Sunday, January 6, 2013

Weekend Links

  • US small business revenue has stalled out.
  • Biofuels making poor people hungry in Guatemala.
  • Anomalously extensive snow cover in December in the Northern Hemisphere (as expected, given the large moisture source in the Arctic Ocean following last summer's record low sea ice).
  • You're not imagining that the weather has gotten crazier in the last decade: there's been a sharp increase in the quantity of blocking patterns in which loops in the jet stream waves get stuck and cause the weather to stop moving and stay the same for a longer than usual period.
  • More electricity production from natural gas than coal in the US for the first time.
  • Climate change threatens wine production - will this be enough to get the attention of elites?
  • Interesting potential power source.  Economic projections should be taken with a sack of salt until it's tested at scale.

4 comments:

ColdNorth said...

Those interested by the vortex tower idea may want to look up "solar updraft tower". Australia has been playing with this for some years now, but no-one seems willing to put up the large coinage needed to build that large-scale prototype ...

Ed Sloane said...

hey stu,

love the blog. you might wanna look into the australian heatwave this week past and into next week. some very interesting and pertinent info below.....

http://www.bom.gov.au/climate/current/statements/scs43.pdf

http://www.smh.com.au/environment/weather/dome-of-heat-covers-the-continent-20130107-2ccno.html?rand=1357614256603

http://www.smh.com.au/environment/weather/exceptional-heatwave-challenges-records-20130108-2cdn9.html?rand=1357599652318

http://www.smh.com.au/environment/weather/temperatures-off-the-charts-as-australia-turns-deep-purple-20130108-2ce33.html

Michael Cain said...

Re the snow cover anomalies. At least for the US, there seems to be pretty good correlation with the areas that various climate change models suggest will have increased winter precipitation. There is at least some reason to believe that the 2011 Missouri River floods may be more typical in the future.

Hal said...

Well, the heat to run that thing has to come from somewhere. Solar? Then it'll run when the sun shines, like all of them. And you still have the problem of scale. You just don't seem to be able to get more power out of something than you put in. Funny how that works. Someone ought to look into that...

Maybe you could drill to geothermal heat, or use existing mineshafts.