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On Why EIA, IEA, and Randers' 2052 Energy Forecasts are Wrong

Supply and Demand.

Diminishing resources + increasing demand = increasing prices = limited growth.

Climate change is essentially the pollution of the ocean with excess heat, which in turn is convertible to at least as much energy as we currently consume. To harness this energy requires a one time capital investment that will payout over 60 years and will not deplete the resource. Over that span the only cost will be debt servicing and maintenance.

Straighten out the top line in Figure 1 and how does that impact the rest of the chart?

Dissolved in ocean water and in its sediments are all of the other minerals we required for a sustainable existence.

Oceans also are the source of much of the food we need and were the original source of the oxygen we breath and still provide about 50 percent; all of which is at risk due to the heat pollution we are doing nothing about.

Gail your prediction of collapse may well come to pass but the major reason for it will have been a misallocation of capital. 

 

January 17, 2014    View Comment    

On The Sociology of Climate Change

"We need a reformulated environmentalism, one that is as smart and savvy and ruthless as the fossil fuel companies, one that can hurdle the barriers of politics, economics, psychology, and, yes, sociology.

 But that’s a topic for another post."

Lou I am dying to read that post.

I for one am sick and tired of the wheel spinning.

 

January 15, 2014    View Comment    

On The Energy Oath: In Production and Use Do Good or No Harm

Further discussions between Cliff, Martin Vermeer, and myself have affirmed that moving surface heat to deeper water would in fact reduce sea level rise. Dr. Vermeer however suggests that the movement of this heat away from the surface could draw heat from the atmosphere to replace the surface loss and therefore SLR might increase due to the addition of heat to the deep. It seems to me this is occuring in any case naturally and we are not deriving any energy benefit from the process. Further there is a diurnal component to the warming of the ocean's surface whereas the movement of heat to the lower coefficient of expansion area would be all day long with OTEC.

I am content therefore to leave this post in its modfied state, with the claim of a sea level benefit withdrawn, though I would welcome further enlightened debate on the issue. 

January 13, 2014    View Comment    

On The Energy Oath: In Production and Use Do Good or No Harm

Cliff I think I finally get it. A one degree increase in temperature from 4C to 5C at 1000 meters brings about a greater increase in the coefficient than a one degree decrease at the surface from 27C to 26C causes the  surface coefficient to decrease. It is pretty counterintuitive but I think you are right and I will cease to make the claim that there is a SLR benefit and will amend the article accordingly.

I guess I owe you that beer now.

Thanks for setting me straight.

January 12, 2014    View Comment    

On The Energy Oath: In Production and Use Do Good or No Harm

Cliff's point is taken but doesn't seem germane. It is virtually impossible for the ocean column to ever become isothermal, which is what it would take for an addition of heat to the ocean's depth at 1000 meters to bring about an increase in sea level rise. Long before that would ever happen all life on the planet and man made means of producing energy would have vanished.

January 12, 2014    View Comment    

On The Energy Oath: In Production and Use Do Good or No Harm

Cliff from your data, if you take constant temperature of 15 C and saliniity 35 then the coefficient of expansion does increase very slighttly as you move from the surface through 4000 meters. The thing is the ocean isn't at constant temperature at those depths, It decreases and it is going to take an awful lot relocation of surface heat to the depths to rasise anything under 1000 meters much higher than 4C due to the huge volume.

The study, “World ocean heat content and thermosteric sea level change (0–2000 m), 1955–2010, by  S. Levitus et al. estimates that the mean warming of the 0–2000 m layer  of the World Ocean between 1955 and 2010 was only .09oC.

January 11, 2014    View Comment    

On The Energy Oath: In Production and Use Do Good or No Harm

Cliff a debate on the subject took place here.

At comment 53 Bereyni states: The curve above has a minimum around 1000 m. You can only decrease sea level by a simple redistribution of heat if it does not go too deep.

OTEC would move the heat precisely to the sweet spot.

I may be wrong but the graph seems self explanatory. The temperature below 1000 m is pretty constant at  3C so the determining factor in the change would appear to be pressure.

Martin Vermeer states here in a RealClimate article:    
7 Jun 2012 at 8:54 AM

Hank Roberts #113:

    is it safe to say that warming a given amount of cold deep water causes more sea level rise than warming the same amount of warm surface water?

Hank, just the other way around. Though the difference is not so big if you also take the pressure increase with depth into account.

 

January 11, 2014    View Comment    

On The Energy Oath: In Production and Use Do Good or No Harm

Cliff the following diagram is from the SkepticalScience article we went over before.


The coefficient of expansion decreaes with depth (pressure) to about 1000 meters, which is where the heat would be relocated with OTEC using a deep water condenser.

With OTEC you typically loose 1/4 of the delta T through the evaporator, 1/2 through the turbine and 1/4 through the condenser. With delta T of 20 you would lose about 5 degrees at depth. From your reference which only shows a depth of 2000 meters raising the temperature from 5 degrees (actually around 4) to 10 would raise the coefficient of expansion from from 157 to 202 which is still less than 257.


Regarding radiative cooling OTEC would be removing surface heat 24/7 while the surface would only be warming during the day.

As to plumes and entrainment I believe the deep water condenser overcomes most of this as does James Lau's design which requires no water movement due to the dispersed nature of the evaporators and condensers.

 

January 11, 2014    View Comment    

On The Energy Oath: In Production and Use Do Good or No Harm

Cliff the reference you cite states at 25C, 0 decibars and 35 ‰ salinity the coefficient is 297 e x 106 - at 5C, 2000 decibars, and 35 ‰ it is 157 e x 106; about half the surface coefficient.

As to CO2 and methane, OTEC is a carbon free energy source and according to the latest assessment of Gerard Nihous and Krishnakumar Rajagopalan - An Assessment of Global Ocean Thermal Energy Conversion Resources With a High-Resolution Ocean, General Circulation Model,  you could replace the 14 TW we currently derive from fossil fules with OTEC. The greatest concern with methane is the melting of clathrates and permafrost. The clathrates are found mostly in shallow waters on the continental shelf and thus are more susceptible to the status quo than to "hiding" excess heat in deep water. 

Tropical storms are the greatest movers of heat towards the poles that in turn are melting the permafrost. To the extent you drain the power source of these storms by "hiding" heat in the deep and converting some to work you short circuit this movement, I think?

January 11, 2014    View Comment    

On The Existential Imperative: Ocean Thermal Energy Conversion II

“It is difficult to get a man to understand something, when his salary depends upon his not understanding it!,” Upton Sinclair.

Unfortunately this incite applies to far too many of our putative, current, leaders, whom we are, for the most part, following straight over the cliff.

 

January 7, 2014    View Comment    

On When it Comes to Our Need for Electricity, Reliability is Essential

Unforseen circumstances of poles. Tom, one of my son-in-laws is a lineman with BC Hydro. One of his steadiest current assignments is replacing cement poles that were installed about 30 years ago to replace the cedar ones that grow locally. It seems water gets into the cement poles and rusts through the structures on which everything is hung with the result things like transformers have simply started falling to the ground.

January 2, 2014    View Comment    

On When it Comes to Our Need for Electricity, Reliability is Essential

Tom Calgary has been undergrounding for years. Besides safeguarding the infrastructure, who would want to blight this picture with poles and wiring.

January 1, 2014    View Comment