Climate in Northern Europe – Past 2000 Years

Trend calculated precisely for the first time (2012)

An international team including scientists from Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU)  in 2012 published a reconstruction of the climate in northern Europe over the last 2,000 years based on the information provided by tree-rings.

Professor Dr. Jan Esper’s group at the Institute of Geography at JGU used tree-ring density measurements from sub-fossil pine trees originating from Finnish Lapland to produce a reconstruction reaching back to 138 BC. In so doing, the researchers were able for the first time to precisely demonstrate that the long-term trend over the past two millennia has been towards climatic cooling.  The researchers were from Germany, Finland, Scotland, and Switzerland.

Here is a link to their article, and the high-resolution representation of the Temperature trends attached to it.

The Contact listed is Professor Dr. Jan Esper, Institute of Geography, Johannes Gutenberg University D 55099 Mainz, Germany.

Link to the Article


The Next Three Decades



Since digging into this Climate Change discussion, and attempting to see various sides of the arguments and postulations, the recurring point is that there are a number of divergent datasets and ideas to be vetted and cross checked.

Sometimes it seems that a narrow information vertical is cited in order to demonstrate a particular Climate point hypothesis that may or may not be based on actual collected raw data. Further, data collected may be localized, filtered, dumbed down, narrowed or extrapolated via various computer models until it reinforces or curve fits a particular hypothesis in order to support some predetermined conclusion.

However, there is also some aggregating out there which seems to strike an appropriate balance in the quest for answers. The following article from Global Research represents such an alternative view and analysis of global climate change, which challenges the dominant Global Warming Consensus.

I don’t personally know Global Research or this gentleman, but thought his article was worth a read, with the attached caveat:

Evidence for Predicting Global Cooling for the Next Three Decades– Don Easterbrook

Global Research does not necessarily endorse the proposition of “Global Cooling”, nor does it accept at face value the Consensus on Global Warming. Our purpose is to encourage a more balanced debate on the topic of global climate change.

Don J. Easterbrook is Professor Emeritus of Geology at Western Washington University. Bellingham, WA. He has published extensively on issues pertaining to global climate change.

( Click here for the Article by Don Easterbrook )


The North American Electrical Power Storyboard

Little David and Big Al – who’s doing what in North America

On the basis of land area, Canada and the US are pretty much 50-50 size wise, so global comparison on an Earth land mass basis seems like a good place to start. On the world stage, let’s look at who is doing better in terms of minimizing the percentage of Thermal Carbon based power for the same footprint at this juncture in the 21st Century.

As a starting point, using data published by Statistics Canada (2010), DOE/EIA-0035(2015-03), the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory and Department of Energy, here’s how it rolls up:


The first thing that hits you is that Canada, in spite of having an Earth stewardship footprint that equals the USA, gets along with only 5% as much Electrical Energy production, in spite of the fact that it is on the cold North Face of the 49th Parallel. Having mostly CO2 swallowing wilderness, forest cover, cultivated land, and one tenth the population of the US spread out along the 49th parallel for warmth also helps.  Below are the pie charts expressing the above energy production by type as percent for each country.



Big Al’s elephant in the room at home in the USA is the towering CO2 thermal production numbers @ 67% of the Big Total that have been immune to efforts re: emission reduction. For little David Canada, he’s fortunate that between Hydro and Nuclear, 76% of Canada’s total electrical production are  already (CO2) emission free. That leaves only 23% as CO2 thermal power emission float to be considered for tailoring. I use CO2 as the common yardstick only because both David and Al seem to agree on that as their major objective. Al has 3 times as much work to do to catch up to David on the CO2 front, footprint wise.

Take Away … (Canada Biased – friends from the US can do their own summary for their turf)

This is a high level look at North America Electrical Power generation in the context of CO2 emissions, and the reality of the Canadian flea on the US Elephant’s back. This article makes no determination on the merits of the CO2 Emission arguments. There is also much more to the story than these high level numbers show. For example, Solar PV above the 49th parallel delivers only low annual energy density and is not really viable as a solution in Canada, so the US has the advantage there. ( Drill down here )

Raw local wind has a similar annual energy density problem unless it gets aggregated by geological considerations (making it very site specific).  Places like PEI already take full advantage of their location to make the best use of wind in Canada at virtually 100% wind renewable, helped by their tiny population, footprint and geography.   It won’t work like that everywhere.

However, in spite of our northern latitude, parts of Canada are able to make excellent use of aggregated solar through nature’s weather cycles and the Canadian (vertical potential) geography via renewable Hydro Generation. Clearly, Canada has already done well in that department, and the graphs show it, thanks to those past political leaders who had the vision and character to follow through. BC is nearly 90% renewable Hydro, Yukon is 94% ,Quebec does 97% and Manitoba is nearly 100%.

Many smaller locations in the High Arctic and rural Canada have no choice but to use CO2 thermal. Applying a carbon tax to any Canadian citizen without first providing an economically survivable alternative infrastructure would be borderline heartless and not thoughtful governance. It would be very un-Canadian. There is definitely not a one size Federal approach that fits all. Not even close.

In Closing …

Finally,  where social politics intersect thoughtful Science, don’t take what anyone says regarding Climate Change (including this) as an axiom without personally cross checking the premises via your own logical and math / fact checking skills. Otherwise, you might unwittingly become a vector amplifying some Gullible Travels mantra, for some nefarious agenda that may not quite be true.

Climate Sanity

This is a link to a blog by  Tom Moriarty that works for me.

Climate Sanity by Tom Moriarty

In particular,  his summary on  Solar PV and Wind from a Practical Project point of view underlines the fact that raw solar and wind are low density forms of energy:

Some points to consider

What would be the consequences of covering 6 million square kilometers of land with PV?  This would be like completely covering an area the combined size of Arizona, Nevada, Colorado, Wyoming, Oregon, Idaho, Utah, Kansas, Minnesota, Nebraska, South Dakota, North Dakota, Missouri, Oklahoma, Washington, Georgia, Michigan, Iowa, Illinois, Wisconsin, Florida, Arkansas, Alabama, North Carolina, New York, Mississippi, Pennsylvania, Louisiana, Tennessee, Ohio, Virginia, Kentucky, Indiana, Maine, South Carolina, West Virginia, Maryland, Vermont, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, New Jersey, Hawaii, Connecticut, Puerto Rico, Delaware, Rhode Island with solar panels.  Of course, this would be spread out over the about 100 million square kilometers of land at latitudes lower than about 50 degrees.

This plan would also require a distribution system that could move energy from daytime areas to nighttime areas, or at least a few days of storage for every person on the planet.  Such a distribution system is not feasible at this time, and the massive amount of storage is prohibitively expensive.

Two days of storage would be 200 kilowatt hours of stored energy per person.  Probably the best mass storage option today (2015) is with Tesla’s Powerwall, which stores 7 kilowatt hours, costs $3,000, and weights 220 pounds.  So we would need about $90,000 and about 6,600 pounds of storage for each of the 7 billion people.  That adds another $630 trillion to the cost.

These calculations serve simply to give a feel for what could be done with solar photovoltaics and what the limitations might be.  I am not suggesting that the world should be powered solely with PV.  With other energy sources in the mix less money and land would need to be devoted to PV (but more to those other sources).  For example, if you did the same calculations for wind, then you would find that about twice as much area  (about 12 million square kilometers) would have to be covered by wind farms to get the same amount of energy.  But at least you can grow corn are graze cattle below the turbines in a wind farm.

I have led you to water.  It is up to you to drink up your own conclusions about the viability of using solar energy to bring the world up to a reasonable level of energy consumption.




How an Ice Age Begins

This Article by Gregory Fegel is worth a read. It does look at one of the questions pondered in the Climate Change Discussion about how the derivative of temperature over time always  inflects from positive (interglacial sequence) through 0 to negative (glacial sequence) in such a dramatic fashion .

How an Ice Age Begins – Courtesy of Gregory Fegel

From his article, this counter intuitive paragraph stands out:

“The next Ice Age will be precipitated by  quite literally  an upward trend in summer temperatures and summer warming of the oceans in the Northern Hemisphere, which will increase oceanic evaporation and cause an increase in precipitation, some of which will fall as snow that will feed the growth of glaciers at high elevations and at high latitudes.”