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Pedro J. Hdez
Attended University of Manchester
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Pedro J. Hdez

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Steve Easterbrook just finished writing a series of important posts on Azimuth, summarizing part of the IPCC report on climate change. 

http://johncarlosbaez.wordpress.com/2014/04/07/what-does-the-new-ipcc-report-say-about-climate-change-part-1/

Each post summarizes a key finding of the IPCC Working Group 1 report on climate change, released last year.  These findings are:

1. The warming is unequivocal.

2. Humans caused the majority of it.

3. The warming is largely irreversible.

4. Most of the heat is going into the oceans.

5. Current rates of ocean acidification are unprecedented.

6. We have to choose which future we want very soon.

7.  To stay below 2°C of warming, the world must become carbon negative.

8.  To stay below 2°C of warming, most fossil fuels must stay buried in the ground.
 
I really enjoy posting fun stuff here.  But this is serious.

Steve Easterbrook just finished writing a series of important posts on Azimuth, summarizing part of the IPCC report on climate change.  Here's a short version of his last post.  Pay attention!

----------------------------------------------------------------------

To stay below 2°C of warming, most fossil fuels must stay buried in the ground.

Perhaps the most profound advance since the previous IPCC report is a characterization of our global carbon budget. This is based on a finding that has emerged strongly from a number of studies in the last few years: the expected temperature change has a simple linear relationship with cumulative CO2 emissions since the beginning of the industrial era.

The chart is hard to follow, but the main idea is this: whatever we do, the results tend to lie on a straight line on this graph. You do get a slightly different slope in one case, “1% percent CO2 increase per year", where only CO2 rises - and much more slowly than it has over the last few decades.  But all the more realistic scenarios lie in the orange band, and all have about the same slope.

This is a useful insight, because it means that for any target ceiling for temperature rise - like the UN’s commitment to not allow warming to rise more than 2°C above pre-industrial levels - we can easily estimate the total amount of carbon we can spew into the atmosphere:

• To give us a one third (33%) chance of staying below 2°C of warming over pre-industrial levels, we cannot ever emit more than 880 gigatonnes of carbon.

• To give us a 50% chance, we cannot ever emit more than 840 gigatonnes of carbon.

• To give us a 66% chance, we cannot ever emit more than 800 gigatonnes of carbon.

Since the beginning of industrialization, we have already emitted a little more than 500 gigatonnes. So, our remaining budget is somewhere between 300 and 400 gigatonnes of carbon.

Existing known fossil fuel reserves are enough to release at least 1000 gigatonnes. New discoveries and unconventional sources will likely more than double this.

That leads to one conclusion:

Most of our remaining carbon reserves must never reach the atmosphere.

We’ve never done that before. There is no political or economic system anywhere in the world currently that can persuade an energy company to leave a valuable fossil fuel resource untapped. There is no government in the world that has demonstrated the ability to forgo the economic wealth from natural resource extraction, for the good of the planet as a whole. We’re lacking both the political will and the political institutions to achieve this. Finding a way to achieve this presents us with a challenge far bigger than we ever imagined.

----------------------------------------------------------------------

Red Steve's whole series of posts starting here:

http://johncarlosbaez.wordpress.com/2014/04/07/what-does-the-new-ipcc-report-say-about-climate-change-part-1/

Each post summarizes a key finding of the IPCC Working Group 1 report on climate change, released last year.  These findings are:

1. The warming is unequivocal.

2. Humans caused the majority of it.

3. The warming is largely irreversible.

4. Most of the heat is going into the oceans.

5. Current rates of ocean acidification are unprecedented.

6. We have to choose which future we want very soon.

7.  To stay below 2°C of warming, the world must become carbon negative.

8.  To stay below 2°C of warming, most fossil fuels must stay buried in the ground.

The graph here is explained in Steve's 8th post:

http://johncarlosbaez.wordpress.com/2014/04/22/what-does-the-new-ipcc-report-say-about-climate-change-part-8/

and in more detail on page 28 of the Summary for Policymakers:

http://www.climatechange2013.org/images/report/WG1AR5_SPM_FINAL.pdf

and page 15 of the Technical Summary Supplementary Material:

http://www.climatechange2013.org/images/report/WG1AR5_TSSM_FINAL.pdf
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El IPCC ha hablado sobre las posibles rutas de de-carbonización de la producción eléctrica y el NYT ha captado y transmitido perfectamente el mensaje.

A more plausible pathway is to get each country to adopt binding emission reduction targets and then allow them to choose how to get there — ramping up nuclear energy, phasing out coal-fired plants in favor of cleaner natural gas (though natural gas itself would have to someday give way to low-carbon alternatives), and vastly increasing renewable sources like wind and solar, which still supply only a small fraction of the world’s energy (less than 5 percent for wind and solar combined in the United States). All this will require a huge shift in investment, both private and public, from fossil fuels.
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Pedro J. Hdez

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Max Tegmark ha hecho público el capítulo sobre inflación de su libro Our Mathematical Universe: My Quest for the Ultimate Nature of Reality

Se puede descargar aquí http://space.mit.edu/home/tegmark/pdf/inflation_excerpt.pdf

Vía +Sean Carroll 
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Pedro J. Hdez

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At electronics factories in China, a 15-hour workday is not uncommon. This can include just one day off per month. Workers are often forced to stand for 24 hours straight, cleaning, dusting and assembling devices, all while being exposed to toxic chemicals with no ventilation. In 2011, “aluminum dust build-up” led to two explosions that killed four workers. They are also exposed to benzene, a chemical compound known to cause leukemia. One manufacturing plant saw 14 employee suicides in the span of 10 months.
Our total dependence on smartphones is causing large-scale human suffering around the world.
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IPCC working group III Summary for policy makers is quite clear. The only way to stabilize atmospheric CO2 concentration at acceptably low levels is to nearly quadruple the output of renewables, nuclear, AND electricity generation from fossil or bioenergy with CCS (carbon capture and storage). The ‘and’ means that all of the items on the list are needed, the program cannot pick and choose the one or two that it likes the best.
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Pedro J. Hdez

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El Dalai Lama ha pronunciado sabias palabras en favor de la energía nuclear.

“There is still many developing countries with a huge gap between rich and poor…millions of people’s lives remain under the poverty level and we have to think about these people,” the 76-year-old spiritual leader said at a news conference on Monday morning in Tokyo. He noted that other energy sources like wind and solar are too inefficient to put into realistic practice to meet the needs of fast-developing countries.
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Pedro J. Hdez

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Buen FAQ sobre fusión nuclear, incluida la posibilidad de construirse uno mismo un reactor de fusión por unos 1000$
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Fusion is the long shot power source that could solve our energy woes forever, if only they could get it to work. Here's your complete guide.
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Si Se cumple que $ x tiempo es una constante, habrá que calcular unos 40 eones para construirlo.(Digo, porque la fusión siempre está a 40 años vista ;)
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Pedro J. Hdez

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Universal gravity required a strange behavior known as action-at-a-distance.  That is, two masses separated by great distances could experience a force of attraction between them without ever being in contact with each other.  Just how that was possible wasn’t clear, and Newton’s theory provided no explanation.

In 1748  Georges-Louis Le Sage proposed a solution to this problem.  He argued that gravity wasn’t due to a mutual attraction between masses, but rather due to the interactions of particles moving through space.
 
Gravity's Shadow

When Isaac Newton presented his theory of universal gravitation it revolutionized our view of the universe. Rather than having a separate set of laws for the heavens and terrestrial physics, universal gravity unified heaven and Earth and marked the beginning of astrophysics.  But universal gravity required a strange behavior known as action-at-a-distance.  That is, two masses separated by great distances could experience a force of attraction between them without ever being in contact with each other.  Just how that was possible wasn’t clear, and Newton’s theory provided no explanation.

In 1748  Georges-Louis Le Sage proposed a solution to this problem.  He argued that gravity wasn’t due to a mutual attraction between masses, but rather due to the interactions of particles moving through space. In the Le Sage model, the universe is filled with a sea of corpuscles (basically particles) speeding along in all directions.  A single mass would be pushed evenly in all directions, thus there would be a downward force toward its surface. Two masses in the vicinity of each other would cause an imbalance between them.  Basically, the two masses would cast “shadows” upon each other so that there would be less corpuscles in the region between them.  As a result the two masses would be pushed toward each other.

If this kind of “shadow gravity” were real, then it seems that the gravitational force between two masses should be proportional to their size, not their mass.  After all, larger objects cast larger shadows.  But Le Sage argued that masses are mostly empty space, with small clumps of matter spread throughout the object.  The greater an object’s mass, the more numerous the clumps.  Thus matter is somewhat opaque to these gravity corpuscles, but more massive objects are less opaque.  Thus more massive objects cast darker shadows, and therefore are pushed more strongly to each other.

Le Sage’s shadow gravity model was never very popular, in large part because its focus was to explain the mechanism of gravity without making any testable predictions.  Newton’s action-at-a-distance may be strange, but it works extraordinarily well as a physical theory. By the early 1900s, when Einstein developed the general theory of relativity, gravity was seen as a local effect due to the curvature of space.  Action-at-a-distance isn’t needed for gravity, and so Le Sage’s idea is generally considered a failed idea.

That hasn’t stopped some from continuing to pursue the model.  The idea shows up now and then in alternative (aka fringe) models in various forms. As evidence for their ideas, many point to an experiment known as the lunar eclipse gravity test.  If such a shadow gravity model were true, then during a total solar eclipse there should be a small shift in the strength of gravity as the moon shadows Earth from the Sun.  Curiously, there have been experiments to test for such an effect, and there may be a strange gravity shift going on.

Most of the tests focus on the motion of a Foucault pendulum during a total eclipse.  This was first studied by Maurice Allais in 1954, who noted that a pendulum shifted an extra 13 degrees during a total eclipse.  Over the next 50 years similar experiments have been done, with some showing an effect, and some not.  It is sometimes referred to as the Allais effect.  Although shadow gravity fans argue the Allais effect supports their models, but if that were the case there should also be an Allais effect during a lunar eclipse, which hasn’t been observed.  Supporters often note that Allais is a Nobel laureate, but he was awarded the Nobel in Economics, not physics.  The most modern tests for the effect using gravimeters and automated pendulums have observed no Allais effect, so even the validity of the effect is questioned.

Perhaps what’s most interesting about Le Sage’s model is how it got some ideas right.  With light, shadow effects between dust particles do produce a small net attractive force, and that force follows an inverse square relation just like gravity.  It is sometimes referred to as mock gravity.  And matter really is mostly empty space, with dense clumps of matter spread throughout an object.  We now know that these are the nuclei of atoms.

Sometimes in the pursuit of understanding we create models that are right in some ways and wrong in others.  The only way we can separate the good ideas from the bad is to keep testing them against experimental evidence.  It’s how we can move our theories out of the shadows.

Image: Georges-Louis Le Sage
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Pedro J. Hdez

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Burning coal also produces sulphur dioxide, which makes buildings crumble and lungs sting, and other toxic chemicals. By some counts, coal-fired power stations emit more radioactivity than nuclear ones. They release tiny, lethal particulates. Per unit generated, coal-fired stations cause far more deaths than nuclear ones, and more even than oil-fired ones.

Despite America’s shale-gas boom, the federal Energy Information Administration reckons that by 2040 the country will still be generating 22% of its electricity from coal (compared with 26% now). The International Energy Agency has even predicted that, barring policy changes, coal may rival oil in importance by 2017. As countries get richer they tend to look for alternatives—China is scrambling to curb its rising consumption [see http://www.vox.com/2014/4/17/5624360/china-coal-boom-ending-climate-change]. But others, such as India and Africa, are set to take up the slack

In Germany power from coal now costs half the price of watts from a gas-fired power station. It is a paradox that coal is booming in a country that in other respects is the greenest in Europe. Its production of power from cheap, dirty brown coal (lignite) is now at 162 billion kilowatt hours, the highest since the days of the decrepit East Germany.

Japan, too, is turning to coal in the wake of the Fukushima nuclear disaster. On April 11th the government approved a new energy plan entrenching its role as a long-term electricity source.
WHAT more could one want? It is cheap and simple to extract, ship and burn. It is abundant: proven reserves amount to 109 years of current consumption, reckons BP, a...
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India meets its electricity demands with 65 percent use of non-renewables, 19 percent of that demand is met with hydropower, 12 percent from renewables, and 2 percent from nuclear power.
Demand is far outpacing supply in meeting the rapidly growing electricity needs of the country.

Access to energy is a tremendous problem in India and major inequalities of access plague the subcontinent. According to one census, 77 million households in India still use kerosene for lighting. The problem is even more acute in rural India where up to 44 percent of households lack access to electricity.
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Nunca atribuyo a una conspiración aquello que pueda explicarse por simple incompetencia
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    MSc, 1992 - 1993
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