Wikipedia:

The dew point is the temperature to which air must be cooled to become saturated with water vapor. When further cooled, the airborne water vapor will condense to form liquid water (dew)

Woke up last night to check out the thunderstorm rolling thru.
Normally, one feels a rush of cooler air as a storm like this comes by, but I was struck by the heat (at 2 am) and heaviness of the air, even as sheets of rain were falling.

Another hot one today.

Business Insider:

Sweat might be annoying, but it’s part of your body’s temperature regulation system, and it could save your life. As that moisture evaporates, it cools you off.

High humidity saturates the air with moisture, reducing its capacity to absorb more water vapor. That means sweat can’t evaporate so easily. Your body’s best cooling mechanism is disarmed. 

Heat index combines temperature with humidity to quantify what temperature it feels like to the human body. More humidity means less sweat evaporation, which means it feels hotter. The heat index, not the temperature, is the number that your body reacts to. It might be 90 degrees outside, but if it’s humid enough your body will react like it’s 117. 

Heat index calculations assume shady, light wind conditions, so full sun exposure can increase heat index values by up to 15 degrees.

If your body reaches dangerously high temperatures, it can cause heat stroke and even death.

Read the rest of this entry »
Advertisements

Stepped outside yet today?

Today in the midwest is what a normal summer day will be like in a few decades.

National Geographic:

In less than 20 years, millions of people in the United States could be exposed to dangerous “off-the-charts” heat conditions of 127 degrees Fahrenheit or more, a startling new report has found. In 60 years over one-third of the population could be exposed to such conditions, “posing unprecedented health risks,” the report says.

This first United States county-by-county look at what climate change will do to temperature and humidity conditions in the coming decades finds few places that won’t be affected by extreme heat.

“We were very surprised at how steeply and quickly the number of days of dangerous heat increased in such a short time,” says Kristina Dahl, senior climate scientist at Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS), and co-author of the report “Killer Heat in the United States: Climate Choices and the Future of Dangerously Hot Days.”

Read the rest of this entry »

Voters are more concerned than ever about climate and environment – and for them, the Democrats are the only game in town.

Republicans are finding that conscience, like a muscle, can atrophy from disuse.
The course for the climate-concerned is clear.

Politico:

Move over California and Massachusetts, New York has emerged as a national leader in battling climate change.

With the Trump administration shelving Obama-era climate plans and embracing the expansion of fossil fuel infrastructure, efforts to cut carbon emissions are now pushed almost entirely at the state level, especially in statehouses controlled by Democrats. And while Gov. Andrew Cuomo has long touted his green credentials, the 2018 election put Albany under full Democratic control for only the second time since the 1930s. The power shift has pulled the Empire state to the left on a range of policy areas — including climate change.

“Cries for a new green movement are hollow political rhetoric if not combined with specific aggressive goals and a realistic plan on how to achieve them,” Cuomo said at the signing of the measure at Fordham Law School in Manhattan. “And that is much easier said than done — but that, my friends, is the challenge for our great state of New York. To lead not just with rhetoric but with results.”

The win has advocates optimistic about what more liberal Democrats can achieve on climate when they gain power.

The New York law “is the most ambitious piece of climate legislation we’ve seen thus far — in terms of its ambitious goals, its sweep, the economywide nature of it and the equity and environmental justice goals,” said Natural Resources Defense Council’s Kit Kennedy. “It reflects the moment where we are in climate politics where grassroots, environmental justice groups, youths are increasingly demanding bold climate action and will hopefully push the agenda forward at the federal level.”

Financial Times:(paywall)

Some Republicans are quietly shifting tack on climate change. Investors and executives ignore this at their peril, since there are at least four reasons why this quiet(ish) shift might affect policy — even in the White House. One factor is the polls. Frank Luntz, the influential conservative strategist, recently conducted a survey that showed 58 per cent of Republican voters under the age of 40 are increasingly fearful about climate risks.

This — strikingly — is similar to the share of voters at large. More notable still, 69 per cent think the party will alienate younger voters with its climate stance. “Trump has a big problem here,” says Ted Halstead, head of the Climate Leadership Council, a lobby group that funded the poll. Extreme weather events such as floods along the Mississippi are fuelling this shift.

A second issue is the influence of business.
Mr Trump’s stance on climate change has hitherto been influenced by oil and gas companies. But executives from other sectors, including real estate (where climate change has an immediate impact on values) are now lobbying on the issue as well. “I told Donald a couple of weeks ago this has to change — he has to do something about climate!” the head of one of the largest property companies in the world told me.

Read the rest of this entry »

Years ago, I was the only one talking about the all-too-obvious relationship between racism, misogyny, and climate denial.

So, do we get it now?

Above, 2013 interview with General Colin Powell, who was once a mainstream Republican, focuses on the racism thing – but towards the end at 10:30 points out, oh yeah, the party is wrong about climate, too.

The Atlantic:

“I don’t believe it,” President Donald Trump said in response. “No. No. I don’t believe it.”

I have heard this before. I can relate.

“No. No. I’m not racist,” Trump has said repeatedlyEvidence be damned.

I feel how climate scientists probably feel when they hear Trump and others disbelieve what their scientific community says is beyond disbelief. Scholars of racism watch as individuals dismiss our scientific consensus as casually as they form a consensus of disbelief. Climate and racial scientists watch as the denials of climate change and racism combine for the denial that “marginalized” communities of color “are expected to experience greater impacts,” as foretold in the Fourth National Climate Assessment.

The disbelievers do not believe that either climate change or racism is real. Or they do not believe they are caused by emissions of greenhouse gases or racist policies. Or they do not believe that regulating them would be better for society.

All this disbelief rests on the same foundation: the transformation of science into belief. It is a foundation built from the economic, political, and ideological blocks that stand the most to lose from the aggressive reduction of carbon-dioxide emissions and racial inequities.

These defensive voices engage in the same oratorical process, attack the credibility of scientists, disregarding their consensus and reducing their findings to personal beliefs.

The effect: Science becomes belief. Belief becomes science. Everything becomes nothing. Nothing becomes everything. All can believe and disbelieve all. We all can know everything and know nothing. Everyone lives as an expert on every subject. No experts live on any subject. Years of intense and specialized training and research and reflection are abandoned, like poor Latino immigrants, like the poor body of our planet.

Read the rest of this entry »

In Georgia, the Public Service Commission chair is named Bubba.

Bear that in mind when you read about them selecting solar, vs coal power.

Atlanta Journal Constitution:

Georgia will rely more on the sun to generate electricity as it retreats from its once overwhelming reliance on coal.

The state Public Service Commission’s five members — all Republicans — unanimously directed Georgia Power to make its biggest increase ever in renewables, nearly doubling the solar capacity of the state’s largest utility. The addition — 2,210 megawatts of new capacity from solar panels by 2024 — is enough to power more than 200,000 homes of the company’s 2.6 million customers.

“It’s one of the cleanest and cheapest generation (sources) we can have,” PSC chairman Lauren “Bubba” McDonald said.

He successfully pushed to more than double the amount of solar Georgia Power initially proposed as part of an update to its long-range energy plan. Most of the new solar generation is expected to come from large-scale commercial arrays rather than homeowners’ rooftops.

Solar panels produce electricity without emitting carbon, a pollutant that has been blamed for climate change. The commissioners did not cite that issue. They did, though, predict the new solar generation will have lower costs than some other forms of energy. Georgia will rely more on the sun to generate electricity as it retreats from its once overwhelming reliance on coal.

Still, the savings are not expected to be significant enough for customers to notice a change in their power bills, PSC commissioners said. Meanwhile, rates could rise in the future because of other shifts, including costs tied to the overbudget nuclear expansion at Plant Vogtle and a $2.2 billion rate increase that Georgia Power recently proposed to phase in starting in January.

Read the rest of this entry »

Great stuff.

Bonus track below with John Legend.

Read the rest of this entry »

Tiny changes in the orientation of wind turbines pay big efficiency dividends.

Renews.biz:

Researchers at Stanford University, in California, have shown that angling turbines slightly away from the wind can boost energy produced overall.

Pointing turbines slightly away from oncoming wind – called ‘wake-steering’ – can reduce that interference and improve both the quantity and quality of power from wind farms, and probably lower operating costs, according to the new research.

The study tested its modelling on a wind farm in Alberta, Canada, in collaboration with operator TransAlta Renewables.

The overall power output of the farm increased by up to 47% in low wind speeds, depending on the angle of the turbines.

In average wind speeds the output saw a 7-13% boost.

The results of the study were published on 1 July in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Stanford professor of civil, environmental and mechanical engineering John Dabiri said: “To meet global targets for renewable energy generation, we need to find ways to generate a lot more energy from existing wind farms.

“The traditional focus has been on the performance of individual turbines in a wind farm, but we need to instead start thinking about the farm as a whole, and not just as the sum of its parts.”

Turbine wakes can reduce the efficiency of downwind generators by more than 40%.

Previously, researchers have used computer simulations to show that misaligning turbines from prevailing winds could raise production of downstream turbines.

However, showing this on a real wind farm has been hindered by challenges in finding a facility operator willing to halt normal operations for an experiment and in calculating best angles for the turbine.

Initially the Stanford team developed a faster way to calculate the optimal misalignment angles for turbines, before testing their calculations on the wind farm in Alberta.

Read the rest of this entry »