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This simple yet powerful concept has all nations agreeing to an equal per capita allowance of emissions globally, with a progressive reduction in the total amount of emissions down to a safe level. To facilitate implementation, initially countries would be able to trade emission permits. However the key is to replace carbon-heavy fuels with renewable alternative energies as well as more efficient technologies quickly.

To implement Contraction and Convergence or a similar scheme will require great political vision, and enormous efforts in research and development, followed by rapid upscaling into mainstream production. This will alter the economics of entire regions and industries , and produce significant shifts in the balance of economic power.

There are obvious implications for the rate of return on longterm investments. Given that such action is imperative, and will have major repercussions for the financial services sector, then the industry should take an active part in preparing the framework and in its implementation. Munich Re said the number of what it categorizes as natural disasters rose by more than to in , although the number of deaths was much lower than in because less populated areas were affected.

It said 10, people died as a result of natural disasters in compared to 75, in Otherwise the risk situation for insurers in many of the world's regions will intensify," said Gerhard Berz, head of its geo-science research group. Storms were clearly at the top of the list of disasters, accounting for 73 percent of all insured losses, while floods accounted for 23 percent of insured losses.

Flooding which hit Mozambique in February making half a million people homeless was the year's biggest catastrophe. The cyclone season in the Pacific and North Atlantic produced a typical number of hurricanes and typhoons and cyclones, it said. The countries affected came off relatively lightly.

Joel N. Gordes Environmental Energy Solutions P. Box Riverton, CT "Dedicated to executing ideas, not killing them! From cpeacocke at care. With regards to your questions on the possible uses of mixed biomass derived pyrolysis liquids as a source of fuel gas for fuel cells, some work has been done in this area at NREL.

I previoulsy posted a reference to this work:. Chornet, E. Wang, D. Pyrolysis of lignocellulosic biomass and reforming of the pyroligneous oils are being studied as a strategy for producing hydrogen. A process of this nature has the potential to be cost competitive with conventional means of producing hydrogen.

Thermodynamic modeling of the major constituents of the bio-oil has shown that reforming is possible within a wide range of temperatures and steam-to- carbon ratios. In addition, screening tests aimed at catalytic reforming of model compounds to hydrogen using Ni-based catalysts have achieved essentially complete conversion to H2.

Existing data on the catalytic reforming of oxygenates have been studied to guide catalyst selection. A process diagram for the pyrolysis and reforming operation is discussed, as are initial production cost estimates.

A window of opportunity clearly exists if the bio-oil is first refined to yield valuable oxygenates so that only a residual fraction is used for hydrogen production. The simple answer to this one is no, due to the propeties of biomass derived , raw fast pyrolysis liquids.

The Effective Hydrogen Index of pyrolysis liquids is less than zero [value needs to be above 1 for catalystic processing], therefore any attempts to catalytically upgrade the vapours or liquids to a more hydrocarbon-type fuel will lead to severe coking of the catalyst and a very expensive, since a source of hydrogen is additionally required. Raw liquids with a water content of This is one of the major stumbling blocks in the development of catalytic processing of the liquids, asides from the high hydrogen requirement, in the upgrading of pyrolysis liquids to transport fuels.

Biomass fast pyrolysis is not economically viable, certainly not lower, at this time with the scael of technology available, than conventional fuels. Some companies may claim its possible, but I would like to see irrefutable evidence that it is. I'm afraid that's a problem as indicated above. I hope that answers your questions.

In that regard ethanol and biodiesel are OK fuels. It is the investment and labor costs associated with growing crops which make them too expensive to compete with fossil fuel. Another thought is that you are using food or postential food crops for energy in a world where people are starving, but that is another consideration. From douglasmcc at cnl. Carl Sagans predistion of the rapid temperature drop due to nuclear explosions, is based on the fact that these events place large quantities of soot and dirt particles into the upper atmosphere, where the jet streams spread them around the world.

Research scientists working on the impact of nuclear war on the world environment have determined that , 20 megaton explosions would provide the necessary soot and partially burnt particles to cause a worldwide nuclear winter. The end result being the collapse and demise of human life. Large fires such as last years in the western USA, the fires in Indonesia, Brazil have a noticeable measurable impact upon global weather and temperatures.

Large volcanic eruptions such as Mt St Helens, Karakatoa? Particle size and the dark colouring of the soot. So, pardon the pun, The Burning Question is what specific role does CO2, methane etc play in this process. Researchers working in the Antarctic are looking for traces that will allow them to determine why the last ice age some 19, years ago, abruptly ended. Others have found that global temperature changes up or down can occur at speeds of several decades rather than centuries, but as of yet they haven't released what has driven these changes to occur.

Freezing of mammoths with food in their mouths does indicate rapid freezing and then covering. But as for smaller life forms exhibiting a brief living response when thawed is most likely not correct. If it were then the field of cryogenics who be going ahead in leaps and bounds.

Since all life forms generally have water in their cells, ice crystals form in the cells as they freeze rupturing the cell walls and hence resulting in a dead cell when thawed. Exceptions being where we can have almost instantaneous freezing of the entire organisim due to its small size.

Liquid nitrogen is used to provide the freezing mechanism but still would not be sufficient to allow a living creature to be frozen and then thawed back to life. Which I suppose brings us back to the central question. What processes can we use to create the energy we require to produce, process, distribute, consume the products we require to survive food, clothing, transport etc. That are environmentaly sustainable.

Where does the role of CO2 etc sit in this. Are we facing catastrophic prospective climatic changes or long term gradual changes? A subject well covered in the book and movie "Planet of. Tallow as an ingrediant in animal rations is most likely no longer allowed due to BSE and so its value at present could be approaching zero. Parker ttu. From kchishol at fox. ADA9E montana.

Emulsification of oil does indeed work. It is not at all a question of "burning water", but simply that the emulsified fuel progresses through the combustion process more efficiently. In the mid's, when there was the "other Oil Crisis", I installed such a system, that emulsified 3, USGPH 6 oil, for use in blast furnaces to replace metallurgical coke very successfully.

The fundamental Gunnerman Process was probably similar in concept. However, at the time of the Cat Test Work, it seemed that there was a lot of hocus pocus and slip-shod thinking abounding. There were many super shallow discussions on the process on alt. The mis-direction may have been a result of simple ignorance, or alternatively, it may have been allowed to exist, simply as a way to protect the fundamental technology which the test work was attempting to prove, or disprove.

I few years back drought caused the burning of large areas of forest here in Central America. Climate Change due to global warming leads to severe drought. Eventually we have the mother of all forest fires. This blocks sun's rays. Plummets temperatures. Triggers ice age. However, Greenhouse Warming is more controversial because it implies that we know what is causing the Earth to warm.

Although it is known for certain that atmospheric concentrations of these greenhouse gases are rising dramatically due to human activity, it is less well known exactly how increases in these greenhouse gases factor in the observed changes of the Earth's climate and global temperatures. There are so many variables to be concerned with. Apparently computer modeling of CO2 increase fits well with the actual climatic changes we are witnessing -- in this past ten years. Maybe in this present situation -- weather patterns of the past 'nds of years is of no practical value in plotting future weather.

We have added some new variables. All 10 years rank among the 15 warmest, and include the 6 warmest years on record. This warmth is unusual for the past century, but what about in the context of past centuries or millennia? It is only through the reconstruction of past climate that we can truly evaluate the magnitude of this warming.

Keep an open mind! Do not disregard CO2 from fossil fuel combustion as a non-viable reason for global warming simply because mass-media is pushing this view. The global weather situation is always an incredible balance of countless variables. We do not know just how small a change in any variable will trigger a cascade of changes.

An incredibly huge amount of fossil fuels have been converted to free CO2 in the past 50 years at an ever escalating rate -- enough to make a measurable difference in our atmosphere. Can anyone be so sure this makes no difference to our global climatic conditions? One other theory which has been put forward which may feed into your "ice age" scenario is that some scientists have said that global warming would change the saline concentrations in the oceans and lead to a weakening of the Northern Conveyor which influences the Gulf Stream which helps to keep Europe at higher latitudes than ourselves warm.

This would bring a "deep freeze" at least to them. Part of the cascade! A "taste" if you will. Box Riverton, CT Global Warming and Drought -- the possible consequences to burning of forests, creation of large cloud formations, blocking solar radiation. One more "cascade" in a series that occurs with global warming. What are the consequences? In the same year, Canada suffered its fifth-highest fire occurrence season in 25 years.

Starting in , three years of record low rainfall plagued northern Mexico. Compounding these vulnerabilities is the uncertainty of the effects of human activities and global warming on climate in general and on drought in particular. Now the wind grew strong and hard, it worked at the rain crust in the corn fields. Little by little the sky was darkened by the mixing dust, and the wind felt over the earth, loosened the dust and carried it away.

Droughts occur throughout North America, and in any given year, at least one region is experiencing drought conditions. The major drought of the 20th century, in terms of duration and spatial extent, is considered to be the s Dust Bowl drought which lasted up to 7 years in some areas of the Great Plains. The s Dust Bowl drought, memorialized in John Steinbeck's novel, The Grapes of Wrath, was so severe, widespread, and lengthy that it resulted in a mass migration of millions of people from the Great Plains to the western U.

Just how unusual was the Dust Bowl drought? Was this a rare event or should we expect drought of similar magnitude to occur in the future? Rainfall records used to evaluate drought extend back years, and are too short to answer these questions. However, these questions can be answered by analyzing records from tree rings, lake and dune sediments, archaeological remains, historical documents and other environmental indicators, which can extend our understanding of past climate far beyond the year instrumental record.

This Web site was designed to explain how paleoclimatic data can provide information about past droughts and about the natural variability of drought over timescales of decades to millennia. We note that droughts are a world wide phenomenon and affect the global community. However, the focus of these Web pages is North America. Drought is an elusive climate event. The effects of drought, economically and environmentally, are often subtle to begin with, but can end up being incredibly costly and devastating.

How do we define drought? What have we learned about past droughts? How can information about past drought further our understanding and better prepare us for the droughts of the future? We may say truthfully that we scarcely know a drought when we see one. We welcome the first clear day after a rainy spell. Rainless days continue for a time and we are pleased to have a long spell of such fine weather. It keeps on and we are a little worried. A few days more and we are really in trouble.

The first rainless day in a spell of fine weather contributes as much to the drought as the last, but no one knows how serious it will be until the last dry day is gone and the rains have come again The difficulty of recognizing the onset or end of a drought is compounded by the lack of any clear definition of drought. Drought can be defined by rainfall amounts, vegetation conditions, agricultural productivity, soil moisture, levels in reservoirs and stream flow, or economic impacts.

In the most basic terms, a drought is simply a significant deficit in moisture availability due to lower than normal rainfall. However even this simple definition is complicated when attempts are made to compare droughts in different regions.

For example, a drought in New Jersey would make for wet conditions in the deserts of Arizona! Drought, as measured by scientists, is defined by evaluating precipitation, temperature, and soil moisture data, for the present and past months. A number of different indices of drought have been developed to quantify drought, each with its own strengths and weaknesses.

Drought conditions are monitored constantly using these and other indices to provide current information on drought-impacted regions. Because of the elusive nature of drought, we do not think of droughts in the same way as other weather-related catastrophes, such as floods, tornadoes, and hurricanes. However, although droughts may be less spectacular, they are often more costly than other types of natural disasters, and no region in North America is immune to periodic droughts.

Although the major droughts of the 20th century, the s Dust Bowl and the s droughts, had the most severe impact on the central U. Florida suffered from the drought along with the states of Oklahoma and Texas. The government of Mexico declared five northern states disaster zones in , and nine in The U. West Coast experienced a six-year drought in the late s and early s, causing Californians to take aggressive water conservation measures.

Even the typically humid northeastern U. In fact, almost every year, some region of the North America experiences drought. Drought is a natural hazard that cumulatively has affected more people in North America than any other natural hazard Riebsame et al. Beyond the monetary costs, the impacts of drought on society, the economy, and the natural environment are tremendous.

Although measures such as development of irrigation systems, financial aid programs and interbasin water transfers have been undertaken to mitigate the impacts of drought in recent decades, some regions of the U. Although irrigation has made it possible to grow crops on land that was once considered barren, this practice has led to a reliance on ground water and surface storage in reservoirs.

Increasing demands on water have resulted in the depletion of ground water reserves in many areas, which can make the removal of additional water uneconomical if not impossible, especially during a drought. In many urban areas of the semi-arid and arid western U. Along with this increased vulnerability, concern exists because some research suggests that drought in the future may be amplified in certain areas due to changes in climate variability and extremes resulting from global warming.

Scientists have much to learn about the characteristics of drought and the conditions that lead to the persistence of drought. The two major droughts of the 20th century, the s Dust Bowl drought and the s drought, lasted five to seven years and covered large areas of the continental U. Complete scientific understanding of how and why these two drought episodes occurred remains elusive.

Most instrumental records from thermometers and rain gauges are only about years long, so they are too short to answer this question. However, paleoclimatic proxy data are a valuable tool to investigate this question by providing a longer context within which to evaluate the reoccurrence of these major droughts over hundreds to thousands of years. For more complete information on the impacts of drought in North America, see the National Drought Commission report titled "Preparing for Drought in the 21st Century".

The Dust Bowl drought was a natural disaster that severely affected much of the United States during the s. The drought came in three waves, , , and , but some regions of the High Plains experienced drought conditions for as many as eight years. The "dust bowl" effect was caused by sustained drought conditions compounded by years of land Photos from Library of Congress and U.

National Archives management practices that left topsoil susceptible to the forces of the wind. The soil, depleted of moisture, was lifted by the wind into great clouds of dust and sand which were so thick they concealed the sun for several days at a time. They were referred to as" black blizzards [8]". The agricultural and economic damage devastated residents of the Great Plains. The Dust Bowl drought worsened the already severe economic crises that many Great Plains farmers faced.

In the early s, many farmers were trying to recover from economic losses suffered during the Great Depression. To compensate for these losses, they began to increase their crop yields. High production drove prices down, forcing farmers to keep increasing their production to pay for both their equipment and their land. When the drought hit, farmers could no longer produce enough crops to pay off loans or even pay for essential needs.

Even with Federal emergency aid, many Great Plains farmers could not withstand the economic crisis of the drought. Many farmers were forced off of their land, with one in ten farms changing possession at the peak of the farm transfers. PDSI Animation, s and s 6 year time frame. In the aftermath of the Dust Bowl, it was clear that many factors contributed to the severe impact of this drought.

A better understanding of the interactions between the natural elements climate, plants, and soil and human-related elements agricultural practices, economics, and social conditions of the Great Plains was needed. Lessons were learned, and because of this drought, farmers adopted new cultivation methods to help control soil erosion in dry land ecosystems. Subsequent droughts in this region have had less impact due to these cultivation practices. Fueled by post-war economic stability and technological advancement, the s represented a time of growth and prosperity for many Americans.

While much of the country celebrated a resurgence of well-being, many residents of the Great Plains and southwestern United States were suffering. During the s, the Great Plains and the southwestern U. The drought was first felt in the southwestern U.

By , the drought encompassed a ten-state area reaching from the mid-west to the Great Plains, and southward into New Mexico. The area from the Texas panhandle to central and eastern Colorado, western Kansas and central Nebraska experienced severe drought conditions. The drought maintained a stronghold in the Great Plains, reaching a peak in The drought subsided in most areas with the spring rains of Courtesy of Baylor University, Texas Collection The s drought was characterized by both low rainfall amounts and excessively high temperatures.

Kansas experienced severe drought conditions during much of the five-year period, and recorded a negative Palmer Drought Severity Index [9]from until March , reaching a record low in September of A drought of this magnitude creates severe social and economic repercussions and this was definitely the case in the southern Great Plains region.

The drought devastated the region's agriculture. Excessive temperatures and low rainfall scorched grasslands typically used for grazing. With grass scarce, hay prices became too costly, forcing some ranchers to feed their cattle a mixture of prickly pear cactus and molasses.

By the time the drought subsided in , many counties across the region were declared federal drought disaster areas, including of the counties in Texas. However, the s drought was not only the costliest in U. Riebsame et al. The drought, beginning along the west coast and extending into the northwestern U. By , the drought intensified over the northern Great Plains and spread across much of the eastern half of the United States.

This drought affected much of the nation's primary corn and soybean growing areas, where total precipitation for April through June of was even lower than during the Dust Bowl. The drought also encompassed the upper Mississippi River Basin where low river levels caused major problems for barge navigation.

The summer of is well known for the extensive forest fires that burned across western North America, including the catastrophic Yellowstone fire. Forest Fire in Yellowstone. In addition to dry conditions, heat waves during the summer of broke long-standing temperature records in many midwestern and northeastern metropolitan areas. The drought was the first widespread persistent drought since the s and undoubtedly took people by surprise.

Many had not experienced the s drought and others had forgotten about the harsh realities of drought. The financial costs of this drought were an indication that many parts the country are now more vulnerable to drought than ever before. This increased vulnerability was due in part to farming on marginally arable lands and pumping of ground water to the point of depletion. Although surplus grain and federal assistance programs offset the impacts of the drought, these types of assistance programs would be less feasible during a lengthier drought.

What is the likelihood of another Dust Bowl-scale drought in the future? No one is yet able to scientifically predict multi-year or decadal droughts, but the paleoclimatic record can tell us how frequently droughts such as the s Dust Bowl occurred in the past or if droughts of this magnitude are indeed a rare event. If such droughts occurred with some regularity in the past, then we should expect them to occur in the future. The word is derived from the Greek root paleo-, which means ancient, and the term "climate" meaning the weather conditions over an interval of time, usually several decades.

Paleoclimate is climate that existed before humans began collecting instrumental measurements of weather e. Instead of instrumental measurements of weather and climate, paleoclimatologists use natural environmental or proxy records to infer past climate conditions. Paleoclimatology not only includes the collection of evidence of past climate conditions, but the investigation of the climate processes underlying these conditions.

How do we reconstruct drought from paleoclimatic data? Records of rainfall or other variables that reflect drought, such as changes in lake salinity, vegetation, or evidence of blowing sand are preserved in tree-rings, buried in the sediments of sand dunes and lakes, contained within historical documents, and preserved in archaeological remains. These recorders of climate are called proxy climate data - that is they substitute for rain gauges and other instrumental recorders of drought.

By analyzing records taken from these proxy sources of paleodrought data, scientists can extend our records of drought far beyond the year record provided by instruments. To reconstruct drought or drought-related variables from environmental proxy data, the proxy data are calibrated with the instrumental record to determine how well the natural record estimates the climate record.

The mathematical relationship between the proxy data and the climate record is defined, then used to produce a model. The model is then used to reconstruct the instrumental record from the proxy record for the length of the proxy. How does paleoclimatic data help us understand drought? Proxy records from tree rings, lake and dune sediments, historical records, and archaeological remains have all provided information about past droughts in the United States.

Each record provides a piece of the puzzle, and together, they provide a more complete history than any one proxy would. Historical records, such as diaries and newspaper accounts, can provide detailed information about droughts for the last two hundred mid-western and western U. Tree-ring records can extend back years in most areas, and thousands of years in some regions. In trees that are sensitive to drought conditions, tree rings provide a record of drought for each year of the tree's growth.

Lake sediments, if the cores of the sediments are sampled at very frequent intervals, can provide information about variations occurring at frequencies less than a decade in length. Lake level fluctuations can beCalifornia Academy of Sciences Diatom Collection recorded as geologic bath tub rings as beach material sediments are deposited either high further from the center under wetter conditions or lower closer to the center under drier conditions within a basin as the water depth and thus lake level changes in response to drought.

Droughts can increase the salinity of lakes, changing the species of small, lake-dwelling organisms that occur within a lake. Pollen grains get washed or blown into lakes and accumulate in sediments. Different types of pollen in lake sediments reflect the vegetation around the lake and the climate conditions that are favorable for that vegetation.

So, a change in the type of pollen found in sediments from, for example, an abundance of grass pollen to an abundance of sage pollen, can indicate a change from wet to dry conditions. Records of more extreme environmental changes can be found by investigating the layers within sand dunes. The sand layers are interspersed among layers of soil material produced under wetter conditions, between the times when the sand dune was active.

For a soil layer to develop, the climate needs to be wet for an extended period of time, so these layers reflect slower, longer-lasting changes. Taken together, these different proxies record variations in drought conditions on the order of single seasons to decadal and century-scale changes, providing scientists with the information about both rapid and slow changes, and short and long periods of drought.

These records are needed to put individual droughts in perspective, as well as to characterize droughts of the 20th century. Instrumental records of drought for the United States extend back approximately years. These records capture the major 20th century droughts, but are too short to assess the reoccurrence of major droughts such as those of the s and s. As droughts continue to have increasingly costly and devastating impacts on our society, economy and environment, it is becoming even more important to put the severe droughts of the 20th century into a long-term perspective.

This perspective can be gained through the use of paleoclimatic records of drought. Scientists have developed paleoclimatic records of drought from a variety of types of proxy data that span the past hundreds to tens of thousands of years, and longer. These records demonstrate patterns of natural drought variability and allow us to compare 20th century droughts with those of the past.

These records can also be examined in light of what we know about the circulation features that are important to drought today, such as ENSO. Research using both paleoclimatic records of drought and circulation features can determine how slowly changing climate conditions may influence periods of long or more frequent droughts.

The sections below highlight some of the data and studies for four catagories of time, beginning with the 20th century instrumental record of drought, and ending with paleoclimatic records of drought more than two thousand years ago. These studies have yielded much information about climate and drought conditions of the past and demonstrate the usefulness and importance of paleoclimate data.

Links to other web pages on current drought, climate, and ENSO conditions are included as well as information about obtaining these records for the 20th century. Spatial patterns of drought for every year since have been generated from a gridded network of tree-ring reconstructions and are featured in this section.

Highlighted in this section are those periods with droughts that appear to have been more severe than any we have experienced in the 20th century. These records demonstrate that North America experienced periods of extremely dry conditions that were severe and sustained enough to result in the eastward expansion of prairie into forested areas, fluctuations in lake levels, and mobilization of sand dunes over large areas of the Great Plains which are now covered with vegetation.

These changes are also reflected in salinity and chemistry records from sediments of lakes in the northern Great Plains. How is the paleoclimatic record of drought relevant for understanding or predicting drought today, or in the future? The North American record of past drought allows us to determine what has been the range of natural variability of drought over hundreds if not thousands of years.

This long-term perspective is important because although severe droughts have occurred in the 20th century, a more long-term look at past droughts, when climate conditions appear to have been similar to today, indicates that 20th century droughts do not represent the possible range of drought variability.

The paleoclimatic record of past droughts is a better guide than what is provided by the instrumental record alone of what we should expect in terms of the magnitude and duration of future droughts. For example, paleoclimatic data suggest that droughts as severe at the s drought have occurred in central North America several times a century over the past years, and thus we should expect and plan for similar droughts in the future. The paleoclimatic record also indicates that droughts of a much greater duration than any in 20th century have occurred in parts of North American as recently as years ago.

These data indicate that we should be aware of the possibility of such droughts occurring in the future as well. The occurrence of such sustained drought conditions today would be a natural disaster of a magnitude unprecedented in the 20th century. In addition to establishing a baseline of drought variability over the long term, the paleoclimatic record of drought provides information about drought under a range of naturally varying climate conditions, some of which are the same as the climate of today and some which are quite different.

This paleoclimatic perspective can be used to learn about the underlying process and characteristics of drought under very different future climate conditions. The impact of droughts over the last few decades have shown that some regions and sectors of the population are becoming increasingly vulnerable to drought. A number of climate model simulations for doubled CO2 conditions suggest an increased frequency of drought in midcontinental regions e.

Gregory et al, , Mearns et al, whereas other model simulations and recent decadal trends in the instrumental record suggest wetter conditions, at least in the short term, due to an intensification of the hydrologic cycle associated with warmer sea surface temperatures. Better constrained answers to the question of the severity of future droughts requires improved understanding and modeling of the processes underlying the drought behavior exhibited in both the instrumental and the paleoclimate records.

Our understanding of what causes drought conditions to persist for years and decades is far from complete. Much work is needed to comprehensively understand drought and the causes of drought, and to improve drought prediction capabilities. Putting together the pieces of past droughts through the use of paleoclimatic data is a vital part of building this understanding and developing an improved capacity to anticipate droughts in the future.

Focused efforts are needed to bring together paleoclimatic records of past droughts with scientists working to better understand the workings of the climate system. Currently, scientists are working on this sort of focused effort for western Canada. In the Prarie Drought Paleolimnology Project, paleoecological reconstructions will be incorporated into novel models specifically developed for use with long-term climatic data. The models will be used to predict drought frequency, duration and intensity over the next years.

More such efforts are needed to understand the drought across all of North America. Dear Biogenizers, The presumed use of fossil fuels for plant production involves three compoents, fertilizers which are derived from natural gas, i. The use of nitrogen fertilizers is a short cut to increased production which bypasses increased soil nutritional programs which we have been doing for years and the growers use no nitrogen and produce as much or more than neighbors who still use nitrogen fertilizers and suffer the ravages of drought damage induced by high nitrates in the crops and poor nutrient compensation system.

Our sister company, Agronics has done this for decades, much to the chagrin of the chemical and Ag industry which is solely maintained by an artifical system. One recent report showed that application of our geological humus increased productivity than nitrogen. The KSU researcher was very impressed, particularly since it was on dryland corn. Additionally, we can produce all of the nitrogen compounds from biomass through gasification.

LIquid fuels for harvesting: Will the plant oils be adequate to operate the equipment which is used to plant, cultivate, harvest, and transport them to market? That is a real prime question. Otherwise they can be made from biomass through gasification of the non-food valued components. The food market value should be much higher for these components.

Irrigation can be derived from plant stalk residues through gasification. Overall energy balances and economics have to be considered in these aspects. Leland T. Tom -- that certainly would be no problem if you used manual labor and horse for delivery! Maybe if a large segment of the human race returned to productive labor raising food?? Subsistence existence. Hey -- eventually -- when fossil fuels do run out -- and with the present mind set -- that is what we will be returning to.

Just stepping up the clock a little is all. Dear Keith et. It's timing and severity of it's premises are a bit out of line, but there is plenty of evidence to support the underlying assumptions. We have seen that plants will survive on demineralized soils, but not the ones which humans need for support. As an example, Costa Rican and other rain forest soils are demineralzed by heavy rains and will not support high valued crops.

Other crops will grow, but not very well. Latteritic soils which have been deforested will take generations to regrow under demineralized conditions. Under remineralized conditions, their regrowth rate is much faster. As a side note, much of the world's CO2 is stored in limestone.

This is also a supply of CO2 for plant growth. Anyone know how much vs. When applied to soils, it will provide a supply of CO2 to the root system and reduces the amount needed to be gathered through the leaves.

Lime is a prime remineralizing mineral with extraordinary benefits. The problem of feeding humans is more critical than what is the long term climatic implications. It is a matter of economics. Most farmers in the US are going broke and rely upon subsidy of some form to stay in business. Crop prices in real terms are the lowest in the history of the US. The "Global Economy" has decimated the ag production system in this country, making them compete with foreign govermentally subsidized production.

This is a clear and present danger to feeding the population. Unless the growers double or triple their production, they cannot make enough to pay debt and operating expenses. Remineralization is a manner of moving to this goal. By the way, the Mt. Helens eruption was the equivalent of nuclear bombs and did not produce the nuclear winter predicted by Sagan and others.

Pinutabo was probably bigger. Pinutabo's fallout was almost immediately precipitated by a typhoon which hit at the same time as the eruption, a very interesting coincidence which reduced the wide spread effects. I like Hausermann's comments about passing through a cloud which obscures the sun. This would explain many of the events which our history does not.

It may repeat periodically which further explain various life form changes which cannot be otherwise explained. Perhaps we passed through a cloud of lithium which was coincidental to the dinosaur extinction. Lithium is also toxic to growing plants and if present in relatively small quantities, interferes with calcium uptake, reducing plant growth.

The reversal of the polar magnetic fields which appears to occur every kyears may also have an effect, changing the Van Allen belt filtering upon the atmosphere, allowing for incident radiation which is hazardous to animals. Lower animals such as insects and cockroaches seem to survive everything, perhaps they are the meek? Waste oil prices have slumped in Europe because of this, also because of the dioxin scare in Belgium.

Biodiesel companies in Germany and Austria are buying up all they can not only locally but in neighbouring countries, because they can't meet the local demand for biodiesel. There's been research work in Ireland on transesterifying tallow specifically to meet the BSE problem. The quantities of waste oil available are not so small - perhaps yes, if you're thinking of the amounts that would be required to replace all the dinodiesel, but there are companies in the US producing large quantities of biodiesel partly or entirely from waste oils.

And I think waste oil collection is far from optimal. About million people don't have enough food to meet basic daily needs. But that's not because there's not enough food. There's more food per capita now than there's ever been before. And it's a myth that most of it's grown in the rich countries. The US, for instance, is the world's biggest ever food importer.

People starve because they're victims of an inequitable economic system, not because they're victims of scarcity and overpopulation. The links below are good resources on this issue, they've done their homework and they've got their numbers right. Also, of course, a great deal of "food" is grown to feed livestock, not people. With ethanol, for instance, the distillers dried grains by-product is more nutritious than the original unprocessed grain because of the yeast , so in a sense, on a nutritional scale, you get the ethanol for nothing, or less than nothing.

The world today produces enough grain alone to provide every human being on the planet with 3, calories a day. That's enough to make most people fat! And this estimate does not even count many other commonly eaten foods - vegetables, beans, nuts, root crops, fruits, grass-fed meats, and fish.

In fact, if all foods are considered together, enough is available to provide at least 4. That includes two and half pounds of grain, beans and nuts, about a pound of fruits and vegetables, and nearly another pound of meat, milk and eggs. Abundance, not scarcity, best describes the supply of food in the world today. Increases in food production during the past 35 years have outstripped the world's unprecedented population growth by about 16 percent. Indeed, mountains of unsold grain on world markets have pushed prices strongly downward over the past three and a half decades.

Grain prices rose briefly during the early s, as bad weather coincided with policies geared toward reducing overproduction, but still remained well below the highs observed in the early sixties and mid-seventies. All well and good for the global picture, you might be thinking, but doesn't such a broad stroke tell us little? Aren't most of the world's hungry living in countries with food shortages - countries in Latin America, in Asia, and especially in Africa?

Hunger in the face of ample food is all the more shocking in the Third World. According to the Food and Agriculture Organization FAO of the United Nations, gains in food production since have kept ahead of population growth in every region except Africa. Thus, even most "hungry countries" have enough food for all their people right now. This finding turns out to be true using official statistics even though experts warn us that newly modernizing societies invariably underestimate farm production - just as a century ago at least a third of the U.

Moreover, many nations can't realize their full food production potential because of the gross inefficiencies caused by inequitable ownership of resources. Finally, many of the countries in which hunger is rampant export much more in agricultural goods than they import.

Northern countries are the main food importers, their purchases representing Imports by the 30 lowest-income countries, on the other hand, accounted for only 5. Dear gasification list, I made a mistake in the element linked to dinosaur disappearance, it is iridium. Iridium is not toxic to plants. However, any interplanetary cloud with iridium could have done the same thing as a proposed meteorite. How about a meteorite that induced massive volcanism at the same time?

I believe that there is a theory that the comet over Russia exploded at high altitude and the shock wave caused the extensive damage as there were no craters found and ground zero was similar to that of Hiroshima, the trees were still standing as was Hiroshima Castle. I am as interested in GW as anyone on this list, and have expressed my controversial views often here. Using up fossil fuel will avert the next ice age which is now overdue, etc. I like what Peter says below in its analysis and modesty.

I resent the GW mafia that dictates that because they are a majority, they must be correct. One with God constitutes a majority! I DO believe that most of the prescriptions against GW are correct and that we should stop burning up fossil fuel so fast, save a little for our kids and find alternatives before it is too late. Maybe we have heard all the possible arguments and may have to wait for the future to guide us Having hoped to see no more climate change at gasification, I can't help adding to Onar's sensible and humane comment It is the poor people of Brazil that are destroying the Amazon rain forests, not climate change.

Which would you prefer:! I like your hypothesis particularly since it can't be tested But now suppose that some much lower, but temporary and abnormal, level of dust occurred in a relatively tremendous volume of space - the tapered tube through which the Sun's light passes to reach earth? So there is n! Could not such "wisps" be too dilute to even be noticed within a few hundred light years, and yet dense enough to increase by an order of magnitude the absorptive dust level in the Solar System?????

It must also be of no media or political interest - along with the other intriguing ideas presented here through GAS-L - as there is nothing for anyone to insist that something be done about. But meanwhile, the cult of official stature assures that any amateure, non-technical activist or politician can find a warm, fuzzy feeling - a buzz of rightious indignation, by insisting that somebody else be made to incur some great expense or inconvenience to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

But this may all work out for the best.. It provides an essential mythol! Glad to find a sensible person who knows a bit about the GUnnerman story. Some of us go back a long way with Gunnerman I first met him in and he is definitely clever and also a scammer and it is always hard to separate one from the other. Certainly varying smaller amounts of water can be very beneficial. Maybe the motor companies will get this sorted out before we run out of oil, but if it had a real competitive advantage you would think that someone other than Studebaker would have found it.

What it does in seawater spills is complex and interesting. Our product, SeaSweep absorbs the bitumen after the emulsion separates in salt water. See www. So, more science and less smoke and mirrors will make us all hapier - but maybe Rudy Gunnerman poorer. There would certanly be a limit to "restaurant density", so there would be a fair amount of driving for pick-up. Time will tell Emulsifying a small amount of water into diesel makes modest improvements in the performance of diesel fuels.

There is a good reference in my paper cited in this e-mail. The question is -- it worth the effort to maintain the stability of the emulsion during normal fuel storage and movement activities to achieve modest performance improvements? I am not sure at this point. Gunnerman claims special additives but I very much doubt their unique properties.

Perhaps just PR. I proposed making a very economical emulsifier from a biomass source, soy oil. If it were applied to "all" diesel fuel this could be a significant use for soy oil -- perhaps better than biodiesel. My paper is referenced as follows:. Parker, H. Tock, M. The graduate student I was supporting on the project left and I did not push the project further.

I would be pleased to renew this research, if funds were available. No, tallow, as with anyother oil or grease can be heated to F plus where no "living" BSE residues can exist. The residue, "tankage" where there is an effort to perserve the protein value of the dead animals being rendered for animal feed has the potential of BSE. But are prions "living"? I don't know. It's not even certain they cause the thing. Rice, A. As part of a programme to assess bio-diesel production from low-cost materials, the availability of waste oils and fats in Ireland and the EU was assessed, and the behaviour of their esters in vehicles was measured.

The utilisation of beef tallow from BSE risk organisms was given special attention At present this material has no other market and a high disposal cost. Maybe I was a little unclear on the low to nil value for tallow because of BSE.

I was commenting on the use of any animal byproduct in feed ration formulation for livestock. Specifically in response to Harry's remark that it had an economic value higher asa animal food stuff compared to its use in biodiesel. I think the laws that have been enacted because of BSE would preclude the use of any animal byproduct in animal feed formulation, making large quatities available for biodiesel manufacture.

From Ken. Boak at dataflex. As a newcomer to gasification I am still finding my way but it appears clear at this stage that we should be devising new types of prime mover which will run directly on the output of a gasifier, and not attempting to further complicate the internal combustion engine with additional dust separation systems.

I have also on the way, looked at biofuels, and although these appear to be just about economically viable, there does appear to be a lot of chemical processing required to tailor these fuels to the fussy requirements of the modern automotive diesel engine. Even Diesel's prototype would run on raw peanut oil but not now after years of tinkering. There is also the questionable use of methanol and caustic soda currently being used by early amateur biodiesel producers.

Neither of these substances are pleasant and need to be kept out of the environment and water courses. Bioethanol from corn is a fruitless exercise, you would be better off burning the cobs in the fire box of a Steam Locomobile and get more mileage per ton. There is also the disposal of the unused distillate, which in commercial volumes is proving a major headache.

Gasification looks to me to be the ideal solution. You take a raw fuel, all the processing is done within a simple thermal reactor vessel, and the result is a combustible gas, charcoal and lots of excess heat. I was very impressed by Alex English's Big Top gasifier intended for batch mode production.

I would be keen to see this adapted to use steam reformation of the charcoal, in situations where the charcoal was not used directly for stove heating, iron smelting or other foundry work. I can visualise a small metal craftworking community, with a gasifier at the centre of the village, deriving from it all their heat, light and power needs.

The Tesla turbine is simple to build from stamped metal discs and virtually bomb-proof. A new 10" diameter hp design has emerged from the fertile endeavours of Frank Germano. I leave you with his web site to ponder. Boak dataflex. Tesla Turbines are mind bogglingly wasteful. If I needed to generate power with steam on a small scale I'd look at a uniflow reciprocating engine. Figure on a worst case basis you'd quadruple your output over the Tesla Turbine.

A current British government estimate is that , tonnes of used cooking oil is available there per annum. In fact that's all that's collected but per-capita usage is 35kg per annum of which 15kg to 20kg is used in fryers, which works out at more than 1 million tonnes per annum. The government also suggests used oil will get cheaper, but British biodiesel people doubt that. They think as demand increases because of anticipated biodiesel demand the price will rise to make it worth the collectors' while.

I think you're right, the BSE laws and the other food scares will change that. Most of the people I know there still get it for nothing and have more than they can use. Anyway, if it's not fit for human consumption, which it sure ain't, BSE or not, then how can it be fit for animal consumption if the animals are raised for human consumption? That always puzzled me and I see people are starting to ask that question following the food scares.

Fit for soap or biodiesel and that's all. You sure didn't look very hard. In Germany pure biodiesel is sold at filling stations and there's a shortage of supply sale price is cheaper than petrodiesel. In the US total annual production of biodiesel is many millions of gallons a year. Wrong - modern diesels can and do run on raw vegetable oil, even waste vegetable oil, unprocessed in any way except for filtering.

It has to be pre-warmed, a simple matter. And also by highly professional large-scale industrial producers in the US, Europe and elsewhere. The "early amateurs" are using reliable technology and it's developing fast.

Collectively they probably have a few million trouble-free miles behind them by now. They're also the ones who're doing the most to push the issue, with at least as much success as the industry lobbies. It's worth pushing because the environmental benefits are great and diesels will continue to do most of the moving for a long time to come.

There are no toxic by-products or effluents from making biodiesel. Biodiesel itself is less toxic than table salt and more biodegradable than sugar. If what you say about the mileage is true, then how come it's being produced in commercial volumes? HUGE commercial volumes? Why do you consider corn as the only option? And what is this extraordinary conclusion that it's "fruitless" based on, flying in the face of such massive daily evidence to the contrary? In the US, motorists in Arizona alone consumed over 40 million gallons of ethanol in , other states used much more.

As for distillate "disposal", you might as well say that pigs, cattle and poultry are a fruitless exercise because of the troublesome manure "disposal" methods used by some large-scale industrial farming outfits in the US.

Real farmers don't "dispose" of manure. It's a good solution to specific problems or rather a good technology for specific applications , as are biofuels. There is no across-the-board ideal solution. Anyway technical performance and even economic criteria are probably not the major barriers to acceptance of energy technology. This is what Gille Saint-Hilaire says about it Quasiturbine : "Energy efficiency seems to be an important criterion only if it can be done with old technologies There are two kinds of inventions, the ones which complete existing technologies, and the ones which replace them.

If you invent something, better make sure it is of the first kind! As an automaker's engineer told me 6 years ago, piston engine companies have invested billions in engine development over 50 years, and they will spend millions to defend them The truth is that the credibility and value of a technology depend very much on who owns it. The Quasiturbine exists, it works, it does what it claims, and it's viable. It could be an ideal wheel motor, for instance.

But that's all beside the point - Saint-Hilaire isn't planning on taking on the transportation market any time soon. The same will apply to Stirlings and Tesla turbines and so on, even when or if they do exist in viable form. They'll be marginal - don't hold your breath for Frank Germano's Tesla turbine to "revolutionize the power industry"! For good reasons or bad mostly bad , the prime mover is the IC engine, particularly diesel. Of course we should seek better answers, but biofuels are the most effective way to improve the existing situation, now and for decades to come, short of a real breakthrough in liquid fuel cells or something.

And probably even then. The smoking really gets to you. Luckily, I am standing behind the dealers so I escape the worst of it. Since January, half the casino floor is supposed to be non-smoking but most tables still have smokers. I'd like to work in the non-smoking area but pregnant women have priority. After I finish my shift I have some breakfast and get home around I then sleep until around and get up.

I'm lucky, I sleep very deeply. In the afternoon, if I'm not studying, I'll run errands, exercise or see my friends - around half of them work in casinos too. Working at a casino eight hours is eight hours. You don't need to bring any work home. It's not like working with some companies when you have overtime. I'm studying for my bachelor degree in Gaming and Recreation Management. My company pays the tuition fees and the degree is designed for people working in the casinos.

Each day they have a class in the morning and evening, each with the same teaching, so I can always make one or the other. I've just finished my third year - next year is the last. It might lead to a promotion but I can't bank on it - these days everyone has a degree. My girlfriend works at another casino as a dealer. Some periods we work the same shifts, sometimes not. It's not easy to see each other. We will get married after I've finished my degree.

We've saved up half the money we need. Macau has changed very, very fast. Before I used to go downtown, but now local people like me don't go because there are so many tourists. You can't say whether this is good or bad because Macau only has gambling.

Las Vegas has been going for 40 years so I think Macau has a long way to go - we've just had 10 years so far. I only gamble myself at Chinese New Year. I go with my girlfriend, my family and just play for fun. Before I believed in luck a little bit, but now after working in a casino, I know the casino always wins. We use cookies to give you the best experience on our website. By clicking the 'Accept' button below, you agree to our use of cookies in accordance with our updated Privacy Policy.

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