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Wednesday, December 03, 2008


South Pole

The Earth has a surface area of roughly 171 million square kilometres of which 3/4s is ocean. The IPCC have said they expect the rise in sea level over the next century to be about 0.375 m (15 inches). Because sea level rise would endanger the world's seaports, it is the most, indeed probably only, damaging part of alleged global warming. Indeed the actual warming effect itself would probably be beneficial because crops grow better in warmer weather, midwinter deaths are lower & history shows the Sahara was fertile during the Climate Optimum. Increased CO2 also increases crop growth since more carbon is available for plants.

The alleged increase in lea level amounts to 64,000 cubic km (171 million x 0.000375). Over 100 years this amounts to 20,000 cubic metre per second. This is equivalent to 7 Niles

So one option would be to put that much water somewhere else & the obvious place would be to pump it into the centre of Antarctica. Antarctica is not only the coldest place on Earth it has some of the lowest precipitation. Clearly if there were more water but the same temperature there would be bigger glaciers.

Antarctica is a frozen desert with little precipitation; the South Pole itself receives less than 10 centimeters (4 in) per year, on average. Temperatures reach a minimum of between −80 °C and −90 °C (−112 °F and −130 °F) in the interior in winter and reach a maximum of between 5 °C and 15 °C (41 °F and 59 °F) near the coast in summer.

....Weather fronts rarely penetrate far into the continent, leaving the center cold and dry. Despite the lack of precipitation over the central portion of the continent

Clearly the interior of the continent isn't, whatever "kindergarten analysis" the government's chief science advisor makes about it becoming the "only habitable continent", remotely close to melting. Indeed it is currently getting colder though inexplicably this doesn't get widely reported.

So lets pump the water ashore. The Aswan dam produces 2.1 gigawatts & run at about 80% efficiency so we are talking about, by that comparison, under 20 gigawatts, probably actually a bit more to the extent the water is being pumped higher. That is a lot, even using nuclear power. However while the most common nuclear generator is about 1 gigawatt ones twice that size have been built & bigger is theoretically possible it is only lack of demand which has prevented them being built. There are impressive economies of scale possible. Thus while a 1 gw generator can be built for $1 bn, 5 at 4 gw might only cost $10 bn. Also there is a lack of local population to be worried about the alleged danger of reactors. Since most of the cost of nuclear power is in the building & we are talking about costs amortised over a century this is clearly very easily affordable by the whole world.

Certainly an awful lot cheaper than the $800 million a day Kyoto is costed at (even ignoring the fact that Kyoto is not claimed, even by believers, to be enough to solve the "crisis" & in fact want restrictions 10s of times greater).

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