Author Archives: Robert I. Ellison

Capability Brown’s oblique approach to climate policy

‘Remember, then, that scientific thought is the guide to action; that the truth at which it arrives is not that which we can ideally contemplate without error, but that which we can act upon without fear; and you cannot fail … Continue reading

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Thresholds and epochs in the Grand Climate System

The map – a thermally enhanced satellite photo – below shows September 2015 sea surface temperature anomalies – that is the difference from average temperatures over a period. During the most resent El Niño.  The oceans have a sun warmed … Continue reading

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Using all of the heavy elements in nuclear waste to provide energy

A silly thing about light water nuclear reactors is that only half a percent of the energy in nuclear fuel is used.  The rest goes to waste as heavy elements that decay to safe levels of radioactivity over hundreds  of … Continue reading

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Are we to let people starve while the powerful grow bioenergy and restore forests for their tranquility?

The bottom line here is that misguided climate policy can and has increased poverty and hunger.  There are better ways forward on liberal principles evolved since the Scottish Enlightenment – on which the US for one was founded.  The rule … Continue reading

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Economics, Environment and Energy

The increase in the retail price of electricity as a result of 80% renewables penetration (in the US) by 2050 is estimated at some $30/MWh.  The current average retail price is some $13/MWh.  Such high penetration depends in large part … Continue reading

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100% renewables by 2030 and no Adani mine – let’s save the world from climate activists

Australia committed in Paris in 2015 to a 26% reduction on 2005 in CO2 equivalent emissions by 2030.  On a per capita basis that is a 60% reduction.  The Australian Liberal Party has a holistic policy including a safeguard mechanism … Continue reading

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Small modular nuclear reactor promise? SMR prospects are good!

Factory made, dropped into a bunker or a mine, run uninterrupted for 20 or 30 years using leftover ‘nuclear waste’ – of which there is enough for hundreds of years of energy supply.   And then recycle the fuel core to … Continue reading

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Tremendous energy cascading through powerful Earth sub-systems

To understand the multiply coupled Earth system requires tracing the flow of energy through the relevant physical mechanisms.  Over decadal to millennial scales much climate variability emerges from polar regions in changing patterns of meridional (north/south) and zonal (east/west) wind … Continue reading

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Stocks and flows in the Earth system

Stocks and flows exist at the cellular to planetary scales.  Stocks are an accumulation of some sort.  It may be water, heat or biomass.  Water, heat and populations ebb and flow.   Mass and energy are conserved.  Water and heat can … Continue reading

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Space and ocean climate monitoring in the 21 st century

Where the atmosphere meets space – all energy is electromagnetic.  Incoming from the Sun and outgoing from reflected light and emitted heat.  At most times incoming and outgoing energy at the top of atmosphere (TOA) are not equal and Earth … Continue reading

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