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Old 11-03-2011, 07:22 PM   #276 (permalink)
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Global warming is doing two very bad things to the gulf stream. First, melting glaciers in Greenland are cooling down the gulf stream, and second the opening up of the northwest passage means the water can continue north instead of turning right and warming up Europe. This is likely the reason why Europe has been experiencing unusually cold winters the last two years, and probably again this year.
There is no evidence that melting Greenland glaciers, which flow into the top end of the North Atlantic Drift, are cooling down the Gulf Stream. Reports in the last decade that it was being cooled have since been disproved with current fluctuations being seen as part of a natural cycle. This article highlights the findings of NASA's JPL but I believe most other oceanographers agree - that is not to say it won't happen, and some models do predict it, but it hasn't happened yet. If it does I doubt the reality will match the models because it deals with the physics of oceans and currents which we still don't fully understand.

Recent cold European winters are also being put down to natural climate variability by meteorologists and are little different from those in the middle of the last century, and are much warmer than those two and a half centuries ago. Ahhh - those were the days, skating and roast chestnuts at the Frost Fair on the Thames.
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Old 11-03-2011, 07:23 PM   #277 (permalink)
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But you understand that when the thingy goes up 1 line on the magic hot stuff measurer, something happens to the brrr cold hard water-rock-like stuff, right?
I think the last time she was abducted by aliens they inserted the probe in the wrong body part.
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Old 11-03-2011, 07:29 PM   #278 (permalink)
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The opening up of the northwest passage is good for European trade to East Asia, but it is bad news to European climate.

Europe is very north compared to North America. Cannes, France, famous for its topless beaches and hot weather, is at the same latitude as Toronto, Canada, or Milwaukee, Wisconsin. London is at the same latitude as Calgary, and Scotland is just as far north as Alaska.

The reason why these latitudes are warmer in Europe than they are in North America is because of a warm water gulf stream that runs along the Atlantic Mid Ocean Ridge bringing warm tropical water from Africa. The gulf stream heads north along the ridge then blocked by Greenland and Arctic ice sheets, it turns right and lands in Scandinavia, making all of Europe warmer than it should be.

Global warming is doing two very bad things to the gulf stream. First, melting glaciers in Greenland are cooling down the gulf stream, and second the opening up of the northwest passage means the water can continue north instead of turning right and warming up Europe. This is likely the reason why Europe has been experiencing unusually cold winters the last two years, and probably again this year.
The Wikipedia entry about the Northwest Passage says that it's open "again"... do you know when it was last open?

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There has been speculation that with the advent of climate change the passage may become clear enough of ice to again permit safe commercial shipping for at least part of the year. On August 21, 2007, the Northwest Passage became open to ships without the need of an icebreaker. According to Nalan Koc of the Norwegian Polar Institute this is the first time it has been clear since they began keeping records in 1972.[4][15] The Northwest Passage opened again on August 25, 2008.[16]
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Old 11-03-2011, 07:40 PM   #279 (permalink)
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There is no evidence that melting Greenland glaciers, which flow into the top end of the North Atlantic Drift, are cooling down the Gulf Stream. Reports in the last decade that it was being cooled have since been disproved with current fluctuations being seen as part of a natural cycle. This article highlights the findings of NASA's JPL but I believe most other oceanographers agree - that is not to say it won't happen, and some models do predict it, but it hasn't happened yet. If it does I doubt the reality will match the models because it deals with the physics of oceans and currents which we still don't fully understand.

Recent cold European winters are also being put down to natural climate variability by meteorologists and are little different from those in the middle of the last century, and are much warmer than those two and a half centuries ago. Ahhh - those were the days, skating and roast chestnuts at the Frost Fair on the Thames.

I prefer to go to the source but I do thank you for the lead.

NASA Study Finds Atlantic 'Conveyor Belt' Not Slowing - NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory

ETA: I found this paragraph to be interesting:

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Without the heat carried by this circulation system, the climate around the North Atlantic -- in Europe, North America and North Africa -- would likely be much colder. Scientists hypothesize that rapid cooling 12,000 years ago at the end of the last ice age was triggered when freshwater from melting glaciers altered the ocean's salinity and slowed the overturning rate. That reduced the amount of heat carried northward as a result.
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Old 11-03-2011, 08:31 PM   #280 (permalink)
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I can't track down the actual DOE page where this stems from, but it's appropriate to this conversation, I believe.

Biggest Jump Ever in Global Warming Gases - TIME
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Old 11-03-2011, 10:39 PM   #281 (permalink)
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I can't track down the actual DOE page where this stems from, but it's appropriate to this conversation, I believe.

Biggest Jump Ever in Global Warming Gases - TIME
That article is somewhat slanted. It refers to CO2 as "pollution". It's not pollution to plants, they need it to survive. Oh, and we exhale CO2, I guess that makes us polluters.

Just another reason to stay away from secondary sources like AP news stories. Use them to track down original sources, sure, but you have to look out for bias from the story writer.
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Old 11-04-2011, 07:00 AM   #282 (permalink)
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Old 11-04-2011, 08:33 AM   #283 (permalink)
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I agree. That's why I've been trying to find the original report, with no luck.
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Old 11-04-2011, 04:15 PM   #284 (permalink)
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The Wikipedia entry about the Northwest Passage says that it's open "again"... do you know when it was last open?
Ariane was responding to my post, above hers, on that same page, where I discussed the Northwest passage. It was first open to non-icebreaking ships in 2007. For the first time. Ever recorded. In 2008, the Northwest and Northeast passages were both open, the first time in recorded history that both were ice-free in the same year. I also mentioned two yachts sailing around the entire arctic circle in 2010, the first time that it had been done without icebreaking ships. Hell, Bear Grylls recently circumnavigated the arctic circle in an inflatable raft.

Compared to the days when men died trying in vain to cross the Northwest passage, compared to the days when you needed icebreakers to sail in those waters, I'd say that's a pretty big change.

See, 1 degree is the worldwide average change. In some places, that change can be larger, and the effects of that change can be far more dramatic. Additionally, that sea ice acts to regulate the climate, it melts in reaction to warmer temperatures.

What's really funny is, all of this information is available in that article that you linked to, Perph. You just skimmed it instead of reading it.
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But I cannot take your arguments seriously when you back them up with links to ridiculously bad information. It's not bad because I disagree with it, it's bad because it really is bad. These sites demonstrate zero knowledge of the science they are discussing, they link almost exclusively to other non-information, and when they DO link to an authoritative source, they misrepresent what the source actually says.
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Old 11-04-2011, 08:09 PM   #285 (permalink)
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Links terminate at right wing web sites… what about the information on those sites, whether left or right? When a site points out the information lacking from the Berkeley report that is basic to any scientific paper, where does it need to link to? That the information is missing is obvious to anyone that looks for the information. It is obvious to anyone that works with scientific papers what is expected.

Most of the sites revealing the BS in manmade warming stories have lots of links to their sources and data. They explain their reasoning and studies. We see what appears to be the same in sites pushing the idea of manmade warming. One has to dig into the data and thinking to know who is pushing an ideology and who is pushing facts.

Closing Thoughts on BEST – Steve McIntyre does lots of math and statistical analysis. Anyone that can do stats can understand what he is saying. It doesn’t need any more validation than each person’s examination of the math.

BEST, Menne Slices - Steve McIntyre is showing how Muller miss-uses data chopping to get a desired or at best misguided and erroneous result.


A short anthology of changing climate - Tony Brown gives a good historic look at global warming. The warming trend has been steady and consistent since the 1600’s. It also shows the periods of extreme and mild weather. The data tears lots of holes in the CO2 and manmade warming theories and increasing extreme weather.

Pre-Prints and Pre-Data - Willis Eschenbach rips pretty hard on Muller and how he has treated people and misrepresented the peer review process in regard to his papers. Plus he points out the probable reasons for Muller’s not waiting for a proper peer review.

The BEST whopper ever - Anthony Watts points out what many will not know. The Berkeley FAQ give a plausible sounding explanation, for those that do not know the scientific process. Anthony points out the problems with the explanations given by Berkeley. To think those writing on Berkeley’s behalf don’t know the process and the FAQ’s are for real is naive beyond belief.

Anyone that starts chasing facts and jumps from manmade warming supporters to skeptics’ sites soon starts to see the pattern of these sites. Unfortunately one needs to understand math and the scientific process as well as the political process that funds these research projects to know who is lying and who’s relating facts.

For those that think there is no money to be made in the warming field, look at Solyndra’s investors and at Al Gore’s personal worth. The solar panels made by Solyndra would never have been economically feasible unless energy prices go up by a huge margin. Even then they would not be able to beat China’s price for similar products. But, a bunch of people made big money even with the company failing and stood to make even more if people are convinced green is the way to go. That some have not figured out how to follow the money and scoff at the green idea it is a money maker just shows a lack of information.
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Old 11-04-2011, 08:25 PM   #286 (permalink)
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For those that think there is no money to be made in the warming field, look at Solyndra’s investors and at Al Gore’s personal worth. The solar panels made by Solyndra would never have been economically feasible unless energy prices go up by a huge margin. Even then they would not be able to beat China’s price for similar products. But, a bunch of people made big money even with the company failing and stood to make even more if people are convinced green is the way to go. That some have not figured out how to follow the money and scoff at the green idea it is a money maker just shows a lack of information.
Energy prices are going up by a huge margin because we are past "peak oil", even the conservative International Energy Association says so. The Solyndra fiasco had absolutely nothing to do with climate change profiteering.

Ditto Al Gore. Gore earned his millions the old fashioned way, he inherited it. His ancestors have been tobacco farmers since coming to America. You would know this if you watched An Inconvenient Truth, he spends some time talking about it.

Anyone who thinks that doing global warming research is a road to wealth is barking up the wrong tree. Oil companies are spending millions, maybe even billions on anti global warming campaigns. That is where the money is, and anyone who thinks otherwise is foolish.
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Old 11-04-2011, 10:37 PM   #287 (permalink)
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Energy prices are going up by a huge margin because we are past "peak oil", even the conservative International Energy Association says so.
Whether energy prices are going up depends on how you're measuring. In the last 5 years, Brent crude is up from about $85 a barrel to about $120 a barrel. That's about a 41% increase.

NYMEX Crude is up over the same time frame from about $60 a barrel to around $90 a barrel. It's up around 50%


Commoditized metals are seeing the same thing. Lead is up from around $190 to near $300


Beef's up 25-30%


Cocoa's up 40%


There aren't any shortages in any of these things.. that's why they're all have seen increases in price (in dollars) of similar magnitude.

While gold, over the same time frame, has gone from around $600 an ounce to around $1750 an ounce, or an increase of nearly 200%. Now this kind of an increase indicates something that is in limited supply.


Similar to silver, which is up around 100%


What all this tells me is that the issue with oil prices going up isn't any scarcity of oil. Oil seems to be as available as cocoa or lead or pretty much any other commodity.

There is however an underlying weakness in the dollar against commodities, which our inflation rate doesn't capture, but it's very real reduction in the buying power of the dollar nonetheless. That's what happens when a government prints dollars like there's no tomorrow.
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Old 11-05-2011, 01:04 AM   #288 (permalink)
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On further googling I discovered some more crucial graphs:











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Old 11-05-2011, 01:41 AM   #289 (permalink)
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Energy prices are going up by a huge margin because we are past "peak oil", even the conservative International Energy Association says so.
Oil prices are based on a number of factors other than supply. There is not a simple supply demand equation. The oil industry has a number of untapped sources that are too expensive to exploit at any given time, usually based on cost, but sometimes based on location. As the cost of oil rises, some of these sources can be tapped and brought on line. There are several factors that influence the cost of oil and natural gas at any given time.

During a recession the demand for oil drops and the cheaper sources of oil are used and the price falls.

During a recovery there is sometimes a lag in production and the price goes up reflecting the relative (but temporary) scarcity.

When oil prices are high, additional wells are drilled and new sources are brought on line.

A very cold winter or a warmer than expected winter can cause the cost of both gas and oil to either rise or fall seasonally. The reserves are based on what is expected.

Sometimes the problem is not the cost of the oil but limitations on refinery capacity that may raise the price simply because there is not enough capacity to meet the demand. Environmental requirements on refineries may limit production and also raise the cost of producing a gallon of gasoline, but have positive benefits for those living near the refinery.

That covered, over time the price of oil will rise simply because the sources of oil will be more expensive to tap.
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Old 11-05-2011, 07:24 PM   #290 (permalink)
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While gold, over the same time frame, has gone from around $600 an ounce to around $1750 an ounce, or an increase of nearly 200%. Now this kind of an increase indicates something that is in limited supply.
Or a bubble fueled by Beck-led idiots and rubes.

Did you say you somewhere you were in the financial sector?

BTW, those energy commodities have fluctuated greatly as your graph shows. Front month Brent settled at $110.72 yesterday. Check back in 6 mos.
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Old 11-07-2011, 05:14 AM   #291 (permalink)
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The logic is backwards. She confuses cause with effect.

Charts showing price increases of practically everything else do not disprove oil scarcity. Quite the reverse, continual price increases are unnatural, its not a normal situation. This is what those charts really are showing us:

Worldwide, we transport everything enormous distances from origin to end user. Moving things is important. If we can't keep doing it, billions of us will start dying. Everything is moved using the energies of fossil fuels.

Extraction of any raw material is done by using the energies of fossil fuels.

Sometimes we even use oil directly as a material to manufacture goods (plastic).

The world is being manipulated to live under continual fossil fuel dependency. Doing so creates an artificial scarcity of everything else.

Beef is a good example of this phenomenon. Cows are fed massive quantities of grains. The grain the cows will eat must first be farmed by machines, processed, and then trucked to wherever the cows are -- all using the energies of fossil fuels. The cows get processed into beef which must then be transported (more fuel) to end consumer. Transportation & energy costs are always passed on to the end consumer. As the price of fuel rises due to its increasing scarcity, the price of everything else rises along with it.

If you ever trade gold as a commodity, you will quickly learn that it is essentially "pegged" to oil price.

I'll also point out that oil doesn't have to "run out", as they are always quick to argue we got loads of oil everywhere! What we do run out of is extractable-at-a-profit oil. Once that is gone, if oil companies keep chasing it, the business will quickly become their financial ruin. (Don't worry for the poor guys, they already have a plan B. Just forget about global warming and renewable energies already, the brainwashing campaign for "clean coal" is in full effect!)

Another simple proof that extractable-at-a-profit oil is running out. Why else are they trying to extract it out of increasingly dangerous, and increasingly less profitable locales? Why when "Deepwater Horizon" style drilling proved unsafe, do they continue it within months... and they are now planning to do the same but now in deeper waters & under Arctic ice, where operations to reseal a blow-out become completely impossible?

It used to be easy. It used to gush right out of the ground with little effort.

The system is unsustainable. PEAK OIL = *SYSTEM FAILURE*

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Old 11-07-2011, 05:54 AM   #292 (permalink)
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...Beef is a good example of this phenomenon. The way we farm cows is very wasteful. They are fed massive quantities of grains, which are farmed using the energies of fossil fuels. Beef must also be transported (more fuel) to end consumer....
All those cows produce copious quantities of methane, too. And methane is, if memory serves, roughly four times as potent a greenhouse gas as CO2. So we produce greenhouse gasses by producing greenhouse gasses..... ack! Recursion!

If only we had chosen to pour the money we've wasted in Iraq and Afghanistan on renewable energy. We'd be well down the road to being able to say to the Middle East, "Hey, we hope y'all work things out amongst yourselves. Let us know how it goes, and remember, don't mess with Israel. Oh, we heard China wants some oil. kthxbai.". We'd also maybe be saving the planet.
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Old 11-07-2011, 06:37 AM   #293 (permalink)
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Just a pedantic comment here, to make sure all parties are on the same page:

Peak Oil is not about the end of oil reserves. Peak oil marks the end of cheap, easily accessible oil reservies. We have reached the point where the barrels of oil pulled from the ground cost more to get than they did before. Known oil fields need increasingly complex and expensive machinery to extract increasing poor quality oil from the lowest levels, other fields are in politically unstable regions, yet more are in geographically difficult locations.

All of these factors -- including the possibility of finding new fields -- are part of what goes into calculating Peak Oil.

To the best of our knowledge, we've passed that point. We still have lots and lots of oil, but it costs us more to get a barrel of oil than it did before Peak Oil. At some point, the energy required to get oil will equal the energy you get from oil... and we will stop. Not because there is no more oil left, but because what is left is simply too energy expensive to be worth the effort.
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Old 11-07-2011, 08:59 AM   #294 (permalink)
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Old 11-07-2011, 10:43 AM   #295 (permalink)
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All those cows produce copious quantities of methane, too. And methane is, if memory serves, roughly four times as potent a greenhouse gas as CO2. So we produce greenhouse gasses by producing greenhouse gasses..... ack! Recursion!

If only we had chosen to pour the money we've wasted in Iraq and Afghanistan on renewable energy. We'd be well down the road to being able to say to the Middle East, "Hey, we hope y'all work things out amongst yourselves. Let us know how it goes, and remember, don't mess with Israel. Oh, we heard China wants some oil. kthxbai.". We'd also maybe be saving the planet.
And holy shit, wouldn't that have felt GOOD?
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Old 11-07-2011, 07:50 PM   #296 (permalink)
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Mirror, baby, mirror!
I actually worked on Solar Power Satellite designs when I was at Boeing. When you are in the proper orbit in space (which is not the one shown in the picture), you get about 7 times as much output from your solar collector as on the ground. That is because on the ground you have night, clouds, and atmospheric absorbtion. Therefore space-based solar power only makes sense if you can built it in space for less than 7 times what it costs to build on the ground.

To meet that cost, one of two things has to happen: (1) the cost of launching things into space has to come dramatically down or (2) you need to be able to build the satellite out of materials already in space. A suitable combination would also work - bring cost down a lot, and also make most of the satellite from materials in space. Unfortunately neither of those things have happened yet, so space solar power does not make sense yet.

In fact, you can justify sending power *up* to space, because power up there is worth a heck of a lot more than power on the ground. Sending power up can be done with a laser or very good searchlight that lights up the solar arrays of a satellite in addition to or in place of what the sun does.

One nice thing about space solar is it can be made not only carbon-neutral, but thermal-neutral. Something like nuclear or geothermal doesn't add carbon to the atmosphere, but it still adds waste heat of approx 2.5 times the electricity generated. The collecting field for space solar is shinier than the ground it sits on, so reflects back some sunlight at the same time it is gathering microwaves. So on net, it can come close to zero on net heat produced. But like I said, right now it is too expensive to consider due to transportation costs.

For those who care about the actual numbers:

* A good satellite design could reach 100 watts/kg.
* For baseload power, ground solar should cost under $2/watt installed.
* Therefore space solar needs to cost under $14 per watt, of which at least ~$4 will be the satellite and ground receiver hardware. It needs to have the same kind of solar array as on the ground, plus a transmitter/receiver set, so roughly twice the cost
* That leaves $10 per watt for transportation and assembly in orbit. Since you can get 100 watts per kilogram, then transport to Geosynchronous orbit needs to be under $1000/kg if assembly were free.
* Actual cost of Falcon 9 rocket, currently cheapest per kg, is about $16,000/kg.
* Therefore you need to either lower launch costs by 16 times, or get 94% of the materials from space, or some combination, or it is just too expensive.

Besides cost, a solar power satellite needs to be 1 Gigawatt or larger to work efficiently, and to justify setting up the "power plant" ground station. At 100 W/kg, the satellite will mass 10,000 tons. The largest thing ever built in space is the Space Station, at around 500 tons. So we also need to learn how to build much bigger than we have so far. It would not be a death ray. They would avoid frequencies that water absorbs, so that clouds and rain will not interfere. Microwave ovens do the opposite, they pick frequencies that water absorbs on purpose.

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Old 11-07-2011, 11:54 PM   #297 (permalink)
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with so much space junk up there maybe we could build some smart scavenging robots to collage & reassemble all the junk into solar collectors. would not each satellite (including long obsoleted defunct ones) have solar collectors... currently powering nothing?

might there be a lot of unused power up there already just waiting to be had? i have no idea if this makes sense or not, but just thought i'd throw out the idea to see what the knowledgeable space folk think
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Old 11-08-2011, 12:04 AM   #298 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by WADE1 Jya View Post
with so much space junk up there maybe we could build some smart scavenging robots to collage & reassemble all the junk into solar collectors. would not each satellite (including long obsoleted defunct ones) have solar collectors... currently powering nothing?

might there be a lot of unused power up there already just waiting to be had? i have no idea if this makes sense or not, but just thought i'd throw out the idea to see what the knowledgeable space folk think
Doing anything in space is very expensive, trying to strip off solar collectors from existing satellites and assemble them is going to probably cost much more than trying to launch them, and if you have manned missions, there is currently only the Russian capsule available for transport. Many of the satellites are in geosynchronous orbit which is beyond the reach of currently available manned space technology. Plus approaching a satellite and capturing it was difficult when it was done last time in low earth orbit with satellites that did not have long, fragile solar wings that had unfolded after they were launched..
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Old 11-08-2011, 12:32 PM   #299 (permalink)
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You have spent so much time visualizing this you can tell at a glance it is in the wrong orbit?

Damn. Some people have all the fun.

I hope you remember that it IS fun from time to time!
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Old 11-08-2011, 06:55 PM   #300 (permalink)
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I used to work for a satellite manufacturer, over time you learn a lot about the spacecraft, where they fly, and how they work. Most communication satellites are in geosynchronous orbit, which is 22,000+ miles up. The space station is at about 150 miles up (as a reference). Sending spacecraft to the higher orbit requires an orbit change in space after they are launched. Getting to just one of these satellites would require similar maneuvers in orbit, plus having a way of disassembling the solar arrays and moving them.
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