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The Devastating Typhoon And A Coal-Fired Power Plant


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Hi guys, I used to post in scienceforums.com many years ago, but I am returning due to a recent tragedy that occurred in my country and a concern that may have partly caused it.

 

 

Last dawn of 17 December, 2011, the devastating Tropical Storm Sendong (international name Washi) swept over Northern Mindanao, Philippines, particularly in the cities of Cagayan de Oro and Iligan that killed more than a thousand people. Here are some article and videos (viewer discretion advised) of the tragic event:

 

 

 

UN: Philippine Flood destruction like Tsunami

 

 

 

 

 

Rarely did a typhoon occurred in Mindanao island, Southern Philippines, until this one that caused horrifying results. It needs to be noted that a coal-fired power plant had been built in Northern Mindanao and made operational 2006 with the assurance that it uses "clean coal" technology. For the moment it's the only coal plant in Mindanao, but the corporates under the country's present administration will be building within this previously typhoon-free island with 5 huge coal plants more!

 

It is to be noted that upon research, coal-fired power plants are the major contributors of Global Warming. The rise in Sea Surface Temperature (SST) had also been discovered to cause changes in typhoon tracks and worsen the destructive intensity of a tropical storm:

 

Coal Power Plants increase Sea Surface Temperature (SST)

http://thesisabstracts.com/ThesisAbstract_230_Spatial-and-temporal-sea-surface-temperature-variations-near-coal-fired-thermal-power-plant-requirements-for-meeting-water-quality-regulations-on-thermal-discharges.html

 

Changes in typhoon tracks caused by SST warming

http://journals.ametsoc.org/doi/abs/10.1175/JCLI-D-11-00074.1

 

Typhoons become more dangerously intense with warmer SST

http://www.ouramazingplanet.com/535-hurricanes-may-become-more-intense-climate-change-101110.html

 

 

It is also to be noted that the devastating and deadly flashflood that occurred in the aftermath of the typhoon dumped in very unusual amount of floodwaters such that it was described as a "reverse tsunami." The rivers, particularly in Cagayan de Oro, were natural basins that captured floodwaters from its surrounding hills for many years. Even despite the rampant illegal logging since the 20th century the Cagayan River managed to contain the rampaging floods, until the recent tragedy that took more than a thousand lives and displaced thousands more. It is to be known that among the effects of Global Warming were the expanded water molecules that may have contributed to the devastating effect.

 

In a span of time that a coal-fired power plant was built in Northern Mindanao, Cagayan de Oro city had experienced unprecedented flooding that virtually affected most of the city last January, 2009, and as mentioned just a few days ago the place was again battered with deadly typhoon, and just a few days afterwards Mindanao island was made a reference point to an incoming ITCZ (Intertropical Convergence Zone) that otherwise occurred rarely in Mindanao to being visited by typhoons, all occurring in so short span of time.

 

Could it be that the presence of the coal plant may have contributed to the dilemma? It seems that the Mother Planet, amidst the Climate Change and Global Warming phenomenon exacerbated by continued manmade pollution, had already reached a saturation point "filled to the brim" such that any added burden could be met with swift repercussions from Nature's Wrath.

 

I believe these issues are majors concern for the International Community and Humanity in general and for our Mother Planet, as the Climate change and Global Warming phenomenon virtually affects each and everyone.

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Could it be that the presence of the coal plant may have contributed to the dilemma? It seems that the Mother Planet, amidst the Climate Change and Global Warming phenomenon exacerbated by continued manmade pollution, had already reached a saturation point "filled to the brim" such that any added burden could be met with swift repercussions from Nature's Wrath.

 

I believe these issues are majors concern for the International Community and Humanity in general and for our Mother Planet, as the Climate change and Global Warming phenomenon virtually affects each and everyone.

 

it is unlikely the local coal plant influenced the typhoon. it is the cumulative co2 that is resulting in extreme weather and those events aren't limited to your region.

 

there are possible local effects from the power plant such as soot, mercury, and acid rain to name just a few.

 

you are not alone in raising concerns as evidenced by the many scientists lecturing and publishing on the topic for the last decade or so. :earth:

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it is unlikely the local coal plant influenced the typhoon. it is the cumulative co2 that is resulting in extreme weather and those events aren't limited to your region.

 

there are possible local effects from the power plant such as soot, mercury, and acid rain to name just a few.

 

you are not alone in raising concerns as evidenced by the many scientists lecturing and publishing on the topic for the last decade or so. :earth:

 

could you expound further as to coming up that opinion? From what I had researched, the inevitable effect of a coal plant is the rise in Sea Surface Temperature (SST) having to need water to cool off its huge burners and then flush out such thermal water to the sea. Although coal plants do not directly contribute to the typhoon, but the latter is discovered to change tracks in direction in consideration to SST, most likely Nature's way of neutralizing the anomalous rise in SST caused by a coal plant.

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  • 2 weeks later...
From what I had researched, the inevitable effect of a coal plant is the rise in Sea Surface Temperature (SST) having to need water to cool off its huge burners and then flush out such thermal water to the sea.
This could be a point but it isn't what is meant by global warming or greenhouse effect. Yes the coal plant is likely causing local climatic effects too but if you want to be active about it then you should place much importance on accuracy.
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the severity of typhoons is increased by warmer surface waters because these provide more energy to the typhoon. However if you were to run a calculation as to the area of ocean which has a temperature elevation great enough to impact on typhoon strength and compare it with the area of ocean over which a typhoon extends, then you would find orders of magnitude difference. The output of even a large coal fired power station is a tiny fraction of the energy of a typhoon, and the waste heat is a small percentage of that. Now I haven't run these calculations, but I am confident they would turn out as I suggest. But don't believe me, run them yourself. It should set your mind at ease on this aspect of the power stations.

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It would be understood that the Global warming phenomenon may be part of the Natural solar cycle and had been occurring for centuries intervals. But it seemed the addition of manmade pollution in this modern era may instead exacerbate the already precarious situation and the repercussions can be alarming as more deadlier flashfloods, more intense dry spell occur everywhere else in the Planet. Perhaps it may be likened with the Natural Climate Change phenomenon already "filled to the brim," but exacerbating it with manmade emmissions in this modern era, with coal fired power plants its major contributor would result to the brim "overflowing"?

 

Coal plants may be a fraction to compare with the vastness of the sea area, but even just a minute rise in Sea Surface Temperature may result to devastating effects like what occurred in Australia's flashflood wherein the recorded SST was just an increase of 0.54 deg C but the consequences was already devastating. It may also be intriguing to note that after the said coal plant operated starting 2006, the city of Cagayan de Oro experienced massive flooding last 2009 that virtually inundiated most its urban areas, and a few days after Sendong occurred Low Pressure Areas were being spotted near Mindanao with the island already made as reference point, a rare thing to hear few years back as the island was otherwise rarely visited by typhoons.

 

What occurred in our place was really very alarming that may be replicated in other areas in the event they will saturate it with more SST affecting coal plants, but society here is not that keen on the technical aspect of such things, even the term SST would seem unknown to them, I myself had just encountered it borne out of my personal research because there's not much local source of information regarding such things. The present Philippine administration had virtually slashed the already small budget allocated for educational institutions just enough to barely survive virtually leaving no room for researches as these, and yet the present president increased his office's budget allocation to record high running to more than a hundred billion pesos despite his glaring incompetence. The present president is just an Oligarch puppet and the Oligarchs in our country are trying to monopolize energy in Mindanao island (despite it being rich in clean, Renewable Energy resources capable of addressing its energy needs by 80%) by saturating it with polluting coal fired power plants virtually disregarding the safety of its citizens when even if other countries already groom their energy requirements to cleaner RE and had already shunned coal fired power plants due to its notorious polluting contribution that partly exacerbates Climate Change dilemma.

 

Hopefully the International Scientific Community having more available means would look up into this matter regarding the SST caused by coal plants that affect typhoon tracks in this otherwise almost typhooon-free island that resulted to devastating tragedy, as they have the scientific and technical means to do so, because the Climate Change dilemma is every Human Being's concern in our Planet.

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This could be a point but it isn't what is meant by global warming or greenhouse effect. Yes the coal plant is likely causing local climatic effects too but if you want to be active about it then you should place much importance on accuracy.

 

perhaps it needs to take into consideration the geographic characteristic of the coal plant's host area in Northern Mindanao where it is located surrounded with archipelago islands and its gulf whereby the presence of the coal plant in a geographically limited space could contribute significant effect on the SST unlike when it's located along an open sea facing an ocean.

 

other coal plants to be built in the island are also located in gulfs such as in Davao City in Southern Mindanao, and the Davao Gulf and region is even an ecological wealth where one of the most diverse, unique flora and fauna are found here. The World's first intact specimen of the very rare longman's beaked whale was found in Davao gulf, and even sightings of Orca's were spotted here, as well as whale sharks, dugongs, and other rare whale species. Also the World's rarest and among the largest eagle, the Philippine Eagle have its sanctuary in the city. The World's largest fruit bat colony is also found in nearby Samal Island, the country's only turtle sanctuary located in a highly urbanized city is also located in Davao City, and such is even a rare distinction in the World and should be considered a ecological treasure for Humanity in general.

 

but these are now under threat with construction of a coal fired power plant in the Davao Gulf.

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