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Australian Wildfires

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Australian Wildfires

Posted by Lisa Miles on Jan 7, 2020 10:53 am

Moving some posts re the Australian wildfires to a separate topic Luciano Bacco‍ 

Luciano Bacco:

Climate Crisis. The reason Australia is red. Australian wildfires have cloaked the country in a demonic red glow. As the new decade begins underneath a blood-red sky, the need for solutions is even more pressing. 
https://www.inverse.com/article/62058-why-do-wildfires-turn-the-sky-red?link_uid=9&utm_campaign=inverse-daily-2020-01-03&utm_medium=inverse&utm_source=newsletter 

And:
https://interestingengineering.com/a-magpie-in-australia-mimics-emergency-responder-sirens-because-things-are-that-bad?_source=newsletter&_campaign=a0bglamBn02qr&_uid=YQdJzWvdOG&_h=c5182a5a087e2b004ca4aca7c1e307f54e8a1507&utm_source=newsletter&utm_medium=mailing&utm_campaign=Newsletter-04-01-2020

https://www.standard.co.uk/news/world/australian-bushfires-new-south-wales-koalas-sydney-a4322071.html#spark_wn=1

Lisa Miles - Online Community Manager, Engineering Communities

Re: Australian Wildfires

Posted by Luciano Bacco on Jan 7, 2020 2:17 pm

Well done!
LUCIANO BACCO

Re: Australian Wildfires

Posted by Luciano Bacco on Jan 10, 2020 8:06 am

More:
https://interestingengineering.com/2019-is-officially-worlds-second-hottest-year-on-record?_source=newsletter&_campaign=aLoo8dB9kLeA9&_uid=YQdJzWvdOG&_h=c5182a5a087e2b004ca4aca7c1e307f54e8a1507&utm_source=newsletter&utm_medium=mailing&utm_campaign=Newsletter-09-01-2020
LUCIANO BACCO

Re: Australian Wildfires

Posted by Luciano Bacco on Jan 10, 2020 10:54 am

A Green New Deal for Australia

This cataclysmic bushfire season demonstrates the risk that climate change poses to Australia’s economic and social prosperity. Stanford’s international roadmap to freedom from fossil fuels by 2050 says Australia needs another 280 GW of solar PV and tens of billions of dollars of investment to turn down the heat.
https://www.pv-magazine-australia.com/2020/01/06/a-green-new-deal-for-australia/
https://www.bbc.com/news/world-australia-50951043
https://www.unsw.edu.au/bushfire-response
https://www.engineering.unsw.edu.au/energy-engineering/

 

LUCIANO BACCO

Re: Australian Wildfires

Posted by Luciano Bacco on Jan 13, 2020 7:41 am

The Story behind That Time the Mediterranean Sea Disappeared

 

Did you know that at one point, the Mediterranean sea disappeared? Since the 1800s, scientists have been aware that the layers of the Mediterranean sea weren't just made out of the usual sediments.
https://interestingengineering.com/video/the-story-behind-that-time-the-mediterranean-sea-disappeared?_source=newsletter&_campaign=1ELXPqLvB47KR&_uid=YQdJzWvdOG&_h=c5182a5a087e2b004ca4aca7c1e307f54e8a1507&utm_source=newsletter&utm_medium=mailing&utm_campaign=Newsletter-12-01-2020
 

LUCIANO BACCO

Re: Australian Wildfires

Posted by Roger Bryant on Jan 13, 2020 12:11 pm

"A Green New Deal for Australia"
As usual those who want a major investment in Solar PV for Australia are those with a vested interest. Investment in 'renewables' in Australia has dropped significantly in the last year(s):
https://www.pv-magazine-australia.com/2019/12/20/the-collapse-in-queensland-renewables-investment-the-canary-in-the-coal-mine/
Once again climate change is being blamed for the current fires rather than poor forest management. This is a piece from someone close to the frontline:
https://www.theland.com.au/story/6496579/climate-change-doesnt-cause-fires/
The opening quote 'It's November again and once again half of NSW and Queensland is battling bushfires'. Bush fires have been a problem in Australia for ever. This a 1995 report from the CSIRO Division of Forestry,  
BUSHFIRES - AN INTEGRAL PART OF AUSTRALIA'S ENVIRONMENT
https://www.abs.gov.au/Ausstats/abs@.nsf/0/6C98BB75496A5AD1CA2569DE00267E48
According to the report on 16th Feb 1983 37 people lost their lives, more than 10,000 homes were destroyed and more than 40,000ha were burnt.

 

Re: Australian Wildfires

Posted by Luciano Bacco on Jan 13, 2020 12:54 pm

The most salient point about the implementation of renewables is exactly the following and Australia should wisely follow this way too!
https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2019/sep/23/countries-must-triple-climate-emissions-targets-to-limit-global-heating-to-2c
More:
https://i1.wp.com/wattsupwiththat.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/08/Australia-solar-resources-outback.png?resize=682%2C517&ssl=1
But also:

https://theconversation.com/solar-panels-all-over-the-sahara-desert-imagine-newsletter-2-116320


 
LUCIANO BACCO

Re: Australian Wildfires

Posted by Roger Bryant on Jan 13, 2020 3:39 pm

The Guardian piece is typical sensationalism and ignores the science. If you look at the IPCC Special Report on Global Warming of 1.5°C (SR15) there are some interesting changes to the global CO2 emisions budgets;
"It seems fairly extraordinary to me that the AR5 post-2010 carbon budget for 1.5°C, which was only published four years ago, has in effect been now been increased by ~700 GtCO2 – equal to 21st century emissions to date"
https://judithcurry.com/2018/10/18/remarkable-changes-to-carbon-emission-budgets-in-the-ipcc-special-report-on-global-warming-of-1-5c/
Yes there is a problem, but not the 'emergency' that Ms Thunberg et al would have us believe.

The next picture is interesting but has no reference. I traced it back to this proposal published in the Asia Times:
https://www.asiatimes.com/2019/07/article/solar-power-from-australia-to-light-up-singapore/
It's an interesting project but very light on details. A lot of equipment needs to be installed and maintained in a very harsh environment and it requires 3800 km of undersea power cable apparently capable of transmitting 10GW (whether 10GW is the total installed capacity or the usable capacity is not clear). Battery storage is mentioned, I assume to deal with the part of day when the sun dosent shine, but again no details. Realisable or just a dream?

The last link covers some of the problems with converting desert solar energy to a useful energy form including those above. In my view the most feasible would be to use the energy to generate hydrogen although this would require water which tends to be in short supply in deserts. Even better would be to use this hydrogen to close the cycle and reform CO2 into methane or higher hydrocarbons that are easier to transport.

Re: Australian Wildfires

Posted by OMS on Jan 13, 2020 6:22 pm

Many moons ago, when OMS minor had charcoal grey trousers and a blazer with a school crest, and could recite the school motto in Latin, he was told by a Geography Master that the reason a few early humans decided to take to a raft and head off over the blue horizon, with no idea if they would return,  was the certainty that there must be some land out there because they could see the smoke  - and that must be something on land that was burning. Turns out it was Australia.

It was burning then, it's burning now - one has to wonder if it's the desire to both suppress the bush fires and not clear at least some of the vegetation for fire breaks if we are going to live in amongst it that might have some bearing on what's happening to our Antipodean friends at the moment. Weighed in some measure against digging up coal of course, just in case Greta puts my name on a list for re-education come the glorious revolution.

A few interesting links above  - thank you Roger, which will of course be ignored by the hard of thinking.

Regards

OMS





 
The trap we've fallen into is to believe that a thousand incompetents properly organized can do the job of a few dozen outstanding people

Re: Australian Wildfires

Posted by Luciano Bacco on Jan 13, 2020 6:39 pm

With second picture you have been correct!
Lack of money everywhere to implement this and other good projects? Try to employ the huge quantity of money we spend on making lethal weapons to kill each other and surely we'll build and live a better world! But this is a pure utopia, of course!...
https://www.cnbc.com/2018/05/02/global-military-spend-rose-to-1-point-7-trillion-in-2017-arms-watchdog-says.html

 
LUCIANO BACCO

Re: Australian Wildfires

Posted by Luciano Bacco on Jan 13, 2020 6:56 pm

Something more about hydrogen as a source of clean energy:
https://www.treehugger.com/cars/why-hydrogen-powered-cars-really-suck.html?utm_source=TreeHugger+Newsletters&utm_campaign=c483a4e4bb-EMAIL_CAMPAIGN_11_16_2018_COPY_01&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_32de41485d-c483a4e4bb-243815393

https://www.treehugger.com/renewable-energy/does-hydrogen-have-role-play-clean-energy-future.html?utm_source=TreeHugger+Newsletters&utm_campaign=c483a4e4bb-EMAIL_CAMPAIGN_11_16_2018_COPY_01&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_32de41485d-c483a4e4bb-243815393
https://www.treehugger.com/renewable-energy/it-time-hop-hydrogen-train.html?utm_source=TreeHugger+Newsletters&utm_campaign=c483a4e4bb-EMAIL_CAMPAIGN_11_16_2018_COPY_01&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_32de41485d-c483a4e4bb-243815393
https://www.treehugger.com/clean-technology/hydrogen-back-energy-picture-or-it-all-just-shilling-oil-companies.html?utm_source=TreeHugger+Newsletters&utm_campaign=c483a4e4bb-EMAIL_CAMPAIGN_11_16_2018_COPY_01&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_32de41485d-c483a4e4bb-243815393







 
LUCIANO BACCO

Re: Australian Wildfires

Posted by Luciano Bacco on Jan 14, 2020 6:34 am

Food Airdropped on Bushfire Ravaged Australia to Save Animals from Starvation

Dubbed "Operation Rock Wallaby", helicopters have been unloading hundreds of thousands of vegetables for animals.

https://interestingengineering.com/food-airdropped-on-bushfire-ravaged-australia-to-save-animals-from-starvation?_source=newsletter&_campaign=233EXRkEy4Z7M&_uid=YQdJzWvdOG&_h=c5182a5a087e2b004ca4aca7c1e307f54e8a1507&utm_source=newsletter&utm_medium=mailing&utm_campaign=Newsletter-13-01-2020

But also:
https://www.bbc.com/news/health-49170866?link_uid=29
LUCIANO BACCO

Re: Australian Wildfires

Posted by Luciano Bacco on Jan 14, 2020 8:29 am

I'm of the idea that ALL the forms of Clean Energy should coexist in order to build up synergy point able to supply the whole globe with harmless energy.
https://www.tno.nl/en/focus-areas/energy-transition/roadmaps/towards-co2-neutral-fuels-and-feedstock/hydrogen-for-a-sustainable-energy-supply/world-first-an-offshore-pilot-plant-for-green-hydrogen/
LUCIANO BACCO

Re: Australian Wildfires

Posted by Luciano Bacco on Jan 14, 2020 10:09 am

http://www.thinkgeoenergy.com/irena-urges-doubling-the-share-of-renewables-to-achieve-energy-transition-objectives/?utm_source=ThinkGeoEnergy+List&utm_campaign=3ec6c7112d-TGE_Newsletter_RSS1&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_657e42f767-3ec6c7112d-415232365
https://newatlas.com/environment/ocean-temperatures-highest-levels-record/?utm_source=New+Atlas+Subscribers&utm_campaign=c5cf08f691-EMAIL_CAMPAIGN_2020_01_14_09_29&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_65b67362bd-c5cf08f691-91970357
LUCIANO BACCO

Re: Australian Wildfires

Posted by Roger Bryant on Jan 14, 2020 2:48 pm

The problem with ‘clean‘ energy as with ‘CO2 neutral’ is determining exactly what is meant by these terms.
As I have posted before:
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
What does CO2 Neutral mean?
1) Don’t burn anything that contains carbon?
2) Burn things containing carbon and then stick the carbon back in the ground somehow?
3) Burn things containing carbon and buy carbon credits (indulgences)?
The technology for 2) does not exist in  an industrial form yet and probably won’t by 2050. It might be available by 2100. If the whole world is trying to become CO2 neutral there won’t  be enough carbon credits to go round for 3) to be practical so that leaves 1).
1) means don’t burn coal, oil or gas (possibly wood as well) for:
a) Electricity generation
b) Process heating
c) Domestic heating
d) Transport
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
So what is ‘clean’ energy? The popular view would be that this means Wind, Solar and Wave/Tidal power generation. All these sources have a fundamental problem, their low energy density, which means you need to invest a large amount of resources to collect this energy. Finding good data on these resources is difficult. It is much easier to find for conventional power sources, the amount of concrete and steel required to build Hinckley Point C is readily available on line.

Based on the data I could find at the time to produce 3GWe from wind using a capacity factor of 30% required more concrete and steel than Hinckley Point C. The expected life of a wind turbine is 20-25 years with one or two gearbox and bearing replacements. The planned life of Hinckley Point C is 60 years with an expected life of 80 years so wind, without considering how to deal with the intermittency, will require 3 times as much basic building material.

The ‘clean’ technologies of choice also require a variety of currently not so commonly produced elements such a Cobalt, Lithium, the Rare Earths. These all require mining and processing which are certainly not clean processes.

What about fuel for nuclear power plants? This has the advantage of a very high energy density. With current reactor designs the fuel consumption is around 10T per GW year which after reprocessing leaves around 750 kg of high level waste. The rest is reusable uranium and plutonium. Newer reactor designs will allow for better use of the fuel as they, hopefully, will not be required to produce weapons grade plutonium (if the fuel is in the reactor for too long other plutonium isotopes are formed which inhibit its use for nuclear bombs).

https://www.world-nuclear.org/information-library/nuclear-fuel-cycle/introduction/nuclear-fuel-cycle-overview.aspx

Nuclear certainly has it’s problems but they are quite small readily contained problems. Most of the actual deaths from the nuclear power plant accidents were due to unnecessary evacuations not radiation. The current radiation dose limits do not have any scientific basis, as has been said many times LNT is just a theory. No ill effects have yet been determined in populations who live in areas where the natural background radiation is more than ten times the official limits. The widely published number of future deaths (100,000+) for Chernobyl based on collective dose (derived from LNT) is just a made up number.

Best Regards
Roger

 

Re: Australian Wildfires

Posted by Alasdair Anderson on Jan 14, 2020 3:03 pm

Roger Bryant:
1) means don’t burn coal, oil or gas (possibly wood as well)

Surely it also means "don't burn carbon based waste" which brings the other problem of what to do with non-recycled plastic.
Alasdair

Re: Australian Wildfires

Posted by Luciano Bacco on Jan 14, 2020 3:13 pm

So in my Country, Italy:
https://www.world-nuclear.org/information-library/country-profiles/countries-g-n/italy.aspx

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
https://www.bbc.com/future/article/20170622-how-will-we-manage-nuclear-energy-in-the-21st-century

https://www.businessinsider.com/18-nuclear-reactors-in-the-eu-are-currently-operating-illegally-2019-8?IR=T
https://www.newscientist.com/article/2099287-why-hinkley-point-is-a-nuclear-folly-of-titanic-proportions/?cmpid=SOC|NSNS|2016-FBvideo-HINKLEY&utm_medium=SOC&utm_source=NSNS&utmcampaign=FBvideo&utm_content=HINKLEY
https://www.world-nuclear.org/information-library/country-profiles/countries-t-z/united-kingdom.aspx
https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2019/feb/03/fate-of-uks-nuclear-power-stations-in-doubt-over-ageing-infrastructure
LUCIANO BACCO

Re: Australian Wildfires

Posted by Roger Bryant on Jan 15, 2020 11:43 am

Alasdair Anderson:

Surely it also means "don't burn carbon based waste" which brings the other problem of what to do with non-recycled plastic.
Alasdair
 
Indeed. So many people are going around declaring 'Climate Emergencies' and demanding 'Carbon Neutral' without actually knowing or defining what they mean 🙄

 So a mixture of comments on the general lack of investment in nuclear power and some of the usual anti nuclear propaganda.
I am still amused by the comment regarding the possible failure of the Sihl Damm in Switzerland (hydro electric generation for the Swiss railways) causing a Fukushima type accident at the Beznau nuclear power plant. It is apparently correct that  several meter high wave would reach Beznau but to do so it would obliterate Zürich and Baden on the way. I think that it would be better to reinforce the damm than the NPP 😀

If the Australians had built some nuclear power plants to use their uranium rather than coal fired plants would it have had any effect on the bush fires?

Re: Australian Wildfires

Posted by Luciano Bacco on Jan 15, 2020 12:44 pm

https://timeforchange.org/are-cows-cause-of-global-warming-meat-methane-co2/
https://thebulletin.org/2019/11/how-human-and-animal-excrement-harm-the-planets-ecosystem/
http://www.bbc.com/earth/story/20150914-when-global-warming-made-our-world-super-hot
LUCIANO BACCO

Re: Australian Wildfires

Posted by Luciano Bacco on Jan 15, 2020 2:27 pm

https://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-46046067
https://www.iucn.org/resources/issues-briefs/ocean-warming
LUCIANO BACCO

Re: Australian Wildfires

Posted by Luciano Bacco on Jan 15, 2020 5:03 pm

European Green Deal: Brussels unveils €1 trillion plan to make EU carbon neutral by 2050

https://www.euronews.com/2020/01/14/eu-commission-to-unveil-green-deal-to-make-europe-the-first-climate-neutral-continent
https://www.euronews.com/2019/12/10/the-eu-s-green-dreams
https://ecp.yusercontent.com/mail?url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.casaeclima.com%2Fjpeg-fb.asp%3Fpath%3D%252Fpublic%252Fcasaeclima%252F1%255Fa%255Fb%255Fa%252Dgreen%252Ddeal%252Deuropeo%252Dmoney%252Ejpg%26size%3D200&t=1579106910&ymreqid=9a04b761-2c39-23f2-1c41-550000014200&sig=7jdF8bVSTwo7mwzWIUtr9g--~C
LUCIANO BACCO

Re: Australian Wildfires

Posted by Simon Barker on Jan 15, 2020 9:20 pm

Roger Bryant:


If the Australians had built some nuclear power plants to use their uranium rather than coal fired plants would it have had any effect on the bush fires?

 

 
If a river is heavily polluted, and all of the life in it has died, then one person stopping pouring chemicals down the drain won't make any real difference.  You have to stop everybody tipping chemicals down the drains.

The same goes for coal-fired power stations.  Shutting down one or two isn't enough.  You have to shut down most of them across the entire World.  But that requires all governments to cooperate, and many won't.

Re: Australian Wildfires

Posted by Luciano Bacco on Jan 16, 2020 7:08 am

https://climateanalytics.org/briefings/coal-phase-out/
LUCIANO BACCO

Re: Australian Wildfires

Posted by Roger Bryant on Jan 16, 2020 7:54 am

Simon Barker:

The same goes for coal-fired power stations.  Shutting down one or two isn't enough.  You have to shut down most of them across the entire World.  But that requires all governments to cooperate, and many won't.

It also requires significant engineering work to compensate for the lost generation capacity.

This could be demand reduction, but as there is also a requirement to replace other fossil fuel consumption with electricity to achieve 'Carbon Neutral', that is unlikely.
Therefore you need alternative electricity generation systems. These all require resources, concrete, steel, copper, cobalt, lithium, rare earths etc as well as energy. I await with interest a study, with data, to show what is actually required to achieve this and what the energy/carbon payback time would be. It will considerably increase our emissions in the short to medium term certainly until 2050, probably until 2100. Wind turbines, solar panels and batteries are not made from unicorn poo.
 
 

Re: Australian Wildfires

Posted by Roger Bryant on Jan 16, 2020 8:17 am

Luciano Bacco:
https://climateanalytics.org/briefings/coal-phase-out/

 
And the first two highlighted counries that are not phasing out coal fast enough are Germany and Japan where the Greens have forced a shutdown of nuclear power, joined up thinking or not 🙄

Also, as usual, just a demand with no suggested solutions. 

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