Thursday, August 23, 2012

Is the CO2 narrative cooling in Edinburgh?

Professor Tom Crowley has a distinguished academic career and is a paleoclimatologist based in Edinburgh.

He has been linked with the narrative that CO2 is associated with the warming of the world's temperature and in the past his work, extensively quoted in IPCC Assessment Reports, has come in for some criticism, most notably by Steve McIntyre.

However in a press release today from the American Geophysical Union, Professor Crowley is quoted for his views of a study suggesting the sun is more linked to climate than previously thought:
"With the new paper, Sirocko and his colleagues have added to the research linking solar variability with climate", said Thomas Crowley, Director of the Scottish Alliance for Geoscience, Environment, and Society, who was not involved with the study.
“There is some suspension of belief in this link,” Crowley said, “and this study tilts the argument more towards thinking there really is something to this link. If you have more statistical evidence to support this explanation, one is more likely to say it’s true.” (My emphasis.)

I reported in 2011 that Professor Crowley had softened in his stance in an argument with Steve McIntyre to the point where he proffered an apology.

Signs of change?

Wednesday, August 08, 2012

Edinburgh Professor pans wind energy costs

Gordon Hughes is Professor of Economics at Edinburgh University.

His recent submission to the House of Commons Energy and Climate Change Committee is not very complimentary about the economics of  investing in wind energy.  A couple of paragraphs from the executive summary illustrate:
[Capital Investment] "Meeting the UK Government’s target for renewable generation in 2020 will require total wind capacity of 36GW backed up by 21GW of open cycle gas plants plus large complementary investments in in transmission capacity.  Allowing for the shorter life of wind turbines, the investment outlay for this Wind scenario will be about £124 billion.  The same electricity demand could be met from 21.5 GW of combined cycle gas plants with a capital cost of £13 billion - this is the Gas scenario."
[Revenue costs] "Wind farms have relatively high operating and maintenance costs but they require no fuel.  Overall, the net saving on fuel, operating and maintenance costs for the Wind scenario relative to the Gas scenario, is less than £200 million per year, a very poor return on an additional investment of over £110 billion."