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Messages - GeoffBeacon

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Consequences / Re: Wildfires
« on: August 27, 2019, 04:21:02 PM »
I've been trying to find out whether increased wildfires are in the CMIP models
account for forest fire feedbacks. I wrote Carbon Footprints & Wildfires just before the Amazon Headlined.

My latest score is


Corrections and improvements welcome.

Greenland and Arctic Circle / Re: What's new in Greenland?
« on: July 08, 2019, 08:39:50 PM »
Is this sand from Greenland the right sort of sand?

Is the world running out of sand?
Builders like angular sand of the kind found on riverbeds. Sand, sand everywhere, nor any grain to use, to paraphrase Coleridge. A textbook example is the Burj Khalifa in Dubai, the world’s tallest skyscraper. Despite being surrounded by sand, it was constructed with concrete incorporating the “right kind of sand” from Australia.

High buildings have high embodied carbon.
Let's build low wooden ones.

Policy and solutions / Re: UN Climate Agreement - Paris 2015 and beyond
« on: September 07, 2018, 12:14:25 AM »
"EIA has great data this morning:
1) 2017 carbon emissions down 0.9%;
2) 2017 emissions 14% below 2005 levels;
3) Total carbon emissions from gas higher than coal;
4) Petroleum top emitter, responsible for 46% of total emissions.”

Are methane leaks properly estimated and counted ?
"Methane emissions of this magnitude, per unit of natural gas consumed, produce radiative forcing over a 20-year time horizon comparable to the CO2 from natural gas combustion" So not really much progress in the power sector.

Are "imported" emissions counted?
"One-quarter of all global greenhouse gas emissions are caused by the manufacture of products destined for export – and are not accounted for in most nations’ climate policies."

Policy and solutions / Re: Cars, cars and more cars. And trucks, and....
« on: August 29, 2018, 06:03:28 PM »
do you have numbers regarding the average carbon footprint of a motorist, and by EU countries (mainly UK, France, Germany, Spain, Italy)? and what is the car emission share within the overall carbon footprint of an average citizen?

That's an interesting piece of homework you have set me. I can't answer it easily. I might try more seriously in due course. But here is some fragments:

1. CO2 from driving a car is often given in gms CO2 per km. These are tailpipe emissions and don't include the CO2 emitted in extracting, processing and transporting the fuel. I picked up a figure of 10% for this somewhere. So for these cars, I have made these estimates using emissions data from the Department for Transport and UK average car miles from Drivers' annual mileage rates drop to new low.

2) The CO2 from manufacturing a car is large. These figures come form Mike Berners Lee in What's the carbon footprint of ... a new car? and Average age of cars on the road in the United Kingdom (UK) between 2000 and 2016*:

3) The combined result, which is dependent on assumptions you can see above, is:

However, having a car is an indicator of affluence and there is a relationship between car ownership and affluence as the Stockholm Environment Institute noted in their report on Derwenthorpe:
the richest 10 per cent of households nationally consuming three times more carbon for household energy and travel than the poorest 10 per cent.

One consideration is that they tend to live in places that require more daily travel but there are many other reasons. Worldwide it's the affluent that are ruining the climate as this Oxfam infographic shows:

Clearly, more work needed but I feel confident that building new homes for motorists is contrary to UN Resolution 42/187 and so it is now against planning regulations in the UK.

Was the article by Holthaus this one on grist?

It was criticised by Tamsin Edwards in the Guardian e.g.

But Eric is wrong to say Antarctica’s ‘ice budget’ has tipped out of balance due to our burning of fossil fuels. Not only has it been out of balance before – such as the ancient West Antarctic collapse that causes concern – but the reason for the Amundsen Sea changes, where most ice is being lost, is that the ring of deep warm water around Antarctica has welled up onto the continental shelf and is melting the ice from underneath. We don’t know if human activities made this more likely.

Any comments?

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