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While much focus is placed on human-caused emissions of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere, research from teams around the world suggests plants could be contributing up to 11 times as much.
A study involving the Australian National University, Western Sydney University, and centres around the world has found plants release more carbon dioxide through their respiration than previously thought.
And what is more, as global temperatures rise, scientists say the output of carbon dioxide by plants will accelerate.
During daylight hours, plants take in carbon dioxide and release oxygen through photosynthesis, however plants also release carbon dioxide through respiration.
ANU researcher Owen Atkin said plant respiration was previously thought to account for five to eight times the carbon compared to human activity.
However the new findings suggested that number could be much higher.
"Each year the burning of fossil fuels releases around 5 to 8 billion tons of carbon … so the respiration by plants is somewhere approaching 11 times that in our new estimate," he said.
"That's an enormous flux.
"What will happen in the future will be that those rates of carbon released by plants will increase as the world gets warmer, and it will have an impact on how much carbon is stored in vegetation, how much accumulates in the atmosphere in the future."
The study examined about 1,000 plant species in a range of climate extremes, to determine how much carbon dioxide is released in various scenarios.
"This will have fairly substantial implications for our ability to model carbon flows between landscapes and the atmosphere, and ultimately how much carbon dioxide accumulates in the atmosphere," Professor Atkin said.
Researchers said plants could also see a declining ability to absorb carbon dioxide currently in the atmosphere through photosynthesis, and that carbon flow models and budget projections would need to be altered in response to the findings.
Great... Now I have to become vegetarian!
China is in the "driving seat" when it comes to "international co-operation" on climate, said President Xi Jinping at a major political meeting in Beijing ahead of the UN-led climate talks in Bonn earlier this month, the first annual meeting of the negotiations since President Donald Trump announced his intention to withdraw from the agreement.
Mr Trump's decision had left a power vacuum: the historic accord reached in 2014 between then president Barack Obama and Mr Xi, leading the world's two largest economies, which together account for about 40 per cent of global emissions, had underpinned the consensus reached by the international community in late 2015 in Paris. Could China alone fill that vacuum?
China's carbon emissions have also risen this year, after two years of slight decline.
Still, it is committed to peak before 2030, and it leads the world in clean technologies — accounting for five of the world's top six solar PV manufacturers, and seven of the top-15 wind turbine manufacturers.
China is also investing more than $US100 billion a year in domestic renewable energy projects — more than double the US figure. At about $US32 billion, its investment in green technology overseas is also the largest in the world.
Mr Xi has made environmental ambition a signature of his rhetoric, having coined the florid phrase, "clear waters and green mountains are as valuable as mountains of gold and silver". By contrast, the US President is not only averse to environmental regulation, but even once tweeted, preposterously, that climate change is a Chinese hoax.
The world is moving on, as it should.
Didn't you mean to say, People like Trump with moronic ideas?
Looks like there is one sane person in this discussion.
I do what I can to inject the opposing view - it just happens to fall outside the Cult of Hotcoldwetdry . . .NOAA Lets Politics Corrupt Its Science
I find it strange that two people can look at the same graph and see a different line.
You picked two random points and joined them to show no change.
That's not how scientific data works.
You have to look at the whole trend, removing extremes and anomalies.
Also - the sharp downturn at the end may well be the result of global action on climate change.
You are far too intelligent and informed to be a part of this forum.
You are far too intelligent and informed to be a part of this forum.
... says the idiot who frequents this cavalcade of confusion, chaos and clusterfucks.
Speaking of action...
Last Friday, the "world's largest" lithium-ion battery was officially opened in South Australia. Tesla's much-anticipated "mega battery" made the "100 days or it's free" deadline, after a week of testing and commissioning.
Unsurprisingly, the project has attracted a lot of attention, both in Australia and abroad. This is largely courtesy of high-profile Tesla chief executive Elon Musk, not to mention the series of Twitter exchanges that sparked off the project in the first place.
Many are now watching on in anticipation to see what impact the battery has on the SA electricity market, and whether it could be a gamechanger nationally.
The "mega-battery" complex is officially called the Hornsdale Power Reserve. It sits alongside the Hornsdale Wind Farm and has been constructed in partnership with the SA Government and Neoen, the French renewable energy company that owns the wind farm.
The battery has a total generation capacity of 100 megawatts, and 129 megawatt-hours of energy storage. This has been described as "capable of powering 50,000 homes", providing 1 hour and 18 minutes of storage or, more controversially, 2.5 minutes of storage.
At first blush, some of these numbers might sound reasonable. But they don't actually reflect a major role the battery will play, nor the physical capability of the battery itself.
The battery complex can be thought of as two systems. First there is a component with 70MW of output capacity that has been contracted to the SA Government.
This is reported to provide grid stability and system security, and designed only to have about 10 minutes of storage.
The second part could be thought of as having 30MW of output capacity, but three to four hours of storage.
Even though this component has a smaller capacity (MW), it has much more storage (MWh) and can provide energy for much longer. This component will participate in the competitive part of the market, and should firm up the wind power produced by the wind farm.