If you cannot Beat it, live with it

A wind travelling at 185 miles an hour (about 300kph) is a very strong wind indeed. Humans do not build settlements where such winds are even a remote a possibility, or so we thought until Hurricane Dorian devastated the North Bahamas. Thousands of homes have been destroyed or damaged severely. Only seven people have died, thanks to the ability of humans to predict the impact of Hurricane Dorian and the efforts of the local government to warn and prepare people for this apocalypse.

Hurricanes start when there is warm water (around and above 28 Celsius) and warm air.

Warm air from the ocean surface begins to rise rapidly. The air is naturally moist, coming from the ocean. When the warm air meets cooler air as it rises the warm moist air condenses and forms storm clouds and drops of rain. The condensation releases heat, which warms the cool air above the warm air, causing it to rise to bring more warm, moist air from the ocean .

The warm, moist air is drawn into a developing storm and more heat is transferred from the surface of the ocean to the atmosphere. This continuing heat exchange creates a wind pattern that spirals violently around a relatively calm center and so a hurricane is born.

The important word in this explanation is “warm”. The air is warmed, the oceans are warmed and this begets hurricanes.

Hurricanes have always been with those who live where the air is warmed and the sea is warmed but in the last century or more the sea has been warming and so has the air more than usual because the heat that the planet naturally receives cannot escape or dissipate into space as it had done for centuries because now the earth has a blanket of insulation, made up of an increasing thick layer carbon dioxide, deposited by kind permission of humanity and its activities.

I do not blame global warming for the creation of Hurricane Dorian – that would be a far too simplistic approach, but I do blame human activities for making hurricanes like Dorian (the most violent in recorded history in the Bahamas) more likely.

It is probably too late to reverse global warming or do much about climate change except to possibly try to slow it down. Humanity, it is clear to me, does not have the appetite to do what must be done to reverse or slow down climate change. It will probably have the appetite to build better and stronger protection against extreme weather events such as hurricanes and flooding. If you can’t beat it, live with it.

The Effect on Climate of coal, diesel and wood burning

I have written a great deal about my views that particulates are a significant contribution to the changes that our climate are experiencing than we understand, and my instincts seem to be borne out by research published in the Journal of Geophysical Research-Atmospheres.  If the research has drawn the correct conclusions, then particulates from wood burning, diesel engines and coal burning (which create pure carbon in the form of soot) have twice more impact on our climate than previously estimated. Continue reading

If there is global warming why are we experiencing colder winters? It is a question that is often asked as an argument to climate change proposers by those who think that climate change is not happening. I must choose my words more carefully – those who think that climate change is happening as slowly as it always has happened, would perhaps be more accurate. Continue reading

A Warm January

Prediction the future is a pastime for people who think highly of themselves and who look foolish as their predictions prove wrong but I run those risks of being so thought; I venture to predict that this January may well turn out to be the warmest on record. Continue reading

Happy Warmer New Year

The United Kingdom’s Met Office has found that 2011 was the second warmest year in Britain, taken as a whole, since comparative records were established in 1910. I therefore wish all my readers a very happy 2012, with the prospect that it will likely be warmer than average. Continue reading

The Good Light

There is sometimes good light in London in December. I do not mean those mornings when the low sun shimes into your eyes so brightly that you cannot see, but the late morbings when the light is heavy and still and Christmas is in the weather close by. Continue reading

Wind Turbines on Windy Days

When it comes to wind turbines, which rely on wind to generate electricity,you can have too much of a good thing.

In the past few days hurricanes have swept through Scotland causing much damage. There are many wind turbines in Scotland and wind turbines cannot operate in hurricanes, because the wind speeds are too high, so turbines have system of preventing the turbine blades operating when wind speeds exceed a certain level, which is much lower than hurricane level and lower than gale force wind levels.

Generally wind turbines do not produce electricity in winds above the range of 40mph and 80 mph, (depending on their design) and have a device, usually electrical brakes, to prevent the blades turning when the wind exceeds the limit for that particular turbine.

In the wind one turbine in the Adrossian wind farm which is 100 metres high caught fire when hurricanes struck it, the blades had been stopped by the brakes, but clearly the force of the wind was so high that friction on the brakes was too much to cope with and the turbine burst into flames.

You can see a picture of this at http://www.clickgreen.org.uk/news/national-news/122919-huge-wind-turbine-erupts-in-flames-as-165mph-winds-strike-scotland.html