Tampa in Ian’s Crosshairs

September 26, 2022

Surge heights from CERA (Coastal Emergency Risks Assessment)

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We’ve seen “stalling” behavior in several recent storms that caused massive damages in the Atlantic basin. This behavior might be related to slower moving jet stream systems, which many scientists link to melting arctic ice and climate change in general.

Recent examples include Harvey in 2017, which settled over Houston for several days, dropping in some cases 5 feet of rain, as well as 2018’s Florence in the Carolinas, and Dorian in 2019, which maintained Cat 5 strength while sitting on top of the Bahamas for almost 2 days.

It was the topic of my video from 2019.

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The three primary constituents of the battery are aluminum (left), sulfur (center), and rock salt crystals (right). All are domestically available Earth-abundant materials not requiring a global supply chain. 
Credits:Image: Rebecca Miller

MIT News:

As the world builds out ever larger installations of wind and solar power systems, the need is growing fast for economical, large-scale backup systems to provide power when the sun is down and the air is calm. Today’s lithium-ion batteries are still too expensive for most such applications, and other options such as pumped hydro require specific topography that’s not always available.

Now, researchers at MIT and elsewhere have developed a new kind of battery, made entirely from abundant and inexpensive materials, that could help to fill that gap.

The new battery architecture, which uses aluminum and sulfur as its two electrode materials, with a molten salt electrolyte in between, is described today in the journal Nature, in a paper by MIT Professor Donald Sadoway, along with 15 others at MIT and in China, Canada, Kentucky, and Tennessee.

“I wanted to invent something that was better, much better, than lithium-ion batteries for small-scale stationary storage, and ultimately for automotive [uses],” explains Sadoway, who is the John F. Elliott Professor Emeritus of Materials Chemistry.

In addition to being expensive, lithium-ion batteries contain a flammable electrolyte, making them less than ideal for transportation. So, Sadoway started studying the periodic table, looking for cheap, Earth-abundant metals that might be able to substitute for lithium. The commercially dominant metal, iron, doesn’t have the right electrochemical properties for an efficient battery, he says. But the second-most-abundant metal in the marketplace — and actually the most abundant metal on Earth — is aluminum. “So, I said, well, let’s just make that a bookend. It’s gonna be aluminum,” he says.

Then came deciding what to pair the aluminum with for the other electrode, and what kind of electrolyte to put in between to carry ions back and forth during charging and discharging. The cheapest of all the non-metals is sulfur, so that became the second electrode material. As for the electrolyte, “we were not going to use the volatile, flammable organic liquids” that have sometimes led to dangerous fires in cars and other applications of lithium-ion batteries, Sadoway says. They tried some polymers but ended up looking at a variety of molten salts that have relatively low melting points — close to the boiling point of water, as opposed to nearly 1,000 degrees Fahrenheit for many salts. “Once you get down to near body temperature, it becomes practical” to make batteries that don’t require special insulation and anticorrosion measures, he says.

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No, the Covid vaccine is not injecting you with Bill Gate’s tracking device, or a mind. control chip.
(see below).

Like so many things, Al Gore was way ahead on this one, pointing out decades ago that what he called “false balance” journalism, or “both sides” journalism, was leading democracy astray.

Scientist vs Flat Earther is not a ‘both sides” equivalency that needs to be covered by a journalist. Some things are just bullshit, and they should be called out as such, so we can move on.

Northwestern University:

Bothsidesism — also referred to as false balance reporting — can damage the public’s ability to distinguish fact from fiction and lead audiences to doubt the scientific consensus on pressing societal challenges like climate change, a new Northwestern University study has found.

“The devastating heat wave in Europe this week is a reminder that we need to take urgent action to slow human-caused warming, but the media is still giving air to the opinions of people who do not believe there is cause for alarm, which makes the problem seem less dire than it actually is,” said David Rapp, a psychologist and professor at Northwestern’s School of Education and Social Policy (SESP) who coauthored the research.

Note to Journalists: the item below is not a scoop, you really don’t need to report this.

Tesla: What Can’t they Do?

September 25, 2022

I’ve been watching this guy for a few weeks. A little rough around the edges but I think he’s spot on here.

I’ve been traveling to Greenland over a long enough period now, that I’ve been able to record meaningful photo evidence of the changes over time.

Of the many instances that come to mind, this is the one easiest to document, Russell Glacier along the road north and east of Kangerlussuaq. (Greenland’s longest road, for the moment, at about 25 km)

This ice wall is a striking feature that anyone who has travelled this road will remember. I was on the lookout for it this year, but actually had to drive by more than once to be sure this was the same spot.

The first picture was shot from a somewhat higher elevation, but a similar angle.

Above, aftermath of Post-Tropical Cyclone Fiona in Nova Scotia. In a previous post, we heard Dr. Jason Box talk about Fiona’s path and how it will continue on to have impacts on the Greenland Ice sheet.

Below, I spoke to Paleoclimatologist Jeffrey Kiehl in 2015 at the American Geophysical Union Fall Meeting in San Francisco.
I was reminded of his remarks this week as we saw an outburst of tropical storms, Typhoon Merbok and Hurricane Fiona, strengthening and having severe impacts in regions well north of where we usually expect.

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NASA Earth Observatory:

In September 2022, vast areas atop the Greenland ice sheet melted. Some scientists think the widespread late-season melting—the most on record for any September—could have implications for the ice sheet next year.

Greenland’s melting season typically runs from May to early September. The 2022 season started slowly, as lower-than-average air temperatures in May and June culminated in the least amount of spring melting in a decade. Melting continued at a modest pace throughout the summer, with a surge in mid-July. At its peak on July 18, surface melting spanned 688,000 square kilometers (266,000 square miles) of the ice sheet.

A late-season warm spell brought a substantial melting event from September 1–6. At its peak on September 3, melting occurred across 592,000 square kilometers of the ice sheet—the second-largest melting spike of the 2022 season and the largest for any September since the start of record-keeping in 1979. Melt events of this magnitude are unlikely in September because seasonal temperatures usually drop as the hours of sunlight decrease.

Fiona’s Incredible Power

September 24, 2022

Best documentation I’ve seen of how storm surges do damage – like a tidal wave.