What's the Endgame with Ozone?
I keep hearing politicians referring to man-made-induced climate change is settled science. After all, Governor Gavin Newsom recently issued an executive order to stop selling fossil-fueled vehicles starting in 2050. I searched the Internet looking for Governor Newsom’s scientific credentials but failed to find them. He probably got them from the same place his predecessor did, Jerry Brown. Affectionately know as Governor Moonbeam, Brown signed legislation in September 2018 that will force California to use 50%, then 60%, then 100% renewable energy by the years, 2026, 2030, and 2045, respectively. Hydropower and nuclear power are not to be included in the mix. Currently, about 43% of electrical power generated in California is by natural gas combustion turbine generators.
As a former project director of multi-billion dollar industrial projects on multiple continents I attest to the fact that it takes at least 10 years minimum from inception to start-up of a large industrial project. How many new electric power generation projects are in the queue? Check the California Energy Commission website for a clue. I have a hard time trying to discern where the projects that need to be built are even applying for a permit/license to operate.
When you want more information about where California gets its electric power go here or look at the table below for the year 2019 data:
I will be the first to admit that I was a skeptic about anthropogenic global warming (AGW). Then I remembered the hoopla about refrigerant fluid’s dastardly effect on ozone allegedly causing an ozone hole in the southern hemisphere. World nations agreed that chlorofluorocarbons (a.k.a., freon) and a host of about 100 other ozone depleting substances (ODS) were adversely affecting the ozone layer and banned them from further use via what was called the Montreal Protocol signed Sept. 15, 1987. The phasing out of these ODS were scheduled over decades. Developed nations suffered the brunt first. Freon was phased out by this year in developed nations per the Protocol. The less developed nations have a greater duration for phase out ODS lagging their start 25 years later than the developed nations. It almost seems like the Montreal Protocol was a dry run test for the “phasing out” of carbon dioxide and resultant transfer of wealth from developed to less developed nations. Oddly enough, China and India would fall into the latter category of development.In a little more than nine (9) years if 2019 data remained constant, California would need to generate (or buy) 60% of 200,475 Gwh of electricity or a little over 120,000 GWh. The current amount of renewables is about half of that required (64,366 GWh from the table above).
In my humble opinion, as a practicing Catholic like Newsom and Brown, I believe in miracles, but God is not going to help us out on this one. You can also take into consideration that as you phase out fossil fuel use for transportation, electrical power demand will increase and additional transmission and distribution lines and associated other equipment will be required. Are power utilities going to bankroll this transformation? I will not get into the obvious challenges of intermittent power production via renewables and the need to have more power generation than fossil fuels and requisite power storage (batteries). Where is the outrage from the greenies? Each electric vehicle has about 25 pounds of very poisonous lithium. It does not grow on trees and there is not much George Soros action on stopping lithium producers as his minions challenged us in the south Gobi desert for extracting copper.
There have been conspiracy theories that this phaseout of freon was coincident with the expiring patent that DuPont had held since 1928 on this very profitable chemical. The inventors proved how non-poisonous freon was by drinking some of it during a press conference. Skeptics, such as former Governor of Washington State, Dr. Dixie Lee Ray, on freon’s impact to ozone noted that it is four times heavier than air and questioned how it rises in the upper atmosphere to kill the ozone layer. When I moved to Southern California in 1965, I remember frequent “smog alerts." Ozone was being generated by the massive number of automobiles whose emissions provided the recipe for ozone. One could not see the San Gabriel mountains from the I-10 those days due to ozone. We were using freon as a refrigerant then and I imagine leaks were plentiful but it didn’t seem to counter the trapped ozone from the typical inversion layer in the LA Basin. Settled science, huh?
The experts agree that the ozone layer is our protection from the harmful effects of the solar rays. In other words, ozone acts as a buffer to solar rays to minimize heating the earths surface from the sun. The following figure shows the percent UV (305 nm wavelength ultraviolet light) irradiance change by latitude from 1979 to 2009. These data were collected and measured by Jay Herman, NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt Maryland. This data was extracted from a report from Anthony Watts from Watt’s Up With That web page on 17 March 2010. Negative latitudes represent the Southern Hemisphere whereas positive latitudes represent the Northern Hemisphere. This points toward the ozone hole in the southern hemisphere above Antarctica.
The following figure below shows the relative five years (2013 -2016) average ozone levels by latitude:
Dobson units represent ozone thickness. One Dobson Unit (DU) equals 0.001 cm. For example, at the equator the ozone layer thickness measured averaged abut 2.4 mm. The South Pole was measured at close to 2.6mm. At the North Pole it was closer to 4.2 mm. According to NASA Earth Observatory, the South Pole historical ozone measurements were:
17 Sep 79 – 194 DU
7 Oct 89 – 108 DU
9 Oct 06 – 82 DU
1 Oct 10 – 118 DU
Here is the reference.
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration has a lot of data if one is inclined to check. I plotted, for example, their data on annual mean temperature recorded in San Diego California for 40 years since 1980:
I added a linear trend line. Wow! This tells me that climate changes but it all averages out in this simple 40-year recent snippet of data while ozone depletion was at its biggest concern.
Here is a reference location on the NOAA website for 2010:
If the temperature is relatively constant what is the issue with carbon dioxide? Over essentially the same period, global mean carbon dioxide has increased from 340 ppm to 410 ppm per NOAA :
As I said earlier, NOAA has lots of interesting data. They monitor Direct Solar Radiation at five or six places in the US. I took the data available from Desert Rock Nevada monthly average direct solar radiation readings (watts per square meter) from August 1998 through August 2020 and made a simple Excel curve:
Here’s what raw data looks like from their website for Desert Rock, Nevada.
Again, I added a linear trend line that Excel calculates automatically like the San Diego temperature data. Wow! It too is flat albeit for a 23-year reporting period vs. the 40-year period for temperatures.
Are you as confused as I am? Carbon dioxide in the atmosphere increased 1.75 ppm per year over 40 years yet the average annual temperature remained the same (San Diego) and direct solar radiation remained the same (Desert Rock). Climate changes. Duh! It all averages out, doesn’t it? Then why are these people in power driving us to a more costly form of power?
I have one last point to make. Governor Newsom was quick to point out to President Trump when he visited California about his concern about the wildfires, that the federal government owns nearly 46% of the land in California. American Thinker published an article I wrote in September about the wildfires. I went through an analysis using published data that through August 30, 2020, nearly 1.67 million acres had burned this year. This equated to more than double the carbon dioxide emitted annually by the 15.1 million vehicles operating in California. Less than 25% of the wildfires occurred on federal lands. Another roughly 2.5 million acres went up in flames since the end of August and lo and behold most of the additional acreage is reported as federal lands. Were any of these fires on federal lands the result of other fires crossing over?
Land mismanagement and carbon mismanagement by not following “the science” seems to be some of Gavin Newsom’s strongest traits. Does he get them from Auntie Nancy?