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Messages - Ken Feldman

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Antarctica / Re: Ice Apocalypse - MULTIPLE METERS SEA LEVEL RISE
« on: January 16, 2021, 12:30:50 AM »
According to DeConto and Pollard, ocean temperatures around Antarctic must warm by at least 2C to initiate the massive amounts of hydrofracturing that would enable Marine Ice Cliff Instability (MICI) to occur.  And the "wolfpack" of CMIP6 models that run hot need the southern ocean to run so hot that the clouds above it dry up for their extreme climate sensitivities to kick in.

So what is the Southern Ocean doing?  The linked reference seems to state that it's hotspots have cooled and that after undergoing accelerated warming during "the pause" in global temperature increases from 2003 - 2012 that the warming has slowed down since 2013.

Recent Shift in the Warming of the Southern Oceans Modulated by Decadal Climate Variability
Lina Wang, Kewei Lyu, Wei Zhuang, Weiwei Zhang, Salvienty Makarim, Xiao‐Hai Yan
28 December 2020


It has been reported that the Southern Hemisphere oceans experienced rapid warming during the decade‐long global surface warming slowdown (2003–2012) and the earlier period of the Argo record (2006–2013). In this study, we analyze updated observations to show that this rapid warming has slowed down, leading to less contribution of the Southern Hemisphere oceans to the global ocean heat storage (∼65% over the available Argo period 2006–2019). Two warming hotspot regions, the southeast Indian Ocean and South Pacific Ocean, have experienced cooling over 2013–2019. This decadal shift is related to variations in the Southern Annular Mode (SAM) and Interdecadal Pacific Oscillation (IPO). The isopycnal deepening (shoaling) forced by changing winds dominated the regional ocean temperature changes over the earlier warming (later cooling) period. Our finding demonstrates how decadal variability modulates long‐term climate change and provides important observational information for the ongoing calibration of decadal prediction systems.

Policy and solutions / Re: Renewable Energy
« on: January 12, 2021, 06:22:33 PM »
Wind power provided more electricity than coal in Texas in 2020.  And wind, solar and batteries make up 95% of planned capacity additions to the Texas grid.  (For those who aren't aware, Texas is basically the center of the US oil and gas industry, with many corporations headquartered in the State and a large share of refineries and export facilities).

Wind power overtakes coal in Texas electricity generation
Renewables capacity is surging in US state that is the heartland of fossil fuels
Justin Jacobs 1/11/21

Wind power surged past coal in Texas’ electricity mix for the first time in 2020, the latest sign of renewable energy’s rising prominence in America’s fossil fuel heartland.

Wind turbines generated nearly a quarter of Texas’ power in 2020, beating out coal’s roughly 18 per cent share of the market, making it the second-largest source of generation in the state behind natural gas, according to data from the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (Ercot), the state’s main grid operator.

And the low carbon boom in Texas, by far the largest power producing state in the country with the second-largest population and a large base of oil refineries and petrochemical plants, looks set to gather pace from here.

Wind, solar and batteries combined make up about 95 per cent of new generation capacity that project developers have proposed connecting to the grid in the coming years, according to Ercot.

President-elect Joe Biden has promised to deploy tens of thousands of new wind turbines and millions of new solar panels as part of a plan to put the US on a path towards net zero emissions in the electricity sector by 2035, a central pillar of his $2tn climate platform.

Policy and solutions / Re: Oil and Gas Issues
« on: January 12, 2021, 05:53:28 PM »
US gasoline demand is well off peak levels and hindering the oil industry recovery from the Covid shutdowns.

Why The Last Leg Of The Oil Demand Recovery Is The Hardest
By Tsvetana Paraskova - Jan 11, 2021

Over the past six months, excess U.S. crude oil and product inventories have declined from their surplus at the start of the summer of 2020. Petroleum inventories have been slowly falling and are now at just single-digit-percent surpluses over five-year averages, compared to 20-30 percent excess over five-year seasonal averages last summer.   Demand for gasoline and other petroleum products in the United States has recovered from multi-year lows in April and May, but the last leg of the recovery to pre-pandemic levels proves to be the most difficult and seems to have stalled at the end of 2020.

However, the largest component of U.S. oil demand—gasoline consumption—was still down by a double-digit percentage. Over the past four weeks, motor gasoline product supplied averaged 7.9 million bpd, down by 11.8 percent from the same period last year, EIA said.

This suggests that the last part of the oil demand recovery will be the hardest, with the most recent data pointing to a stall again due to reduced travel amid measures to fight soaring COVID-19 cases.

U.S. gasoline demand was at the lowest level for the last week of December in 23 years (since 1998)—at 8.1 million bpd, with holiday travel down by at least 25 percent, AAA said last week. As of January 4, AAA expected gasoline demand to dwindle in coming weeks as the holiday season ended.

Policy and solutions / Re: Oil and Gas Issues
« on: January 11, 2021, 08:45:31 PM »
Experts suggest we've seen both peak oil demand and peak oil supply.

The Very Real Possibility Of Peak Oil Supply
By Alex Kimani - Dec 26, 2020

[Three months ago, British oil giant BP Plc. (NYSE:BP) sent shockwaves through the oil and gas sector after it declared that Peak Oil demand was already behind us. In the company’s 2020 Energy Outlook, chief executive Bernard Looney pledged that BP would increase its renewables spending twentyfold to $5 billion a year by 2030 and ‘‘... not enter any new countries for oil and gas exploration.’’ That announcement came as a bit of a shocker given how aggressive BP has been in exploring new oil and gas frontiers./quote]

Delving deeper into the global oil and gas outlook suggests that it’s peak oil supply, not peak oil demand, that’s likely to start dominating headlines as the quarters roll on.

BP has modeled 3 possible scenarios for the future of global fuel and electricity demand: Business as Usual, Rapid Transition, and Net-Zero. Here’s the kicker: BP says that even under the most optimistic scenario where energy policy keeps evolving at pretty much the pace it is today (Business as Usual) oil demand will still suffer declines—only at a later date and a slower pace compared to the other two scenarios.

The oil bulls, however, can take comfort in the fact that under the Business-as-Usual scenario, BP sees oil demand remaining at 2018 levels of 97-98 million barrels per day till 2030 before falling to 94 million barrels per day in 2040 and eventually to 89 million barrels per day three decades from now. That’s a loss in demand of less than 1% per year through 2050.
However, things could look very different under the other two scenarios that entail aggressive government policies aimed at reaching net-zero status by 2050 as well as carbon prices and other interventions aimed at limiting global warming.

Though rarely discussed seriously, Peak Oil Supply remains a distinct possibility over the next couple of years.

In the past, supply-side “peak oil” theory mostly turned out to be wrong mainly because its proponents invariably underestimated the enormity of yet-to-be-discovered resources. In more recent years, demand-side “peak oil” theory has always managed to overestimate the ability of renewable energy sources and electric vehicles to displace fossil fuels.

Then, of course, few could have foretold the explosive growth of U.S. shale that added 13 million barrels per day to global supply from 1-2 million b/d in the space of just a decade.

It’s ironic that the shale crisis is likely to be responsible for triggering Peak Oil Supply.

In an excellent op/ed, vice chairman of IHS Markit Dan Yergin observes that it’s almost inevitable that shale output will go in reverse and decline thanks to drastic cutbacks in investment and only later recover at a slow pace. Shale oil wells decline at an exceptionally fast clip and therefore require constant drilling to replenish the lost supply. Although the U.S. rig count appears to be stabilizing thanks to oil prices rebounding from low-30s to mid-40s, the latest tally of 320 remains far below the year-ago figure of 802.

There is a new post on this subject over at ATTP.

The "And Then There is Physics" blog post refers to a 2010 Real Climate post about a study published in about Zero Energy Commitments.

Here is the Real Climate post:

Climate change commitments
— gavin @ 3 March 2010 - (Español)

There is an interesting letter in Nature Geoscience this month on what climate changes we have actually already committed ourselves to. The letter, by Mathews and Weaver (sub. reqd.), makes the valid point that there are both climatic and societal inertias to consider.

And here is the letter in Nature that they were describing:

Matthews, H., Weaver, A. Committed climate warming. Nature Geosci 3, 142–143 (2010).

To the Editor

The perception that future climate warming is inevitable stands at the centre of current climate-policy discussions. We argue that the notion of unavoidable warming owing to inertia in the climate system is based on an incorrect interpretation of climate science. Stable atmospheric concentrations of greenhouse gases would lead to continued warming, but if carbon dioxide emissions could be eliminated entirely, temperatures would quickly stabilize or even decrease over time. Future warming is therefore driven by socio-economic inertia, and is only as inevitable as future emissions. As a consequence, mitigation efforts to minimize future greenhouse-gas emissions can successfully restrict future warming to a level that may avoid dangerous anthropogenic interference with the climate system. The challenge of climate mitigation, although daunting, is fully within the scope of human control.

Climate change commitment is defined as the future warming to which we have committed ourselves by virtue of past human activities. Because of the slow response time of the climate system, the equilibrium climate consistent with current levels of greenhouse gases will not be reached for many centuries. This so-called constant-composition commitment results as temperatures gradually equilibrate with the current atmospheric radiation imbalance, and has been estimated at between 0.3 °C and 0.9 °C warming over the next century2 (Fig. 1).

Constant-composition commitment is often misinterpreted as the unavoidable warming that is yet to manifest in response to past greenhouse-gas emissions3. However, the climate warming commitment from past greenhouse-gas emissions is more correctly defined as a 'zero-emissions commitment' — that is, the future climate change that would occur, should greenhouse-gas emissions be eliminated entirely4. In response to an abrupt elimination of carbon dioxide emissions, global temperatures either remain approximately constant, or cool slightly as natural carbon sinks gradually draw anthropogenic carbon out of the atmosphere at a rate similar to the mixing of heat into the deep ocean5,6,7,8 (Fig. 1). From this we conclude that the elimination of carbon dioxide emissions leads to little or no further climate warming; that is, future warming is defined by the extent of future emissions, rather than by past emissions.

This is a fundamentally hopeful conclusion; if we can successfully coordinate international emissions reductions in the coming decades, we can successfully restrict global temperature increases to a level that will prevent dangerous impacts on both human and environmental systems.

Policy and solutions / Re: Coal
« on: January 11, 2021, 07:55:45 PM »
In the US, utilities keep advancing the planned retirement dates of coal plants.  That's because it's more expensive to burn coal than to build new solar or wind plants.

Another coal plant to retire early; Wyoming's biggest utility delays discussion on coal
Camille Erickson Jan 8, 2021

nother coal-fired power plant will retire earlier than originally planned just south of Wyoming’s border.

The Hayden Generating Station in northwest Colorado will join dozens of other coal units in closing early to save ratepayers money on electricity and meet new climate protocols.

Utility company Xcel Energy announced this week it plans to close Unit 2 of its Hayden Generating Station by 2027, about three years earlier than previously planned. Unit 1 would be retired by 2028, instead of in 2036. Together, the units have 441 megawatts of generating capacity. The Colorado-based Twentymile mine supplies the plant with coal.

Though a minority owner, PacifiCorp reported it would save ratepayers $81 million if it shuttered the Hayden units early.

The move to retire the facilities sooner than originally planned is part of a growing effort by utilities to lower carbon emissions and transition to lower-cost energy sources. Xcel aims to slash its carbon emissions from electricity to zero by 2050.

Policy and solutions / Re: Renewable Energy
« on: January 11, 2021, 07:49:02 PM »
Solar, wind and batteries are projected to be more than 80% of the new addition to the US electricity grid in 2021.  Natural gas will be 16% and nuclear, if the new reactors in Georgia are operable this year, will be 3%.

January 11, 2021
Renewables account for most new U.S. electricity generating capacity in 2021

According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration’s (EIA) latest inventory of electricity generators, developers and power plant owners plan for 39.7 gigawatts (GW) of new electricity generating capacity to start commercial operation in 2021. Solar will account for the largest share of new capacity at 39%, followed by wind at 31%. About 3% of the new capacity will come from the new nuclear reactor at the Vogtle power plant in Georgia.

Battery storage. EIA expects the capacity of utility-scale battery storage to more than quadruple; 4.3 GW of battery power capacity additions are slated to come online by the end of 2021. The rapid growth of renewables, such as wind and solar, is a major driver in the expansion of battery capacity because battery storage systems are increasingly paired with renewables. The world's largest solar-powered battery (409 MW) is under construction at Manatee Solar Energy Center in Florida; the battery is scheduled to be operational by late 2021.

Policy and solutions / Re: Coal
« on: January 11, 2021, 07:40:39 PM »
At one point in the last decade, there were six planned coal export terminals on the US west coast.  None of them have been built.  Five of the six have already been cancelled.  The sixth one was cancelled last week.

US coalminers’ Asia ‘pipe dream’ evaporates
Collapse of west coast port project deals blow to hopes of an export-driven recovery
Gregory Meyer 1/11/21

   Please use the sharing tools found via the share button at the top or side of articles. Copying articles to share with others is a breach of T&Cs and Copyright Policy. Email to buy additional rights. Subscribers may share up to 10 or 20 articles per month using the gift article service. More information can be found at

   US coal miners’ last-ditch hope for shipping big volumes to Asia has crumbled as the developer of a sprawling export terminal abandons its project on the Pacific coast.

The Millennium Bulk Terminal would have loaded 44m metric tonnes a year of thermal coal for export to electric utilities — a potential boost for producers reeling from the decline of coal-fired power generation in the US.

But the project’s bankrupt owner on Saturday pulled the plug, making it the last of more than half a dozen proposed west coast coal ports never to be built. “It’s the end of the pipe dream that Asia can save the US coal industry,” said Clark Williams-Derry, analyst at the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis, a research group that favours clean energy.

The Millennium project’s current owner, the mining company Lighthouse Resources, filed for bankruptcy protection in December. The company on Saturday relinquished the site to land owner Northwest Alloys, a subsidiary of the aluminium maker Alcoa. Alcoa said it would evaluate plans for the location, making no mention of coal.

It's important to note that the IPCC projects that the Arctic Ocean would see substantially fewer summers with an ice free Arctic with 1.5C global warming then with 2C.  This is from the special report on 1.5C, Global Warming of 1.5 ºC, produced by the IPCC in 2018.

The probability of a sea-ice-free Arctic Ocean during summer is substantially higher at 2°C compared to 1.5°C of global warming (medium confidence). Model simulations suggest that at least one sea-ice-free Arctic summer is expected every 10 years for global warming of 2°C, with the frequency decreasing to one sea-ice-free Arctic summer every 100 years under 1.5°C (medium confidence). An intermediate temperature overshoot will have no long- term consequences for Arctic sea ice coverage, and hysteresis is not expected (high confidence). {3.3.8,}

...However, the modelled sea ice loss in most CMIP5 models is much smaller than observed losses. Compared to observations, the simulations are less sensitive to both global mean temperature rise (Rosenblum and Eisenman, 2017) and anthropogenic CO2 emissions (Notz and Stroeve, 2016). This mismatch between the observed and modelled sensitivity of Arctic sea ice implies that the multi-model-mean responses of future sea ice evolution probably underestimates the sea ice loss for a given amount of global warming. To address this issue, studies estimating the future evolution of Arctic sea ice tend to bias correct the model simulations based on the observed evolution of Arctic sea ice in response to global warming. Based on such bias correction, pre-AR5 and post-AR5 studies generally agree that for 1.5°C of global warming relative to pre-industrial levels, the Arctic Ocean will maintain a sea ice cover throughout summer in most years (Collins et al., 2013; Notz and Stroeve, 2016; Screen and Williamson, 2017; Jahn, 2018; Niederdrenk and Notz, 2018; Sigmond et al., 2018). For 2°C of global warming, chances of a sea ice-free Arctic during summer are substantially higher (Screen and Williamson, 2017; Jahn, 2018; Niederdrenk and Notz, 2018; Screen et al., 2018; Sigmond et al., 2018)

That means that if we can achieve zero emissions in the next few decades and keep the global warming to 1.5C, we haven't locked in the additional 0.19C of warming from losing the remaining sea ice in the Arctic. 

With the energy transition well underway, we have a realistic chance of achieving zero emissions within the lifetimes of most people reading these posts.

Once we lose all the summer ice on the Arctic shan't we have such a change in albedo that would result in much more solar energy to enter the Earth system and thereby keeping it warmer even if we cut all Co2 emissions?

Meaning that we have a system change that can not simply be undone even by going to zero?

A recent study calculated that the complete loss of Arctic Sea ice would raise global temperatures by an addition 0.19C over the assumed 1.5C of warming that caused the loss.

Wunderling, N., Willeit, M., Donges, J.F. et al. Global warming due to loss of large ice masses and Arctic summer sea ice. Nat Commun 11, 5177 (2020).

27 October 2020

Global warming due to loss of large ice masses and Arctic summer sea ice


Several large-scale cryosphere elements such as the Arctic summer sea ice, the mountain glaciers, the Greenland and West Antarctic Ice Sheet have changed substantially during the last century due to anthropogenic global warming. However, the impacts of their possible future disintegration on global mean temperature (GMT) and climate feedbacks have not yet been comprehensively evaluated. Here, we quantify this response using an Earth system model of intermediate complexity. Overall, we find a median additional global warming of 0.43 °C (interquartile range: 0.39−0.46 °C) at a CO2 concentration of 400 ppm. Most of this response (55%) is caused by albedo changes, but lapse rate together with water vapour (30%) and cloud feedbacks (15%) also contribute significantly. While a decay of the ice sheets would occur on centennial to millennial time scales, the Arctic might become ice-free during summer within the 21st century. Our findings imply an additional increase of the GMT on intermediate to long time scales.

With CLIMBER-2, we are able to distinguish between the respective cryosphere elements and can compute the additional warming resulting from each of these (Fig. 2). The additional warmings are 0.19 °C (0.16–0.21 °C) for the Arctic summer sea ice, 0.13 °C (0.12–0.14 °C) for GIS, 0.08 °C (0.07–0.09 °C) for mountain glaciers and 0.05 °C (0.04–0.06 °C) for WAIS, where the values in brackets indicate the interquartile range and the main value represents the median. If all four elements would disintegrate, the additional warming is the sum of all four individual warmings resulting in 0.43 °C (0.39–0.46 °C) (thick dark red line in the Fig. 2). Our results regarding the amount of warming are of comparable magnitude to previous efforts computed for late Pliocene realisations (PRISM) of the ice sheets40,41. Both studies show a pronounced warming in the proximity of the locations where ice is removed, which is in good agreement with our results (see Fig. 1 and Supplementary Fig. 2). The disintegration of all elements at the same time can very closely be approximated by the sum of single elements disintegrated indicating that their effects on GMT add up linearly. This can be found in Fig. 3, where we also show the warming for CO2 concentrations from 280 to 700 ppm. Fig. 2 highlights the additional warming of 1.5 °C above pre-industrial.

Warming from the Arctic summer sea ice

We obtain that the warming results are independent from the CO2 concentration forcing between 280 and 700 ppm apart from the Arctic summer sea ice (see Fig. 3a), which shows a decreasing additional warming for higher CO2 concentrations (Fig 4). This can, in turn, be explained: In CLIMBER-2 simulations we find, with increasing prescribed CO2 concentrations corresponding to increasing GMT, that the Arctic summer sea ice area declines in a linear way, which was also found in observational records42 and in GCM simulations9. For a CO2 concentration of 400 ppm corresponding to 1.5 °C in CLIMBER-2 above pre-industrial GMT levels, the additional warming is 0.19 °C (0.16–0.21 °C). The actual minimal sea ice cover observed by NERSC (Nansen Environmental & Remote Sensing Center) as an average area from 1979 to 2006 is on the order of 5.5–6.5 × 106 km2 which would correspond to a warming of approximately 0.15 °C in our simulations (see Fig. 4). In Supplementary Fig. 3, we show the sea ice area over the course of 1 year for the control and the perturbed run.

This is the science article Rogelj is referring too:

Is there warming in the pipeline? A multi-model analysis of the Zero Emissions Commitment from CO2


Thanks for posting the link to the science study.  I apologize for not including it in my original post.

Here's the abstract and some supporting excerpts:

MacDougall, A. H., Frölicher, T. L., Jones, C. D., Rogelj, J., Matthews, H. D., Zickfeld, K., Arora, V. K., Barrett, N. J., Brovkin, V., Burger, F. A., Eby, M., Eliseev, A. V., Hajima, T., Holden, P. B., Jeltsch-Thömmes, A., Koven, C., Mengis, N., Menviel, L., Michou, M., Mokhov, I. I., Oka, A., Schwinger, J., Séférian, R., Shaffer, G., Sokolov, A., Tachiiri, K., Tjiputra , J., Wiltshire, A., and Ziehn, T.: Is there warming in the pipeline? A multi-model analysis of the Zero Emissions Commitment from CO2, Biogeosciences, 17, 2987–3016,, 2020.

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The Zero Emissions Commitment (ZEC) is the change in global mean temperature expected to occur following the cessation of net CO2 emissions and as such is a critical parameter for calculating the remaining carbon budget. The Zero Emissions Commitment Model Intercomparison Project (ZECMIP) was established to gain a better understanding of the potential magnitude and sign of ZEC, in addition to the processes that underlie this metric. A total of 18 Earth system models of both full and intermediate complexity participated in ZECMIP. All models conducted an experiment where atmospheric CO2 concentration increases exponentially until 1000 PgC has been emitted. Thereafter emissions are set to zero and models are configured to allow free evolution of atmospheric CO2 concentration. Many models conducted additional second-priority simulations with different cumulative emission totals and an alternative idealized emissions pathway with a gradual transition to zero emissions. The inter-model range of ZEC 50 years after emissions cease for the 1000 PgC experiment is −0.36 to 0.29 ∘C, with a model ensemble mean of −0.07 ∘C, median of −0.05 ∘C, and standard deviation of 0.19 ∘C. Models exhibit a wide variety of behaviours after emissions cease, with some models continuing to warm for decades to millennia and others cooling substantially. Analysis shows that both the carbon uptake by the ocean and the terrestrial biosphere are important for counteracting the warming effect from the reduction in ocean heat uptake in the decades after emissions cease. This warming effect is difficult to constrain due to high uncertainty in the efficacy of ocean heat uptake. Overall, the most likely value of ZEC on multi-decadal timescales is close to zero, consistent with previous model experiments and simple theory.

The analysis here has shown that across models decadal-scale ZEC is poorly correlated to other metrics of climate warming, such as TCR and ECS, though relationships may exist within model frameworks (Fig. 12). However, the three factors that drive ZEC, ocean heat uptake, ocean carbon uptake, and net land carbon flux correlate relatively well to their states before emissions cease. Thus, it may be useful to conceptualize ZEC as a function of these three components each evolving in their own way in reaction to the cessation of emissions. Ocean heat uptake evolves due to changes in ocean dynamics (e.g. Frölicher et al., 2015) as well as the complex feedbacks that give rise to changes in ocean heat uptake efficacy (Winton et al., 2010). Ocean carbon uptake evolution is affected by ocean dynamics, changes to ocean biogeochemistry, and changes in atmosphere–ocean CO2 chemical disequilibrium, where the latter is also influenced by land carbon fluxes (e.g. Sarmiento and Gruber, 2006). The response of the land biosphere to cessation of emissions is expected to be complex with contributions from the response of photosynthesis to declining atmospheric CO2 concentration, a continuation of enhanced soil respiration (e.g. Jenkinson et al., 1991), and release of carbon from permafrost soils (Schuur et al., 2015), among other factors. Investigating the evolution of the three components in detail may be a valuable avenue of future analysis. Similarly, given their clearer relationships to the state of the Earth system before emissions cease, focusing on the three components independently may prove useful for building a framework to place emergent constraints on ZEC. Future work will explore evaluation opportunities by assessing relationships between these quantities in the idealized 1 % simulation and values at the end of the historical simulations up to present day.

Our analysis has suggested that the efficacy of ocean heat uptake is crucial for determining the temperature effect from ocean heat uptake following cessation of emissions. Efficacy itself is generated by spatial patterns in ocean heat uptake and shortwave cloud feedback processes (Rose et al., 2014; Andrews et al., 2015). Thus, evaluating how these processes and feedbacks evolve after emissions cease is crucial for better understanding ZEC. As the spatially resolved outputs for ZECMIP are now available (see Data availability at the end of the paper), evaluating such feedbacks presents a promising avenue for future research.

Here we have analysed model output from the 18 models that participated in ZECMIP. We have found that the inter-model range of ZEC 50 years after emissions cease for the A1 (1 % to 1000 PgC) experiment is −0.36 to 0.29 ∘C, with a model ensemble mean of −0.07 ∘C, median of −0.05 ∘C, and standard deviation of 0.19 ∘C. Models show a range of temperature evolution after emissions cease from continued warming for centuries to substantial cooling. All models agree that, following cessation of CO2 emissions, the atmospheric CO2 concentration will decline. Comparison between experiments with a sudden cessation of emissions and a gradual reduction in emissions show that long-term temperature change is independent of the pathway of emissions. However, in experiments with a gradual reduction in emissions, a mixture of TCRE and ZEC effects occur as the rate of emissions declines. As the rate of emission reduction in these idealized experiments is similar to that in stringent mitigation scenarios, a similar pattern may emerge if deep emission cuts commence.

Overall, the most likely value of ZEC on decadal timescales is assessed to be close to zero, consistent with prior work. However, substantial continued warming for decades or centuries following cessation of emissions is a feature of a minority of the assessed models and thus cannot be ruled out purely on the basis of models.

Policy and solutions / Re: Coal
« on: January 06, 2021, 06:03:27 PM »
The global coal industry is relying on new power plants in Asia to make up for the demand loss caused by the retirements of coal fired power plants in the US and Europe.  In 2020, Bangladesh, Indonesia, the Philippines and Vietnam cancelled 45 GW of planned new coal plants.  This is in addition to the 27 GW cancelled by Pakistan, noted above.  More plants were deferred until the 2030s and with the growth of renewables, those plants will probably not be built.

Will Asia Actually Fuel A Comeback In Coal?
By Felicity Bradstock - Jan 05, 2021

According to a report published by Global Energy Monitor (GEM), large emerging Asian economies Bangladesh, Indonesia, the Philippines and Vietnam cancelled as much as 45GW of coal power during 2020. While coal appeared the obvious answer for short-term energy supply across Asia, the experience of the energy sector in 2020 has made many look towards renewables for the future of energy.

While many suggested a ‘renaissance’ of the coal industry throughout 2020, this is looking evermore doubtful. Several big funds are moving away from coal, including Australia’s biggest super fund, AustralianSuper, and Norway’s Government Pension Fund Global; which has a tight cap on its coal investments.

In addition to a reduction in financing from major funders, energy companies are themselves hinting at a movement away from coal. Glenmore, the western world’s biggest coal producer, stated plans for a “managed decline of its coal business” and net-zero emissions by 2050 in its annual investor update. This suggests a gradual but eventual shift away from coal.

Generally, despite optimism for a coal comeback throughout 2020, the realities of 2021 suggest otherwise. Pressure to invest more heavily in renewables and the lack of economic incentive to develop the coal industry further means that the coal era may be coming to an end.

The politics / Re: Biden’s Presidency
« on: January 06, 2021, 08:09:03 AM »
It looks like the Democrats are going to win both Senate seats in Georgia, which will mean they effectively have won the Senate (a 50 - 50 tie with vice - President elect Harris casting the tie breaking votes).  This means Biden will get his cabinet secretaries and Supreme Court (and other Federal justices) approved. 

I wouldn’t be surprised to see a couple of Republican senators switch parties in the next year.  Trump’s anti-democratic coup attempt will leave many Republicans questioning their party loyalty. 

While very centerist by European standards, Biden’s cabinet is shaping up to be the most progressive in American history:

Many of the nominated Cabinet Secretaries that control policies related to fighting climate change (Energy, Interior, Agriculture, Transportation) are vocal proponents of advancing policies that will reduce greenhouse gas emissions and sequester carbon.  Biden’s proposed policies clearly have fighting climate change as a central theme, and with the results in the Georgia Senate elections tonight, thing look very favorable in the US Congress now.

The politics / Re: Elections 2020 USA
« on: January 06, 2021, 07:54:34 AM »
Raphael Warnock (D) just won the first Georgia Senate seat and John Ossoff (D) took a 3,500 vote lead with about 60,000 to be counted, mostly from democrat counties.  It looks like the Democrats will have a 50- 50 Senate majority, because Vice-President elect Harris will be casting the tie-breaking votes!  This is great news for the fight against climate change.

Policy and solutions / Re: Nuclear Power
« on: January 06, 2021, 01:35:11 AM »
Only a small portion of France's nuclear waste can be vitrified.  The nastiest stuff has to be stored in stainless steel containers and locked away for thousands of years.

The 90% of least radioactive waste is sealed in drums, metal boxes or concrete containers. Final storage is handled at three Andra centres located in the Manche and Aube departments.

The 10% of most radioactive waste is currently conditioned in stainless steel containers and placed in intermediate storage at AREVA’s La Hague plant. Given its half life of up to several tens of thousands of years, the law provides for the containers’ transfer to a deep geological disposal facility (Cigéo). Being built at the boundary of the Meuse and Haute Marne departments, Cigéo is expected to open in 2025. Waste will be stored in cells excavated at a depth of 500 metres in a stable geological environment surrounded by impermeable argillaceous rock. Another repository is currently being designed to store power plant decommissioning waste.

EDF does vitrify nuclear waste produced by its British plants.  The vitrified waste must still be locked away for eons in geologically isolated storage facilities.

In the UK, where legislation is different, EDF Energy works with the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority (NDA), which is responsible for waste storage. Low and intermediate level waste is retained in dedicated facilities within the power plants and ultimately compacted, incinerated or recycled.

High-level waste is currently vitrified and placed in intermediate storage at the Sellafield reprocessing plant. The British government took a decision in 2006 to ultimately store it in deep geological repositories.

Policy and solutions / Re: Renewable Energy
« on: January 05, 2021, 08:40:10 PM »
The UK geothermal industry is getting underway.

UK’s geothermal sector gets a boost with deal to power thousands of homes
Published Tue, Jan 5 2021

Energy firm Ecotricity has signed a ten-year deal for electricity which will be produced by a British geothermal power plant, representing another step forward for the country’s fledgling industry.

According to an announcement from GEL, electricity from the facility will be sent to Ecotricity customers via the National Grid. Power production is expected to commence in the spring of 2022. 

Both companies claim it will be the first time geothermal electricity has been generated and sold in the U.K. It’s hoped thousands of homes will be powered through the deal.

While the U.K.’s geothermal sector is nascent it is more developed elsewhere. Iceland’s National Energy Authority says geothermal power facilities produce 25% of the country’s total electricity production.

According to preliminary data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration, geothermal power plants across seven states – California, Nevada, Utah, Oregon, Hawaii, Idaho and New Mexico – generated around 16 billion kilowatt-hours in 2019. This, it adds, was “equal to 0.4% of total U.S. utility-scale electricity generation.”

Policy and solutions / Re: Nuclear Power
« on: January 05, 2021, 08:36:40 PM »
Vitrification shares a similar characteristic with many nuclear technologies such as fusion, molten salt reactors, small modular reactors and thorium reactors.  All seem like magical solutions that will solve all of our problems.  None of them have been built and in practice are so expensive that they'll likely never be built.  (Although fusion is only two decades away 8))

Science / Global Warming Would Stop Quickly After Emissions Go To Zero
« on: January 05, 2021, 01:30:10 AM »
A lot of people still assume that temperatures would continue to increase after emissions go to zero.  However, that's no longer what the science shows.

Many Scientists Now Say Global Warming Could Stop Relatively Quickly After Emissions Go to Zero
That’s one of several recent conclusions about climate change that came more sharply into focus in 2020.
By Bob Berwyn
January 3, 2021

Some scientists punctuate their alarming warmings with hopeful messages because they know that the worst possible outcome is avoidable.

Recent research shows that stopping greenhouse gas emissions will break the vicious cycle of warming temperatures, melting ice, wildfires and rising sea levels faster than expected just a few years ago.

There is less warming in the pipeline than we thought, said Imperial College (London) climate scientist Joeri Rogelj, a lead author of the next major climate assessment from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.

“It is our best understanding that, if we bring down CO2 to net zero, the warming will level off. The climate will stabilize within a decade or two,” he said. “There will be very little to no additional warming. Our best estimate is zero.”

The widespread idea that decades, or even centuries, of additional warming are already baked into the system, as suggested by previous IPCC reports, were based on an “unfortunate misunderstanding of experiments done with climate models that never assumed zero emissions.”

Those models assumed that concentrations of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere would remain constant, that it would take centuries before they decline, said Penn State climate scientist Michael Mann, who discussed the shifting consensus last October during a segment of 60 Minutes on CBS.

The idea that global warming could stop relatively quickly after emissions go to zero was described as a “game-changing new scientific understanding” by Covering Climate Now, a collaboration of news organizations covering climate.

Antarctica / Re: Ice Apocalypse - MULTIPLE METERS SEA LEVEL RISE
« on: December 23, 2020, 06:53:47 PM »

It has been a while since I said that I would create an updatable overview of my opinion of how an 'Ice Apocalypse' could unfold in something like the next hundred years, so I decided to make this post to:

a) Motivate myself to assemble such an overview and

b) To note that I currently propose to subdivide this updatable overview into three threads:

   i) A Maximum Credible Domino Scenario (MCDS) thread underpinned by Hansen et al. (2016) and their 5-year doubling freshwater hosing scenario (see the first two images); and by the early MICI work by DeConto, Pollard and Alley (2015-2018) and by output from the CMIP6 'Wolf Pack' model projections (see the third image).  These MCDS scenarios would be based on roughly 10-year intervals (from 2020 to 2150) of Bayesian Networks (see the fourth image for the period from 2030 to 2040) using Domino Effect Analysis (see the first linked reference).

   ii) A Domino Fault Tree analysis (see the second linked reference and open source Fault Three analysis software from the GitHub link) thread to try to substantiate the 'credible' probability of such Domino Bayesian Networks of freshwater hosing events and their associated rough-order probabilities.

   iii) A list of references used to support a 5-year doubling MCDS scenario, and/or other members of a family of such scenarios (in the tradition of the IPCC's radiative forcing scenario families such as: RCP or SSP).

Are you going to estimate the probabilities for your scenarios?  For risk analysis models using Bayesian approaches, that's a critical first step.

In you MCDS scenario, you start with a very, very, low probability event, MICI.  According to DeConto and Pollard, for MICI to start, hydrofracturing, which requires water ponding on the ice shelves, must occur.  And hydrofracturing to the extent required doesn't start until the ocean temperatures around Antarctica increase by 2 degrees C.  They needed to artificially increase the ocean temperatures in their models instantaneously by 2 C just to get MICI starting in the 2070s.  So MICI would appear to be very less likely than 1% to start before the end of the century.

What about events that appear to be mutually exclusive?  For "the wolfpack" climate scenarios to be correct, the clouds over the southern ocean need to warm, change from ice to water and eventually disappate to get the extreme climate sensitivities they predict.  However, for Hansen's fresh water feedback to occur, precipitation needs to increase over the southern ocean, freshening it.  This would seem to imply more clouds to cause more precipitation.  Which is more likely and how do those two seemingly contradictory scenarios interact?

The politics / Re: Midterm American elections 2022
« on: December 23, 2020, 06:24:52 PM »
A google seach leads to a Wikipedia article that answers your question.  Try it and post your answer.

Policy and solutions / Re: Renewable Energy
« on: December 22, 2020, 08:46:45 PM »
The stimulus bill passed by the US Congress yesterday includes many provisions to spur the investment in renewables and other green energy technologies.

Stimulus deal includes raft of provisions to fight climate change
The most substantial federal investment in green technology in a decade includes billions for solar, wind, battery storage and carbon capture. Congress also agreed to cut the use of HFCs, chemicals used in refrigeration that are driving global warming.
By Sarah Kaplan and Dino Grandoni
Dec. 21, 2020

In one of the biggest victories for U.S. climate action in a decade, Congress has moved to phase out a class of potent planet-warming chemicals and provide billions of dollars for renewable energy and efforts to suck carbon from the atmosphere as part of the $900 billion coronavirus relief package.

It will cut the use of hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), chemicals used in air conditioners and refrigerators that are hundreds of times worse for the climate than carbon dioxide. It authorizes a sweeping set of new renewable energy measures, including tax credit extensions and new research and development programs for solar, wind and energy storage; funding for energy efficiency projects; upgrades to the electric grid and a new commitment to research on removing carbon from the atmosphere. And it reauthorizes an Environmental Protection Agency program to curb emissions from diesel engines.

The HFC measure, which empowers the EPA to cut the production and use of HFCs by 85 percent over the next 15 years, is expected to save as much as half a degree Celsius of warming by the end of the century. Scientists say the world needs to constrain the increase in the average global temperature to less than 2 degrees Celsius compared with preindustrial times to avoid catastrophic, irreversible damage to the planet. Some places around the globe are already experiencing an average temperature rise beyond that threshold.

Included in the energy package are roughly $4 billion for solar, wind, hydropower and geothermal research and development; $1.7 billion to help low-income families install renewable energy sources in their homes; $2.6 billion for the Energy Department’s sustainable transportation program; and $500 million for research on reducing industrial emissions.

In a boon for renewable energy companies, Congress extended tax credits for wind and solar and introduced a new credit for offshore wind projects, which Heather Zichal, chief executive of the American Clean Power Association, called “America’s largest untapped clean energy source.” One Department of Energy analysis suggested that developing just 4 percent of the total U.S. offshore wind capacity could power some 25 million homes and reduce the nation’s greenhouse gas emissions by almost 2 percent.

Policy and solutions / Re: Coal
« on: December 21, 2020, 07:49:13 PM »
Pakistan is cancelling 27 GW of planned coal plants and building renewables instead.

Pakistan raises eyebrows by dropping plans for new coal plants

18 December 2020 | By GCR Staff

In a surprise move, Pakistan has abandoned plans to build 27GW of coal power plants between 2030 and 2047, and will invest in renewable energy instead.

Some $6bn of plants under construction will be completed, but no new projects will be undertaken.

Pakistan had based its energy strategy on the discovery, in the early nineties, of a huge coal deposit beneath the Thar desert in Sindh Province. The country has just begun to exploit this with a Chinese-financed coal mine and 330MW power plant, completed last year.

Over the last five years, Pakistan has built 18 wind power projects generating 937MW, six solar power projects producing 418MW. However, wind, solar, hydro and nuclear make up only 36% of the energy mix, and the remainder is produced by fossil fuels – mainly natural gas.

Policy and solutions / Re: Renewable Energy
« on: December 21, 2020, 07:24:21 PM »
Companies are recognizing the potential of geothermal energy as a renewable baseload power source.  When external costs and availability are included in the cost/benefit analysis, geothermal energy comes out as the most effective source for generating energy.

Geothermal energy, the forgotten renewable, has finally arrived
By Michael J. Coren

Climate reporter
December 20, 2020

Utilities weren’t prioritizing low-carbon baseload until now. “Geothermal fills a critical gap to complete the energy transition,” says Jesse Jenkins, an energy systems engineer at Princeton University, who estimates it could one day exceed the capacity of nuclear and hydropower. “Technical potential is not really the question. It is the economic question.”

Historically, geothermal looked like the expensive option. Geothermal power can cost about $140 per megawatt-hour, double the price of onshore wind, and nearly five times more than solar, according to the California Energy Commission. In 2017, Warren Buffet’s Berkshire Hathaway, which holds rights to much of the Salton Sea’s geothermal field, finally abandoned a permit for a 215 MW plant after years of struggling to find buyers for its electricity.

But that calculus ignored something critical: Wind and solar can’t provide baseload energy. A better way to calculate the cost to utilities is to measure the price of adding a particular megawatt to the grid. Electrons that can be turned on or off are worth more than those that can’t. Using this approach, the US Energy Information Administration says, new geothermal capacity in 2025 should cost just $37 per megawatt/hour, cheaper than almost every source besides solar photovoltaic ($36 per MWh).

Creating new geothermal fields, it turns out, requires just the right mix of rock and heat. Luckily, those conditions exist almost anywhere—if you’re willing to drill. For every kilometer down into the Earth’s crust, temperatures rise about 25°C. “If you can figure out a way to tap that, you can get a phenomenal amount of energy,” says Will Fleckenstein, an engineering professor studying unconventional drilling at the Colorado School of Mines. “It’s essentially everywhere.”

Private investment has started ramping up in anticipation. In the first half of 2020, global geothermal investments exceeded $675 million, six times more than the year prior, according to Bloomberg New Energy Finance (renewables investments overall rose only 5% during that time). Within five years, global geothermal production capacity is predicted to rise from 16 gigawatts to 24 GW, according to Rystad Energy.

Policy and solutions / Re: Oil and Gas Issues
« on: December 21, 2020, 06:41:46 PM »
Sinopec, China's largest oil refiner, predicts peak gasoline demand in China by 2025.  Many refineries are being built there though, which means a lot of stranded assets.

China's Top Refiner Sees Oil Product Demand Peak By 2025
By Charles Kennedy - Dec 18, 2020

China's largest refiner, Sinopec, expects domestic demand for oil products to peak by 2025 due to COVID impacts and the rise of electric vehicles, Argus reported on Friday, citing Sinopec's research think-tank as saying in its annual report.

"China's oil products will enter a final growth phase before peaking in the next five years," the Economics and Development Research Institute (EDRI) at Sinopec said, as carried by Argus.

According to the research institute, gasoline demand in China will likely peak in 2025, while demand for diesel could peak as soon as next year.

Despite the expected imminent peak in domestic demand for oil products, refinery capacity in China is set to jump to nearly 20 million bpd by 2025, up from an estimated 17.83 million bpd in 2020, Sinopec's forecasts cited by Argus showed.

Surging Chinese oil product exports are set to put pressure on refiners elsewhere in Asia as the global refining industry is struggling with overcapacity. Refiners around the world have been announcing permanent closures of refinery capacity this year after the pandemic crushed fuel demand worldwide, and significant overcapacity still remains, the International Energy Agency (IEA) said last month.

Policy and solutions / Re: Renewable Energy
« on: December 18, 2020, 10:35:48 PM »
If I am reading the data on Gridwatch right, the UK has just generated a record 13.8 GW of windpower for an hour. The weather does not look spectacularly windy where I am in the south east but I guess widespread strong wind is better than high windspead peaks which get turbines to feather their blades. Lets see what the rest of the winter brings, I am not aware of recent large increases in capacity, or does somebody else have better information?

According to this news article from October, UK wind capacity is growing quickly, with 1.3 GW expected to come online this winter.  Maybe some if it is already online?

UK wind capacity to grow by 1.3GW this winter

CfDs will drive 5% rise in new additions, says Cornwall Insight
20 October 2020

A total of 1300MW of new wind capacity could come online this winter in the UK, according to Cornwall Insight's renewables pipeline tracker report.

Cornwall Insight's tracker report shows this 5% rise could result in 25.4GW of installed capacity by March 2021.

Policy and solutions / Re: Electric cars
« on: December 17, 2020, 07:19:42 PM »
Current cost projections for EV battery packs have them reaching parity with ICEs by 2023 and being half their current cost by 2030.

Falling Battery Costs To Help EV Prices Match ICE Vehicles in 2023
By Charles Kennedy - Dec 16, 2020

Electric vehicles (EVs) are set to erase the current price advantage of conventional cars when battery pack prices drop to $100 per kilowatt-hour in 2023, BNEF’s new 2020 Battery Price Survey showed on Wednesday.

In its 2020 Battery Price Survey, BNEF now sees battery pack prices reaching the $100/kWh milestone in 2023, while the current battery price is at an average $126/kWh.

“Our analysis shows that even if prices for raw materials were to return to the highs seen in 2018, it would only delay average prices reaching $100/kWh by two years -- rather than completely derailing the industry,” James Frith, lead author of the report and BNEF’s head of energy storage research, says.

By 2030, the price of battery packs will more than halve compared to current prices and are set to average $58/kWh, BNEF predicts in its new report. This drop in prices could also be supported by mass production of solid-state batteries, which BNEF sees costing 40 percent of the cost to make lithium-ion batteries. 

Policy and solutions / Re: Oil and Gas Issues
« on: December 17, 2020, 06:33:32 PM »
Private investors are increasingly abandoning fossil fuels and investing in environmental, social and governance (ESG) investments instead.

Investors Are Re-Evaluating the Future of Fossil Fuel, Energy
Max Chen December 11, 2020

Socially responsible investments like those that track environmental, social, and governance factors have gained momentum, and have even caused some to push off investments in fossil fuel.

Money manager Jacinto Hernandez, a partner at Capital Group Cos., has questioned the sensibility of still investing in oil and gas companies after the novel coronavirus pandemic crushed global demand for fuel and the near-term outlook on the energy sector, the Wall Street Journal reports.

Even before the pandemic cut the world demand for fuel, the future of the crude oil industry was already under threat due developments in electric cars, the proliferation of renewable energy, and a spotlight on the long-term impact of climate change.

Furthermore, investors are now faced with an uncertain path in the direction that the oil industry will take as oil prices no longer follow the usually predictable cycle of boom and bust. There are even signs that oil demand may not ever fully recovery. The International Energy Agency projects that global oil demand will peak in the 2030s. Meanwhile, capital expenditures in renewable power supply are anticipated to overtake traditional energy for the first time, according to Goldman Sachs Group Inc.

Policy and solutions / Re: Oil and Gas Issues
« on: December 17, 2020, 06:27:40 PM »
OPEC estimates that $12.6 trillion will need to be invested in the global oil industry to meet forecast demand.  Given that renewables are cheaper than fossil fuels and that EVs are on pace to be cheaper than gas burning cars within a few years, that investment likely wont happen.  Investors have already turned from fossil fuels to renewables and EVs, and with oil demand dropping, that trend will likely accelerate.

Oil Industry Needs Whopping $12.6 Trillion In Investments
By Irina Slav - Dec 17, 2020

The global oil industry needs some $12.6 trillion in investments through 2045, the secretary-general of OPEC said at a videoconference, adding these investments would be essential for the industry to improve the efficiency of its operations.

Also this month, however, the cartel revised down its oil demand forecast for 2021. According to its latest Monthly Oil Market Report, demand for crude next year will only increase by 5.9 million bpd, a 350,000-bpd lower forecast than last month’s.

The cartel faces even greater challenges over the long term thanks to a rush among governments and companies, notably asset managers, to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. This would have a substantial impact on the oil industry, with some suggesting the world is already past peak oil demand.

Policy and solutions / Re: Renewable Energy
« on: December 15, 2020, 10:28:20 PM »
The US is on pace to install 19 GW of new solar capacity this year with another 69 GW already contracted for in Purchase Power Agreements.

US set for record 19GW of new solar capacity installations in 2020
By Jules Scully Dec 15, 2020

New solar capacity installations in the US are expected to rise 43% this year as the industry recovers from the worst impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a new study by the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) and Wood Mackenzie.

That increase would see a record 19GW of new solar installed in 2020, as confidence in the utility PV segment has “surged back” following months of market uncertainty, the US Solar Market Insight Q4 2020 report said.

While utilities have continued ramping up solar procurement in anticipation of the Investment Tax Credit (ITC) project completion deadline on 31 December 2023, they are also turning to solar to help meet new carbon reduction or renewables targets as they come under increasing pressure from large corporate offtakers. The report says a total of 9.5GWdc of new utility PV power purchase agreements were announced in Q3 2020, bringing the contracted pipeline to a record total of 69GWdc.

While not every residential installer has recovered to the same extent, the study notes that “many of the larger installers are reporting record sales volumes and project pipelines”. Indeed, panellists in a recent Roth Capital webinar forecasted a strong Q4 and Q1 2021 as installers work to reduce their project backlogs.

In terms of non-residential PV – such as commercial, government, nonprofit and community solar – the report says the segment returned to first quarter installation figures in Q3, with 429MW deployed. The combination of project delays and demand pull-in from the ITC means that 2021 is expected to be a record-breaking year for non-residential solar at nearly 2.4GWdc.

Policy and solutions / Re: Oil and Gas Issues
« on: December 14, 2020, 09:21:42 PM »
If Governments stick to their policies to rebuild from the Covid recession with low carbon electricity, future liquified natural gas (LNG) demand will plunge by 77% from current projections.

Bombshell Report Pours Cold Water On Global LNG Outlook
By Irina Slav - Dec 13, 2020

When the European Union tied its pandemic relief plan to renewable energy generation and emissions reduction targets, analysts sounded an alarm for LNG as the production of the superchilled fuel involves a certain amount of greenhouse gas emissions. Now, Wood Mackenzie is warning that global energy transition goals could threaten more than two-thirds of the world’s supply of liquefied natural gas, leaving trillions of cubic meters of gas in resources stranded.

This forecast is a stark departure from pretty much all gas demand projections, including from energy industry majors such as BP, which invariably see this demand growing as gas replaces oil as a less polluting fossil fuel, especially in developing economies.

A decline of 77 percent for projected LNG demand is quite a downward revision that will only add to the woes of an industry that has seen a supply boom, which led to a glut and a price depression that made some projects economically unviable. If indeed renewable energy ambitions take the upper hand in the coming couple of decades, the projected flourishing of the LNG industry as the world moves away from oil might never materialize.

Antarctica / Re: Ice Apocalypse - MULTIPLE METERS SEA LEVEL RISE
« on: December 09, 2020, 06:16:11 PM »
My quote references SSP 8.5, and the attached plot shows Energy and Industry CO2 emissions thru December 2019 vs the SSP scenarios, and which indicates that we are relatively close to SSP 8.5.

It's interesting that energy and industry CO2 emissions were on the RCP 8.5 pathway yet the CO2 concentrations are closer to the RCP 2.6 pathway.  That suggests that either natural emissions are lower or the carbon sinks absorb more CO2 than consensus science estimates.

Antarctica / Re: Ice Apocalypse - MULTIPLE METERS SEA LEVEL RISE
« on: December 09, 2020, 01:50:50 AM »

As it is likely that the final GMSTA for 2020 will be almost the same as that for 2016; and as the 2020-2021 ENSO season is very likely to be an official La Nina season; I have updated the first attached image of Hansen's La Nina trend vs GMSTA; with my purple lines indicating that the rate of increase of GMSTA is accelerating rapidly as compare to earlier trend lines.  This means that we are collectively more likely to pass the U.N.'s 2C limit sooner than consensus climate scientists have previously acknowledged.

In this regard, we are currently still essentially on the SSP 8.5 forcing pathway, and if the high-end (Wolf Pack) CMIP6 GMSTA projections are correct (see the second [by Hausfather 2020] and third [particularly the heavy black curve for UKESM1-0-LL] images) then we will likely pass the 2C limit around 2034; which per DeConto and Pollard would significantly increase the risk of an MICI-type of collapse of the Thwaites Glacier after 2034 (due to the increase risk of hydrofracturing).

Edit: Note that by extending my last purple La Nina vs GMSTA trendline (for from 2018 to 2020), this also indicates that GMSTA will reach 2C circa 2034 to 2035.

In 2020 RCP 2.5 forecasts a CO2 concentration of 412.1 ppm while RCP 8.5 forecasts 415.8 ppm.  The global average concentration in 2019 was 409.85.  With an estimated growth rate of 2.5 ppm, the 2020 concentration would be 412.35, much closer to RCP 2.6 then 8.5.

And the energy transition has made RCP 8.5 extremely unlikely. Coal consumption peaked in 2013 and in 2019 more coal fired power plant capacity was retired globally than was started.  Yet RCP 8.5 projects huge increases in coal use for eight more decades.

And SSP 8.5 is even worse in its projections on energy use than RCP 8.5:

With global coal use having declined slightly since its peak in 2014, it is hard to envision a world where coal expands this dramatically in the future even in the absence of new climate policies. This is particularly true given the falling prices of alternative energy technologies in recent years. A forthcoming “expert elicitation” – where energy experts were asked to assess the likelihood of various outcomes – gives RCP8.5 only a 5% chance of occurring among all the possible no-policy baseline scenarios.

The reality is that renewables are taking over from fossil fuels at a pace that hadn't been expected in 2007 when the RCP scenarios were created.  Since renewables are much more efficient than fossil fuels (around 1/3 of the energy from fossil fuels goes up the smokestack as waste heat), they lead to a huge decrease in primary energy needed.

The IEA's World Energy Outlook 2020 has more realistic scenarios, even though the IEA is known for underestimating the growth of renewables.

In its annual WEO, the IEA models the long-term developments on the global commodity and energy markets up to 2070. This year’s WEO focuses on the next decade. In particular, the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on the energy sector are examined in more detail. Particularly in this year, the WEO 2020 contains four scenarios.
WEO 2020 outlines four scenarios

Their respective characteristics are briefly summarised below:

    COVID-19 will be brought under control next year in the “Stated Policies Scenario” (STEPS) and the world economy will reach pre-crisis levels.
    In contrast, the “Delayed Recovery Scenario" (DRS) assumes that the pandemic will not have any impact only after 2023. This would make this the decade with the lowest growth rate in energy demand since the 1930s.
    Thirdly, the focus in the “Sustainable Development Scenario” (SDS) is on compliance with the Paris Agreement by 2050.
    Last but not least, the new “Net Zero Emissions by 2050 case” (NZE2050) even surpasses the SDS and describes which changes are necessary in the next 10 years to reach the target of net zero emissions by 2050.

Figure 1 shows the course of CO2-emissions from energy use and industry and different reduction levers for three scenarios until 2030.

Renewable energies cover majority of additional energy consumption

In all four scenarios of the WEO 2020, coal demand falls continuously, but only in the SDS and NZE2050 coal-fired power generation falls significantly. This is also shown in Figure 3. Especially in Europe and the US, coal demand is projected to fall sharply.

Figure 4: Global primary energy demand by fuel, millions of tonnes of oil equivalent, between 1990 and 2040. Future demand is based on the STEPS (solid lines) and SDS (dashed). Other renewables includes solar, wind, geothermal and marine. (source: CarbonBrief)

Policy and solutions / Re: Renewable Energy
« on: December 07, 2020, 10:33:31 PM »
Most of the fossil fuel power plants in the US are so old that only 15% of them would have to be retired early to fully decarbonize the US power grid by 2035.

Decarbonizing electricity production in the US by 2035 less costly than expected
MINING.COM Staff Writer | December 7, 2020

Meeting the 2035 deadline for decarbonizing electricity production in the United States – as proposed by the incoming Biden administration – would eliminate just 15% of the capacity-years left in plants powered by fossil fuels.

This, according to a generator-level model published in the journal Science which suggests that most fossil fuel power plants could complete normal lifespans and still close by 2035 because so many facilities are nearing the end of their operational lives.
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The article states that plant retirements are already underway, with 126 gigawatts of fossil generator capacity taken out of production between 2009 and 2018, including 33 gigawatts in 2017 and 2018 alone.

Antarctica / Re: Ice Apocalypse - MULTIPLE METERS SEA LEVEL RISE
« on: December 04, 2020, 11:23:35 PM »
Ice clouds provide a negative feedback until the ice is completely gone.  That occurs after a temperature increase of 3 to 4 C.  That's when the sensitivity would increase.

The linked reference indicates that as the ice cloud fraction decreases the negative cloud feedback weakens and a less negative cloud feedback means a higher climate sensitivity well before all of the ice in the clouds is completely gone.

Jiang Zhu and Christopher J. Poulsen (02 September 2020), "On the increase of climate sensitivity and cloud feedback with warming in the Community Atmosphere Models", Geophysical Research Letters,

That paper is behind a paywall.  Can you link to an open access version of the full paper?

Antarctica / Re: Ice Apocalypse - MULTIPLE METERS SEA LEVEL RISE
« on: December 04, 2020, 07:41:16 PM »
You left out a key quote from that article:

So why does this happen? As the temperature increases, more and more of the ice crystals in the mixed-phase clouds over the Southern Ocean become liquid, until virtually no ice is left in the clouds. (In CESM2, this occurs when the global mean surface air temperature increase reaches 3-4C, but it is highly model dependent.) Without any ice left, the negative cloud phase feedback gets exhausted.


To me the 'key quote' that you cite above means that from now until GMSTA reaches 3-4C, climate sensitivity will continuously increase due to reducing ice content in the mixed-phase clouds over the Southern Ocean.  This not mean that climate sensitivity only begins to increase, by this mechanism, once GMSTA reaches 3-4C.

Ice clouds provide a negative feedback until the ice is completely gone.  That occurs after a temperature increase of 3 to 4 C.  That's when the sensitivity would increase.

Antarctica / Re: Ice Apocalypse - MULTIPLE METERS SEA LEVEL RISE
« on: December 03, 2020, 08:13:51 PM »
While I have previously posted links to the research cited in the linked article about how declining ice content in clouds makes relatively high climate sensitivities likely; I think that it is good to remember that most existing consensus climate models (including both in CMIP5 and CMIP6) are known to contain more ice content in their modelled clouds than what is observed in reality; which means that they incorrectly simulate too much negative cloud feedback with continued global warming.

Title: "How declining ice in clouds makes high ‘climate sensitivity’ plausible"

Extract: "Even though CESM2 is only one example of models with high ECS, the mechanism described above must operate both in reality and in other global climate models. However, the importance of the effect depends on the model itself, how much ice it simulates in the mixed-phase clouds in the first place, and how quickly the Southern Ocean warms relative to the global average. As mentioned above, CESM2 correctly simulates a relatively low fraction of cloud ice in the mixed-phased clouds of the Southern Ocean. However, it is well known that most climate models simulate too much cloud ice compared to satellite observations and, therefore, would retain their negative cloud phase feedback longer than CESM2 does.

As for whether climate sensitivities above 5C are plausible, a complete answer to that question requires further testing of these models – for example, with respect to how well they reproduce past climate states both hotter and colder than the present. However, we have demonstrated that having the right cloud phase starting point for such simulations is critical – so far, a majority of climate models have not.

So, to answer the question of what happens if no ice is left and the clouds are already all liquid: It would mean that the climate system loses a natural cooling response. At that point it would enter a high-sensitivity state, which would make it even harder to slow the pace of global warming.

Bjordal, J. et al. (2020) Equilibrium climate sensitivity above 5C plausible due to state-dependent cloud feedback, Nature Geoscience, doi:10.1038/s41561-020-00649-1y"

You left out a key quote from that article:

So why does this happen? As the temperature increases, more and more of the ice crystals in the mixed-phase clouds over the Southern Ocean become liquid, until virtually no ice is left in the clouds. (In CESM2, this occurs when the global mean surface air temperature increase reaches 3-4C, but it is highly model dependent.) Without any ice left, the negative cloud phase feedback gets exhausted.

With the recent installations of renewable power plants and new stated climate policies from China, Japan, South Korea and a new policy from the US due in January 2021, global warming is expected to be limited to 2.1 C.  And with the energy transition occurring more rapidly than experts are predicting, 1.5 C is within reach.

Climate action pledges could curb global warming to 2.1C - analysis
Updated / Tuesday, 1 Dec 2020

Action to tackle climate emissions announced by countries in recent months could help limit global warming to 2.1C, analysis suggests.

A new assessment by Climate Action Tracker (CAT) found that if governments meet all their commitments to cut greenhouse gases to net zero by 2050 it could limit temperature rises to 2.1C above pre-industrial levels by 2100.

It puts the global climate goal in the Paris Agreement - to limit temperature rises to 1.5C - "within striking distance", the experts behind the analysis said.

And emissions aren't growing as fast as the IPCC projected.

Emissions growth slower than worst-case projections

Date: November 30, 2020
Source: University of Colorado at Boulder
Summary: New research reveals that emissions are not growing as fast as the UN's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change's assessments have indicated -- and that the IPCC is not using the most up-to-date climate scenarios in its planning and policy recommendations.

The new study, published today in Environmental Research Letters, is the most rigorous evaluation of how projected climate scenarios established by the IPCC have evolved since they were established in 2005.

The good news: Emissions are not growing nearly as fast as IPCC assessments have indicated, according to the study's authors. The bad news: The IPCC is not using the most accurate and up-to-date climate scenarios in its planning and policy recommendations.

Policy and solutions / Re: Oil and Gas Issues
« on: December 03, 2020, 06:15:09 PM »
Much like Trump's efforts to save coal, this action is symbolic in nature, and won't actually do anything. 

You left out a key quote from that article:

The sale, which is now set for Jan. 6, could cap a bitter, decades-long battle over whether to drill in the coastal plain, and it seals the administration's efforts to open the land to development. But the Trump administration's plan for the sale may also draw legal challenges from drilling opponents, who could target the aggressive timeline in court.

It won't be a problem to get a stay of the sales until past noon of January 20, 2021.  Ignoring statutory requirements for public comment periods is a loser in court.  After January 20, 2021, President Biden's executive order halting new leases for oil and gas drilling on Federal lands will go into effect.

Also, keep in mind that there's a law that allows Congress to review and overturn any rules issued by the Executive branch within the last six months of the Administration.  Republicans used it extensively in early 2017, so expect the Democrats to return the favor in 2021. 

Biden's administration is already drafting the Executive Orders that will be issued when he takes office and I'm sure that Congress has a list of recently issued rules that they'll overturn.

Policy and solutions / Re: Coal
« on: December 03, 2020, 01:26:05 AM »
China's electricity production increased by 4.6% in October compared to October 2019.  Yet China's coal imports are down 46.6% from October 2019 and domestic production only rose by 1.4%.  Measured against September, China's coal production is down by 0.9%.

The drop in Chinese coal imports is hitting Australia and Indonesia coal producers hard.

Somehow, China is managing to increase their electricity production while decreasing their imports and domestic production of coal.

It may have something to do with the fact that renewables are less expensive than coal.

Renewable energy costs have dropped so much that China could generate more than 60% of it's electricity from non-fossil fuel sources by 2030.

Aug 10, 2020
Plummeting Renewable Energy, Battery Prices Mean China Could Hit 62% Clean Power And Cut Costs 11% By 2030
Silvio Marcacci

China is the world’s largest greenhouse gas emitter, and is building the most power plants of any country in the world, making its decarbonization paramount to preventing dangerous climate change. But the costs of wind, solar, and energy storage have fallen so fast that building clean power is now cheaper than building fossil fuels – a lot cheaper.

New research shows plummeting clean energy prices mean China could reliably run its grids on at least 62% non-fossil electricity generation by 2030, while cutting costs 11% compared to a business-as-usual approach. Once again, it’s cheaper to save the climate than destroy it.

Policy and solutions / Re: Coal
« on: December 02, 2020, 07:23:18 PM »
Chinese officials are acknowledging that they have more coal-fired power plants under construction than they will need and that the construction of new coal-fired power plants will be banned in the next five-year plan.

November 19, 2020
China's carbon neutrality pledge undermined by coal power plans: study

By Reuters Staff

SHANGHAI (Reuters) - China’s plan to build more coal-fired power “contradicts” its pledge to go carbon neutral by 2060 and risks creating 2 trillion yuan ($303.60 billion) in stranded assets, according to new research published on Friday.

But China must impose a moratorium on new plants and work to phase out existing ones, with 130 GW already surplus to requirements and “optimal” capacity expected to stand at around 680 GW by 2030, the report said.

“Given that half of China’s enormous coal capacity is less than 10 years old, and the equivalent of another 100 large plants are already under construction, there is definitely no need for more if the country wants to avoid massive waste of capital,” he added.

“From the fourteenth five-year plan (2021-2025) we will probably start to restrict and ban the further development of coal and coal-fired power plants,” he said.

The Production Gap report says G20 governments have committed more than $230bn (£173bn) in Covid-19-related funding to fossil fuel production and consumption to date, far more than the $150bn to clean energy. But it found that between 2020 and 2030, global coal, oil, and gas production must fall by 11%, 4%, and 3% a year respectively, to meet the 1.5C target.

In addition to government policies, economics are also important.  And the reality is that alternatives to fossil fuels are either cheaper now (wind and solar power) or are becoming cheaper in the next few years (battery electric vehicles).

Oil demand is expected to drop in the next few years due to decreased air travel (which will lead to a 4% drop in oil demand alone in 2021), and the increased adoption of electric vehicles.  So beating the 4% for oil is a given.

Coal is dropping like a rock due to the fact that it's more expensive than renewables and natural gas.  Global consumption peaked in 2013 and more capacity is being retired than is being built now.  While China still builds new coal fired power plants to keep construction workers employed, they run the plants at lower capacity factors because the electricity is more expensive and more polluting than the alternatives.  While reductions in coal use may not reach 11% in the early 2020's, reductions of greater than 11% per year are likely by the end of the decade.  It's unlikely that any coal fired power plants will be operating in the US, India or Europe after 2035 because it is cheaper to build new wind and solar than it is to run an existing coal fired power plant.  It will be interesting to see how China treats coal in it's new five-year plan to be published soon.  They can't afford to have their manufacturers pay more for electricity if Vietnam, India and their other competitors switch to cheaper renewable electricity.

Natural gas is currently the most competitive fossil fuel with renewables, but as renewables continue to decrease in cost, natural gas will lose that advantage.  For electricity generation, renewables will continue to take market share from gas at an increasing rate.  In the US, we're currently installing 75% new renewables to 25% new gas.  A few years ago, those numbers were reversed.  In the US, we're seeing media reports about natural gas being in the same position coal was a few years ago (about to be replaced by renewables).

And we're seeing large battery installation replace peaker gas plants and investment in new LNG export facilities has dried up with no new final investment decisions for LNG facilities in North America this year.  Several major pipeline projects in the US were cancelled this year.

In summary, while fossil fuel producers may have grandiose plans to continue to grow their facilities and production ability, the reality is that they're on the decline.  And the alternatives to fossil fuels continue to get cheaper, which will lead to more cancellations for planned projects and more early retirements for existing facilities.

Exxon just wrote down $17 billion in fossil fuel assets.  BP has acknowledge that peak oil demand occurred in 2019 and shifted billions of dollars of investment plans from oil production to renewable energy projects.  With these large private corporations making these financial decisions, it's clear that the energy transition is well underway.

Policy and solutions / Re: Oil and Gas Issues
« on: December 02, 2020, 06:17:50 PM »
The air travel industry is projecting that there will be 1 billion more passengers in 2021 then they project for 2020.  However, that would still be 1.7 billion fewer passengers than flew in 2019.  That's very bad news for the oil industry.

Why An Air Travel Recovery Won’t Spark An Oil Rally
By Julianne Geiger - Dec 01, 2020

Oil demand isn’t going to see a bump from air travel demand anytime soon, or so the International Air Transport Association (IATA) said in a recent press release.

According to the IATA, 2.8 billion passengers are expected to travel in 2021. That’s 1 billion more passengers than it expects will travel in 2020.

But that’s the extent of the good news as pertains to oil demand, which has seen considerable drop off this year as a result of all the pandemic-related lockdowns and travel restrictions imposed on the world.

The bad news is, those 2.8 billion passengers expected to fly next year is still 1.7 billion fewer than in 2019. Percentage-wise, that’s still an ugly drop off.

The IATA summed up their bleak forecasts with this:

“Passenger volumes are not expected to return to 2019 levels until 2024 at the earliest, with domestic markets recovering faster than international services.”

The extra-bleak “at the earliest” qualifier should have the oil industry—and OPEC specifically—shaking in their boots. And they are.

And when we talk about demand destruction of crude oil, a huge chunk of it is consumed in the transportation sector. Global jet fuel demand accounts for 8% of the world’s total oil consumption. This means that when the forecast calls for a 50 percent reduction in RPK, we should expect a 4 percent drop in crude oil demand. And this is for next year, not for 2020. And for years, the IATA is expecting air travel to be diminished.

Policy and solutions / Re: Oil and Gas Issues
« on: December 02, 2020, 01:27:56 AM »
The linked article provides updates of forecasts of peak oil consumption ranging from 2019 (BP) to 2040 (OPEC).

Peak Oil Is Suddenly Upon Us
 By Tom Randall and Hayley Warren
November 30, 2020

A year ago, if anyone in the petroleum business had suggested that the moment of Peak Oil  had already passed, they would have been laughed right off the drilling rig. Then 2020 happened.

As a once-in-a-century pandemic played out, British oil giant BP Plc in September made an extraordinary call: Humanity’s thirst for oil may never again return to prior levels. That would make 2019 the high-water mark in oil history.

BP wasn’t the only one sounding an alarm. While none of the prominent forecasters were quite as bearish, predictions for peak oil started popping up everywhere. Even OPEC, the unflappably bullish cartel of major oil exporters, suddenly acknowledged an end in sight—albeit still two decades away. Taken together these forecasts mark an emerging view that this year’s drop in oil demand isn’t just another crash-and-grow event as seen throughout history. Covid-19 has accelerated long-term trends that are transforming where our energy comes from. Some of those changes will be permanent.

The list of energy analysts who now foresee a peak in oil demand keeps growing. It includes Norway’s state-owned oil company Equinor (peaking around 2027-28), Norwegian energy researcher Rystad Energy (2028), French oil major Total SA (2030), consulting firm McKinsey (2033), clean-energy research group BloombergNEF (2035), and energy-industry advisors Wood Mackenzie (2035). The exporting nations of OPEC put the peak in 2040 while acknowledging that its new forecast might still prove too optimistic for oil.

The gap between BP’s predictions for declining demand and the more bullish forecasts of OPEC and IEA can’t be explained by economic outlooks or remote work. Instead, it comes down to different readings of another shift clearly visible this year: drivers switching to battery-powered cars and trucks. Transportation slurps up more than half of the world’s crude, and three quarters of that goes specifically to wheels on the road. Forecasts for electric vehicles end up shaping the outlook for oil.

For the first nine months of 2020, car sales cratered. Every major automaker was affected—with the notable exception of Tesla. The electric automaker sold more cars than ever before. Even as the rest of the economy stood frozen, Tesla posted its longest stretch of profitable quarters and ended the year with inclusion in the S&P 500 stock index.

A closer look at the data shows it wasn’t just a Tesla story. Electric vehicles in general managed to thrive even as sales of traditional cars broke down. Both Volkswagen and Daimler saw record-setting declines in total sales, even while sales at their EV divisions doubled.

The divided fortunes of internal combustion engines (ICE) and electric drivetrains was first noticed in 2018, a year when EVs bucked the trend of slowing auto sales. Some analysts started to wonder if fossil-fuel vehicles might never return to sales levels of 2017. Back then the idea of Peak ICE was just a theory. The pandemic made it real.

Automakers are working on 35 new all-electric vehicles to be released next year, according to a tally by BNEF. In 2020, Tesla broke ground on a factory in Austin, Texas, to build pickup trucks and big rigs. Well-funded EV startups Rivian and Lucid Motors put the finishing touches on their make-or-break vehicles. Volkswagen sold the first cars on its new modular platform underpinning dozens of future electric models. Chinese automakers prepared for debuts in new Western markets: BYD’s Tang EV600, Geely’s Polestar 2, Xpeng’s P7.

The past year saw the first companies reaching the Holy Grail in battery packs: a cost of $100 per kilowatt hour. That’s the point that analysts have long believed will bring the cost of building electric cars in line with similar gasoline-fueled vehicles. After that, EVs will only get cheaper.

Volkswagen, the biggest automaker by cars sold, confirmed that its batteries had reached the $100 threshold for its 2020 ID.3 sedan and upcoming ID.4 compact SUV. China’s CATL, the world’s biggest battery supplier, also claimed $100 battery nirvana as it struck deals across the auto industry.

One of President-elect Joe Biden’s first moves afterwards was to name former Secretary of State John Kerry as special envoy for climate, a new cabinet-level position. Kerry, an architect of the Paris pact, vowed to rejoin it on the new administration’s first day. A push to set a 2050 end-date for U.S. emissions and a drive to clean up the U.S. electrical grid are likely to follow.

Now the three biggest global powers—the U.S., China, and Europe—are poised to push again on policies that accelerate the transition from oil. Together, the three are responsible for burning more than half of all the world’s crude.

It's a lengthy article, but well worth the time to read.

Policy and solutions / Re: Renewable Energy
« on: December 01, 2020, 10:29:05 PM »
Canada is producing geothermal energy from sedimentary rock formations using techniques developed for the oil and gas industry.

Saskatchewan driller hits 'gusher' with ground-breaking geothermal well that offers hope for oil workers

A first for Canada and the world, the well can produce enough electricity to power 3,000 homes
Author of the article:
Geoffrey Morgan
Publishing date:
Nov 27, 2020

CALGARY — A small, Saskatoon-based company has drilled and fracked the world’s first 90-degree horizontal well for geothermal power in a potentially landmark move that signals the arrival of a new energy source in Canada and provides fresh opportunities for oil and gas workers to apply their skills in renewable power.

No company in Canada has produced electricity from geothermal heat, but Deep Earth Energy Production Corp. chief executive officer Kirsten Marcia told the Financial Post that there’s a “big, big future for geothermal power in Western Canada,” as demonstrated by the results of the first ever horizontal geothermal well, which is also the deepest horizontal well ever drilled in Saskatchewan.

In Canada’s nascent geothermal power industry, Deep’s “gusher” can produce steaming-hot water and brine with a temperature of 127 degrees centigrade at a rate of 100 litres per second. Marcia said those flow rates mean the well will actually be limited by the hardware, such as pump capacity, that are connected to the wellhead. She said the well, called the Border-5HZ well, is capable of producing 3 megawatts of renewable, reliable electricity, enough to power 3,000 homes.

The well will form part of a larger 20MW geothermal power project, which is expected to commence construction in 2023 in southern Saskatchewan close to the U.S. border.

The well is also a first for the global geothermal industry.

“This is a sedimentary geothermal project. There aren’t a lot of them in the world,” Marcia said, noting that most geothermal power projects, including those in world-leading Iceland, drill vertically into volcanic rock formations. “In terms of drilling into a sedimentary basin, you’re drilling into sedimentary units that are like a stack of pancakes.”

This week, Alberta MLAs passed legislation that will allow the province’s energy regulator to develop a new framework for geothermal wells to be licensed and drilled in the province. The bill is considered a way to keep oilfield services workers, such as drillers, working as investment in renewable energy is projected to rise in the coming years.

In Alberta, Calgary-based oil and gas producer Razor Energy Corp. is working on a geothermal project north of Edmonton that would retrofit existing wells to produce 3MW to 5MW of geothermal power.

Policy and solutions / Re: Oil and Gas Issues
« on: December 01, 2020, 10:10:13 PM »
Research is underway to convert low producing oil wells (which most shale oil wells become within a few years) into geothermal energy producers.  This helps to prevent the wells from becoming abandoned and leaking fugitive methane into the atmosphere while producing renewable energy.

Research partnership to explore conversion of oil wells to geothermal heat and power
Alexander Richter
23 Nov 2020

Announced late last month, U.S.-based Petrolern LLC has agreed on a research collaboration with Southern Company, Research & Development, to evaluate geothermal opportunities in the Southeastern United States, including the conversion of late-stage oil and gas wells to profitable geothermal heat and electricity sources. This partnership addresses a significant problem with low-producing oil and gas wells which are sometimes simply abandoned without being plugged, which can have negative environmental impacts. As reported in the Oct. 1, 2020, issue of the Houston Chronicle, Texas alone is currently facing an estimated $117 billion clean-up problem from unplugged abandoned wells. Identifying and converting appropriate oil and gas wells to geothermal sources of clean energy, prior to abandonment, has many advantages. Besides protecting the environment, additional revenue streams from geothermal energy can be generated for years.

Geothermal energy production in the United States originates mainly from deep hot volcanic rocks. However, opportunities exist to produce cost effectively from shallower lower-temperature sedimentary rock formations, re-purposing already-drilled oil and gas wells and either converting them to geothermal wells or co-producing heat and hydrocarbons.

Policy and solutions / Re: Coal
« on: December 01, 2020, 10:02:46 PM »
Abandoned coal mines could provide renewable geothermal heat sources for homes and other buildings.

Mapped: Dozens of abandoned coal mines across Britain that could be repurposed to provide low-carbon heating for homes using geothermal energy

    The maps show geothermal activity deep within long since abandoned mines
    It is hoped developers and planners will use the maps and the date within them
    When mines are flooded the water can become a sustainable heat source
    These mines could provide 'regional heat' systems to cover villages and towns

By Ryan Morrison For Mailonline
1 December 2020

Maps have been created showing dozens of abandoned coal mines across Britain that could be used to provide low-carbon heating for homes and businesses.

A quarter of the UK's population live above abandoned coal mines, which are warmed by natural geothermal processes, the Coal Authority said.

Where the mines are flooded, the mine water can be used as a sustainable heat source for district heating systems that could replace conventional gas boilers.

The idea behind the new interactive tool is that it could be used by developers, planners and researchers to identify opportunities to use the mine water for heat.

The Government has set out plans for around one in five buildings to use a largely low carbon district heat network by 2050.

Researchers hope that disused mines could be a source of heat for such projects and the first few are already starting to be used by local councils.

Earlier this year, Gateshead Council secured a £5.9 million grant to double its district heating network, including technology to extract heat from water in mine workings.

And a garden village at Seaham, County Durham, is being developed next to Dawdon mine water treatment scheme, heat from which will be used for the first large scale mine energy district heating scheme in the UK, the Coal Authority said.

Policy and solutions / Re: Batteries: Today's Energy Solution
« on: December 01, 2020, 06:14:45 PM »
The UK is ramping up big battery installations.

Britain Bets Big On Battery Storage
By Michael Kern - Nov 30, 2020

The UK Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) has approved the construction of the biggest battery storage project in the UK, and one of the largest such projects in the world, the company developing the site said on Monday.

InterGen, an energy company headquartered in Edinburgh, has received the green light to build the US$267 million (£200 million) project in southern England. The project is expected to provide at least 320MW/640MWh of capacity, with the potential to expand to 1.3GWh – more than ten times the size of the largest battery currently in operation in the UK and set to be one of the world’s largest, InterGen said.

InterGen is also exploring the option to develop another large battery project at its site in Spalding, Lincolnshire, which would be 175MW / 350MWh. The planning permissions are already in place for the project in Lincolnshire in east England.

Antarctica / Re: Ice Apocalypse - MULTIPLE METERS SEA LEVEL RISE
« on: November 30, 2020, 08:27:17 PM »
A newly published study (November 27, 2020) finds that the Atlantic Meridonal Overturning Circulation (AMOC) has been more stable than models projected.  It turns out consensus scientists may be overestimating the future impact of warming on the AMOC.  One can only hope that the CMIP 7 models get it right.


The Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation (AMOC) is crucially important to global climate. Model simulations suggest that the AMOC may have been weakening over decades. However, existing array-based AMOC observations are not long enough to capture multidecadal changes. Here, we use repeated hydrographic sections in the subtropical and subpolar North Atlantic, combined with an inverse model constrained using satellite altimetry, to jointly analyze AMOC and hydrographic changes over the past three decades. We show that the AMOC state in the past decade is not distinctly different from that in the 1990s in the North Atlantic, with a remarkably stable partition of the subpolar overturning occurring prominently in the eastern basins rather than in the Labrador Sea. In contrast, profound hydrographic and oxygen changes, particularly in the subpolar North Atlantic, are observed over the same period, suggesting a much higher decoupling between the AMOC and ocean interior property fields than previously thought.

Observations from the subtropical RAPID array (Rapid Climate Change-Meridional Overturning Circulation and Heatflux Array–Western Boundary Time Series) suggest a weakening AMOC between 2004 and 2012 (14), but a subsequent recovery until September 2018 has left no significant declining trend of the AMOC (15). In the SPNA, the OSNAP (Overturning in the Subpolar North Atlantic Program) record is still too short for identifying long-term changes (16). In the South Atlantic, there have also been efforts to estimate the AMOC using array observations, for instance, at 34.5°S (17). Despite the fact that these array observations have revolutionized our view on the AMOC, the relatively short records, especially in the SPNA, limit our understanding of the AMOC in previous decades.


Despite profound upper-layer water property changes in the SPNA, our results demonstrate a comparatively stable overturning in the region during the past three decades. This circulation pattern is consistent with the weak variability in the North Atlantic Current (NAC) on decadal time scales (fig. S11) that is the primary upper-limb source of the subpolar overturning, and with a stable overflow transport in the AMOC lower limb during the last decades (23, 38). Surface buoyancy fluxes induce large variations in water mass transformation in the subpolar basins (39). However, previous studies have shown that the deep waters recirculate in the subpolar basins subsequent to their formation for up to decades before exporting to the subtropics (and thus affecting the AMOC), mainly due to the existence of the interior pathways (13, 40). This is consistent with the water mass transformation analysis (39), which shows variations of about 2 Sv in the subpolar AMOC on decadal time scales in response to the surface buoyancy forcing at high latitudes. In addition, there exists a density-compensating effect between temperature and salinity changes in the subpolar basins, which is most prominent in the Labrador Sea (27, 37) and, to a lesser extent, in the eastern subpolar gyre (41). Those characteristics of the SPNA all disfavor a marked shift of the AMOC state (42). Last, our results support the subpolar AMOC’s weak response to the Labrador Sea changes, as suggested by recent OSNAP observations (16). During the years of strong deep convection in the Labrador Sea and Irminger Sea (i.e., the early 1990s and 2014–2015) (19, 20), the AMOC in the western and eastern SPNA was not stronger compared to periods of weak convection.

Policy and solutions / Re: Renewable Energy
« on: November 30, 2020, 08:18:35 PM »
Wind and solar made up 45.9% of new electrical capacity additions to the US Grid from January through September 2019.

They made up 63.6% of new large electrical capacity additions in the same period in 2020 (70% when rooftop solar included).

They are projected to be 75% of new capacity additions from October 2020 through September 2023.

Renewables = 70% of New US Power Capacity in 2020, Solar = 43%

November 30th, 2020

The renewable energy revolution continues, with renewable energy accounting for a greater and greater share of new US power capacity year after year.

Whereas wind and utility-scale solar power accounted for 63.6% of new large-scale power plants in 2020, they accounted for 45.9% in the first three quarters of 2019.

Policy and solutions / Re: Oil and Gas Issues
« on: November 30, 2020, 07:37:01 PM »
The world faces a 200 million barrel oil glut in 2021 unless producers agree to further production cuts.

Oil Markets Face A 200 Million Barrel Glut In 2021
By Rystad Energy - Nov 30, 2020

As the world is aching to put an end to a devastating 2020, oil producers are now assessing the lasting effect of the pandemic into 2021 – and in particular, the consequences of oil demand destruction to global balances. The existing OPEC+ group deal saved the market from collapsing earlier this year, but then Covid-19 came back with a second-wave. If output increases as planned from January, the world will have to face a new 200-million-barrel surplus through May, Rystad Energy calculates. The OPEC+ group will be debating whether or not to maintain its currently curtailed oil production levels to 2021 or to increase them as planned by nearly 2 million barrels per day (bpd). The existing plan was drafted during the pandemic’s first wave and under a more optimistic forecast for end-year oil demand, which turned out to be too high as the pandemic’s second wave brought new lockdowns globally.

In a way, OPEC+ is already locked into extending its current cuts for some period in 2021 and probably knows it will be punished by the market if it doesn’t do so, Tonhaugen adds.

The oil demand recovery trajectory is the primary consideration of OPEC+ as it debates whether to modify its supply regime. We expect the second wave of Covid-19 cases to continue to surge through the end of 2020 and have a residual effect on oil demand in 2021, causing a slow recovery. At present, we expect demand for total liquids will not surpass 93 million bpd before year-end 2020.

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