New Shelf Break in Antarctica

February 28, 2021

You will not find a better informed, more useful conversation and primer on what went wrong in Texas, and where to go from here.

Join Advanced Power Alliance (APA) and the Conservative Texans for Energy Innovation (CTEI) to discuss the recent electric grid crisis, and broader energy crisis, in Texas. Jeff, President of the Advanced Power Alliance, moderates an expert panel discussion to discuss critical lessons learned and how to ensure it doesn’t happen again. Hear from FERC veteran Alison Silverstein, Dr. Dan Cohan (Rice U.), Dr. Joshua Rhodes (U Texas), and Energy Regs expert Attorney Michael Jewell as they examine the causes and the solutions to the crisis that shook Texas’ energy systems.

Above, no responses were filed by the Public Utilities Commission following massive blackouts in 2011.

Above – ERCOT CEO – “the market was working as designed”.

Now that the snowflakes have settled, some of the best, clearest analysis is starting to come.

I’ll just use this as a repository for some of the most useful reporting that’s coming in on the Texas debacle.
Check back thru the weekend as I’ll probably be stashing a lot of links here.

Below, WFAA Dallas:
“..the entire gas system from the wellhead to the power plant broke down.”
Comanche Peak nuclear plant came within minutes of tripping off line – which might have broken the whole grid.

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In this case, more great coverage of the Texas blackout disaster.

Above, synopsis of first ERCOT (Electric Reliability Council of Texas) post mortem on the disaster.

Below, Texas Legislators grill ERCOT executives:
“..they faced an unexpected and crippling gas shortage at the height of the crisis.”

Washington Post:

A growing body of evidence suggests that a massive change is underway in the sensitive circulation system of the Atlantic Ocean, a group of scientists said Thursday.

The Atlantic meridional overturning circulation (AMOC), a system of currents that includes the Florida Current and the Gulf Stream, is now “in its weakest state in over a millennium,” these experts say. This has implications for everything from the climate of Europe to the rates of sea-level rise along the U.S. East Coast.

Although evidence of the system’s weakening has been published before, the new research cites 11 sources of “proxy” evidence of the circulation’s strength, including clues hidden in seafloor mud as well as patterns of ocean temperatures. The enormous flow has been directly measured only since 2004, too short a period to definitively establish a trend, which makes these indirect measures critical for understanding its behavior.

The new research applies a statistical analysis to show that those measures are in sync and that nine out of 11 show a clear trend.

Prior research had suggested that the AMOC was at its weakest point in a millennium or more, and suggested a roughly 15 percent weakening since about 1950. But when it comes to the latest evidence, “I think it just makes this conclusion considerably stronger,” said Stefan Rahmstorf, an author of the research and an oceanographer with the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research in Germany.

The study was published in Nature Geoscience by scientists from the Potsdam Institute, Ireland’s Maynooth University and University College London.

The AMOC is driven by two vital components of ocean water: temperature and salt. In the North Atlantic, warm, salty water flows northward off the U.S. coastline, carrying heat from the tropics. But as it reaches the middle latitudes, it cools, and around Greenland, the cooling and the saltiness create enough density that the water begins to sink deep beneath the surface.

The water then swings back southward and travels all the way to the Southern Hemisphere, submerged, where it makes its way to the Antarctic as part of a global system of ocean currents. The entire system is known as the ocean’s thermohaline circulation (“thermo” meaning heat and “haline,” salt), and it plays many critical roles in the climate. It is also referred to as the global ocean conveyor belt, because it redistributes heat worldwide.

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Been sitting on this for almost 2 weeks waiting or Jennifer Granholm, who is mentioned here as “Secretary of Energy”, to get confirmed. That just happened.

Accuracy is everything.

Subscribe to your local newspaper. We need ’em.