Cycle 24 solar activity looked liked it had peaked somewhere around March of 2011 at about 68. But it hadn’t. The smoothed International Sunspot (SS) number is currently around 82 around as shown by the dashed blue line on this chart:
More detail can be seen on the following chart where the activity in November is up from October. Both SS and solar flux (F10.7 cm) peaked at about 170 in November.
Solar Cycle 24 is still much less active than Solar Cycle 23 as can be seen in the chart below:
The green line is the predicted path of the smoothed International SS number. This time the turn down in solar activity may actually be the “maximum” for Solar Cycle 24.
An El Nino is happening now. It should continue into next year. Early indications were that it would be very weak, but it has picked up some strength. This event is likely to have an effect and may even break the run of more than 18-year pause in global temperatures. Solar Cycle 24’s low solar activity might offset the El Nino with the “pause’ continuing. Nobody knows.
Probably the most comprehensive discussions of the what and where-fore of an El Nino are by Bob Tisdale postings. Clicking here will direct you to his postings.
President Obama announced a “historic” (probably should have said “hysterical”) agreement with China regarding greenhouse gases. The President says we will reduce CO2 emissions by an economy-wide targets by 26%-28% below its 2005 level in 2025. This will require an equivalent reduction of the use of fossil fuels (oil, natural gas and coal). China will continue to increase its CO2 emissions to sometime around 2030 and to make best efforts to peak early and intends to increase the share of non-fossil fuels in primary energy consumption to around 20% by 2030. So, the US will incur sharp increases in the cost of energy over this period of time. China gets the green light to use the cheapest form of energy production until at least 2030.
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Henry Lee of the Harvard Kennedy School reports the Chinese government cannot make their people buy electric cars. The American “Green” press insists that China is the leader in green technology and that they want to join in a pact to reduce CO2 emissions. Well if you watch what the Chinese do rather than what they say, you would know they have no intention of cutting back on the use of fossil fuels.
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Posted in Alternative Energy, Batteries, China, CO2, Coal, Electric Vehicles, Electricity from Coal, Environment, fossil fuels, Personal Automobiles, US Auto Manufacturers