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On Converting Global Warming to Global Energy

Paul Curto, former Chief Technologist with NASA, estimated it would take every mine and every shipyard working at full tilt to develop 2.5 TWs. This would sequester about 1/6th of the heat the ocean surface is currently taking up.  A war time effort, as the problem deserves, would ramp this up to more appropriate levels.

It is also doubtful that steel would be the largest input. Lockheed Martin are creating there cold water pipes out of composites and it is likely this would be widely used in a heat pipe design as well.

 

November 5, 2014    View Comment    

On How Would We Provide Enough Energy For 11 Billion People?

Geoff,

Look forward to your assessment. OTEC turns global warming into global energy.

Jim

November 3, 2014    View Comment    

On How Would We Provide Enough Energy For 11 Billion People?

One terawatt of fission or fusion energy is produced in conjunction with two terawatts of waste heat.

One terawatt of heat pipe OTEC is produced by the conversion of one terawatt of surface ocean heat to power and the movement of at least 20 times more to the benign deep heat sink.


The Lockheed Martin's OTEC approach dilutes surface heat by upwelling cold water from the depths. It is not clear to me that in the long run this is as environmentally beneficial.

November 1, 2014    View Comment    

On How Would We Provide Enough Energy For 11 Billion People?

Even Milton Friedman, one of the 20th century’s most prominent advocates of free enterprise, admitted in a 1979 interview on the Phil Donahue show, that government had a responsibility to do something about pollution. What that should be is to impose a tax on the cost of the pollutants so that their producers are incentivized to keep the amount they produce down. 

As I suggested to Geoff below, the alternative would be to neutralized the damage the pollution creates.

October 31, 2014    View Comment    

On How Would We Provide Enough Energy For 11 Billion People?

Geoff, it likely will be a slow go to move away from fossil fuels. It probably would be in that sectors interest however to demonstrate - if nothing else - that the consequence of global warming - ocean warming - can be mitigated by moving surface heat into the deep ocean.

Stephan Rahmstorf, one of the lead authors of the IPCC Fourth Assessment Report , says in  RealClimate - http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2014/10/ocean-heat-storage-a-particularly-lousy-policy-target/ - that if all the heat the oceans have accumulated since 1970 was evenly distributed over the entire global ocean, water temperatures would have warmed on average less than 0.05 °C and there would be zero impact.The only reason why ocean heat uptake does have an impact is the fact that it is highly concentrated at the surface, where the warming is therefore noticeable ."

The obvious solution therefore is to move this heat away from the surface to the deep where there is zero impact. The fact you can create as much energy as is currently derived from fossil fuels with this process is a bonus and pays for the cost of the climate rehabiliitation.

Why the oil patch and coal don't at least try to hedge their bets beats me.

 

October 31, 2014    View Comment    

On How Would We Provide Enough Energy For 11 Billion People?

Nathan, you don't have to make any land available. The planet's surface is 70 percent covered by water and that surface is collecting 93 percent of the heat of global warming. By moving that heat to deeper water you can produce all the power required while resolving the "global" (ocean) warming problem.

October 30, 2014    View Comment    

On Short-Circuiting Sea Level Rise

Methane hydrates are found along the continental margins. It is far more likely they and methane locked in the tundra will be released as a result of not moving trapped heat into the deep ocean than the reverse.

October 27, 2014    View Comment    

On Great Visualization of Our Energy and Carbon Consumption and Emissions [VIDEO]

"CCS returns essentially nothing whatsoever, to the investor." That is true Roger and part of the reason for a considerable backlash against Canadian federal government investments in a project that exclusively benefits one of the most profitable enterprises on the planet. It would be one thing if that investment was part of a basket of climate mitigating efforts rather than essentially the government's only positive effort stacked up against a barrage of environmental subtrafuge.

October 26, 2014    View Comment    

On Great Visualization of Our Energy and Carbon Consumption and Emissions [VIDEO]

Thanks Roger.

In many ways the issue parallels the current debate in RealClimate concerning, which is the best metric from a policy standpoint; ocean heat content or atmospheric CO2 levels? I think we have to get beyond such debates and on to implementing the solutions to both. They are sitting on the self, where they serve no one.

October 24, 2014    View Comment    

On Great Visualization of Our Energy and Carbon Consumption and Emissions [VIDEO]

Roger, CCS is a response to the cause but not the effect, which is heat accumulation in the upper layers of the ocean and the implications of that storage, which are storm surge and sea level rise. These are implications that will last a 1000 years due to the thermal inertia of the ocean and CCS will do nothing to reduce them.

Sequestering surface heat in the deep ocean would mitigate those consequences however as it produces energy that would replace fossil fuels. The potential also exists to tie this option in with Greg Rau's supergreen hydrogen production that would sequester CO2.

Rather than advancing an ideological agenda it seems to me we should be advancing the best technical approach.

October 24, 2014    View Comment    

On The Alternative to the Climate Nuclear Option is Innovation

Duplicate posting?

October 22, 2014    View Comment