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PeakOil is You

THE Glacier Thread (merged)

Peak ice

Unread postby Devil » Thu 04 Nov 2004, 09:29:02

When I lived in Switzerland, I used to walk a lot in the mountains round Saas Fee. I first went there in 1964 and the last time I was there was in 1997. In those 33 years I observed two glaciers whose bottom had risen by about 100 m in altitude. This was very remarkable in just one generation.

I have seen photos taken in the late 19th c. where these two glaciers were merged and reached almost to the edge of the village itself: today, it's a good hour's walk to reach either.

You can see the progression in time by the vegetation on the moraines. It takes about 20 years for the first larch saplings to become implanted. It is clear, from the distribution/size of the larches that the length of lateral moraine denuded in the last ~25 years is about the same as that slowly denuded over the previous 75 years. This shows the acceleration of the retreat of the glaciers.

An interesting point of this is that Switzerland is going to be hard hit, as the Alpine glaciers melt. It is roughly 70% dependent on high-mountain hydroelectric plants for electricity (the rest being cheaper nuclear: there are no fossil fuel thermal power stations). The retention lakes, such as Grande Dixence (the biggest), Rawyl, Grimsel and many others, are filled in summer , mostly by the melt-off from glaciers. In recent years, there has been no shortage of water in the dams, despite 2003 being a very dry summer. I fear that, when the glaciers have largely gone (variable from 10 to 100 years from now), the HE retention lakes will no longer fill and, little-by-little, the country will lack sufficient electricity. AFAIK, nothing has been done to offset this prospective shortfall.
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Unread postby duff_beer_dragon » Thu 04 Nov 2004, 14:41:46

What I wonder about is this -

if there wasn't an Atlantis type civilisation, but there was a warmer climate plus an ice-age that followed that within the usual frame of time that global civilisations are said to have been here in (~12,000 years ago), why was there a climate change back then and then an ice age - but if we have that now, it's because of pollution?

I don't agree with much of the way things are managed on a large scale, it's a big headache at best, but - how does anyone 'splain the above? Is it possible that we might be making a normal change worse, and not in fact triggering the thing itself.

Let's also remember that another sensible thing that real people used to do is - migrate with the seasons and the climate changes. Again, we have settled too many in too wrong ways.
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Unread postby Andy » Thu 04 Nov 2004, 14:47:45

Devil,

You really consider nuclear cheaper than hydroelectric power? Just curious as to how you arrive at that conclusion. Every other power person I talk to tells me that established hydroelectricity is the lowest cost electricity source bar none. I agree with you however that Switzerland may be in trouble with melting glaciers and declining hydroelectric production.
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Unread postby cyotha » Thu 04 Nov 2004, 15:08:44

Interesting you should start this topic, because a new research (by an international team of 300 scientists) shows that the Arctic is warming at 2-3 times the global rate, and is projected to lose 50% to 60% of its ice distribution by 2100 (in the average of the climate models used by the researchers)

http://www.newscientist.com/news/news.jsp?id=ns99996615

Global warming is here.
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just wait

Unread postby cartz » Thu 04 Nov 2004, 15:25:23

Just wait a bit longer and you'll be back in an ice age:

http://www.gisp2.sr.unh.edu/GISP2/DATA/fancy.html
http://www.aip.org/history/climate/rapid.htm
http://www.whoi.edu/institutes/occi/currenttopics/climatechange_wef.html
http://www.agu.org/sci_soc/eismayewski.html
http://waiscores.dri.edu/Amsci/Taylor.html

DBD, you're right we're making normal change worse :shock:

Highly recommended books on the subject:
The Two Mile Time Machine - Richard B Alley
A Brain for all Seasons - William H Calvin
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Unread postby Devil » Fri 05 Nov 2004, 04:19:23

Andy wrote:Devil,

You really consider nuclear cheaper than hydroelectric power? Just curious as to how you arrive at that conclusion. Every other power person I talk to tells me that established hydroelectricity is the lowest cost electricity source bar none.


I agree that the generation of hydroelectricity, by itself, is fairly low cost, but the holistic costs are enormous, from cradle to grave.

Whole villages and enormous tracts of fertile valley are immerged under water. The loss of agroproduction to a relatively poor community and their re-housing is never calculated in. Peasants are forced upwards into less fertile land that is much more difficult to cultivate because of the gradients. As a result, the Swiss Federal and Cantonal governments give Alpine peasants massive subsidies which are their only means of survival. Add to that the loss of tourism revenues (it is difficult to ski down a slope that is under water).

Then there is a cost of surveillance and safety. Since the Mattmark disaster in the 1960s, when a lump of glacier fell into the water, Switzerland has been lucky. I can recall only two or three deaths and much material damage when a penstock ruptured about three years ago, so. This is nothing compared with the estimated 250,000 global deaths from ruptured dams and suchlike over the last 50 years. Is human life that cheap that we can ignore the cost of these disasters? Not to mention the material damage. The Rawyl dam had to be emptied a decade or so ago and repaired because of rock movements. Was the cost of this factored in? Is the cost of the satellite observation of the dams included? And, God forbid, if a major dam, like the Grande Dixence (or, worse, the Three Gorges) gave way, it would make Chernobyl look like a Sunday outing.

Then, we hear of the cost of decommissioning nuclear sites, but the cost of end-of-life decommissioning Alpine HE dams has never been calculated. Simply, the blasting of the concrete and removing the debris will cost more than building the dam thing in the first place!

On river dams, such as the Aswan, the cost of dredging the silt and the loss of downstream natural fertilisation of the flood plain are also extremely high charges that are never calculated in.

I repeat, the holistic costs of hydroelectricity more than take it over that of the holistic costs of nuclear, simply because they are not factored in.
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Unread postby fastbike » Fri 05 Nov 2004, 15:36:30

Devil wrote:... the holistic costs of hydroelectricity more than take it over that of the holistic costs of nuclear, simply because they are not factored in.


Devil, how do we factor in the cost of waste disposal of long lived radioactive waste. This problem has been with the nuclear power industry since inception and despite billions in subsidies has not been resolved. National Geographic magazine recently ran an article examining some of these issues and the author (an ex military man who admitted he was pro nuclear) concluded the scale of the problem was horrific.

The big question ultimately has to be along the lines of:
"Is is morally right to implement technologies that give us massive benefits (e.g "cheap" power) while leaving the problems (e.g. safe containment of nuclear waste, or fossil fuel influenced climate change etc) for future generations ?"
Let's hope the next generation have a sense of humour ... our generation will need it.
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Unread postby Devil » Sat 06 Nov 2004, 06:18:59

We do have the technology of dealing with nuclear waste safely and securely. First of all, we recycle as much of the HLW as we can (currently 96% of the HLW in most of W. Europe is recycled, as for the EuroPR/AREVA T&D, SIEMENS, COGEMA, FRAMATOME ANP, TECHNICATOME, and FC system. The remaining 4% is mostly LLW and MLW). There are thousands of recognised suitable sites for safe waste depositaries throughout the world, where the risk of a leak is quasi-negligible in under 50,000 years. The real problem is not technical, it is the emotional outbursts of NIMBYists and the likes of Greenpeace and Co, who would have us living back in caves, with our rationed energy limited to sustainable firewood. For 'emotional', read non-scientific, uninformed, misinformed and disinformed, as well as a feeling of equating a modern nuke power station with Hiroshima and Chernobyl.

As I have stated above, HE systems have been responsible for more deaths and human misery over the last 50 years than nuclear ones.

Let it be made quite clear, I'm not against renewable energy, where it is feasible. I am against fossil fuel electricity generation, especially coal, for environmental reasons. I am against large-scale HE systems which can place too much reliance on a single structure and can - and does - cause wholesale destruction and loss of life when such a structure cedes, for whatever reason. If Three Gorges did this, the estimated death toll would rise to at least 5 million (2 million in the first 20 minutes!) and it is built in a geologically unstable area. I have taken photos of the the site of the retention lake demonstrating the instability. Variable renewables (sun, wind, tide etc.) can provide only ~20% of our needs and resources lack for much of the constant renewables (biomass etc.). What does that leave us in the short-to-medium term? Only nuclear, I'm afraid. Amen!
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THE Glacier Thread (merged)

Unread postby Sys1 » Wed 11 May 2005, 03:50:42

Global warming? No! Glaciers growing !

I've created a discussion about Darwin theory some days ago. I was sad to see that it was a pretext for war betwen christians and atheists.That wasn't the purpose of my precedent thread... I just wanted to show that when something is not a ''good'' news for mankind like ''we not creatures of God but just animals coming from evolution" or "Earth is not the center of the universe" or "Our soul is coming from an organ called brain", people try as much as they can to refute it.

The energy bulletin report is an another example of how even some scientists try to reconsider global warming by claiming simply the opposite of reality. You can already bet that when a famous scientist is refuting global warming, it's extraordinary profitable to industry... Like an economist saying peak oil is just a communist crap. One more argument for hard landing.
Last edited by Ferretlover on Wed 05 Sep 2012, 16:34:19, edited 3 times in total.
Reason: Merge thread.
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Unread postby Jam1eSc0tland » Wed 11 May 2005, 07:57:09

Does anyone understand why David Bellamy has taken this position? As a big fan of his from my childhood, it is he that sparked my interest in the natural world. It was a big shock to see him on the news last night taking this view.
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Unread postby EnemyCombatant » Wed 11 May 2005, 08:09:03

I have two words for you.

David Kelly
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yo

Unread postby merecat » Wed 11 May 2005, 08:22:09

If global warming is crap then these guys are just wasting their time.

Its a fact that the planet is on a warming upslope. The cause of that upslope is debatable.

David bellamy, must have been paid off. Hes not been working on telly much of late (a kind of career cooling is happening for him) so hes probably skint and yearns for the good times again.
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Unread postby merecat » Wed 11 May 2005, 08:27:04

EnemyCombatant wrote:I have two words for you.

David Kelly


R.I.P.

Murdered for seeking the truth.

:( :( :(
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Unread postby bobbyald » Wed 11 May 2005, 09:01:27

Sys1 - Where is your evolution thread?
Life results from the non-random selection of randomly generated replicators
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Unread postby Sys1 » Wed 11 May 2005, 09:10:34

bobbyald : "Explaining Peak oil to people who don't believe Darwin?"
It's just near in the middle of the thread page (current events).
Do ctrl+f to find it easily :)
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Unread postby RickTaylor » Wed 11 May 2005, 09:40:11

You can find some links to correspondence between George Monbiot and David Bellamy climate change here:

http://www.monbiot.com/archives/categor ... te-change/

--Rick
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Unread postby SidneyTawl » Wed 11 May 2005, 09:40:12

Yesterday I read a blurb in the news about a subject that lead me to investigating peak oil.

That news concerned the Gulf Stream Current. It came from researchers at Cambridge.

Remember, the same scientist that told us that Global warming by man would take a hundred or more years also told us that "the shutting down" of the Gulf Stream would not happen quickly. Both changes were going to take a long time and there was not a problem Now with the recent undisputable changes occuring they have "re-figured" their charts and stuff.

Now a research group from Cambridge has discovered that the Gulf Stream has weakened considerably in the last few years. How much, about a quarter in the last FIVE years. This is really big news and it didn't get posted at many websites. Little news at all. Consequences are huge. Just like peak oil

My point is this

The same people that gave us global warming by man had a much longer timeline. However it appears that it has recently had to be "speed up". Their figures and charts and "yada yada" were wrong.

Recently Nasa came out and said it was the seas causing the problem. They were acting as a heat sink sorta for all the global warming from mans activities.

I read the article in the link and the author distored the positons of the scientist I believe. His last statement is about how someone must be blind to not not see climate change.

The people now looking at the volcanic activity and sea temperature rise say that volcanic activity is the main contributor to "CLIMATE CHANGE"> When they talk about global warming they only wish to clarify that they accept the warming part, but don't wish to be associated with the "its mans fault" crowd. Not because they don't believe man is not contributing. Its because they believe the warming seas from a recent uptick in volcanic activity results in a heating of the seas and meltling all the sea ice.

Nasa now says its the seas, but they say its man that is doing it.

The main point I think the volcanic activity has in its favor is the rise in temperatures in the sea where no water should be warming. The idea of the sun getting to water's this deep just is to much for me to swallow. We are talking deep deep deep.

It appears to me that the "global warming" by man and those that poo pooed the Gulf Stream, quick shut down were pretty much in the same camp.

Now they are changing all their charts and graphs and updating info, and yada yada, just to get it to fit the new models that now have to include:

The sea's are warming
The Gulf Stream is weakening and is going to cause big problems for the US east coast and Europe.

The author of the link tried to make it seem like they were saying climate change isn't happening, that is the farthest thing from what they are saying. They are saying it is happening now and it can happen very quickly.

The information about the slowing of the Gulf Stream is really going to effect peak "natural gas" in the US, and oil.

"The Cambridge scientists are predicting now that there will be clear water at the North Pole as early as 2020, and that temperatures in Britain are likely to drop by 5-8 degrees Celsius, from an average of 22 at present to 14 to 17 in the future. An average as low as 17 (62 Fahrenheit) will mean that the summer growing season will be catastrophically curtailed in Europe, leading to huge declines in production from one of the world's primary surplus production zones."

Northern France will be more like what Finland is now is also what they "predict".

80 percent of volcanic activity takes place underwater. (using the statistics from what we can observe of surfce activity)

Volcanic activity has been on the rise and it seems like everyday you hear about a new eruption or alert.

The warm sea waters have melted the floating sea ice.

Moisture in the air is more of a greenhouse gas than CO2. and the warming seas are putting more and more moisture into the atmosphere.

Gulf Stream shutdown and lots more moisture in the aire can mean huge snowfalls.

By the way I coulnd't help but notice that there seems to be snowfall in the US today. In the higher elevations it will be measured in FEET. People living along the East coast will tell you that that the weather has been colder/snowier and wetter.
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Unread postby SD_Scott » Wed 11 May 2005, 09:51:27

Here's the EB article on the gulfstream.
http://www.energybulletin.net/5998.html

I can't find the other article I read, but it claimed the flow is less than 1/4 of what it was.
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Unread postby katkinkate » Wed 11 May 2005, 10:05:30

Here's a site that monitors the northern hemisphere temperatures and gulf stream, if anyone's interested. I've been watching it for a while now.
Its the last panel called "Superstorm Quickwatch". I can't guarantee how accurate it is and I'm not sure how likely the superstorm scenario is. You'll have to do your own research on that.

http://members.aol.com/GregLauver/G-watch.html
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Unread postby SidneyTawl » Wed 11 May 2005, 10:17:28

I would like to point out that in the end they say that it will take a period of time for it to shut down completely. However this is from the same people that would say it would take a long time. They really don't know the process and are "guessing".

There is evidence that climate change can happen very quickly. Like that flash frozen flower from a glacier in Peru.

I think the ice cores are also showing a "quick freeze" is very possible.

Has anyone seen the data from the latest trip "back" to Gakkel Ridge.

Woods hole was supposed to go back this past summer I believe and do some more readings.

Gakkel Ridge, melting sea ice "underneath" the polar ice. Yep its all those cars driving around alaska. Couldn't possibly be all that unexplained, unknown, and vast volcanic activity from Gakkels ridge and who knows where else.
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