Part of Grid Network »

The Grid Professionals Group covers electric current from its transmission step down to each customer's home. 


Eddies in Time Foretell the Future

image credit: NASA, JPL, Caltech
John Benson's picture
Senior Consultant, Microgrid Labs

PROFESSIONAL EXPERIENCE: Microgrid Labs, Inc. Advisor: 2014 to Present Developed product plans, conceptual and preliminary designs for projects, performed industry surveys and developed...

  • Member since 2013
  • 912 items added with 611,876 views
  • Jan 17, 2023

Access Publication

In case you haven’t noticed, approximately 71% of Earth’s surface is covered by water. To say that oceans, rivers and other large bodies of water have a major effect on weather and climate is an understatement. However, until recently we have been flying-blind when it comes to one major characteristic of these bodies: what’s happening in the third dimension (the depths). If everything goes right, in about six months this gap will be illuminated.

Major electric utility organizations’ (like independent system operators (ISOs) and Regional Transmission Operators (RTOs)) short-range planning starts with models that simulate operations for several days. The most important non-utility inputs to these models are weather forecasts. The major advance described in this post will result in much more accurate short-term and longer term weather forecasts. The latter will enable these utilities to extend their planning horizon.

Also, of course, climate change is, or should be, important to everyone. Different models are used to predict future effects of climate change. These too will benefit greatly from the new tool described in this post, and enable more accurate and longer-range forecasts.

Jim Stack's picture
Jim Stack on Jan 19, 2023

The tipping point seems closer each study I read. Glaciers are melting faster and water temperatures are climbing. As the speed increases the extreme weathers also increases. I just hope we are not past the tipping point. 

John Benson's picture
John Benson on Jan 24, 2023

In most cases, we are. See my earlier post described and linked below.

Code Red Tipping Points: Merriam-Webster defines a tipping point as: “The critical point in a situation, process, or system beyond which a significant and often unstoppable effect or change takes place.”

An example is when a microphone and amplifier start experiencing positive feedback, and the slightest noise sets off an ear-splitting howl.

I frequently write about the primary, secondary and higher-order effects of climate change. Within the matrices of these effects are numerous tipping points, and therein lies extreme danger. Since the world’s climate is a huge system, the effects of positive feedback don’t happen within seconds as with the above example, but decades to centuries. This means we don’t completely understand that we’ve passed these points until it is too late to easily fix them.

Our (the world’s) society also experiences tipping points though major attitude adjustments, and these are needed to address our climate’s tipping points.

This post is about recently identified and characterized tipping points in our attitude and climate.

John Benson's picture
Thank John for the Post!
Energy Central contributors share their experience and insights for the benefit of other Members (like you). Please show them your appreciation by leaving a comment, 'liking' this post, or following this Member.
More posts from this member

Get Published - Build a Following

The Energy Central Power Industry Network® is based on one core idea - power industry professionals helping each other and advancing the industry by sharing and learning from each other.

If you have an experience or insight to share or have learned something from a conference or seminar, your peers and colleagues on Energy Central want to hear about it. It's also easy to share a link to an article you've liked or an industry resource that you think would be helpful.

                 Learn more about posting on Energy Central »