Saturday, 25 December 2010

How Clouds Over the Oceans Affect Our Climate

How clouds over the ocean affect our climate, and how climate change

may be affecting THEM, is not well known. There is no network of observing stations like on land, and climate models have not been shown to really simulate clouds well. They may be just too fine a detail for models that cover such large scale phenomenon as oceanic circulation. But clouds over the oceans have been thought be important in our understanding of what drives our climate.

In a study published in the July 24 issue of Science, researchers Amy Clement and Robert Burgman from the University of Miami's Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science and Joel Norris from Scripps Institution of Oceanography at UC San Diego begin to unravel this mystery. Using observational data collected over the last 50 years and complex climate models, the team has established that low-level stratiform clouds appear to dissipate as the ocean warms, indicating that changes in these clouds may enhance the warming of the planet.
The result of their analysis was a surprising degree of agreement between two multi-decade datasets that were not only independent of each other, but that employed fundamentally different measurement methods. One set consisted of collected visual observations from ships over the last 50 years, and the other was based on data collected from weather satellites.

"The agreement we found between the surface-based observations and the satellite data was almost shocking," said Clement, a professor of meteorology and physical oceanography at the University of Miami and winner of the American Geophysical Union's 2007 Macelwane Award for her groundbreaking work on climate change. "These are subtle changes that take place over decades. It is extremely encouraging that a satellite passing miles above the earth would document the same thing as sailors looking up at a cloudy sky from the deck of a ship."
Together, the observations and the Hadley Centre model results provide evidence that low-level stratiform clouds, which currently shield the earth from the sun's radiation, may dissipate in warming climates, allowing the oceans to further heat up, which would then cause more cloud dissipation.

"This is somewhat of a vicious cycle potentially exacerbating global warming," said Clement. "But these findings provide a new way of looking at cloud changes. This can help to improve the simulation of clouds in climate models, which will lead to more accurate projections of future climate changes. "

For more information:

Thursday, 25 November 2010

Global Salmon Study Shows Sustainable Food May Not Be So Sustainable

From: Science Daily

Popular thinking about how to improve food systems for the better often misses the point, according to the results of a three-year global study of salmon production systems. Rather than pushing for organic or land-based production, or worrying about simple metrics such as "food miles," the study finds that the world can achieve greater environmental

benefits by focusing on improvements to key aspects of production and distribution.

For example, what farmed salmon are fed, how wild salmon are caught and the choice to buy frozen over fresh matters more than organic vs. conventional or wild vs. farmed when considering global scale environmental impacts such as climate change, ozone depletion, loss of critical habitat, and ocean acidification.

he study is the world's first comprehensive global-scale look at a major food commodity from a full life cycle perspective, and the researchers examined everything -- how salmon are caught in the wild, what they're fed when farmed, how they're transported, how they're consumed, and how all of this contributes to both environmental degradation and socioeconomic benefits.

Article continues:

Wednesday, 24 November 2010

World is running out of oil--then what?

I think it is no secret now, when I tell you that the world is running out of oil. (See Hubbert's peak.) Up until now, most of our oil has been used to make energy (or as fuels). This has got to stop because the day is coming when oil will be more valuable than energy, and will be needed for other uses. (Should I mention global warming?) That brings up a new and timely idea.

If we think of using oil to make energy as a reaction:

Oil --> energy.

We should remind ourselves that the reaction is reversible, at least in principle:

Energy --> oil

There is an inefficiency involved in going either way. The existence of this reversible reaction has the effect of placing a link between the cost of energy and the cost of oil. Some examples:

1) The cost of oil can not be substantially lower than the cost of equivalent energy from other sources (allowing for inefficiency), otherwise energy production will shift to use of more oil. (Which just supposes that economics has more sway than common sense.)

2) The cost of oil can not be substantially higher than the cost of equivalent energy from other sources (allowing for inefficiency), in the long run, because man's inventiveness will allow oil to be made from energy.

The question then follows as to whether there are or can be practical means for making oil from energy.

We may say that we live in an exciting time, when the world has to face a transition from the "industrial age" when we have powered everything with fossil fuels. The daily advance of news on this, this summer, is quite surprising. The underlying question is, what will replace oil? Wind turbines, etc., make electricity, not oil. The question hasn't been very important until now, when we can see that we really are going to run out. There are maybe three answers to the question--

1) Biomass to oil, fuel, etc. An example is NREL's research on using the Fischer-Tropsch (or F-T) process to convert trash to oil--not the best approach. The direct conversion with pressure and heat is better (sorry, don't have the reference, now in pilot plant operation). There are many others, including my favorites: growing biomass at sea for conversion to methane, and producing "biodiesel" from low-value crop materials.

2) The darling of industry, converting coal (or natural gas, oil shale, etc.) to liquid fuels. This is already in use in one two-step process: "coal gasification" to synthesis gas, then coversion to long-chain hydrocarbons with the F-T process. This produces a very good-quality diesel fuel, or about anything else you want. Pretty rough on the environment, so only half a solution.

3) Efficient conversion of electricity or other high-quality energy directly to hydrocarbons. Most of the good alternate energy approaches produce electricity. Okay, I will list the best of these: wind, tide /wave, PV, and solar-thermal. A unique exception, a dish solar concentrator, can also produce high-quality heat (10,000 suns) at the focus.

Number three is exactly what I was talking about. It is the only one that makes sense but doesn't rely on photosynthesis. Notice that I have excluded hydrogen from consideration, as a replacement for oil and other liquid fuels. I know further that hydrogen can be made from electricity, and in turn can be used to make hydrocarbons, by the F-T process. This looks way too expensive and inefficient to get very far, in my judgement.

I was searching around on the internet last night, looking for new ideas on making synthetic oil or hydrocarbons--Ideas that would fall within #3. I found nothing! This topic, producing hydrocarbons from electricity or heat directly, is of great importance for the future of man. Though it may be a little early yet, this will be a major problem soon. When we (the world) turn our attention to it, solutions will quickly emerge. I see two paths:

1) Use of heat. Two reactions at high temperature have been mentioned in the past:

H2O --> HO + H --> H2 + O2

CO2 --> CO + O --> CO + O2

Removing the oxygen, the products together are "synthesis gas," which can be used to make alcohols or long-chain hydrocarbons by the F-T process. Or, either of the gases singly, with water or CO2, can be used to the same end.

There are surely many other known processes that I am unaware of.

2) Use of electricity to make hydrocarbons directly. This seems to be a largely unexplored field, having been at an economic disadvantage for the last century. Here, two approaches come to mind: plasma chemistry, driven by electrical power. A subset of this are the thermal processes mentioned in 1).

A second approach is well known, but not worked on currently, I think-- that is organic electrochemistry for making fuels. In principle, electrochemical reactions carried out in cells can make hydrocarbons and other organic materials. A few industrial processes already exist that do this sort of thing.

Michael Faraday reported an experiment that should be a point of beginning for research. He passed an electric current through a solution containing carbonate ion, and discovered that organic compounds were formed. (Formic acid or formaldehyde?)

I hope I have shed some warm light on Hubbert's peak.

Ernie Rogers

Monday, 1 November 2010

Can national parks be saved from global warming

From: Margot Roosevelt, LA Times

The federal government must take decisive action to avoid "a potentially catastrophic loss of animal and plant life," in the national parks, according to a new report that details the effect of global warming on the country's most treasured public lands.

The 53-page report from the National Parks Conservation Assn., a Washington-based advocacy group, contains a litany of concerns related to climate change in the parks, from the bleaching of coral reefs in Florida to the disappearance of high-altitude ponds that nurture yellow-legged frogs in California.

The group, which has offices in California and 10 other states, called on the National Park Service to come up with a detailed plan and funding to adapt to temperature-related ecosystem changes.

"Right now, no national plan exists to manage wildlife throughout their habitat, which often is a patchwork of lands managed by multiple federal agencies, states, tribes, municipalities and private landholders," wrote Tom C. Kiernan, president of the group.

Article continues

Sunday, 24 October 2010

NOAA Confirms Presence of Global Warming

This is a welcome piece from NOAA. It generally confirms that the global climate has warmed over the past three decades. Presently it appears to be on a slight downtrend for the past decade, but still well above the preceding norms. Enough to nicely eliminate the attempt to link it all to CO2 but not sufficient to claim that the general warming is now over.

We still have no particular comfort regarding causation but we do now have comfort that for the past thirty years we have been able to measure enough variables properly so that when the next cooling event come on, we will figure it all out.

I am more and more inclined to think that the global climate system if left undisturbed will rise to levels a half degree warmer than present. We have been undisturbed many times for great periods of time. Yet when disturbed, we are knocked back sharply.

The Arctic sea ice is now degrading heavily and we are losing huge swathes of freed multi year ice this year. As posted before, mass loss has been consistent for three decades. Because of that, I projected that the bulk would be gone by 2012 back in 2007. I did this before NASA came out and said the same thing (likely because they did not want to say it first) . The press has yet to pick up on all this

If we are now irretrievably losing a third or so of the remaining multi year ice this year alone then we are very much on schedule. Commencing in 20012 we will have a decade of open late summer waters throughout the Arctic with only swathes of one and two year ice to knock though from time to time depending on winds.

Global warming is 'undeniable', says NOAA

Jul 29, 2010
The 2009 State of the Climate report, issued on 28 July by the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), is unequivocal: the past decade was Earth's warmest on record, continuing a 50-year trend.
The report is "an annual scorecard for the climate system", incorporating every type of measurement from around the world, says Tom Karl, transitional head of NOAA's proposed Climate Service.
In a conference call briefing for reporters, Karl said the 218pp report has 303 authors from 48 countries, all of whom worked under extreme time pressure to complete it in a timely manner.
Deke Arndt, of NOAA's National Climatic Data Center, described the report as normally like the annual check-up one might receive at a doctor's office, "but because 2009 was the end of a decade, we wanted to take stock of a longer term view", just as one might at one's medical check-up in a decadal birthday year. To do so, the authors focused on 10 key indicators of climate change, using multiple data-sets to track each indicator over several decades.
The climate-indicators project was led by the UK Met Office. Peter Thorne, then at the Met Office and now with the Cooperative Institute for Climate and Satellites, told reporters that it is difficult to keep track of the massive amount of climate data arriving daily, so scientists decided to step back and look at the proverbial forest, rather than at individual trees. They identified the key indicators as:

· Near-surface (tropospheric) temperature
· Specific humidity
· Ocean heat content
· Sea level
· Sea-surface temperature
· Temperature over the ocean
· Temperature over land
· Snow cover
· Glaciers
· Sea ice

"Together with colleagues from around the world, we then went out and found, to our knowledge, every existing scientific analysis of global-scale changes in these indicators," Thorne said.
"These produced a compelling picture of our changing climate. Each indicator is changing as we would expect if the world truly were warming," continued Thorne. "The bottom-line conclusion that the world has been warming is simply undeniable."
Scientists at the briefing emphasized the role of the ocean, which absorbs over 93% of Earth's warming and, in particular, the role of the Arctic in determining global climate. The decline of Arctic summer sea ice over three decades, and especially 2000–2009, has been "dramatic", said Walt Meier of the Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences and National Snow and Ice Data Center. In addition, accelerated glacial loss, especially in Greenland, was the major contributor to sea-level rise over the past decade, he said.
"Greenland has actually been quite a surprise for us, because of these new measurements, in terms of how fast it has been moving mass," said Meier. In short, he said: "The Arctic is not at all like Las Vegas. What happens in the Arctic doesn't stay in the Arctic, and that's one of the reasons why the Arctic is a big concern and why it's an indicator of what we expect to see in the future."
Asked whether human activity is the cause of the observed warming, Karl said that this annual report has traditionally been limited to observations, including of atmospheric composition. It does not seek "to make the link between the cause and what we observe," he said, "but this is the basis for the next step, because without this data, it's impossible to take the next step".
As in previous years, the 2009 report has been published as a peer-reviewed supplement to the Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society (BAMS).

Wednesday, 22 September 2010

Ribbon Seal Protection Sought by Activists

From: Dan Joling, AP via Discovery News

Ribbon seals should be listed as threatened or endangered because global warming is quickly melting sea ice, which the seals depend on for several months each year, two environmental groups said in a lawsuit filed against the federal government in San Francisco Thursday.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration in December denied a listing under the Endangered Species Act for the seals found off the coasts of Alaska and Russia.

The Center for Biological Diversity and Greenpeace sued in U.S. District Court, claiming the agency ignored the best science available on global warming.

Article continues

Saturday, 4 September 2010

Abrupt reversal detected in Arctic cooling trend

David Perlman, Chronicle Science Editor

The Arctic climate has been warmer over the past decade than during any 10-year period in 2,000 years, according to a study by an international research team that adds powerful new evidence that human-generated greenhouse gases have speeded the pace of the planet's recent warming.

The report from an international team of climate scientists concludes that climate change in the Arctic has accelerated since the Industrial Revolution, abruptly reversing a long-term worldwide cooling trend.

"The study provides a clear example of how increased greenhouse gases are now changing our climate," said Caspar Ammann of the National Center for Atmospheric Research in Boulder, Colo., a co-author of the report published Thursday in the journal Science.

To deduce the Arctic's decade-by-decade climate trend over the centuries, the leading scientists in the international study analyzed sediment cores in 14 Arctic lakes that revealed the varied growth rates of long-buried plants. They also studied Arctic tree rings to determine their growth rates and ages as well as ice cores from glaciers across the Arctic that showed patterns of relative warm and cold.

Researchers at other institutions, seeking to look for patterns of climate change even further back in time, used astronomical records to study the well-known wobble of the globe as it spins on its axis. They found that the Northern Hemisphere has long been moving away from the sun's warmth. During the summer solstice, the Northern Hemisphere is now a million kilometers - about 621,000 miles - farther away from the sun than it was 2,000 years ago, according to the scientist's computer models.

The result was a global period of relative cold that would have continued, the scientists found. But about 1850, at the beginning of the Industrial Age, the planet's climate began overcoming the cooling trend, and the Arctic climate has warmed decade by decade ever since as greenhouse gas emissions have increased, the scientists say.

Stephen Schneider, a Stanford climate expert and biologist who did not participate in the study, called the seven-year study, involving seven major research institutions in three nations, "a heroic effort."

The study, he said, "shows that nature has been, unfortunately, cooperating with theory and showing us on a long-time scale of millennia that the mainstream view is once again bolstered."

It is clear again, Schneider said, that anthropogenic influences - the increasing emission of greenhouse gases into the Earth's atmosphere - are the prime cause of global warming.

For the rest of the article go to:

Thursday, 26 August 2010

Vast expanses of Arctic ice melt in summer heat

From Japan Today

TUKTOYAKTUK, Northwest Territories —

The Arctic Ocean has given up tens of thousands more square kilometers of ice on Sunday in a relentless summer of melt, with scientists watching through satellite eyes for a possible record low polar ice cap.

From the barren Arctic shore of this village in Canada’s far northwest, 2,414 kilometers north of Seattle, veteran observer Eddie Gruben has seen the summer ice retreating more each decade as the world has warmed. By this weekend the ice edge lay some 128 kilometers at sea.

“Forty years ago, it was 40 miles (64 kilometers) out,” said Gruben, 89, patriarch of a local contracting business.

Global average temperatures rose 1 degree Fahrenheit (0.6 degree Celsius) in the past century, but Arctic temperatures rose twice as much or even faster, almost certainly in good part because of manmade greenhouse gases, researchers say.

In late July the mercury soared to almost 86 degrees Fahrenheit (30 degrees Celsius) in this settlement of 900 Inuvialuit, the name for western Arctic Eskimos.

“The water was really warm,” Gruben said. “The kids were swimming in the ocean.”

As of Thursday, the U.S. National Snow and Ice Data Center reported, the polar ice cap extended over 6.75 million square kilometers after having shrunk an average 106,000 square kilometers a day in July—equivalent to one Indiana or three Belgiums daily.

The rate of melt was similar to that of July 2007, the year when the ice cap dwindled to a record low minimum extent of 4.3 million square kilometers in September.

In its latest analysis, the Colorado-based NSIDC said Arctic atmospheric conditions this summer have been similar to those of the summer of 2007, including a high-pressure ridge that produced clear skies and strong melt in the Beaufort Sea, the arm of the Arctic Ocean off northern Alaska and northwestern Canada.

In July, “we saw acceleration in loss of ice,” the U.S. center’s Walt Meier told The Associated Press. In recent days the pace has slowed, making a record-breaking final minimum “less likely but still possible,” he said.

Scientists say the makeup of the frozen polar sea has shifted significantly the past few years, as thick multiyear ice has given way as the Arctic’s dominant form to thin ice that comes and goes with each winter and summer.

The past few years have “signaled a fundamental change in the character of the ice and the Arctic climate,” Meier said.

Ironically, the summer melts since 2007 appear to have allowed disintegrating but still thick multiyear ice to drift this year into the relatively narrow channels of the Northwest Passage, the east-west water route through Canada’s Arctic islands. Usually impassable channels had been relatively ice-free the past two summers.

“We need some warm temperatures with easterly or southeasterly winds to break up and move this ice to the north,” Mark Schrader, skipper of the sailboat Ocean Watch, e-mailed The Associated Press from the west entrance to the passage.

The steel-hulled sailboat, with scientists joining it at stops along the way, is on a 40,232-kilometer, foundation-financed circumnavigation of the Americas, to view and demonstrate the impact of climate change on the continents’ environments.

Environmentalists worry, for example, that the ice-dependent polar bear will struggle to survive as the Arctic cap melts. Schrader reported seeing only one bear, an animal chased from the Arctic shore of Barrow, Alaska, that “swam close to Ocean Watch on its way out to sea.”

(The rest of the article is available at:

Wednesday, 11 August 2010

Arctic Ocean may be polluted soup by 2070

From: Kate Ravilious, NewScientist

WITHIN 60 years the Arctic Ocean could be a stagnant, polluted soup. Without drastic cuts in greenhouse-gas emissions, the Transpolar Drift, one of the Arctic's most powerful currents and a key disperser of pollutants, is likely to disappear because of global warming.

The Transpolar Drift is a cold surface current that travels right across the Arctic Ocean from central Siberia to Greenland, and eventually out into the Atlantic. It was first discovered in 1893 by the Norwegian explorer Fridtjof Nansen, who tried unsuccessfully to use the current to sail to the North Pole. Together with the Beaufort Gyre, the Transpolar Drift keeps Arctic waters well mixed and ensures that pollution never lingers there for long.

To better understand the dispersal of pollution in the Arctic Ocean, Ola Johannessen, director of the Nansen Environmental and Remote Sensing Center in Bergen, Norway, and his colleagues studied the spread of radioactive substances such as strontium-90 and caesium-137 from nuclear testing, bomb factories and nuclear power-plant accidents. Measurements taken between 1948 and 1999 were plugged into a high-resolution ocean circulation model and combined with a climate model to predict Arctic Ocean circulation until 2080.

Article continues

Sunday, 8 August 2010


Stop global warming

Yes, I think we can. The present internal combustion engine was mostly developed in a time when fuel cost and efficiency were not imperatives. We need to go back to the early days of engine devleopment and reassess the way designers handled branches in the design road. We may have overlooked some better choices way back when the discovery of oil in Oklahoma and Texas seemed to say that there would be cheap gasoline forever.

One of these early branches in the road was a choice between four-stroke cycle engines and two-stroke cycle engines for automobiles. At the time, we used carburetors to feed fuel to the cylinders. In this context, the four-stroke engine is a far better choice. (More efficient and less polluting.)

But, the trend today is toward injection of fuel directly into the cylinders. With this modern option, the two-stroke cycle actually provides a far more efficient engine. Here are some other choices that need to be reviewed:

1. Engines are only designed for either gasoline or diesel, and nothing else.
2. Compression ratios are lower than one would choose for best efficiency.
3. Engine design principles are not based on a need to reduce weight.

Some people are looking at the exciting possibilities still left to be explored. A possible outcome may be radically new engine types in the near future.

Ernie Rogers

Monday, 26 July 2010

Nevada Renewable Energy

I was down in Las Vegas to attend a nephew’s wedding (which is why no posts for a couple of days) and got a chance to pick up this local story on renewable energy.

It has been obvious to me that the state is the natural base for geothermal production with solar and wind as a bonus as it applies. Exporting this power first to California and then East is obvious.

The State needs to make it as important as gambling and mining in terms of political support. It is able to produce thousands of local jobs and will anchor Nevada’s economy for as long as these sources are competitive which is likely forever. Even fusion energy will want to get properly paid out however cheap it turns out to be.

In fact renewables do one thing well. They pay off their loans. Then they simply make money at a low cost base forever. No one can compete with a paid for windmill or a paid for geothermal plant or even paid for solar installations. Dams are exactly the same. The Aswan was paid off decades ago as was the Hoover Dam.

Nevada needs to create an energy transmission trust to accelerate industry growth whose mandate is to hook up new supplies and get it first to California. We are perhaps three to five years from an economic super conducting link into California. Anything permitted today will feed that connection.

To indicate just how important that will be consider that building a super conducting link from James Bay to New York will possibly double energy supply to New York. (I would love to have real numbers here by the way if you can help)

The initial build out will strengthen the local power base and it is a good bet the Hoover Dam will quickly switch to superconducting lines providing the needed trunk. The State needs to be part of all that.

In the meantime this item tells me they are all asleep as yet.

RENEWABLE ENERGY: Nevada shows powerful potential

But no one knows where political winds will blow


If Nevada’s voters don’t have strong opinions on renewable energy, they also don’t break one way or the other on whether offshore drilling should continue in the Gulf of Mexico following the BP oil spill.

Just under half — 48 percent — of voters in a new Review-Journal survey said they oppose a ban on offshore oil drilling in the gulf. Another 37 percent said they support a drilling moratorium, while 15 percent remained undecided.

Mason-Dixon Polling & Research of Washington, D.C., conducted the survey from Monday through Wednesday. A total of 625 registered voters were interviewed statewide by telephone. The margin of error is 4 percentage points.


Sure, Nevada's practically all desert, but in one area, the Silver State claims some of the greenest pastures on Earth.
For green-energy potential, few places beat Nevada.

But just how much potential the state offers will depend on a multitude of issues, including technological hurdles, financial obstacles and even political will. Some experts say renewables could completely displace fossil fuels such as coal and natural gas in Nevada's energy economy, while others assert the green-power movement is destined to peter out as the costs and inconveniences of such generation unfold.

Here's what is not up for debate: Nevada owns one of the country's biggest renewable bases. Unlike most states, Nevada offers major access to sunlight, hot springs and wind -- three key sources of green power.

Data from the federal Energy Information Administration show that nearly half of Nevada has enough sunlight to generate at least 6 kilowatt hours of solar power per square meter daily. Another sizeable chunk receives enough sun to yield 4 to 6 kilowatt hours per square meter every day.

Roughly half the state houses enough underground hot springs to produce at least 80 milliwatts of geothermal power per square meter, and about 25 percent of Nevada has enough wind to host utility-scale wind farms.

So rich is Nevada's renewable-power base that John White, executive director of the Center for Energy Efficiency and Renewable Technologies in Sacramento, Calif., said it's conceivable the state eventually could derive all of its power from alternative sources, and send leftovers to surrounding states.

"Nevada is abundantly blessed with renewable-energy resources," White said. "There's no question Nevada has the potential to be completely reliant on renewable energy for its power needs, and to be a net exporter."

Nevada law requires power utility NV Energy to get 25 percent of its electricity from renewable sources by 2025, up from 12 percent in 2010.

So, the state is already positioned for considerable growth beyond NV Energy's existing renewable portfolio of 1,200 megawatts, or 44 projects completed, planned or under construction. And that's not to mention the dozens of renewable projects in the state that are planned but contracted to sell power to the utility. The utility's 2009 conference for groups interested in offering renewable power to the company drew 240 attendees, so there's no shortage of interest in the state's green-power prospects.
But Nevada also has the goods to go national, becoming a distributor of renewable energy to other states, said David Hicks, NV Energy's director of renewable-energy procurement and technical services. Witness Sempra Generation's 58-megawatt Copper Mountain solar plant in Boulder City, which will serve California customers of Pacific Gas & Electric.

"It's clear the renewable potential in Nevada far exceeds the demand for it under the portfolio standard," Hicks said. "There is significant potential to export renewable generation outside the state."

Still, resources alone can't guarantee renewable development.

"It's certainly conceivable that we could fuel our entire (car) fleet from cellulosic sources and get all of our electricity from renewable energy, but the cost would be staggering, in consumer prices, in government support and in other conveniences, such as more variable supplies of power," said Jerry Taylor, a senior fellow with the Cato Institute, a libertarian think tank in Washington, D.C.

For an idea of how tough it will be to replace existing capacity, Taylor said, consider the difficulty states have experienced meeting renewable-power mandates. Nevada's standard, which the Legislature passed in 2001, went unmet until NV Energy achieved the requirement for the first time in 2008. The utility missed the mark again in 2009. Company executives have blamed timing issues on the shortfall. And three big utilities in California will fall about two percentage points short of their 20 percent mandate by year's end.

But many of those portfolio deficits come from temporary travails, experts said. Get past those troubles, renewable advocates say, and green energy could really take off.

Consider financing. Before the real estate bust of two years ago, finding funding for construction of renewable plants was easier, Hicks said. Today, renewable developers have the same problems obtaining loans as any other sector is seeing, and that has made projects harder to finance. As the economy recovers, loans should pick up again, Hicks said.

And then there are transmission lines. Or rather, there aren't transmission lines. Many renewables originate in remote areas far from existing grids, so the power the projects generate is stranded, unable to make its way into power companies' portfolios. Taylor said that's the case in Texas, for example, where some wind turbines yield power that goes nowhere, simply because the farms don't link to transmission networks.

Planned transmission solutions here include NV Energy's One Nevada line (ONLine), a 235-mile connection that will link the utility to renewable generation in rural Nevada. ONLine is scheduled for completion by early 2013.

White said it would be relatively easy to beef up existing transmission corridors connecting Nevada to California, Arizona and other Western states so that regional players could develop and share resources ranging from hydroelectricity to wind to biomass.

Technological barriers also could curb renewables' potential in Nevada. Solar arrays need water -- the Solar Energy Industries Association estimates an average of 20 gallons per megawatt hour -- for everything from cooling exhaust steam to cleaning photovoltaic panels.

The demand for water could be a big impediment in parched, arid Nevada, though developers more recently have proposed solar plants that cool exhaust steam with air rather than water. As for washing panels, plants can use brackish or reclaimed water, White said.

Other technological obstacles could prove more enduring. The sun will always set, and the wind will always stop. That means a constant need for fossil fuel-generated backup power, Taylor noted, and the power-grid whiplash resulting from a sudden cloudburst over a solar plant could cause brownouts or blackouts as the quick change in power sources shocks the system.

The intermittent nature of renewables is especially an issue with wind farms. Wind typically blows most intensely during midwinter nights, rendering it useless during peak-power periods on hot summer days, Taylor said.

Also likely to stick around are permitting issues. Renewable plants must obtain federal or state approval in a licensing process that can take years. Complying with the National Environmental Policy Act can create uncertainties for projects, as the environmental impact review could either turn up few problems or uncover development killers such as the presence of an en dangered species, Hicks said.

Uncertainties also surround federal subsidies that make today's renewable power economically viable. Many tax credits, grants and loan guarantees are set to expire in the next three years or so, which would leave renewable projects without the funding that makes them economically competitive with conventional energy sources. But White said improving technologies will reduce the costs of renewable power, and that should enable green projects to get built with less funding in the long run.

The great unknown is whether the political will exists to stick with energy forms that can cost two to four times as much as conventional sources. A Mason-Dixon poll conducted for the Review-Journal doesn't show major voter sentiment in either direction, with 47 percent of Nevada voters saying they would like to keep Nevada's renewable portfolio standard and 39 percent saying the Legislature should repeal the mandate. Another 14 percent were undecided. The margin of error is 4 percentage points.

"As long as voters reward politicians for keeping these programs in place, then renewable-energy preferences, such as subsidies and mandates, will continue regardless of how renewables perform," Taylor said.

Still, Taylor said federal research shows renewables have a long way to go before they replace fossil fuels in the nation's energy makeup, so they are unlikely to dominate any individual state's energy profile. If all existing subsidies continue in perpetuity, renewable energy would rise to just 12.4 percent of electricity production by 2035, the Energy Information Administration projected.

"There's a tremendous amount of overstatement regarding what will happen in the future given current policy trends," Taylor said. "You need truly Herculean changes in the law to see anything close to what politicians talk about. Consumers would have to pay higher prices and be more vulnerable to dislocations on the grid."

But don't confuse the nation's renewable outlook with Nevada's, White responded. Follow serious conservation efforts with a "sustained and orderly build-out" of renewable capacity, and Nevada could get all of its electricity from green power by 2050, he said.

"There are challenges to renewable energy, but there are no show-stoppers."

Contact reporter Jennifer Robison at or 702-380-4512.

Monday, 19 July 2010

Black Eyed Tales of Faerie

The problem I have with apparent stories of the paranormal is that they are also magnets for fiction writers who swiftly grab the imagery and embellish it all. Worse, we have exactly one eye witness which is unlikely and when others might be available, they seem to be blind.

This makes the application of my methodology impossible and it is reasonable to conclude this is all a hoax.

However, what we can do is give them the benefit of a doubt for a moment or two.

I note that this particular phenomenon arose first rather recently in 1998. This article surveys the data a decade later and provides a base line.

I generally class these types of events that also include the ‘men in black’ and ET with his large black eyes and must also include all of faerie from the past as possibly waking dreams. Somehow when one is possibly on autopilot, the subconscious intrudes with a dream creation whose form is often shaped by other similar tales. Had the witnesses had these events while clearly asleep, they would have simply been dismissed as dreams and forgotten. No one gets exercised over dream interpretation these days.

After saying that, the one item that intrudes of import that has my attention is the presence of solid black eyes. These have an explanation that is far too compelling. This is the key artificial adaptation necessary for space adapted humanity presently living in space habitats. Their bodies all appear to be at least trim and they maximize cover or at least that seems to be implied. Fashion is not understood and many other nuances are forgone. They appear to also be generally unseen in the normal course of daily traffic suggesting technical means.

All this implies an ongoing presence of field operatives who are among us. The individual operator may be here quite briefly and does not become acclimatized at all as noted from the interaction. There obviously could be thousands flowing in and out every day for a range of reasons including tourism.

I suspect that activity may becoming somewhat more open and even visible because it is expected that we will soon be accessing space with our own magnetic exclusion vessels. (MEV) They may not care too much anymore because they see the end is nigh.

Are Black-Eyed Beings Walking Among Us?

By Ted Twietmeyer


This is perhaps one of the strangest topics which scores about a 20 + on the weirdness scale of 1 to 10.

First, we should take a brief look at some of the characteristics of the human eye as to what's normal and what isn't. The white part of a human eye is called the sclera, which comprises 5/6 of the outer surface of the eye. The sclera is a very thin tissue made of several layers, with a total thickness varying between .3mm and 1mm thick depending on where on the eye it's measured.

I should mention here for reference later that human eyes are filled with a clear, gelatinous material known as the vitreous humor. This material must be crystal-clear to permit the unobstructed passage of light from the rear of the lens to the retina. Some people have "floaters" in their eyes, which are minerals or crystals and may cause strange glints of light when in a brightly lit area.

Regardless of race, most healthy humans have a white color (or nearly white) sclera. Other life-forms such as horses, dogs, lizards etc often have a dark brown or black sclera.


Fig.1 This child is not a black-eyed being but has a curable illness. The bluish-black sclera in his eyes is a rare disease called alkaptonuria. This child also had black urine as another symptom. He was placed on ascorbic acid and a low protein diet to reverse the condition. However, the sclera does not turn pitch black with this disease. This disease strikes about 1:250,000 and can be treated by diet and drugs. [1]

Health problems such as liver problems or a particular vitamin or diet deficiency can also cause the sclera to become yellow. The sclera can also become yellow in the elderly as a product of fat deposits.

There are special drugs in the form of eye-drops which doctors and researchers use that temporarily cause the white sclera of the eye to become transparent. This permits a doctor or researcher to directly view the retina using off-axis (side view) imaging for diagnosing eye disease, without the limited viewing the retina through the lens and cornea structures of the eye. There is no long- lasting effect from temporarily making the sclera transparent. After a period of time the drug dissipates and the surface of the eye returns to its normal white color.


Are there beings or people among us whose sclera, pupils and iris are completely BLACK? We will refer to them as beings, because at this time we really don't know who or what they are. There are numerous eye witness accounts of people like this in almost every location you can imagine, and from many corners of the Earth. We will look at some of those accounts later.

Below are some common characteristics of black-eyed beings I've discovered from examining eyewitness testimony:

* Sometimes the adult or child dresses in attire to fit into the local population, but odd variations can also cause the black-eyed person to stand out. Eyewitness accounts have stated that the clothing is either overly neat as though they are from a by-gone era, or have strange color combinations.

* Black-eyed beings may dress in black or dark clothes

* When black-eyed children approach adults they do not act shy like normal children. Instead, they are often quite forceful about what they want from the adult and may try to intimidate or persuade. These children may be verbally forceful in demanding entry into a home or a vehicle on a public street, but apparently they do not become physical.

* Evil is a common characteristic that eyewitnesses often sense from both black-eyed children and adult beings. However, this feeling is not experienced by every eyewitness.

* In public places such as restaurants or airport gate waiting areas, often people will not sit anywhere near them especially after making eye contact.

* It is possible that some (or all) of these beings do not have a home, and are roaming the Earth endlessly. One eyewitness who was alone with a man in an elevator late at night asked him where he was going. His curt response was "NOWHERE!"

* These beings have been reported by people world-wide, and are not known to originate from any particular location on Earth.

* One eyewitness was in an elevator with a black-eyed being. The following day he checked a security camera videotape but it did not record the presence of the black-eyed being in the elevator. Only the eyewitness was seen alone on the videotape.

* A common occurrence among children with black eyes is to ask permission to enter a vehicle or a home. Apparently there are certain laws these beings must follow, such as being invited in. What's interesting is that this law requiring permission is known to apply to supernatural evil, such as demons. If laws ruling supernatural interference did not exist, then all of humankind would be in utter chaos and terror, and society could never develop to the level of what it is today.

* Solid form - unlike ghosts or other disembodied entities, eyewitness accounts have not spoken of transparency. These black- eyed beings appear to be solid and can speak verbally, although this does not negate a supernatural origin.

* Some accounts indicate that at least some of these beings have olive colored skin.

* Eyewitness accounts of these beings often take place at night or inside buildings. Perhaps they cannot tolerate direct sunlight.

* Black-eyed adults could be related to the "Men in black" (MIB) who have also appeared with pitch black eyes to intimidate UFO witnesses. MIB often appeared to those who make it past a close encounter of the first kind. There haven't been any new accounts of MIB visits in recent years that I know of. Perhaps these black- eyed beings are of the same race as the MIB, who may now be unemployed.

Many years ago we had a relative who was an albino (now deceased.) An albino is the result of a genetic mutation that prevents pigment generation anywhere in the body. Her skin was extremely light, almost white but slightly pink as a result of no pigmentation to fully cover the fine blood vessels. Her hair was always white even when she was quite young. The sclera of her eyes was basically devoid of all white color, resulting in a pinkish-red color from the coloring of blood vessels in the thin sclera. However, she did not normally wear glasses as her vision was close to normal. This is mentioned here to show that human beings who are albino would be at the far opposite end of the spectrum from black-eyed beings.

In black-eyed beings, apparently the sclera is black as well as the pupil and iris. Witnesses are probably not seeing the retina directly. Humans have the classic red-eye in photographs as a result of flash photography. To see into the eye of a black-eyed being would probably require a similar intense on-axis light source. However, if eyewitnesses can actually see a black retina as some have claimed, then the retina of these beings must absorb light even better than the eyes of human beings.

Late at night in the headlights of an oncoming vehicle on a highway deer, opossums and other animals have eyes (retinas) have a green or red color. This is a retro-reflection from the animal's retina. It is similar to how a reflector on a bicycle or driveway marker reflector works. Human beings have a non-reflective retina, reflecting back only about 1% of the light that enters the eye.

One might dismiss these strange black-eyed people as a rare genetic mutation, except for one simple fact that apparently no one talks about If both the sclera is black AND the vitreous humor inside the eye is black as well, these beings would almost certainly have to be blind since no light could reach the retina through black vitreous humor.


Below are some relevant excerpts from several very lengthy eyewitness accounts.
(A note here to the grammar nit-pickers: There are grammatical, typographical errors and other problems in these accounts, but these statement extracts have been retained as the eyewitness has written them to avoid changing any intended meaning. I have added a few statements in parentheses for clarity. If I've made errors myself in this essay, forget about it!)


A lady named Adele was at home when two boys knocked on her door at 11PM at night. What follows is a verbatim excerpt from her testimony. After a long introduction Adele began to describe the boy's details:

"He was young boy of about 17 or 18, approximately," Tee says. "He asked me about an open apartment for rent. I remember feeling very scared and shaken by his appearance. He did not look weird by his dress or such. It was his eyes. I remember feeling the hair on my neck stand up, and I was shaking just from looking in his eyes."

Like Chris, Tee also felt that deep sense of malevolence. "I could not look him straight in the eyes," she says. "I felt like I was about to die. Now, some people may think that I was just over- reacting or something, but the eyes were completely black like there was no real pupil. He spoke normally to me, but I had to just shut the door in his face and get as far from him as I could. I felt like I was in extreme danger." [2]

(What might have happened to Adele if these children were allowed entry into her home?)


In this incident which took place in Abilene, Texas, a journalist was in his parked car late at night writing a check to pay an internet bill at a drop box when two children approached him for help, knocking on his car window. They were asking for a ride home to retrieve money from their mother to see a popular movie, at the movie theater close to the parked vehicle. What made this event highly unusual to the witness was that these children asked for a ride home when the final showing of the film was already half over. The following is a verbatim excerpt from his account. One of the two boys is identified as the "the spokesman" by the eyewitness. He is the only boy who talked during the discussion. When the eyewitness was reluctant to let the boys into his car they persisted. Here are his words:

"C'mon, mister. Let us in. We can't get in your car until you do, you know," the spokesman said soothingly.

(Note the child was apparently following the unspoken law that permission must be granted first as indicated by the statement "We can't get in your car until you do, you know." The testimony continues)

"Just let us in, and we'll be gone before you know it. We'll go to our mother's house." We locked eyes. To my horror, I realized my hand had strayed toward the door lock (which was engaged) and was in the process of opening it. I pulled it away, probably a bit too violently. But it did force me to look away from the children. I turned back. "Er ... Um ...," I offered weakly and then my mind snapped into sharp focus.

For the first time I noticed their eyes. They were coal black. No pupil. No iris. Just two staring orbs reflecting the red and white light of the marquee. At that point, I know my expression betrayed me. The silent one had a look of horror on his face in a combination that seemed to indicate: A) The impossible had just happened and we've been found out!" The spokesman, on the other hand, wore a mask of anger. His eyes glittered brightly in the half- light. "Cmon, mister," he said. "We won't hurt you. You have to LET US IN. We don't have a gun."

That last statement scared the living hell out of me, because at that point by his tone he was plainly saying, "We don't NEED a gun." He noticed my hand shooting down toward the gear shift. The spokesman's final words contained an anger that was complete and whole, and yet contained in some respects a tone of panic:
I ripped the car into reverse (thank goodness no one was coming up behind me) and tore out of the parking lot.

(Question is - do these boys actually have a home? What might have happened to the eyewitness IF they were allowed entry into his vehicle?)


In another work-for-word account a black-eyed man boarded a commercial airliner. Apparently some sort of mind control was being used, as flight attendants and the captain all saw different colors in this same man's eyes, including pitch black:

I glanced up just in time to see a late arriving passenger, noting his well-appointed leather jacket, pants and shoes all were nice complimentary shades of brown. His haircut was in the European cut with tendrils on the nape, instead of the precise American haircut. I froze as I looked into his eyes. They were black in entirety. He looked European or a light Arabian. I don't remember seeing the white part of his eyes.

Flight attendant continues) That man is very scary, I am so afraid. I was very frightened too, ready to pee my pants. I laid my arm on the door ledge and watch out the porthole and wondered if we would survive this trip. The feeling was unanimous with the other girls and we were on total edge. I was pondering why each of us thought his eyes were a different color.

(Later in the flight she describes the man's eyes) We were so distressed that the Captain put on his hat to come out for a look. That passenger closed his eyes and appeared to be sleeping. We landed without ado and matter of fact, the airplane emptied in world record time about 2-3-minutes. This man was coming and the Captain was saying goodbye. I refused and hopped back into the galley. I whispered, "Here he comes and I watched the Captain as all the color drained from his face, when the man passed out the door. The captain said, WOW...whoa that was a strange man!

(If this black-eyed man was not human, how did he obtain a boarding pass?)


Here is another verbatim extract from a story about a strange man seen in an elevator in a bank building, as told by the bank executive who worked late that evening:

I found to my surprise that a few people have had similar experiences regarding people with pitch-black eyes. Unlike some, though, I didn't feel a sense of dread or a feeling that I was about to die. I felt more an awareness and discomfort, like when you see someone advance angrily toward you only to walk past you.

Anyway, it was September 2, 2000, and one of the roles as an executive is you sometimes have to put in really late nights. My office was on the fifth floor and it was coming up to 12 in the morning. I was the only employee, as far as I know, on the first five floors apart from Ben, another fellow banker on my floor and Stan, who is a security officer.

(He continues after a lengthy introduction) The elevator stops at floor 2 and in comes a tall man with more or less a black crew-cut. The first thing I did was open my mouth to ask what sector he was from and who gave him permission, but as I looked into his eyes they where entirely black. The pupils, the retinas everything. I remember not really being spooked about his eyes. To be honest, I just thought he might've had a disability in his eyes. As the elevator slowly starts up moving back on route, he asked me where I was going, and I simply replied, "home." He then asked why, and I more or less laughed and just said I want to go to sleep and see my wife. He then just mummered very softly, like he was talking to himself, "It must be nice to have a home."

I figured he was just being friendly and that he must be renting. As we got to B1, I realized he hadn't pushed the button on where he was going, so I asked, "Where are you going?" to which he replied rather angrily looking at me with his creepy eyes, "Nowhere."

(At this point, the eyewitness stated he ran to his car. When he looked behind him, he noticed the strange man in the elevator did not get out. He continues on with his account)

Now the real freaky part. As I drove down the street, all the lights were out - and this is in Sydney (city of NSW). Then I turn... and guess who is walking just ahead of the car - our favorite black-eyed man! No need to say, I sped home, probably breaking five road laws. How could he have left the building and be ahead of me when he had no car, and went up to floor 6?

It gets weirder. On the videotapes and records, there shows no one using the elevator at that time apart from me.


Witness begins her statement that it was a nice sunny day in November and she had been out running some errands. No country, state or city is given but it may have be in the United States. Although it was November, the black-eye being wore no coat or jacket. Perhaps this took place in the southern United States:

I got my tea, headed out the door, had to stop and organize myself as my keys migrated to the bottom of the purse and I still had to get my wallet in! So I plopped the stuff down on an open table and tried to get my act together. I felt like I was being watched, so turned around to give whatever
to the perv that I assumed was watching me, and the smart aleck remark died in my mouth as I caught sight of him and made (inadvertent) eye contact.

I should note here: I did not see anything unusual in his manner of dress. Jeans, black shirt, lightweight black jacket, (no hat, no overcoat) not unusual dress. His hair was almost black, but didn't look any darker than my boyfriend's hair (boyfriend is of Japanese descent). His skin tone was a bit olive and pale but not overly so. It was the eyes and the aura, coming off of him that scared me.

The eyes, blacker than black, no white at all, wall to wall black, and I just felt a darkness around him, an evil. As I looked in his eyes, I somehow KNEW that was not a human soul occupying that body, and I felt that he knew that I knew that he was not human.

Interesting side note: three open tables around the table "he" was sitting at, were empty, and stayed empty. People would just come out the door, look in that direction, and leave. No one would sit near "him".

I got the feeling that "he" was amused by this. That he could keep humanity away and he was challenging me, "Are you going to run away too?" My reply was "I am leaving because I was planning on leaving." (All this was telepathic.)


A woman and her husband stopped at their usual rest stop in Michigan on the way to their second home for a short vacation. Below is an excerpt from her account:

My husband and I were on our way up north on I-75 during the afternoon. Luckily, it was not at our normal time in the evening. We have a little place in northern lower Michigan, and often go up there for the weekends. As was our custom, we pulled in at our usual rest stop, and I went into the women's restroom.

As I was preparing to leave the room, I suddenly noticed a thin, dark-haired woman standing alone and starring directly at me. I instantly felt a terrible
sense of dread, as though there was something deeply unnatural about her. I then noticed the eyes which had been staring coldly at me, and they were completely black. I saw no color whatsoever, and no pupils. I felt an extremely strong need to get away from her as quickly as possible, as there was something quietly threatening about her. Her stare was devoid of any emotion other than something very cold and disconnected.

My instant and unwavering feeling during this whole experience was that she was not human. I don't know what me made feel this so strongly, but it was my most singular, strongest sense while looking at her. There also was something almost predatory about her, as though she was homing in on prey while she stood there so still. I also had a strange sense of her feeling superior or stronger in some way. Again, the sense of a predator watching its prey.

I left as quickly as possible, showing as little reaction to her as possible. It seemed important, for some unknown reason, for me to act unaffected by her while in her presence. I felt a huge sense of relief as I got back into the car and left. I have to say that this was one of the most memorable brief experiences I've ever had around a person, especially a stranger. I have never been able to shake the unexplainable feeling that she wasn't human.


Here is yet another verbatim extract from a sighting in Encinitas, California:

(After her introduction she continues) I work at the local YMCA as a youth counselor, one night as I sat in the parking lot clearing room on the seat next to me for my friend to sit down this kid comes up to the side of the car, immediately as this kid gets near us we can tell something is wrong, my friend just hopped into the back of the car and we lock all the doors. The kid didn't say anything, but before I realized it I had rolled down the window, when I got a closer look at the kid I was alarmed at how young he looked, I'd say about 7-10 years old.

He was your average very blonde white kid, pale skin, but he gave off a terrible aura of bad things. He told me to let him in the car, never giving a reason, I was compelled by some force to open the door, but my friend kept telling me "there's no more room" The kid began to repeat this phrase back, sounding very angry. "NO MORE ROOM, NO MORE ROOM" at this point he and I made eye contact, I saw that his eyes were fully black, no whites to
them at all. He grabbed my arm through the window, and dug his fingernails into my forearm, his skin was cold. I shoved him from the window and shouted "THERE'S NO MORE ROOM" and slammed my foot on the accelerator. We drove over the curb and flattened a bush before leaving the parking lot, as we sped towards my friend's house we saw this kid twice, once at a fruit stand, and again at a red light.

(Two days later another black-eyed child appears outside the eyewitness's home)

We go back to watching the movie when there is a knock on the door. Not just one or two, but a knock that you get when someone is angry with you, like when the government comes in all the movies. I look out the peephole and see no one, so I opened the door. Standing there is a teenage kid, pale skin, jet black hair. I ask him if he needs help, and he told me he needed a telephone. This kid looks fairly straight-edge, he looks like the type you can trust, I get no bad aura from him, and I'm about to let him in when I notice his eyes. Deep black, just like the kid in the parking lot. I slam the door in his face, and look out the peephole, I still see no one through it. [3]


Are all of these eyewitness accounts fiction?

This seems unlikely as those who wrote them were not seeking fame or fortune, so what could possibly be a motive to fabricate these stories? Most likely, there are thousands or tens of thousands of these sightings but most people haven't taken the time to document them, or know where they can be posted.

There are common characteristics to each of these eyewitness accounts of something that often triggers a human innate sense of evil, fear, night time appearances, a certain peculiar forcefulness and sometimes a sense of terror of the unknown.

Perhaps these black-eyed beings are one of the 63 races visiting Earth (this was the last total known according to a retired Air Force officer friend of mine.) Or maybe these beings have the ability to come and go from another dimension that co-exists with ours, which is hopefully not hell.

If these black-eyed beings are not human but are inter-dimensional, alien or of supernatural origin it might explain why they do not appear on a video recording in at least one case. Yet these beings are real, physically exist and communicate with people according to eyewitness accounts. recently sent out a request for additional eyewitness testimony to almost 1,000 volunteers who are signed up with the website. It is still a bit too early to tell if anyone in the list has encountered these beings, or if they will share their story.

Herman Melville once said, "The eye is the gateway to the soul." If the eye of these beings really is completely black, then this might be an ominous message about who these beings are.

Here are a few parting positive thoughts:

Edward R. Murrow "The obscure we see eventually. The completely obvious, it seems, takes longer."

Bill Cosby - "Every closed eye is not sleeping, and every open eye is not seeing."

Daryl Ryman "Your mind is your best camera . . . Go out and take some beautiful pictures."

And finally

"Discovery consists of looking at the same thing as everyone else and thinking something different."
- Albert Szent-Gyorgyi, Winner of the 1937 Nobel Prize in Physiology and Medicine

At this point in time, I'm not categorically saying black-eyed beings exist. Time will tell. If you have experienced seeing one of these beings, please write me with all the details you can remember including city, state and country. Names will be withheld.

We'll include your story anonymously in an update if sufficient feedback from readers is received, or new evidence is discovered.

Ted Twietmeyer
© 2008

[1] dv05060.pdf