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NNadir

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Gender: Male
Current location: New Jersey
Member since: 2002
Number of posts: 22,547

Journal Archives

109 Nobel Laureates sign a letter slamming Greenpeace.

This comes from a Pop publication, but, be that as it may, it certainly is encouraging.

100 Nobel Laureates Slam Greenpeace

How and why Greenpeace became known as an "environmental organization" is beyond me. The overall ignorance of their positions has done enormous damage to the environment and to human health and welfare since, for reasons that also escape me, people tend to take their ignorance as if it were, well, something other than ignorance, which it is not.

It's nice to see a large body of the most prominent scientists in the world fighting back.

Enjoy the upcoming holiday weekend.

All time record set for week-to-week annual measurements of annual CO2 increases at Mauna Loa.

I feel physically sick just posting this; despite my long record of arguing that the popular approach to addressing climate change is delusional, no shadenfreud is involved.

The Mauna Loa Carbon Dioxide Observatory, the oldest such observatory on this planet, recorded that on June 6, 2016, the concentration of the dangerous fossil fuel waste carbon dioxide was 4.78 ppm higher than it was on the same week the year before.

Of the 2107 data points ever reported this particular data set since 1975 (Mauna Loa's carbon dioxide observatory began making measurements in 1959) this is the absolute worst ever recorded.

I described how I monitor this data previously many times in this terrifying year of atmospheric collapse in this space, most recently, here: More of the 2016 disastrous CO2 climate year, May 29, 2016 4.16 ppm worse than May 31, 2015. Here is an excerpt from that post containing some links to earlier posts in my nightmarish posts in this series:

I've taken it upon myself to report, whenever the weekly data for 2016 as compared to the same week of 2015 exceeds the unprecedented increase more than 4.00 ppm, of reporting this fact.

Of the approximately 2100 weekly year-to-year data points recorded since the 1970's before 2016 there were only 7 which were higher than 4.00 ppm, one in 2010, one in 2012, one in 2013, one in 2014, and three occurred in 1998, as a result, most probably, of the massive fires in Southeast Asia.

There are now fifteen such data points, with eight occurring this year, and, um, we're only halfway through it.

Some remarks from previous posts on 2016, which is rapidly shaping up as an unparalleled disaster for the accelerating accumulation of the dangerous fossil fuel waste carbon dioxide in the planetary atmosphere:

As I've remarked many times in this space, the year 2015 was the worst year ever recorded at Mauna Loa's carbon dioxide observatory for increases in carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere, at 3.05 ppm.

Right now, if trends continue, 2016 will blow that level away.

Something very, very, very, very disturbing is happening if the Mauna Loa observatory's CO[sub]2[/sub] measurements are correct.

For clarity, I will repeat some text from one of my earlier posts, showing how I store and analyze this data available from the Mauna Loa observatory's website's data tab:

At the Mauna Loa carbon dioxide observatory website, they have a data page which compares the averages for each week of the year with the same week of the previous year.

The data goes back to 1974, and comprises 2,090 data points.

I import this data into a spreadsheet I maintain each week, and calculate the weekly increases over the previous year. I rank the data for the increases from worst to best, the worst data point being 4.67 ppm over the previous year, which was recorded during the week ending September 6, 1998, when much of the rain forest of Southeast Asia was burning when fires set to clear the forests for palm oil plantations got out of control during unusually dry weather. Six of the worst data points ever recorded occurred in 1998 during this event, another was recorded in the January following that event.

Of the twenty worst data points ever recorded out of 2090 two of them have occurred in the last four weeks. The week ending January 31, 2016 produced a result of a 4.35 ppm of increase. The week just passed, that ending, 2/14/2016, produced a result of 3.79 ppm increase, tying it for the aforementioned week in January 1999, that ending on January 24, 1999, and that of January 2, 2011.

Of the twenty highest points recorded, 9 have occurred in the last 5 years, 10 in the last 10 years.


It's looking very bad these last few weeks at the Mauna Loa carbon dioxide observatory.


The above comes from a post in this very, very, very depressing series on May 1 of this year: For April 2016, the average weekly increase in CO2 levels compared with April 2015 is 4.16 ppm


As described above, the data set now comprises 2107 data points, and that of June 6 of this year is the worst ever recorded.

The previous worst data point ever recorded was 4.67 ppm, measured on September 6, 1998, 1998 having been, until it was displaced by 2015, the worst year ever recorded for carbon dioxide increases, owing to vast destruction of the South East Asia rain forests, after fires set by people setting to clear land for palm oil plantations to make "renewable" biofuels got out of control and burned huge swathes of these forests.

It is very clear that 2016 will blow away the 2015 record - 3.05 ppm higher than 2014 - as well as that of 1998.

Of the 10 worst such data points recorded for week to week comparisons of previous years, six of the worst 10 have occurred in 2016.

Fourteen of the worst 30 have been recorded in the last 5 years, 18 of the worst 30 have been recorded in the last 10 years. Thirteen of the worst 30 occurred in 2016.

The average of all these data points recorded since 1975 is 1.75 ppm; the average for the 20th century was 1.54 ppm; for the 21st century, it is 2.07 ppm, for 2015 - the worst year ever recorded - it was 2.25 ppm. For 2016, the average is now 3.54 ppm. Over the last 4 weeks the average is 4.26 ppm.

Since Japan shut it's nuclear reactors to see if they're "safe" after Fukushima - and replaced the power with that generated in dangerous fossil fueled plants which kill people whenever they operate and not just in accident situations - the average increase is 2.32 ppm.

If any of this bothers you, don't worry, be happy. The dangerous fossil fuel exporting country Norway ran a wind to hydrogen plant on the island of Utsira for a few years back in the earliest years of this century to "demonstrate" how we "could" store wind energy if, um, we wanted to do so. It produced enough hydrogen to power ten homes. The number of industrial scale wind to hydrogen plants built to power a million homes, never mind hundreds of millions of homes, is zero, but, um, lessons were learned.

The wind and solar industries have proved completely useless in addressing climate change, despite trillions of dollars sunk into them. As the data shows, they haven't worked; they aren't working; they won't work, but results don't matter. It's the thought that counts.

I wish all the fathers out there a wonderful and happy fathers day. During my fathers day lunch I discussed this data with my two sons and my wife, but I'm not sure people of my generation should feel comfortable looking people of their generation or any future generation in the eye.

I also wish anyone not involved in father's day, a pleasant Sunday afternoon and evening.


“We must never forget that the scientific and technical accomplishments of today...

...are not the exclusive products of this generation. They are the results of the labors and the thoughts of countless individuals over the centuries. They are the sum and substance of that continuous wave of progress to which each generation has made its contribution. Thus, it is incumbent on us not only to safeguard this precious heritage-one of the highest expressions of man’s unselfish achievement-but to enrich it with our own particular contribution and ensure its transference to our successors.”

A few years back, through a set of unusual circumstances, a friend of mine arranged it so that I could spend a few hours in a late November afternoon in the office of Freeman Dyson at the Institute of Advanced Studies with my two sons and one of my son's friends. It was, as one might expect, an extremely memorable visit, in which he graciously afforded us a few hours. Our conversation drifted over a wide range of subjects, many of which concerned his wide ranging scientific work both practical and theoretical. As I am extremely interested in nuclear power, regarding as the last, best, technical hope for the human race as we fall into the environmental abyss, and Dyson, besides his huge contributions to pure physics, was a pioneer in the development of nuclear reactor technology.

One of his major contributions was the development of hydride fuels - in the 1950's - which have many passive control features owing to their self moderating properties. These fuels have played a huge role in research reactors at educational institutions and in the preparation of radioisotopes for use in medicine and other areas of science. When I asked Dyson about this fuel and his role in it, he was self deprecating, and denied having what he regarded as a "major" role in the development, offering - I paraphrase "I just did a little bit of physics, the hard work was done by Massoud Simnad."

Massoud Simnad, born a citizen of Iran, was a Professor of Engineering at UCSD and also worked at General Atomics in the beautiful complex in La Jolla up on Torrey Pines Blvd. (I once worked in the complex myself, but I was working for a biotech that had rented space, and not in the nuclear field.)

I was poking around this morning in some files I'd collected but not indexed a few years back and I came across a paper of Simnad's written in the early 1980's. In that paper he quotes John J. Hopkins, the founder of General Atomics.

The text of his wonderful introduction to the paper, A BRIEF HISTORY OF POWER REACTOR FUELS (Journal of Nuclear Materials 100 (1981) 93-107), is more completely excerpted here:

The late John J. Hopkins, founder of General Atomic, made a moving reference to the importance of history in his dedication speech in July 1956: “We must never forget that the scientific and technical accomplisments of today are not the exclusive products of this generation. They are the results of the labors and the thoughts of countless individuals over the centuries. They are the sum and substance of that continuous wave of progress to which each generation has made its contribution. Thus, it is incumbent on us not only to safeguard this precious heritage-one of the highest expressions of man’s unselfish achievement-but to enrich it with our own particular contribution and ensure its transference to our successors.” The development of nuclear power reactors and of nuclear fuels is the result of the contributions of pioneers from many countries during the past four decades. The history of power reactor fuels is so vast and the documentation so extensive that a brief history must of necessity touch only on specific highlights...


The section I have bolded, it seems to me as I approach the end of my time on Earth, has been the greatest failure of my awful generation that has done great harm to all future generations because of a focus on trivialities and consumption for its own sake. Among those great failings was to regard Simnad's work, as well as the work of the many intellectual giants who founded and developed nuclear energy, through a prism of fear and ignorance.

The power of fear and ignorance to cause tragedy has been a great theme in human history, now more than ever. This is only one case, if an important one.

Have a nice Sunday.

Walter Kohn has died.

Nature 534, 38 (02 June 2016) (Walter Kohn (1923–2016))

We are privileged to live near Princeton University, and my sons and I have had opportunities to attend lectures at the Andlinger Center for Energy and the Environment, helping my "little guy" - he's now, as a high school student, taller than me - develop an interest in materials science. Until recently, the Andlinger Center, which has just completed the construction of a brand new building with some interesting properties, was headed by Dr. Emily Carter, a pioneer in the concept of "Orbital Free Density Functional Theory" OFDFT in which chemical structures are treated as an electron gas.

While our understanding of the nuts and bolts of OFDFT is somewhat primitive, we recognize that DFT itself has proved to be one of the most useful computational tools in chemistry and materials chemistry. DFT is largely the work of Walter Kohn, in his derivation of the Kohn-Sham equations and the "H-K Theorem" or Hohenberg-Kohn theorem, which proves that the ground state solution of the Schrödinger equation is uniquely specified by the electron density.

DFT theory has lead to huge advances in the physics of condensed matter and in chemistry, and as stated previously in materials science.

Walter Kohn was an American Scientist out of UC San Diego who had a rather unique story. In the late 1930's, some English citizens, after the horrible Kristalnacht pogrom in Nazi German, arranged to bring Jewish children - their parents could not be admitted to England - to England where they were "temporarily" adopted by English families until things "got better." It is known today as the famous "Kindertransport" which took place from 1938 until the outbreak of war in September of 1939. Things, of course, didn't "get better." The families of most of these children were exterminated.

Many of the Children saved by the Kindertransport went on to become important citizens of the world, Walter Kohn among them. He was awarded the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 1998.

(Another famous Kindertransport survivor was the Rock Impresario Bill Graham of Filmore fame.)

Many of us, most of us, don't realize how much this important scientific concept, DFT, has impacted our lives, but it has in ways we can barely imagine.

A giant has passed.

Rest in a well deserved peace, Walter Kohn.

My alarm is set. I plan to be one of the first to vote for Ms. Clinton in NJ.

She'll be leading in my district immediately and continue throughout the day.

More of the 2016 disastrous CO2 climate year, May 29, 2016 4.16 ppm worse than May 31, 2015

I've taken it upon myself to report, whenever the weekly data for 2016 as compared to the same week of 2015 exceeds the unprecedented increase more than 4.00 ppm, of reporting this fact.

Of the approximately 2100 weekly year-to-year data points recorded since the 1970's before 2016 there were only 7 which were higher than 4.00 ppm, one in 2010, one in 2012, one in 2013, one in 2014, and three occurred in 1998, as a result, most probably, of the massive fires in Southeast Asia.

There are now fifteen such data points, with eight occurring this year, and, um, we're only halfway through it.

Some remarks from previous posts on 2016, which is rapidly shaping up as an unparalleled disaster for the accelerating accumulation of the dangerous fossil fuel waste carbon dioxide in the planetary atmosphere:

As I've remarked many times in this space, the year 2015 was the worst year ever recorded at Mauna Loa's carbon dioxide observatory for increases in carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere, at 3.05 ppm.

Right now, if trends continue, 2016 will blow that level away.

Something very, very, very, very disturbing is happening if the Mauna Loa observatory's CO[sub]2[/sub] measurements are correct.

For clarity, I will repeat some text from one of my earlier posts, showing how I store and analyze this data available from the Mauna Loa observatory's website's data tab:

At the Mauna Loa carbon dioxide observatory website, they have a data page which compares the averages for each week of the year with the same week of the previous year.

The data goes back to 1974, and comprises 2,090 data points.

I import this data into a spreadsheet I maintain each week, and calculate the weekly increases over the previous year. I rank the data for the increases from worst to best, the worst data point being 4.67 ppm over the previous year, which was recorded during the week ending September 6, 1998, when much of the rain forest of Southeast Asia was burning when fires set to clear the forests for palm oil plantations got out of control during unusually dry weather. Six of the worst data points ever recorded occurred in 1998 during this event, another was recorded in the January following that event.

Of the twenty worst data points ever recorded out of 2090 two of them have occurred in the last four weeks. The week ending January 31, 2016 produced a result of a 4.35 ppm of increase. The week just passed, that ending, 2/14/2016, produced a result of 3.79 ppm increase, tying it for the aforementioned week in January 1999, that ending on January 24, 1999, and that of January 2, 2011.

Of the twenty highest points recorded, 9 have occurred in the last 5 years, 10 in the last 10 years.


It's looking very bad these last few weeks at the Mauna Loa carbon dioxide observatory.


The above comes from a post in this very, very, very depressing series on May 1 of this year: For April 2016, the average weekly increase in CO2 levels compared with April 2015 is 4.16 ppm

For the week ending May 29, 2016, the recorded increase over the same week of last year was 4.16 ppm. The data set now contains 2105 points; 4.16 ppm just 0.02 short of being the 10th worst ever; there were two data points at 4.17, one of which was recorded April 24th of this year. As it is, it is the 12th worst ever recorded. Thirteen of the worst 30 have been recorded in the last 5 years, 17 of the worst 30 have been recorded in the last 10 years. Twelve of the worst 30 occurred in 2016.

The average of all these data points recorded is 1.75 ppm; the average for the 20th century was 1.54 ppm; for the 21st century, it is 2.07 ppm, for 2015 - the worst year ever recorded - it was 2.25 ppm. For 2016, the average is now 3.54 ppm. Over the last 4 weeks the average is 3.99 ppm.

We hear very often from many people describing themselves as "environmentalists" that so called "renewable energy" will save the day. It isn't; it hasn't; and to be perfectly frank, it won't. This rhetoric has degenerated into an argument that the means are more important the ends.

So called "renewable energy" has failed, and failed spectacularly.

The world's largest, by far, source of climate change gas free primary energy is nuclear energy. You hear many people who describe themselves as "environmentalists" bad mouthing it, not only bad mouthing it, but actively working to destroy it. They are, in my opinion, working to destroy as rapidly as possible, the planetary atmosphere.

Kill the messenger if you will, but the signature of our policies is written clearly and unambiguously in the chemical analysis of the planetary gases. We are failing, not only ourselves, but all future generations.

Have a nice Sunday afternoon.

Nice review of the Peng Robinson alpha functions just published.

This past Christmas I bought my kid Mathematica Student Edition and have been playing, as I did through much of his and his brother's childhood, with his "toy."

I've been very interested in recent years in high temperature - one might say "explosive" - reformation reactions driven by oxidation in supercritical water.

The Peng-Robinson equation, a cubic equation, is of some relevance in the thermodynamics of this situation. It's one of the "simplified" cubic equations of state, but, um, it's not actually simplified, and contains a number of parameters involved with the reduced temerature.

Last night, in the "ASAP" section of one of my favorite journals Industrial Chemistry and Engineering Research I came across this very nice review of the forms of the "α" in that equation, and it's quite nice and informative.

Here it is: Comparison of 20 Alpha Functions Applied in the Peng–Robinson Equation of State for Vapor Pressure Estimation.

Esoteric, but very cool.

I think I'll spend much of the weekend playing with my kid's toy. Mathematica is a very cool program, but I never really used it, and it's a great way to learn it. I haven't programmed much in 20 or 30 years, but life is wonderful, if short.

Who killed Davey Moore?

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