For warmer soil, farm next to a wind farm

The world’s climate is created and influenced by heat which is a form of light. Heat energy, as the laws of thermodynamics show, moves from a hotter place to a colder place. When you do anything to stop or interfere with heat and light moving where it will, you potentially change the climate, even though the change may not be noticeable.

Texas has plenty of wind farms. It has many more turbines than are situate in Britain. Texas has a windy corridor and there are many turbines exploiting the energy that the wind can bring to us, in a relatively benign way. Those turbines, it seems, are making the neighbouring ground warmer, but only at night.

It seems that this warming is caused by the turbines pushing warm wind to the ground. The effect was noticed when data for Texas ground temperatures was examined for the years 2003 to 2005 and was compared with the years 2009 to 2011. All the ground temperatures in the second later period rose, compared with the earlier periods, but temperatures close to wind farms rose more. The rise over a ten year period was 0.72⁰C, although it is important not to extrapolate that across the whole world. Thermodynamics is, by its nature dynamic and a rise of temperature in one place may create a fall in another place, although that rise gives the lie to the claim that global temperatures have not risen for the past ten years; clearly things are much more complicated than that.

If you visit the Argos district of the Peloponnese in Greece, you will see poking out of orange groves what look like small wind turbines. In fact they are turbines that drive warm air downwards to protect the trees against the frosts of early spring. In the United States, where they have more money, orange farmers fly helicopters over the orange orchards to achieve the same effect.  The warming effect is well known.

We might be able to use this by growing crops which grow better with warmer night-time ground temperatures close to wind farms.

Odd things – we love what we do not know

It is odd that we love what we do not know.

Continue reading

Odd Things – dissimilar similarities

Being religious is not the same as going to church, mosque or synagogue. Being honest is not the same as paying your taxes and avoiding stealing. Having integrity is not the same as behaving in a way that most people praise. Being charitable is not the same as making donations to a registered charity. Being strong is not the same as having the loudest voice and the most powerful body. Doing justice is not the same as following the law. Being democratic is not the same as occasionally allowing people to vote.  Being educated is not the same as having read many important books.  Being loved is not the same as having love.

Anomalies in Climate Change Mean Temperatures

An anomaly is an easy thing to define because it is simply a deviation from the norm, but a hard thing to identify because it is so hard to understand what is “normal”. In climate science there are masses of deviations from the norm, for example most glaciers are shrinking but some are growing. In fact there are so many anomalies that sometimes it can be hard to understand what the norm is. What is a global warming norm?   Continue reading

Odd Things – Waving Trees in the Wind

Do humanity’s emissions of greenhouse gases cause climate change? Let us think of trees waving in the wind.

If you look at tree waving on windy days you can deduce either that the trees are moved by the wind or that the trees waving make the wind. With just those basic observations either deduction is possible and equally valid.

If you study wind and study trees and take more observations you can find that wind blows where there are no trees. By widening your area of study you widen and enlarge your knowledge and the more you know the more likely your deductions will be true. That means that you have to know what you actually know and understand what you do not know.

We start from small knowledge, both as individuals and humanity, and we make our deductions as we gain knowledge. We must remember to change those deductions as we know more, both of what we know and what we do not know. Otherwise we will confuse ourselves, rather as we confuse ourselves now about many things.

“With the seed of wisdom I did sow

And with my own hand laboured it to grow

And this was all the harvest I did reap

I came like water, and like wind I go.

I owe these thoughts to GK Chesterton, Confucius, and Fitzgerald’s version of Omar Khayyam

The fear mongers of climate change

James Lovelock made his mark in developing the Gaia theory that the earth is a single organism. I never found that theory satisfactory. The earth, he thought, was a giant self-regulating whole, which adapts and responds to changes with all the forms of life that inhabit it. Perhaps I have over simplified Gaia theory, but to me if the theory is true then we need not worry about climate change. Continue reading

Odd Things – Events and Charity Sponsorship

Have you noticed how some people get to do quite fun things – skydiving, balloon flying, running and swimming and get other people to “sponsor” them? The sponsor agrees to pay so much money, and the money usually goes to charity. It is odd that we will give money to charity because someone has swum to Thames or run a marathon race or ridden a bicycle from John O Groats to Land’s End. The person who has had the fun of the swim or race (yes, it may be arduous but there is fun and pleasure in completing these events) also strangely gets the kudos of having “raised” so much money for charity. Continue reading

Odd Things -wisdom and truth

The pursuit of truth is excellence, truth is the basis of excellence and truth requires sincerity which is the foundation of all communication. Like sincerity truth is simple. Wisdom is simple too, and that is why it is so hard to be wise. Truth and wisdom, like excellence are rare. Simplicity is rare.

Odd Things – Preaching

Preaching should be done for the converted, not for those that will never be converted. When I write about the environment I think it is most useful for those that think that the prevention of environmental degradation and rapid global warming is the most important It is preaching to the converted, but, although I be be thought arrogant, so the converted generally do not understand their own religion,  so environmentalists do not generally understand climate change.

Odd Things – Mercury

The use of mercury is prohibited in thermometers, of which a household may have one or two and change every ten years. The use of mercury is virtually compulsory in household light bulbs, of which every household has many and changes every year. Can someone explain?