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China Cracks 100 Gigawatts of Solar Capacity as Musk Pitches More U.S. Gigafactories

When it comes to solar energy, China is on one hell of a roll.

In the first half of 2017, the massive country added a record 24.4 gigawatts of solar electrical generating capacity. This boosted its total solar capacity to 101.82 gigawatts. By comparison, China has about 900 gigawatts of coal generating capacity, but recent coal curtailments provide an opportunity for renewable energy to take up a larger portion of China’s energy market share. Such an event would provide a crucial opening for the world to begin a necessary early draw-down of global carbon emissions in the face of rising risks from climate change.

(The government of China proudly touts its clean energy advances. Trump Administration — not so much.)

This very rapid solar growth rate, if it continues, puts China on track to beat its 2016 record annual solar installation rate of 34 GW. And, already, it is 9 percent ahead of last year’s more than doubling of new annual solar capacity toward a likely 2017 build-out at around 40 GW. China is also adding new high voltage power cables and averaging about 25 GW of new wind energy capacity each year. A stunning combined wind and solar build rate that has led CNN to claim that China is crushing the U.S. when it comes to renewable energy production and adoption rates. With the Trump Administration still wallowing in climate change denial, withdrawing from the Paris Climate Summit, and courting dangerous deals with petro-states like Russia, it’s enough to make you wonder if American technology and climate leadership are a thing of the past.

Back in the states, more progressive American (it’s not tough to beat Trump in this regard) Elon Musk was trying to help prevent just such a slide into backward-looking regression. Addressing 30 state governors at the summer governor’s association meeting, Musk explained that only a 100 by 100 mile square region was needed to capture enough solar energy to power the U.S. and that the battery storage needed for such a system to provide energy 24/7 would only cover a region 1×1 mile in size.

(Elon Musk claims an area of solar panels the size of the blue square could power the U.S. The black square represents the size of the area needed for energy storage to provide 24/7 power. Image source: Tesla.)

This is less than the total rooftop and highway area of all buildings and roads in the U.S. Musk also soft-pitched the notion of new gigafactories to the 30 state governors in attendance. Hopefully, a few will take up what amounts to an amazing economic opportunity. With Nevada seeing major new growth surrounding Musk’s Gigafactory 1 site, you’d think that interest would be high.

Oddly enough, 20 governors were AWOL at the meeting. Primarily republicans, apparently they had “more important” work to attend to than helping America become energy independent while fighting to prevent the fat tail of global climate catastrophe from crashing down on their constituents like a 1960s Godzilla on a mad romp in Tokyo.

Steve Hanley of Clean Technica notes:

“Whether any of the governors will take Elon’s words to heart remains to be seen. Only 30 of them bothered to attend. Many Republicans stayed home so they could focus on challenging issues like how to discriminate against Muslims, slash Medicare rolls, promote more fracking on public lands, and prevent transgender people from using public bathrooms. When you are in government, it is important to keep your priorities straight.”

Links:

China Adds a Record 24.4 GW of Solar in First Half of 2017

CNN

Futurism

Clean Technica

Tesla

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85 Comments

  1. climatehawk1

     /  July 21, 2017

    Tweet scheduled.

    Reply
  2. Bob

     /  July 21, 2017

    Robert, You amaze me, having the ability to cover so many technical areas with competence and fluidity in so short a timeframe. Add to that your writing abilities and clarity and keep up with the rapidity of new advances in all the fields. It is like writing the Encyclopedia Britannica every month. Amazing.
    China is walking all over the US. What a shame for such a great country and great people. When will the cookie crumble?

    Reply
    • Greg

       /  July 21, 2017

      Bob, Robert is uniquely skilled and should be one of the most compensated analysts out there but does this out of heart and soul with peanuts thrown in his hat.

      Regarding China, I have found myself unmoved by all the geopolitical games these days. All these are just token games, both big and small, and seem like distractions in the greater context unless they are related to moving the needle on climate change. If China “wins” geopolitically so be it. Britain handled it. I would much rather civilization survives and China dominates and struggles with global leadership than we lose civilization altogether. It isn’t a zero-sum game of course but man we just need to be laser focused on the endgame or its game over. If they move the renewables needle forward then we all win in the end.

      Reply
      • Thanks for your thoughts, Greg.

        In my opinion, there could be a bit of healthy competition between China, the US, Europe, India and others in a friendly race to see who makes an energy transition and energy transition related industry and innovation pay off first. The U.S. is still producing trend-setting technology, but China has a big industrial advantage due to direct investment by government, Europe is, overall, ahead of the game with regards to larger sutainability, and India has a major opportunity to grow their economy using base renewables.

        Geopolitically, I think we are heading to a more multipolar world. in the 21st. The US can remain a positive and powerful force if we do not turn inward or backward and if we manage to reign in the abuses of various national and international corporate powers. In other words, we are struggling with the grips of isolationism, greed, inequality, and anarchistic harmful profiteering, Unfortunately, the present administration as well as the ideological views of the republican party run counter to long-term national prosperity as well as survival itself when confronted with 21st Century crises — primarily climate change and resulting inequality stresses.

        Reply
    • Suzanne

       /  July 21, 2017

      I agree completely.

      Reply
  3. Greg

     /  July 21, 2017

    One follow up to the Gavin gif from the last post. Note that the bell curve appears to me to be moving towards a bi-nomial distribution – the extremes, which is predicted by models:

    Reply
    • Suzanne

       /  July 21, 2017

      Great graphic. Thanks for posting.

      Reply
    • I fired Gavin off an email along with a few relevant questions about implications. So far no word. Am sure he’s very busy at this time.

      Aside from movement toward extremes, there appears to be a Northern Hemisphere polar amplification and possible El Nino signal in the Jan-April measures. Some lag in the Southern Hemisphere appears to have resulted in less warming in Aug, Sept, Oct. Heat transfer northward, however, appears to quickly make up the difference in late Oct, Nov, and December — with it winning out in the Jan through Apr timeframe.

      Reply
  4. Suzanne

     /  July 21, 2017

    Bernie Sanders and Al Gore Discuss Climate Change and Renewables (July 2017)

    Reply
  5. Bob

     /  July 21, 2017

    I have been interested in finding an explanation for the gap or discrepancy between levelling emissions and increasing atmospheric CO2 levels. Many factors need to be examined including ocean uptake and numerous feedback mechanisms. Methane release is one culprit that frequently comes to my attention. Here is a new study of the Mackenzie Delta in Northern Canada.https://insideclimatenews.org/news/18072017/arctic-permafrost-melting-methane-emissions-geologic-sources-study
    The other culprit which I find complicit is the intentional underreporting of emissions from many countries. There is no compulsory verification system at the moment. Tables presented by Saxifrage elucidate this problem.

    Reply
    • wili

       /  July 23, 2017

      Another thing to keep in mind is the difference between stocks and flows. We may (or may not) have stopped turning up the ‘spigot’ of CO2 filling up our atmospheric ‘tub,’ but we haven’t shut the spigot off…far from it. We continue to spew CO2 into the atmosphere at approximately the highest rates in history.

      So just as we shouldn’t expect the water level in an actual bathtub to stop rising as long as the water spigot is on at near full blast, we shouldn’t expect total atmospheric CO2 to go down much.

      We do have to keep an eye on these things to determine whether major terrestrial and ocean sinks are starting to fail (likely, to some extent, imho), and whether major GHG feadbacks are starting to kick in (as seems to be happening as we watch with those holes in the permafrost).

      Meanwhile, Trump seems to be rather obsessively busy trying to poke out as many scientific ‘eyes’ we have as possible, so we may not, in fact, be able to monitor very well how the world actually unravels with any precision.

      Reply
    • Dave Person

       /  July 23, 2017

      Hi Bob,
      The answer is simple even without additional sources of CO2. The measures of CO2 in the atmosphere represent cumulative concentration because the CO2 stays for a long, long time, Flattening of emissions may eventually slow the rate of increase but as long as we emit CO2 the cumulative concentration in the atmosphere will grow. If the rate of increase does not slow owing to lower emissions, that may indicate other sources of CO2 are in play or our natural CO2 sinks are failing.

      dave

      Reply
    • So we’ve been emitting 11 billion tons of carbon into the atmosphere annually since around 2012. 5 years of record high carbon emissions that are more than ten times faster than during the last hyperthermal event (PETM). During that time, we have had two rather weak La Nina’s, mostly positive PDO, and a strong El Nino. These natural variability factors alone would tend to shut down some of the Earth’s carbon draw-down capability. In addition, we are starting to see some increasing stress on carbon stores due to temperature rise overall. Not really enough to anywhere near equal the overall larger human emission, but adding in at the margins probably.

      In any case, in this environment, the best thing we could hope for from leveling carbon emissions is that annual rates of atmospheric carbon increase also tend to eventually level off at around 2 to 2.5 ppm CO2 annual average and 2.5 to 3.2 annual CO2e average. However, given the added heat in the Earth system, it is more likely that a constant rate of emission would tend to result in slowly rising annual CO2 and CO2e additions as the Earth’s carbon sinks become exhausted and carbon stores begin to feed back more over time.

      The only way that we see reductions in annual rates of accumulation is if there are substantial and sustained reductions in global carbon dioxide and ghg emissions over time. Even in that event, there would tend to be some lag as oceans give back a portion of CO2 and lands and waters continue to feedback somewhat due to warming. In my opinion, it would take a 10-15 percent reduction over at least 5 years before we’d see the atmospheric rate change in a noticeable way. We’re kind of at the cusp of where we need to start cutting emissions pretty rapidly in order to avoid some of the worst catastrophic outcomes. We’ve probably locked in some catastrophic outcomes in any case at this time.

      Reply
  6. http://money.cnn.com/2017/07/21/news/china-rice-us-trade/index.html
    This is kinda scary, China having to import rice to feed its people. What happens if there is a drought? How fast will this escalate into a trade war? Would China appreciate its people being held hostage to the US?

    Makes me extremely nervous to read this!

    Reply
    • Thanks, Richard. One of the things we monitor here are global food markets and related global food prices. There is some stress starting to emerge. But we’re not at a critical stage, globally at this time. Regional loss of resilience and food security is an issue presently.

      China’s import need isn’t presently at a critical stage. And it’s pretty far off from that. However, there are worries in that various rice producing regions are under stress due to sea level rise, flooding by salt water incursion, and more extreme weather. The Mekong Delta in Vietnam, for example, is slowly being inundated and that’s one of the world’s chief rice producing regions.

      Reply
  7. Robert in New Orleans

     /  July 21, 2017

    Interior Department prevents glacier expert from accompanying Mark Zuckerberg on tour
    http://www.cbsnews.com/news/interior-department-prevents-glacier-expert-from-accompanying-mark-zuckerberg-on-tour/

    Shame on the Trump Administration and the proud of their ignorance supporters.

    Reply
    • Ouch. So sad. Republicans in power for just seven months now and it already feels like an eternity.

      Reply
      • Yes, and the fact that the Administration is being petty about the issue down to this level says a lot about its crackpot ideological nature (this is the kind of stuff Reagan was doing, only even more, if memory serves). Fortunately, we’re beginning to see some signs that Congress feels (or at least, some members of Congress feel) the crazy is being overdone.

        Reply
  8. Carole

     /  July 21, 2017

    I usually go to this website for my weather forecast because it loads quickly and is easy to read. Lately, I’ve been preoccupied by the heat wave in Iraq and have kept an eye on it.

    It shows that the T reached 57C in Nasiriya on June 30. I have not been able to verify this independently. Is this even possible?

    There is a huge variance between the day before (49C) and the day after (45C). It’s probably an error. . right?
    https://www.timeanddate.com/weather/iraq/nasiriya/historic?month=6&year=2017

    Reply
    • Thanks for this, Carole. Unconfirmed, no reports, no second source data as yet. Without confirmation, the likely answer = glitch/error.

      Reply
  9. generativity

     /  July 22, 2017

    Thank you for this important news analysis.

    Reply
  10. Andy_in_SD

     /  July 22, 2017

    The elephant in the room says…..

    Once the amortized cost of the renewable energy has been met (the ROI is dropping as I type), the cost of manufacturing goods will drop by the price of power for such a nation or region which embraces it.

    Imbeciles who say crap like “beautiful coal”, embrace rapidly obsolescing energy methods and hinder domestic renewable which give this gift of lower manufacturing costs (and all of the knock on effects we all discuss here, like survivabilty as a species), are in fact enemies of their state (This statement won’t consider their abdication of the responsibility to their species, it is an appeal to greed, as that is all they know).

    Through their ignorance (unable to see beyond the next knee jerk reaction into the future), or their purchased loyalty to the obsolete energy methods (political contributions), they have put their personal greed above their countrymen, their nation and their own children.

    A pox upon them, and those that can see, yet dismiss such an obvious thing. Their future kin will walk in shame having been their spawn.

    Reply
  11. redskylite

     /  July 22, 2017

    Thanks Robert for a bit of weekend cheer, among the stories of flood, drought, fire and denial. It is pretty grim in parts of New Zealand right now with a state of emergency being declared in part of the Southern Isle and evacuations being recommended (before high tide). All too common across the world these days. Good news from the U.S, who are keeping up on technology and research, despite the government. We move forward again.

    “The US Department of Energy has been celebrating Made in America Week in its own special way, with loads of good news about renewable energy and clean tech. The latest addition to the list is a “sodium battery” energy storage breakthrough from Brookhaven National Laboratory. It’s great news for the US wind and solar industries but it could send a chill through the spine of lithium-ion battery fans.”

    https://cleantechnica.com/2017/07/21/new-sodium-battery-throws-shade-lithium-ion-energy-storage-dream/

    Reply
    • redskylite

       /  July 22, 2017

      New Zealand storm: states of emergency declared as flooding hits South Island
      State of emergency declared in three regions, road access to Dunedin city blocked and flood warning signs run out after heavy rain and landslides.

      https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/jul/22/new-zealand-calls-in-the-army-after-ferocious-storm-hits-south-island

      Reply
    • Abel Adamski

       /  July 22, 2017

      Redsky
      The comments, some from knowledgeable people in and have been in the industry are rather circumspect.

      However an item on one of the science sites I visit was speaking of a revolution in physics, a melding of the arcane mathematics of Topology with quantum physics which is creating much excitement in the pure science and ,mathematics areas.

      Namely the completely aberrant and weird behaviours exhibited with different topologies of atoms and materials, there are major breakthroughs that will be happening in coming decades, energy and storage and communications and undreamed of applications are on the way, slowly at first.

      So do not give up hope.

      However my own personal caveat, what we will be allowed to do if there are other species, advanced and primitive in the universe/galaxy. Would our greedy callously rapacious and corrupt leadership in politics and industry be permitted to “conquer and rape” less advanced worlds in their usual murderous manner. That is my concern,after all the US is happy to interfere with any country that chooses a different path to what the US powers determine suits them.

      Reply
    • That does sound good. Usual caveats (from me) about moving from proof of concept to commercial scale–many, many ‘breakthroughs’ just don’t make it. Hope this one is an exception.

      Reply
    • I think Perry has found himself at the head of a DOE that just can’t stop itself from producing positive studies about the advances of renewable energy. The U.S. success in these key areas of innovation can be largely credited to the Obama Administration which opened up the flood gates in this area. With Trump, we are in danger of again being in a situation where we are unable to capitalize on the wonderful advancements we’ve made over the past 8 years. In such a situation, it is more likely that other nations will directly and indirectly benefit from our past work as we wallow in retrograde activity.

      That said, it appears that many in the U.S. are not going to go along with such nonsense as has happened in the past. Many states, industry leaders, and individuals are going to carry on forward despite the Trump Administration. As a result, we are a nation heading in two different directions with the Admin going one way and a good portion of the rest going the other.

      Reply
  12. wharf rat

     /  July 22, 2017

    Meet the mayor leaving politics to fight climate change

    “We are a city that’s on the frontlines of climate change,” Hoboken Mayor Dawn Zimmer said by phone one sweltering July afternoon. She spoke from City Hall, an imposing white-and-brown building just blocks from the waterfront.

    http://mashable.com/2017/07/22/hoboken-new-jersey-mayor-dawn-zimmer-profile/#MJxtPhA_wsqE

    Reply
  13. The world’s first commercial carbon capture plant is now online in Switzerland. Its operators emphasize that both carbon capture systems and a low-carbon economy are essential to meeting climate change goals.

    A Plant 1,000 Times More Efficient at CO2 Removal Than Photosynthesis Is Now Active

    Reply
    • So this is direct atmospheric carbon capture. Apparently about 7,500 tons of CO2 per year of which a good portion will be sold back to industries that re-emit the CO2 into the atmosphere. That said, if most of the CO2 is used to produce solid-state materials, then the CO2 is effectively captured. The main article pointing toward using CO2 to produce concrete is a positive step.

      We should note that approx 36,000,000,000 tons of carbon dioxide are emitted into the atmosphere every year. So to even make an appreciable dent in this figure, scaling would have to be considerable.

      The article is correct to note that we need a switch to renewables plus atmospheric carbon capture in various forms including land use, agriculture change, and probably industrial scale atmospheric carbon capture to hit net negative carbon emissions by or before mid Century in order to effectively deal with climate change.

      Reply
  14. Paul

     /  July 22, 2017

    Meanwhile, the fossil fuel industry is now starting to attack electric cars: “Koch-Funded Electric Car Video Debunked Again and Again”. https://www.ecowatch.com/koch-brother-electric-vehicles-2462683886.html

    From the article: “Just last week, we fact-checked and debunked every line of The Dirty Secrets of Electric Cars, a video produced by Fueling U.S. Forward, a Koch-funded campaign to push fossil fuels. That video represents the group’s first public pivot from fossil fuel boosterism to electric vehicle (EV) attacks. More electric vehicle experts are also picking the video apart.”

    Clearly, the fossil fuel industry is becoming worried about the new renewable industries that are developing if they are starting to run propaganda like this. They will resort to lies and deception to protect their industry. This is what we need to fight against.

    Reply
    • PlazaRed

       /  July 22, 2017

      Sounds a bit like the old time horse people saying that that the sound of the car engines will frighten the horses?
      Now there are few horses and the petroleum powered cars are about to follow their same path into decline, scared out of existence by the silence of the electric motors!
      There will always be humanities moaners and those who resist change. Humanity is the product of change and has moved on from the single cell.
      There is too much movement around the world today and its going to have to be curtailed; a few decades ago people seldom went to the next village, let alone half way around the world? Is all this travel really necessary, or just another scam to elevate the income for the favoured few?
      At about 408PPM CO2 and rising, it all looks a bit ominous?

      Reply
      • 489ppm CO2e in 2016 (NOAA), or even 521ppm CO2e if the proper global warming potential 100-year number (35 vs. 25 used by NOAA) is used for methane. This should be the headline number that gets reported. The UN IPCC 450ppm (range 430-480ppm) target is on a CO2e basis. If we overshoot 530ppm CO2e (3 years from now?) then the chance of staying below 2 degrees falls to 50% (Table on page 22 of the AR5 summary report.)

        Given the need to not hit positive feedbacks in the next couple of decades, there is an argument to use the gwp20 number for methane, which is 86.

        From the AR5 summary “For comparison, the CO2-eq concentration in 2011 is estimated to be 430 ppm (uncertainty range 340 to 520 ppm)”. If you use the NOAA numbers, we were already above 450ppm CO2e in 2011, at 471 ppm CO2e.

        https://www.esrl.noaa.gov/gmd/aggi/aggi.html

        https://www.ipcc.ch/pdf/assessment-report/ar5/syr/AR5_SYR_FINAL_SPM.pdf

        Reply
        • In three years we’ll be close to 500 ppm CO2e on the present track. The average appears to be about 3.25 ppm CO2e per year.

        • Brian

           /  July 24, 2017

          I disagree with CO2e because it’s an estimate. Once you’re talking estimates, you’re talking methodologies, agreements and disagreements, I believe you / I don’t believe you, etc etc. It’s a wedge, and deniers will use it.

          The daily measurements from Hawaii give a direct measurement with a long track record that is difficult to refute. That is the gold standard; that is what should be used.

          Unfortunately, it probably means that this observatory will be a target for cuts under the current Republican regime.

    • Looks to me like more of the same. The Kochs and their like produce similar campaigns to demonize wind, solar, hydro, and biofuels. Most of the misinformation erroneously multiplies flaws, focuses on the most negative studies, funds the most negative studies, and is aimed at producing a severely negative public impression. The bar for these counter-renewable-energy product campaigns has gotten higher and higher as wind, solar, and EV technology has emerged and become more affordable. The truth is that the products are so advanced and produce such an overall positive sustainability impact that the counter-renewables marketing campaigns have practically zero credibility to stand on. In other words, the arguments and noise comes across as pretty ludicrous to the objective observer.

      However, it’s worth noting that such campaigns do have a negative impact and tend to play on people’s innate prejudices and predispositions. What this amounts to is a fossil fuel nostalgia campaign. And if they’re selling nostalgia now, it’s tantamount to admitting that they’re losing.

      Reply
      • +1. One of the biggest things going for us is that wind and solar remain extremely popular with the general public. Almost all of the Koch-Exxon-Murdoch shills, along with denying climate science, bash renewable energy too, but their efforts have had very little impact to date.

        Reply
  15. PlazaRed

     /  July 22, 2017

    I drove past a big lake today, it was about 5% of what it used to be. Nothing unusual in these days here with record heat and no rain. Southern Spain.
    In our world here we have a lot of news about other parts of the world where everything from wild fires to huge icebergs are at the front line! Very little about what is going on here for some reason? Ominous!
    What the people don’t know the wont have to think and worry about!

    Meanwhile in the Pacific area it seems to be a case of make typhoons while the sun shines as we have about 8 of them, or potentially them and their namesakes now, or past in the area:-

    https://www.wunderground.com/hurricane

    Reply
  16. Greg

     /  July 22, 2017

    China has turned about a third of the kubuqi desert green. They know how to geoengineer a desert back. Just like the Israelis. Hope is in the desert:

    https://www.yahoo.com/news/chinas-greening-vast-kubuqi-desert-044735227.html

    Reply
    • wili

       /  July 23, 2017

      Any idea how much limited fossil ground water is being gobbled up for these projects?

      Reply
      • Looks like planting the trees actually increases rainfall:

        “To alleviate poverty through desertification control, Elion Resources Group (ELION) has successfully afforested an area of over 6,000 square kilometers by means of technological innovation, leading to a 95 percent decrease in sand-dust weather and an increase by six times in precipitation in Kubuqi.”

        http://www.china.org.cn/china/2016-10/11/content_39464603.htm

        Reply
        • Planting the right kind of trees does that trick. Some tree species induce rainfall by emmiting water vapour and agglutinating chemicals, creating an environment with self-preserving rainfall (normally this will “suck” moisture from the coast to the interior of continents in an natural ecossystem, in something that is called “flying rivers”). Rainforest tree species normally have those kinds of adaptation, in greater or smaller scale (there are species that are more adept to attract rain). Pyrophile trees like eucaliptus don’t have these kind of adaptation, though, so not all trees atract rain.

    • Afforestation tech and re-greening are critical resiliency industries/practices. We will need much more of this going forward.

      Reply
  17. Bill H

     /  July 23, 2017

    Apologies if this has already been mentioned but offshore wind now predicted to be down to 37 Euros per MWh for projects commencing in 2020. https://latest.13d.com/emerging-offshore-wind-energy-is-taking-off-as-costs-fall-6e7a0c6b461.

    Reply
    • Amazing. The potential scale of those turbines really punches these economies up a notch.

      Reply
      • Don’t really know the specifics on these in detail, but my impression is that the bids have escape clauses if market conditions change. The technology has made tremendous progress, but it may not be quiiiite what it is cracked up to be.

        Reply
  18. redskylite

     /  July 23, 2017

    After the shock of U.K’s BREXIT vote followed by the U.S government’s decision to pull out of the Paris agreement it is very heartening to read of cooperation between The First Nation and Australian aborigines. There is hope yet.

    The Aboriginal Carbon Fund has signed an agreement with Canadian First Nations peoples to share lessons from successful land management program.

    https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2017/jul/23/indigenous-australians-carbon-farming-canada

    Reply
    • Indigenous populations have really taken a leadership role when it comes to confronting climate change. From protesting pipelines to working toward solutions, they’ve taken point. We could all learn from their example.

      Reply
  19. Poetry concerning climate change is becoming fairly frequent. Here is one I really liked by Sidney Wade. http://poems.com/poem.php?date=17371

    Witness Tree Junction, Rochelle, FL

    We walk the dry path—it hasn’t rained for months—
    through pine stand, hammock, dessicated swamp.
    The still-hot sun is veiled by merciful clouds.
    Hundreds of robins flush—it’s a sharp-shinned
    hawk, while far from this transitive landscape
    appalling darkness prepares for its pomp
    and circumstances. There must be a map
    in the lush, ever-vernal grace of language
    that might help us emerge from the gloom,
    though I can’t hear it now. Old sounds: shrouded
    whispers, in tongues, the hum between love
    and the battered earth’s bruised chorus.
    A golden orb-weaver hangs in her loom
    of evanescence and calmly observes us.

    November 9, 2016

    Reply
  20. wili

     /  July 23, 2017

    > > Hottest day ever in Shanghai as heat wave bakes China < <

    "Shanghai sweltered under a new record high of 40.9°C (105°F) on Friday (Jul 21), authorities said as they issued a weather "red alert" over a stubborn heat wave that has plagued much of the country.

    Hospitals in the city have reported increased numbers of patients suffering from heat-related illnesses, according to state media, and the Shanghai zoo said it was putting large blocks of ice into some animal enclosures to help them beat the heat, while providing frozen apples to its pandas.

    China's most populous city has baked under soaring summer temperatures for more than two weeks and Friday afternoon reached the hottest point since the establishment of its benchmark weather station in 1872, the municipal weather bureau said.

    Other areas of China also have seen records set in recent weeks, in what has been a torrid summer so far for much of the country, while large areas of south-central China have endured raging floods from torrential rain…."

    http://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/asiapacific/hottest-day-ever-in-shanghai-as-heat-wave-bakes-china-9052556

    Reply
    • So my wife went off to Kansas on a trip for the Humane Society last week. On one afternoon, it hit 114 degrees F there. I went for a jog last night in 88 F and 90 percent humidity conditions in Maryland (I think it hit 96 F in New York City yesterday). It was extraordinarily grueling for 7:30 PM. I experienced very little cooling at the top of the skin and came back to drink about a liter of water to replace what I’d lost.

      Reply
      • wili

         /  July 24, 2017

        Yikes! Stay safe…both of you!

        Reply
      • I feel your … sweat (?). It’s been warm in Vermont, too, though always cooler. Running (very slow running, but then I’m 72) when it’s 80 and high humidity and still (no wind) is not much fun. It’s been up around 90 a day or two also.

        Reply
  21. Andy_in_SD

     /  July 23, 2017

    Blooms of blue-green algae at a major New Hampshire lake have prompted a warning; here’s how you can spot it yourself.

    As we recently reported, authorities are issuing warnings to the public after finding elevated levels of algal blooms, more specifically that of blue-green algae or cyanobacteria.

    http://www.babwnews.com/2017/07/something-incredibly-dangerous-has-been-found-in-a-new-hampshire-lake/

    Reply
    • bostonblorp

       /  July 24, 2017

      I know a fair bit about cyanobacteria as well as the protocols that state agencies follow. This article is hopeless click-bait. Cyanobacteria exists in all freshwater bodies so saying “something incredibly dangerous has been found” is absurd. The 70k cells/ml threshold cited is based on a child swimming in at-limit water for an hour a day, every day for the entire swimming season.

      The risk of cyanobacteria was first discovered by looking at higher levels of liver cancer in certain Chinese villages where people drank cyano-tainted water their entire lives.

      I don’t mean to thread-jack – AGW is definitely going to increase the incidence of cyanobacteria blooms as they love warm water. But as far as the Pandora’s Box of ills that are coming our way this ranks fairly low.

      Reply
      • So in hothouse environments, one of the key killing mechanisms comes from anoxic water. Overall, this is a threat we should recognize and not understate. However, cyanobacteria itself is just one of the harmful upshots coming from warmer waters. One that does degrade public health and that adds to the ratcheting impact of climate change by making more northern waters more toxic and less productive. It’s worth noting that cyanobacteria blooms aren’t an ‘end of the world’ threat in and of themselves. But they do degrade public health and are a part of the overall problem coming from multiple and related factors.

        Algae blooms are a problem for a number of reasons in that they reduce the usefulness of water supplies even as the waters themselves become less productive. Water anoxia is an issue that will tend to be more and more of a problem as well. It’s not just cyanobacteria in other words. It’s the total changes to water systems due to warming of which worsening algae blooms is certainly a part.

        In any case, a pretty factual and balanced statement from the article:

        “Excessive exposure to cyanobacteria may result in only mild symptoms, like skin irritation. But it can lead to potentially more serious complications, like liver damage.

        Blue-green algae produces neurotoxins, cytotoxins, hepatotoxins, and endotoxins. Exposure to high levels can even cause amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, or ALS. In fact, people who live within a half mile of such contaminated lakes have a 2.3 times greater risk of getting ALS.”

        Reply
        • Wow. And for those who may not have heard, ALS is a horrible and almost always fatal disease which causes progressive decay of all motor functions. Hadn’t heard about that, so thanks.

      • Thanks for the perspective–I passed over that one due to the headline, which seemed a little over-wrought.

        Reply
  22. The missing piece of action is on the part of the people. When they install solar on their roofs we will see a true pivot in the direction of solar power.

    Reply

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