November 25th, 2018

#6427: That is one of the nicest things.

Phone ran out of juice. Plugged it into the computer to charge overnight, turned it on just now, and saw a call notification from two days ago, and no one cares.

Today's the last day of our four-day weekend, though, so it's fully charged and turned on and the alarm is set for 5 AM. *sigh*

* * *

So, Karl Denninger is talking about NASA's observations of the upper atmosphere.

The topmost layer of Earth's atmosphere is pretty tenuous; if you were in a sealed container with only that much pressure in it, you'd pass out almost immediately and die shortly thereafter. But it's still atmosphere, and there's still enough air there to have an effect on objects passing through it.

Skylab fell because the solar maximum around that time had caused the thermosphere to expand high enough that there was wind resistance that slowed the thing down. It was not a lot of wind--standing outside on Skylab you wouldn't have felt anything in the few seconds before you passed out--but it was there, enough that after a while Skylab fell out of orbit. (Heck, a flag stuck on the leading end of Skylab still would have needed to be stiffened with wire to stand out. At least until it got farther down.)

Climatology says that global warming affects the upper atmosphere first. In light of the way the Earth's cliamte has been behaving, they've further said that the heat from the upper atmosphere has been skipping past the lower atmosphere and collecting deep in the oceans. I don't know what the latest epicycles are that they've added to their (let's be charitable) "theory", but the fact that the upper atmosphere is cooling puts rather a large hole in it.

As we approach the solar minimum of Cycle 24, the thermosphere is radiating about a tenth of the infrared that it radiates during solar maxima.

Oh, here we are:
Mr Mlynczak later clarified to Climate Feedback that there was no relationship between temperatures in space and that on earth.

He said: "There is no relationship between the natural cycle of cooling and warming in the thermosphere and the weather/climate at Earth’s surface.

"NASA and other climate researchers continue to see a warming trend in the troposphere, the layer of atmosphere closest to Earth’s surface."
So, party line is still that global warming is not caused by the sun. Gotcha. My mistake.

Well, of course not, considering that all the increases in temperature have occurred because climatologists are adjusting the data.

*rolleyes*

Feynman said it best.

Meanwhile, the hard-core warmistas really want to be sure no global warming occurs, to the point of doing something really stupid. Besides, even if we converted all the aircraft to dump SO2 in the upper atmosphere it still would only amount to a gnat's burp on what our sun is already doing.

* * *

Meanwhile, electric cars really aren't ready for prime time just yet. Another Denninger piece, this time about the problems faced by anyone driving a Tesla in freezing temperatures.

At issue here is that electric cars do not have power sources in them, only power reservoirs. You must charge a battery in order for it to be able to power anything, and as Denninger points out batteries are chemical devices, and the reactions that let them charge and discharge are temperature-sensitive.

But it gets worse than that. The limitations Denninger mentions are severe, but even if you keep your Tesla in a heated garage both at home and wherever you drive it, you still want to be at least moderately comfortable in between--and that means running the heater. Doubly so if you want the windows clear enough to see through, and free of ice and fog.

The problem is, where do you get the energy from, to run your heater? The same battery that powers your car. Everything in the vehicle is powered by that battery.

Electric heat is fairly efficient, at least when it comes to the "converting volts to degrees" part; most of the power you push into a heating element comes out as heat. Thermodynamically, that transaction is all downhill, because what you're essentially doing is dumping all the power right into the "waste heat" bucket. But to make air noticeably warmer takes a lot of electricity. Your blow dryer, for example, may use 1,500 watts. Your electric clothes dryer needs 240v electricity to dry your clothes in a reasonable amount of time. Ditto for your electric stove. Getting the heat out of the heating element and into the air blowing past it is difficult, thermodyamically speaking, and so you must get the element very hot, and that takes power. Lots of it.

Keeping things warm reduces your range. As Denninger points out, that's so, even if the car is only keeping its battery pack warm.

Meanwhile, conventional cars--they need to be able to crank over quickly enough, but generally they don't care how cold it is. And because the fuel burned is a power source, recharging the thing only requires adding more fuel. And the waste heat generated by burning the fuel can be (and is) used to heat the interior of the vehicle.

Electric cars have a very narrow niche in this country, places where the weather is reasonable year-round, or where people are rich enough that they can use them only when the weather is nice. But they are not ready to replace the conventional car en masse, not by a long shot. And probably will not be for a good long time, yet.

Which is fortunate, considering that our electric grid could not handle that kind of load.

* * *

Amazon is sounding more and more like a sweatshop. God help Amazon if their people ever unionize. Holy crap.

* * *

Weather reports differ on what's going to happen in the next 24 hours, but they all agree on one point: my commute tomrrow is going to suck.

The weather report is promising lots of precipitation, all of it somewhere around the freezing point of water, and they differ only on where that freezing point will be located in physical space. So far I've heard that we're due for 3-5 inches, or perhaps a foot. No one really knows, but regardless I am positive that this shit is going to suck.

*sigh*