Tokyo Gas building Japan’s first big offshore wind farm…as a start

Tokyo Gas Co. plans to develop one of Japan’s largest offshore wind projects as the nation looks to a major expansion of the technology to achieve net-zero emissions by 2050.

The 600-megawatt facility — about 30 times larger than the nation’s existing capacity — is planned to be built off the coast of Chiba prefecture, east of Tokyo, if it gains approval from the government, a company spokesman said on Wednesday. Tokyo Gas joined a consortium with Shizen Energy Inc. and Canada’s Northland Power Inc. in order to develop the project…

Offshore wind developments are key to Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga’s pledge for Japan to become emissions neutral by the middle of the century, and the government has thrown its support behind developing a number of offshore blocks. Tokyo Gas is one of just a handful of Japanese utilities that have committed to a net-zero emissions target…

Capacity in offshore wind in Japan may reach 10 gigawatts by 2030 and 30 gigawatts by 2040, according to the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry. The nation currently has just 20 megawatts of capacity.

Once you get rolling, aside from whatever is your nation’s style in useless bureaucrats, wind power is sensible and easy to grow. I’m not talking about political sleaze or budget weenies. Just the technology.

Reminder…

…A Reminder Of How Gorgeous Earth Is


Father and son catch fish inside a cave in Vietnam during monsoon season.

A reminder of how gorgeous our world is — you know, back before all we were thinking about was COVID-19 and lockdowns and vaccine trials?

Take a look at the winning entries of the 2020 Siena International Photo Awards, an annual contest organized by a group of photographers and enthusiasts from Siena, Italy, that aims to showcase images of beauty, culture and nature across the globe.

Same as it ever was.

World Leaders commit to Pledge for Nature, Environmental Recovery

Worldwide, the natural environment is straining under the weight of a myriad of threats, and time is quickly running out to stem the damage before it becomes irreversible. The urgency of the situation prompted leaders from 64 countries around the world to sign a Pledge for Nature on Sept. 28, committing to work together to put ecosystems—land, ocean, and freshwater—on a path toward sustainability. The group released the pledge ahead of the Sept. 30 United Nations Summit on Biodiversity, which will bring together heads of state and other government representatives under the theme of “Urgent action on biodiversity for sustainable development.”

Can you guess which “advanced” nation hasn’t yet decided if it should sign on to such a radical proposal?

What makes hurricanes stall?

A lot can go wrong when hurricanes stall. Their destructive winds last longer. The storm surge can stay high. And the rain keeps falling

Research shows that stalling has become more common for tropical cyclones in the North Atlantic since the mid-20th century and that their average forward speed has also slowed.

The Arctic has been warming about twice as fast as the mid-latitudes, where most of the U.S. is located. That’s changing the distribution, or gradient, of temperature between the Arctic and the mid-latitudes. And that can affect the steering currents, such as those associated with the Bermuda high.

On average, the forward speed of hurricanes has been slowing down. Simulations of tropical storm behavior have suggested that this slowing will continue as average global temperatures warm, particularly in the mid-latitudes…

A warmer atmosphere also means storms can tap into more moisture. As temperature increases, it’s easier for water to evaporate into vapor…If a storm slows, and if it has access to more moisture, it can dump more rain and produce a greater storm surge due to the slow motion.

RTFA. Even more interesting, mostly unnerving, factors affecting the course of hurricanes to come.

National Hurricane Center used all their names — then, two more storms arrived!


Forecast Landfall for Tropical Storm Beta

Here’s how active this year’s Atlantic hurricane season has been: When Tropical Storm Wilfred formed on Sept. 18, the National Hurricane Center exhausted its list of storm names for only the second time since naming began in 1950. Within hours, two more storm had formed – now known as Alpha and Beta.

Even more surprising is that we reached the 23rd tropical storm of the year, Beta, more than a month earlier than in 2005, the only other year on record with so many named storms.

So, why is the Atlantic so active this year? Meteorologists like myself have been following a few important differences, including many tropical storms forming closer to the U.S. coast.

RTFA, examine the cause-and-effect relationships that weather scientists examine before forecasting. Reflect upon climate change…and how and why it is happening. C’mon, you can do all that. And, living in an almost-democracy, you have as strong a mandate as any politicians parked in some executive suite.

Sound of two black holes colliding

With a nod to Zen students.

“Far out in the uncharted backwaters of the unfashionable end of the western spiral arm of the Galaxy lies a small unregarded yellow sun. Orbiting this at a distance of roughly ninety-two million miles is an utterly insignificant little blue green planet whose ape-descended life forms are so amazingly primitive that they still think digital watches are a pretty neat idea.”

Douglas Adams, “The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy” [originally a radio comedy broadcast on BBC Radio 4 in 1978]