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Total number of comments: 4 (since 2017-04-26 05:31:58)

Bill Haymond

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  • What Rapid Climate Change Looks Like: the Younger Dryas Comet
    • The rising CO2 level of the atmosphere is by far the biggest issue facing mankind today. We are now at 403 ppm CO2 and increasing at the rate of 2 ppm per year. The earth responds slowly -- last year a 6,000 square km piece of the Larsen C ice sheet broke free from Antarctica and is now drifting in the South Atlantic. It will take roughly a thousand years for this fresh water ice to melt, drop to the bottom of the ocean and make its very long journey around the world's oceans before it warms, returns to the surface and mixes. If we were to stop pumping CO2 into the atmosphere today it would take several thousand years for the earth's climate to stabilize and reach equilibrium. And it would then require about six million years for the earth to remove that excess CO2 from the atmosphere through natural processes. It's a big deal.

  • Texas Wind turbines went right on Turning under Harvey's impact, as Refineries Shut Down
    • Spyguy is correct about the light water reactors favored by US companies having inherent design flaws. They are popular internationally because uranium fuel reactors can be used as a cover for developing a nuclear bomb.
      Reactors based on thorium fuel cannot be used to make bombs. A thorium Molten Salt Reactor can be designed to fail safe. China and India are presently developing thorium fuel nuclear reactors. Why does the US cede the high road to China and India?
      Juan, I agree that solar and wind are the best energy sources, but we still need to provide the base load when the wind is not blowing and the sun is not shining. Today we use hydroelectric and coal power to provide the base load. A thorium based molten salt reactor is the best long term solution.

  • How bad could Trump's Paris Agreement withdrawal be? A scientist's perspective
    • It is not necessary to use climate models to estimate the impact of global warming. Just look at the last time the earth's atmosphere was at 400 ppm CO2 level -- about 3 million years ago when the average temperature was 3 to 4 degrees C warmer (less in the tropics and much greater in the polar regions) and sea levels were 25 meters higher. If every country on earth were to reduce CO2 emissions to zero tomorrow, that's where we'll be in a couple of thousand years (yes, the earth responds that slowly). And then it will take a further 3 million years for the earth to return to 280 ppm CO2 levels through natural processes (that's how long it took the last time).
      The earth will recover from Chernobyl and Fukushima in a couple of thousand years -- even badly engineered nuclear energy has far less impact on the earth than burning coal.

  • The Last time there was this much CO2 in the air, Florida was under Water
    • If we stop putting carbon into the atmosphere today and freeze the CO2 level at 400 ppm, it will still take several thousand years for the earth's climate to reach equilibrium. There's a lot of warming ahead.

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