Sunday, August 12, 2007

NASA Makes Error - 1934 Warmest Year

I haven't posted in a while because nothing exceptional has developed in the past couple of months. Since alternate energy is being driven in a large part by global warming, this subject is interesting.

Steve McIntyre is a GW skeptic that noted some time ago that the GISS temperature average for the United States had an odd jump in the year 2000. McIntyre and company made several attempts to obtain information on the methodology used by GISS to locate the cause of the spike. With little assistance from GISS, McIntyre reconstructed the temperature averages noting that equipment changes made in Y2K were incorrectly compensated.

The result is that there was an approximate 0.2 degree C bias for the 2000 on data. GISS recognized the error and is making corrections. While the correction will have little impact on global temperature averages, there may be a ripple effect as other measurement methods adjusted to US temperature average may require fine tuning.

While this in no way indicates that anthropogenic global warming is not significant, it may well indicate that more pragmatic implementation of alternate energy is in order. That is a good thing as cutting edge technologies are on the not too distant horizon.

Nanosolar may be one of the key cutting edge manufacturers. Unfortunately, the progress Nanosolar is making is not well publicized. This is a bit disconcerting as any good corporate news is happily released by most companies. With no news one can only guess that terminal connections to their thin film solar panels is posing a problem. Hopefully, they will resolve any difficulties and start releasing product in the next year.

Cheap renewable electricity is key to developing our hydrogen economy. Also a key component is Fuel Cell performance and cost. This area is showing much more promise. Initial production FCV's should be on the market in 2008 though 2010 is more likely for the production of reliable long range vehicles.

This is not only important for travel, but for clean hydrogen production. High efficiency, affordable fuel cells coupled with reasonably priced renewable electricity go a long way to reduce hydrogen infrastructure requirements. While not an overly efficient method of hydrogen production, solar power at a cost average of eight to ten cents per KWH can make on site hydrogen production via reversed fuel cell operation relatively economical.

Another technology update is Green Fuel. While still in the R&D phase has added a few new test plants in Louisiana, Kansas and South Africa. The Arizona test plant performance appears successful, but full scale implementation is still years in the future. In addition to producing bio-fuels and CO2 scrubbing at power plants, the algae farming can be used to clean up hydrogen production from natural gas processing.

Capt. Dallas

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