Today in Climate Comedy

Add this to the list of things that climate change will cause or affect:

Could Climate Change Lead to Tastier Chocolate?

. . . This new chocolate study set out to find whether certain external forces can have an effect on the tastiness of cocoa beans. To do that, they measured the chemical composition—phenols (flavor), fat content, and antioxidant content—in samples taken from Bolivian cacao trees under different growing conditions. . . In situations with higher temperatures and less moisture in the soil, the cocoa beans showed significantly higher phenolic and antioxidant levels and a lower fat content. (Fat isn’t as big a deal as it sounds in chocolate; it’s usually separated from the bean as cocoa butter.)

Tastier, lower-fat chocolate? What’s not to like? I just knew that sooner or later the consensus scientists would start reporting the benefits of global warming.

Meanwhile, you know how we’re endlessly told that wind power is going to save the planet? Well guess what?

A changing climate is beginning to change wind energy’s potential to provide power in key regions, part of what could be a broader diminishment of a key renewable energy source in part of the world, according to two scientific studies. . .

The studies suggest that, at least for wind energy, that is not only happening — at least in some key locations — but that it could grow worse. . .

The first of the two studies, recently published in Nature Scientific Reports, gives a first glimpse at an answer. It finds that the nation that has installed more wind energy than any other on Earth — China — is actually seeing a lowering of wind energy potential across vast regions, especially inner Mongolia and Gansu, two of the largest installation areas.

“To my great surprise instead of finding a random signal, we found that it was actually declining,” said Michael McElroy, a Harvard Earth sciences professor who is one of the authors of the study. He conducted the research with Peter Sherman, the first author, and Xinyu Chen of Harvard.

Sounds to me like a new excuse for the poor performance of intermittent wind power. But that’s just me.

Chaser:

Laszlo Varro, the International Energy Agency’s chief economist, last month highlighted the scale of the challenge by pointing out that recent record levels of wind and solar deployment would not replace generation lost from aging nuclear plants and a stagnating gas market.

“If I dig into the current decommissioning schedules of nuclear reactors in Europe, by the mid-2020s Europe is going to lose nuclear production at roughly twice the rate of the recent deployment of wind and solar production,” he said, according to a report in Recharge.

Wind is set to become the leading source of electricity in Europe soon after 2030, according to the International Energy Agency’s World Energy Outlook 2017 report. But carbon goals will be harder to achieve as nuclear gets kicked off the grid, since renewables have much lower capacity factors than the nukes they are often replacing.

It’s epic fail all the way down.

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