bob, the Candu is probably a better alternative for reusing fuel. In spite of the benefits the effort never got off the ground so I don't share your faith in the industry's ability to regain the social license necessary to remain relevant.

Nuclear power was touted as the solution to climate change 25 years ago but it has gone nothing but backwards ever since.

Best to you in the New Year.

January 6, 2016    View Comment    

On Mending the Burst Canadian Energy Bubble

Bob the plutonium cycle has been the dream of the nuclear industry from its inception. It is one of the main reasons the industry has failed. Myak and Hanford are the two most polluted places on the planet as a result of plutonium refining. Fast reactors require fuel that is at least 20 percent enriched thus spent fuel refining is required to produce this fuel with all of its problems and proliferation potential.

The industry is the ultimate example of proposing the same thing over and over again, each time expecting a different result.

To the best of my knowledge the once-through cycle is still the law of the land in the United States and it is favoured by many other countries who are seeking repositories.

I agree fossil fuels are a dead end. The end of that road however is a ways off and I prefer to see at least some of the remaining revenue from that industry ending up on this continent rather than going towards building towering infernos in the Middle East.

As for trying to entice U.S. startups to move to Canada, we have plenty of our own ideas struggling to get off the ground for lack of financing and provincial and federal governments are seeing a big chunk of their revenue drying up. This is simply a proposed way to finance the move to the future we both desire.

As to the nuclear industry the Canadian taxpayer lost its shirt on it, in no small part due to the lack of a solution to the waste problem.

January 6, 2016    View Comment    

On An Energy Sea Change Is Required

Thanks Bob. A colleague,  Dr. Greg Rau of the University of California Santa Cruz, gave the following paper “Supergreen” Renewables: Integration of Mineral Weathering Into Renewable Energy Production for Air CO2 Removal and Storage as Ocean Alkalinity to the 2015 AGU meeting on Friday on how to resolve this problem.

OTEC is the logical synergistic renewalble require. 

December 22, 2015    View Comment    

On In Memoriam: Robin Fray Carey

Thank you Robin for giving a voice to many.

Sincerest regrets to your family.

December 21, 2015    View Comment