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Messages - Ken Feldman

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1
The Category 6 Blog on the The Weather Underground website has a good article about the lightning near the North Pole.

https://www.wunderground.com/cat6/Bizarre-Happenings-Far-North-Lightning-Tropical-Moisture-and-More

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Lightning near the North Pole?

Social media lit up this past weekend when a total of 48 lightning discharges were reported north of 85°N latitude, or within about 450 miles of the North Pole. The lightning came from low-topped, elevated thunderstorms that occasionally pop up over the Arctic, but seldom so close to 90°N. Elevated storms develop when moist, unstable air sits above cooler, more stable air near the surface. In this case, a surge of warm air swept toward the pole, riding atop much cooler air just above the mostly ice-covered central Arctic Ocean.

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What’s most impressive about last weekend isn’t that lightning was detected so close to the North Pole, but that there was so much of it. Consider the admittedly short history of lightning detection over this northernmost part of the globe, as summarized for Category 6 by Vaisala researcher/engineer Ryan Said, developer of the GLD360 system. Since observations began in 2012, according to Said, only three prior lightning events were detected north of 85°N, and they produced a total of just nine flashes. By comparison, last weekend brought a total of 48 flashes to that region. All but seven of those were CGs, according to Said.

In the larger area north of 80°N, a typical summer brings two to five events, with several dozen flashes in all. No single event on record had produced more than about 50 flashes until July 2018, when just over 300 flashes were observed on a single day. Last weekend, more than 1000 flashes were detected. About 80% of these were CGs, Said told Category 6.


2
Policy and solutions / Re: When will CO2 emissions peak?
« on: August 14, 2019, 07:22:37 PM »
For Ken's eyes only


https://www.statista.com/statistics/343162/market-share-of-major-car-manufacturers-in-the-united-states/


And that was their best quarter ever.
Terry

It's paywalled.  I can't see the content.  Care to share?


Ouch
pulling it up again lead me to a paywall!


What it showed was a chart of

"Selected automakers' U.S. YTD market share in 2nd quarter 2019, by key manufacturer"
These began with
1  -General motors at 16.58%
2  -Ford Motor Company at 14.44%
3  -Toyota Motor Corporation at 13.75%

followed eventually by

13 - Tesla at 1.2%

From some of the charts floating about it's likely that some believed that Tesla held a much larger share of the American and of course the World markets.


When seen against other auto companies (sometimes referred to as failing or failed ICE companies) it's evident that the 1.2% share has a way to go before it becomes a major player.

The 12 companies that sold more cars into the American market as far as I know have recently been or are now profitable. Tesla by comparison has never had a profitable year, so we're comparing the number of cars that others can sell at a profit against the number of cars that Tesla has sold dumped at a loss.

I'm sorry re. change to a paywalled site. I eventually located a copy that I'd kept open or I'd have been locked out myself.

It had been a bar chart that was much more impressive than my synopsis.
A damn shame that it's gone because it provided a quick visual to point out the relative size of the American market's players.
Terry


While Tesla dominates the electric vehicle market in the US today (with about 67% of EVs sold in the US), many companies are designing EVs that will launch within a few years.

And the market share of EVs is growing rapidly as the following article shows.

https://thedriven.io/2019/08/09/tesla-model-3-dominates-us-electric-vehicles-sales-growth-in-2019/

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Overall, the US EV market increased by 23% compared to the first half of 2018, with 72% of all plug-in sales being pure battery electric.

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While the premium-priced Model S and X certainly broke the mould for the auto industry as a whole, it would seem that the more affordable Model 3 is simply out of the league of other electric vehicle models in its class.

Its introduction to the US market by Tesla in July 2017, it has driven growth of the American EV market ever since, with 140,000 units sold in the USA in 2018.

However, while 2018 saw a distinct jump in EV sales in the US (from 1.2% market share and approximately 200,000 sold in 2017 to 2.1% market share and about 358,000 units sold in 2018), EV-Volumes predicts that 2019 will not see a similar increase.

3
Policy and solutions / Re: Direct Air Capture (of Carbon Dioxide)
« on: August 14, 2019, 12:27:49 AM »
A 4C increase was seen as quite possible within this century already way back in 2011, when the Royal Academy devoted an entire volume of its journal to studies about what that would mean:

https://royalsocietypublishing.org/doi/full/10.1098/rsta.2010.0303

Things haven't gotten any better since then as far as the Keeling Curve goes, so I don't see how we can be confident about exactly when we will get there. Many others already many years ago claimed that 6C was possible or likely before the end of the century. And recently:

https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2009/nov/17/global-temperature-rise

Global temperatures could rise 6C by end of century, say scientists

Part of the 'scenario': 
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...natural sinks are becoming less efficient, absorbing 55% of the carbon now, compared with 60% half a century ago

Using the very unrealistic RCP 8.5 scenario (which assumes we continuing burning coal and oil until they run out), a 4C temperature increase would happen between the 2060s and the end of the century.

https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s00376-018-7160-4

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Advances in Atmospheric Sciences

July 2018, Volume 35, Issue 7,  pp 757–770

Climate Change of 4°C Global Warming above Pre-industrial Levels

Authors

Xiaoxin Wang, Dabang Jiang, Xianmei Lang, Xiaoxin Wang

Abstract

Using a set of numerical experiments from 39 CMIP5 climate models, we project the emergence time for 4◦C global warming with respect to pre-industrial levels and associated climate changes under the RCP8.5 greenhouse gas concentration scenario. Results show that, according to the 39 models, the median year in which 4◦C global warming will occur is 2084. Based on the median results of models that project a 4◦C global warming by 2100, land areas will generally exhibit stronger warming than the oceans annually and seasonally, and the strongest enhancement occurs in the Arctic, with the exception of the summer season. Change signals for temperature go outside its natural internal variabilities globally, and the signal-tonoise ratio averages 9.6 for the annual mean and ranges from 6.3 to 7.2 for the seasonal mean over the globe, with the greatest values appearing at low latitudes because of low noise. Decreased precipitation generally occurs in the subtropics, whilst increased precipitation mainly appears at high latitudes. The precipitation changes in most of the high latitudes are greater than the background variability, and the global mean signal-to-noise ratio is 0.5 and ranges from 0.2 to 0.4 for the annual and seasonal means, respectively. Attention should be paid to limiting global warming to 1.5◦C, in which case temperature and precipitation will experience a far more moderate change than the natural internal variability. Large inter-model disagreement appears at high latitudes for temperature changes and at mid and low latitudes for precipitation changes. Overall, the intermodel consistency is better for temperature than for precipitation.

There are many studies about how we can limit temperature increases to less than 2C, and even 1.5C.  Here's one:

https://www.researchgate.net/publication/323564003_Scenarios_towards_limiting_global_mean_temperature_increase_below_15_C

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Rogelj, Joeri & Popp, Alexander & V. Calvin, Katherine & Luderer, Gunnar & Emmerling, Johannes & Gernaat, David & Fujimori, Shinichiro & Strefler, Jessica & Hasegawa, Tomoko & Marangoni, Giacomo & Krey, Volker & Kriegler, Elmar & Riahi, Keywan & Vuuren, Detlef & Doelman, Jonathan & Drouet, Laurent & Edmonds, Jae & Fricko, Oliver & Harmsen, J.H.M. & Tavoni, Massimo. (2018). Scenarios towards limiting global mean temperature increase below 1.5 °C. Nature Climate Change. 8. 10.1038/s41558-018-0091-3.


Abstract


The 2015 Paris Agreement calls for countries to pursue efforts to limit global-mean temperature rise to 1.5 °C. The transition pathways that can meet such a target have not, however, been extensively explored. Here we describe scenarios that limit end-of-century radiative forcing to 1.9 W/ m2, and consequently restrict median warming in the year 2100 to below 1.5 °C. We use six integrated assessment models and a simple climate model, under different socio-economic, technological and resource assumptions from five Shared Socio-economic Pathways (SSPs). Some, but not all, SSPs are amenable to pathways to 1.5 °C. Successful 1.9 W /m2 scenarios are characterized by a rapid shift away from traditional fossil-fuel use towards large-scale low-carbon energy supplies, reduced energy use, and carbon-dioxide removal. However, 1.9 W /m2 scenarios could not be achieved in several models under SSPs with strong inequalities, high baseline fossil-fuel use, or scattered short-term climate policy. Further research can help policy-makers to understand the real-world implications of these scenarios.

4
Policy and solutions / Re: Direct Air Capture (of Carbon Dioxide)
« on: August 13, 2019, 10:58:39 PM »
<snip>
An additional benefit of renewables is that they do not lend themselves to the economics of scarcity

Well, they are very dependent on mined resources. All those rare earth metals have to be dug up.
Long term is a bitch.

This is an incredibly persistent myth.  While some manufacturers still use rare earth minerals for wind turbines, they can be easily replaced with iron and copper.  That's why the price for rare earth minerals crashed pretty quickly after it spiked around 2010.

https://thebulletin.org/2017/05/clean-energy-and-rare-earths-why-not-to-worry/

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Around 2010, many commentators stridently warned that China’s near-monopoly on supermagnet rare-earth elements could make the growing global shift to electric cars and wind turbines impossible—because their motors and generators, respectively, supposedly required supermagnets and hence rare earths. Some such reports persist even in 2017. But they’re nonsense. Everything that such permanent-magnet rotating machines do can also be done as well or better by two other kinds of motors that have no magnets but instead apply modern control software and power electronics made of silicon, the most abundant solid element on Earth.

The first kind is the induction motor, invented by Nikola Tesla 130 years ago and used in every Tesla electric car today. The second kind, less well-known despite origins tracing back to 1842, is the switched reluctance (SR) machine, likewise made of just iron and (less) copper, but using a different geometry and operating principle. If well-designed, which many are not, SR motors are simpler than permanent-magnet motors, more rugged (so they’re widely used, ironically, in mining equipment), more easily maintained, and equally light and compact. They can switch in milliseconds between serving as a motor or as a generator, and spinning in either direction. They’re also more flexibly controllable, more heat-tolerant, and cheaper for the same torque and production volume. The only scarce resources associated with such capable SR machines are familiarity, which few motor experts have, and skill in their more-difficult design—especially at the level achieved by the UK firm SR Drives (bought first by the US firm Emerson Electric, then by Japan’s Nidec).

Both kinds of magnet-free machines can do everything required not only in electric cars but also in wind turbines, functions often claimed to be impossible without tons of neodymium. That some wind turbines and manufacturers use rare-earth permanent-magnet generators does not mean others must. It’s better not to, and the word is spreading.

5
Policy and solutions / Re: Electric cars
« on: August 13, 2019, 10:37:34 PM »
Companies that supply parts to the auto manufacturers are making the switch to electric powertrains.

https://cleantechnica.com/2019/08/12/continental-refocuses-powertrain-division-on-electric-spins-off-as-new-company/

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Global automotive supplier and solution company Continental’s Powertrain division is embracing the future and going all-in on e-mobility with a specific focus on electrified powertrains.

The news comes as the entire global luxury combustion vehicle market is crashing, driven by a sharp uptick in sales of electric vehicles in the segment. “Our customers are increasingly turning to the electrification of drive systems, so we are concentrating systematically on this area,” Continental’s Powertrain CEO Andreas Wolf said.

6
Policy and solutions / Re: When will CO2 emissions peak?
« on: August 13, 2019, 08:28:12 PM »
When EV's reach price parity with ICEs, an important factor affecting the demand for ICEs will kick in, the Osborne Effect.  The linked article explains the Osborne Effect and how it will impact the auto industry in the next decade.

https://cleantechnica.com/2019/02/25/the-osborne-effect-on-the-auto-industry/

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A perfect storm is brewing above the automotive industry. Three hardly grasped phenomena are working together. Just like a real storm, when the conditions align in the best/worst way, we get a devastating superstorm. These phenomena (or events) are the Osborne effect of delayed demand, the technology (cost) curve of battery prices and other technology, and the S-curve that describes market acceptance of new technologies.

These phenomena are often observed and not very difficult to understand in theory, but our mind is not wired to comprehend the implications. Our mind visualizes simple linear development, direct cause and effect. Together, these three create chain reactions of exponential and logarithmic trends and our mind is simply not able to understand the consequences.

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At some point relatively soon, the car market will move from having about a dozen viable electric cars to one in which there will be three dozen of them. Most of the new cars will be a better value proposition than what is now on the market. These new entrants will garner a lot of press coverage and word-of-mouth buzz.

The effect will likely be that fully battery electric vehicles (BEVs) will not just be something that only the nerds and very early adopters know about. It will become real for a large portion of the public. Realizing that far better cars are just around the corner, they just have to wait a few more moments for them.

Waiting for the next version of the product you want to buy is called the Osborne effect. According to Wikipedia: “The Osborne effect is a social phenomenon of customers canceling or deferring orders for the current soon-to-be-obsolete product as an unexpected drawback of a company’s announcing a future product prematurely.”

It's a long article that also describes technology cost curves and shows how quickly electric drivetrains are dropping in price. The article than combines the Osborne Effect with the technology cost curves to get the following graph:



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A rule of thumb for S-curve disruptions of the market is that it will take about as long to reach 1% as it will take to go from 1% to the top of the curve. That first part is often not shown, but for those following the market for years, and realizing that we crossed the 1% threshold in 2018, it is included. If anybody is not scared of this graph, read on to enter a nightmare scenario.

The demand for fossil fuel cars is the red line, the wildfire of public perception. The blue line is the carmakers’ reaction to the demand. It is way too optimistic — carmakers can’t scale this fast — but the function I use for S-curves draws it like this. Also, Elon Musk and Cathie Wood (CEO of ARK Invest) mentioned even more optimistic numbers for 2023 in a recent podcast.

Auto sales have been down this year.  Is it the beginning of the Osborne Effect?

https://www.best-selling-cars.com/international/2019-latest-international-worldwide-car-sales/

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January to June 2019: During the first half year of 2019, car sales were lower in all major car markets in the world with the exception of Brazil where sales increased by 11%. The Japanese car market was flat while the US and Russian markets contracted by around 2%. In the European Union new passenger vehicle registrations were down by 3% but remained at relatively high levels. In India, new car sales during the first six months of 2019 were down by a tenth while China remained the world’s largest new car market despite a 14% contraction.


7
Policy and solutions / Re: When will CO2 emissions peak?
« on: August 13, 2019, 07:47:44 PM »
The linked article discusses why projections for future EV market share vary so widely.

https://qz.com/1620614/electric-car-forecasts-are-all-over-the-map/

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The only thing sure about electric cars is they will eclipse the internal combustion engine—one day. The timing, however, is the topic of fierce and wildly divergent speculation. At the moment, only one in 250 cars on the road is electric. Battery electric cars comprise 2.1% of new global auto sales (about 2 million passenger vehicles). Electric vehicle (EV) sales should hit 2.7 million in 2019 even as the broader auto market declines (paywall).

But guesses about the timing of gas guzzlers’ eclipse are all over the map. Quartz assembled several of the top projections to gauge the size of the discrepancy. Optimists such as Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF) in its 2019 Electric Vehicle Outlook report see the total EV stock soaring to 548 million by 2040, or about 32% of the world’s passenger vehicles. Bears, such as ExxonMobil and the oil cartel OPEC, put that day far into the future. Exxon’s most recent predictions, the most pessimistic (or optimistic?), show the global stock of EVs reaching only 162 million by 2040. That’s 70% lower than BNEF’s base case.

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Two assumptions make all the difference in EV adoption models, says Colin McKerracher, head of advanced transport for BNEF. The first is price parity. EV’s sticker price is expected to exceed conventional cars’ until the mid-2020s. Right now, electric vehicles are more expensive than conventional counterparts thanks to their pricey batteries and relatively small EV manufacturing capacity. No one is sure how far battery costs, the biggest expense in making EVs, can fall (they’ve already dropped 85% since 2010), and when EVs will achieve the same economies of scale as combustion engines have secured over the past century. The price of oil changes the total cost of ownership as well (New York City says EVs’ lower fuel and maintenance costs already makes them the cheapest option for its fleet).

The article assumes that EVs wont reach price-parity with ICEs until the mid-2020.  However, I've seen several sources that project that will happen in 2022 or even sooner.  Battery prices continue to decline and they're the major factor in the up-front cost of an EV.

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The Energy Information Administration (EIA), America’s official source for energy statistics, has made one of the biggest adjustments to forecasts. Since its original one in 2011, the agency has raised its projections for EV stocks in the US by a factor of 20. Price played a big role. As recently as 2017, the EIA was predicting a $35,200 EV wouldn’t arrive until 2025. Several arrived last year.

The EIA is notorious for underestimating the installation rate of renewables too.  They make the same mistake that posters on this website frequently do, looking at the past few years when renewables were more expensive than fossil fuels and not looking at current or projecting future behaviors based on renewables being cheaper than fossil fuels.  In this case, it's gasoline powered cars versus battery electric vehicles.  When the costs for BEVs is cheaper than the cost of ICEs, the demand for ICEs is going to crash.

https://thinkprogress.org/electric-vehicles-gas-cars-cost-31a68bcdcee1/

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Within a few years, electric vehicles (EVs) will be superior to gasoline powered cars in every respect.

In fact, leading experts now predict that EVs will soon have a lower upfront cost to go with their many superior attributes, which include a much lower operating cost and much faster acceleration.

But that means if you buy a new gas-powered car, SUV, or truck in the near future, you may find it increasingly obsolete and difficult to resell.

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“During the reasonable service life of any vehicle I buy today, I expect the demand for IC-powered vehicles will drop to practically zero, equivalent to the current market penetration of flip phones,” Neil predicts in his column. “No one will want them.”

8
Policy and solutions / Re: When will CO2 emissions peak?
« on: August 13, 2019, 07:27:58 PM »
In 2018, JP Morgan was projecting that EVs would grow to 30% market share in 2025 and 60% by 2030.

https://www.jpmorgan.com/global/research/electric-vehicles

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Automakers are preparing to phase out cars powered solely by internal combustion engines (ICEs) as governments look to tackle fuel emissions. The growth in electric vehicles (EVs) and hybrid electric vehicles (HEVs) is climbing and by 2025, EVs and HEVs will account for an estimated 30% of all vehicle sales. Comparatively, in 2016 just under 1 million vehicles or 1% of global auto sales came from plug-in electric vehicles (PEVs).1

By 2025, J.P. Morgan estimates this will rise close to 8.4 million vehicles or a 7.7% market share. While this jump is significant, it doesn’t compare to the kind of growth expected in HEVs - cars that combine a fuel engine with electric elements. This sector is forecast to swell from just 3% of global market share to more than 25 million vehicles or 23% of global sales over the same period.1 This leaves pure-ICE vehicles with around 70% of the market share in 2025, with this falling to around 40% by 2030, predominantly in emerging markets.

9
Policy and solutions / Re: When will CO2 emissions peak?
« on: August 13, 2019, 07:01:46 PM »
For Ken's eyes only


https://www.statista.com/statistics/343162/market-share-of-major-car-manufacturers-in-the-united-states/


And that was their best quarter ever.
Terry

It's paywalled.  I can't see the content.  Care to share?

10
Policy and solutions / Re: Oil and Gas Issues
« on: August 13, 2019, 02:06:15 AM »
Yeah.... look again , between natural decline and population increase  even if all light transport is replaced by electric now... by 2025 production will be the same as today....

Pretty unlikely.  We're at peak ICE now.  There's a global slowdown in automobile sales.  And battery electric vehicles are taking an increasing share of the market.

The slowdown is especially severe in what had been the largest growing sectors of the market, China and India.

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BUSINESS NEWSJULY 31, 2019 / 4:07 PM / 12 DAYS AGO
Sales slumps in China, India clobber automakers banking on Asia for growth

BEIJING (Reuters) - Steep drops in auto sales for China and India over recent months are serving as a painful reminder that the two world’s most populous markets are not living up to earlier heady expectations.

Take China for instance. Former Beijing Automotive Group Co Ltd (BAIC) President Wang Dazong confidently predicted in 2010 that annual sales in the world’s biggest car market would hit 40 million vehicles by 2020. More circumspect but still bullish, the Chinese government said two years ago it was targeting 35 million by 2025.

Today, neither prediction gels well with the reality on the ground.

Hit by a slowing economy, the U.S.-China trade war and the chaotic implementation of new emission rules, vehicle sales logged a 12th straight month of declines in June. Industry officials and analysts now expect car demand to slide some 5% this year after a 2.8% fall last year to 28.1 million - its first decline since the 1990s.

Last month, a large European supplier to the auto industry revised their estimate of the global slowdown in auto sales from a 3% drop to a 5% drop.  They anticipate growth in electric vehicles over the next few years.

https://europe.autonews.com/suppliers/bosch-sees-car-production-falling-5-2019-report-says

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FRANKFURT -- Robert Bosch revised its forecast for global automotive production on Saturday, expecting a 5 percent decline  this year, bigger than an earlier estimate of a 3 percent decline, the company's chief financial officer told a German newspaper.

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By 2025, Bosch expects to generate 5 billion euros ($5.6 billion) in revenue from electric cars because of steady growth in the segment, particularly in China, he said.

 Bosch has already supplied components for more than 1 million electric vehicles and expects revenues to grow since it has developed powertrains for 50 vehicle platforms for various manufacturers, the executive told the newspaper.

11
Policy and solutions / Re: Coal
« on: August 12, 2019, 09:58:27 PM »
Ken


Someone should tell the Polish about this.


It's like a Polish Joke being played out on the world's climate.
Terry

The economics for coal is so bad, that not even Poland is building them anymore.

https://www.climatechangenews.com/2019/08/01/court-blocks-polish-coal-plant-win-climate-campaigners/

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Poland’s “last coal-fired plant” may never go ahead, after a district court struck down the company resolution authorising construction on Thursday.

The ruling dealt a blow to the 1GW Ostrołęka C project, a joint venture between utilities Enea and Energa backed by the government.

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Revived in 2016, the €1.2 billion project was part of the government’s plan to ensure the country’s energy security. It was presented as a necessary supplement for renewable energies that will partly replace a number of old coal power plants due to be taken offline by 2020.

With a controlling stake in Enea, the Polish government pushed through company approval despite concerns raised about the project’s economic viability. In September 2018, 22% of non-government shareholders voted against starting construction and 58% abstained. At project partner Energa, with 37% opposed the project.

The €1 trillion global asset manager Legal & General Investment Management, which is invested in both Enea and Energa, said that its clients faced “very high financial risks due to its uncertain policy support, rising carbon prices, unreliable capacity payments and threat of new technologies in energy generation,” Reuters reported at the time.

12
Policy and solutions / Re: When will CO2 emissions peak?
« on: August 12, 2019, 09:52:52 PM »
Bloomberg New Energy Finance also projects EVs outselling ICEs by 2030.

https://thinkprogress.org/gas-cars-electric-vehicles-battery-price-99d1f99ab987/

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Plunging battery prices are bringing the age of gasoline-powered cars to an end faster than anyone expected, according to a new report from Bloomberg NEF (BNEF). That means peak oil demand will also arrive sooner than expected — which in turn means ambitious climate goals will be more affordable than previously thought.

“Sales of internal combustion passenger vehicles have already peaked, and may never recover,” BNEF’s Electric Vehicle Outlook 2019 finds.

Electric vehicle (EV) sales are now seriously eating into internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicle sales — and that trend is projected to accelerate in the coming years.

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Other findings in BNEF’s chart-filled report are equally astonishing. For instance, the EV adoption rate is so rapid that EVs will reach 50% of new car sales in both China and Europe around 2030 — at which point EVs will make up some 40% of new U.S. passenger vehicle sales.

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In three years, EVs will actually be cheaper up front than combustion vehicles, which will make EVs the increasingly attractive option. After all, they are already superior to gasoline cars in many key respects: EVs have faster acceleration, lower maintenance costs, zero tailpipe emissions, and a much lower per-mile fueling cost than petrol cars , even when running on carbon-free fuel.

13
Policy and solutions / Re: When will CO2 emissions peak?
« on: August 12, 2019, 09:47:24 PM »
<snipped>

EVs are already cutting into demand for ICEs.  Within 10 years, EVs are projected to outsell ICEs.
Where and by whom?
Terry

It actually happened in Norway earlier this year.

https://www.cnn.com/2019/04/04/world/norway-zero-emission-vehicles-trnd/index.html

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CNN) — Electric vehicles outsold gas and diesel models in Norway for the first time ever last month, accounting for 58.4% of all vehicle sales.

Norway is a leader in the adoption of zero-emission vehicles and the government has set an ambitious goal to stop selling new gas and diesel passenger cars and vans by 2025.

In March, 18,375 new cars were registered in the country and 10,732 of those were zero-emission vehicles, according to Norway's Road Traffic Information Council, or OFV. That's more double the number of zero-emission vehicles sold in March 2018.

Analysts are projecting it will happen by 2030 globally.

https://www.npr.org/2019/02/16/694303169/as-more-electric-cars-arrive-whats-the-future-for-gas-powered-engines

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"Probably in the mid-2020s time frame, it becomes comparable or cheaper to actually buy and operate an EV than an internal combustion vehicle," says Sam Abuelsamid, an auto analyst with Navigant.

Felipe Munoz, a global analyst at JATO, predicts electric vehicles will outsell conventional ones by 2030.

Other analysts say this change could be slower — but most agree it is coming.

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It could also be motivated by consumer choices, argues Dan Neil, automotive columnist at The Wall Street Journal.

Electric vehicles "are such better machines than the machines they're replacing," he says, that consumers might choose to retire their gas guzzlers long before the end of the vehicles' useful lives.

"Just like plasma TVs," he says. "A lot of plasma TVs didn't see the useful end of their lives before they were replaced by much cheaper, but also much better, LCD screens."

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The transformation of the auto industry is real, experts say — and happening much faster than skeptics would have predicted just a few years ago.


14
Policy and solutions / Re: Coal
« on: August 12, 2019, 07:50:54 PM »
Even with the new coal plants under construction in China and India, peak coal is projected within two years.

https://www.smh.com.au/environment/climate-change/peak-coal-in-sight-as-new-power-stations-drop-and-retirements-jump-20190327-p5186m.html

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The global pace of new construction of power stations is slowing while retirement of ageing plants is accelerating, placing the world on track for "peak coal" capacity within a couple of years.

The annual Boom and Bust report, compiled by researchers including Global Energy Monitor and Greenpeace, found construction starts, pre-construction activity and completions of coal-fired plants each fell in 2018 for a third year in a row. New starts are down 84 per cent since 2015.

Retirements were also at a record pace, led by the US despite backing for the sector by the Trump administration. The US shut 17.6 gigawatts of coal power, while the European Union retired 3.7GW including 2.8GW in the UK where coal's share of electricity dived to just 5 per cent in 2018.

Quote
Tim Buckley, an analyst with the Institute for Energy Economics & Financial Analysis, said the Boom and Bust report suggests coal demand for power generation may soon plateau, with net new coal plants dropping last year to about 19GW - the lowest in more than a decade.

"We're within two years of peak coal plant capacity globally, notwithstanding China," he said.

Lauri Myllyvirta, lead analyst at Greenpeace Global Air Pollution Unit, told the Herald that the China Electricity Council's higher cap "seems like an attempt to overturn the central government policies that have curtailed coal plant construction".

"One clear interest is to be able to complete and operate those coal plants that are already under construction but were suspended or delayed by the [central] government," Mr Myllyvirta said.

Quote
Countering that plan, though, is the rapid increase in renewable energy, helping China lead solar and wind capacity additions.

"Renewable energy will definitely grow and gain share, but question is how much," Mr Myllyvirta said, noting the CEC's own 2035 target is for half of electricity to be supplied by renewables.

"Other projections that incorporate global warming targets have the share of fossil fuels in power generation falling to 20-30 per cent by 2035 in China," he said.

Quote
India - often talked up as a future growth market - is likely to have close to net-zero additions of new capacity in its 2018-19 fiscal year that ends this month, he said. "That's a decade earlier than expected."

The report said new bids for wind and solar in India were "coming in below the operating costs of nearly one-third of the country's coal plants".

India permitted less than 3GW of new coal power in 2018, compared with an annual average of 31GW between 2008-12 and 12GW for the 2013-17 period, it said.

15
Policy and solutions / Re: Coal
« on: August 12, 2019, 07:42:35 PM »
rboyd likes to cherry-pick news story about a few new coal plants being planned while ignoring the overall global trends of retirements far outpacing new construction.

https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2019/mar/28/global-collapse-in-number-of-new-coal-fired-power-plants

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The number of coal-fired power plants being developed around the world has collapsed in the last three years, according to a report.

The number of plants on which construction has begun each year has fallen by 84% since 2015, and 39% in 2018 alone, while the number of completed plants has dropped by more than half since 2015.

The report, from the NGO-backed Global Energy Monitor, says the falling costs of renewable energy are pricing coal out of the electricity market, more than 100 financial institutions have blacklisted coal producers, and political action to cut carbon emissions is growing.

And China, with it's bizarre mix of Government controls and state owned profit-seeking companies, has managed to really screw up it's electricity generating sector.  There have been starts and stops in nuclear, solar and coal power plant permitting over the past few years.  It's resulted in an electrical system that has more capacity than is currently needed, which will hurt the most expensive generators.  Since coal is more expensive than renewables, it'll be the source that is curtailed.

https://voxeu.org/article/china-overinvested-coal-power-here-s-why

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After three decades of building up its capital stock, China has entered a phase where efficient allocation of capital resources is vitally important for sustained economic growth. However, due to governance problems and market distortions, many key industries in China have experienced serious capital misallocation and overcapacity issues in the past few years, with the energy industry being one of the most salient examples.

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In the past five years, utilisation levels of all energy types fell sharply as growth in energy supply shot past energy demand (Figure 1 and Table 1). Nearly 50% of China’s coal power plants faced net financial loss in 2018 (Ji 2018). While policy efforts1 have been made to contain the coal overcapacity crisis, under the existing governance structure and market rules, coal power investment in China is unlikely to return in the near future to an equilibrium where plants can still profit under a competitive market price of electricity.


16
Policy and solutions / Re: Coal
« on: August 12, 2019, 07:30:38 PM »
India, Pakistan, China, Indonesia etc. - Ongoing Growth In Coal Usage

This will offset, if not more than offset, any reductions in the Western nations.

Huge Pakistan mine shows the power of coal

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In contrast to the stuttering start of Pakistan’s renewable ambitions, the view of the future from the Thar coal mine is one of confidence. “Coal plants that are getting shut down have outlived their useful life,” said Ahsan Zafar Syed, chief executive officer of Engro Energy Ltd., the Pakistani company leading the project. “As I speak, there are 26 countries in the world where coal power plants are being constructed. They are everywhere.”

https://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2019/08/09/asia-pacific/science-health-asia-pacific/mile-wide-open-mine-pakistan-shows-coal-wont-go-away/#.XU8XXGRKjjA

India expects its coal-fired power capacity to grow 22% in three years

So much for India cutting coal use

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India, the third biggest emitter of greenhouse gases, saw its annual coal demand rise 9.1% to nearly 1 billion tonnes in the year ended March 2019. Coal demand from utilities accounted for over three-quarters of total consumption.

“Capacity by 2022 is likely to be 238 gigawatts (GW) in terms of coal-based generation,” Ghanshyam Prasad, chief engineer at India’s ministry of power said at the India Coal Conference on Wednesday.

The International Energy Agency expects India to become the second largest coal consumer behind China early next decade.

Electricity demand in the country rose 36% in the seven years to April 2019 while coal-fired generation capacity during the period grew by 74% to 194.44 GW, according to the Central Electricity Authority (CEA).

“If we have to meet demand and address the intermittencies we have with solar and wind, we have no choice but to keep depending on coal-based generation in the near future,” he said.

https://www.reuters.com/article/india-coal/india-expects-coal-fired-power-capacity-to-grow-22-in-three-years-idINKCN1UQ1Q8

China coal mine approvals surge despite climate pledges

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Approvals for new coal mine construction in China have surged in 2019, government documents showed, with Beijing expecting consumption of the commodity to rise in the coming years even as it steps up its fight against smog and greenhouse gas emissions.

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China’s energy regulator gave the go-ahead to build 141 million tonnes of new annual coal production capacity from January to June, compared to 25 million tonnes over the whole of last year

“However, it is alarming that China’s energy planning seems to be driving at roughly maintaining current levels of coal output for the coming decade or two, which is very hard to reconcile with the goal of the Paris agreement (on climate change),” he said.

“Especially given that oil and gas consumption is still increasing, it’s imperative that coal use starts falling again after rebounding for the past three years.”

Chinese coal output rose 2.6% in the first-half of 2019 to 1.76 billion tonnes.

https://ca.reuters.com/article/businessNews/idINKCN1UW0G4

Indonesia - about 58 greenfield coal-fired power plants are due to come online by 2027

https://asian-power.com/regulation/in-focus/will-indonesia-keep-its-unrelenting-grip-coal

Renewables are cheaper than coal, even in Asia.  Here's an article from April 2019 explaining the "growth" of coal power in China.  (Growth is in quotes because by the time the plants are built, if they're completed, others will have been retired so the total emissions from coal will be lower).

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2019-04-22/china-s-green-light-on-coal-power-won-t-trigger-new-plant-boom

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China’s green light to build more coal-fired power plants probably won’t usher in a flurry of new construction as most policies and investments in the top energy user will tilt toward renewable sources.

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“The profitability of coal-fired power plants is so low, there’s no incentive for them to build more,” said Morningstar analyst Jennifer Song. “China as a whole has set consumption targets for renewable energy sources. We can see those large power groups also have quotas to build more renewable projects.”

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Data on Monday showed China’s investment during January-March in thermal power plants, which mostly consist of coal-fired generators, slumped 30 percent from a year earlier. In contrast, spending on hydropower and wind power projects rose 48 percent and 30 percent, respectively.

“Most of the capital expenditure planned by coal-fired power companies will be in renewable energy,” said Song Qiuyi, a Shanghai-based analyst at Capital Securities Corp., adding the latest assessment from NEA won’t change the situation.

17
Policy and solutions / Re: When will CO2 emissions peak?
« on: August 12, 2019, 07:13:47 PM »
we will be tracking somewhere between rcp6 and rcp8.5

Right. Or higher, since IPCC projections are conservative. How could emissions stop or even substantially slow by 2040? So far there is almost no change (except for the worse), despite awareness of the problem for many decades.

Renewables are now cheaper than coal and natural gas.  Investments in renewables are far outpacing investments in fossil fuels.  In the USA, utility companies are shutting down coal plants and replacing them with wind and solar.

EVs are already cutting into demand for ICEs.  Within 10 years, EVs are projected to outsell ICEs.

18
Policy and solutions / Re: Direct Air Capture (of Carbon Dioxide)
« on: August 09, 2019, 10:26:21 PM »
Rboyd repsonds from the perspective that renewables can't compete with fossil fuels.  He hasn't kept up with the current economics. And AbruptSLR only posts studies that use the RCP8.5 emissions scenario, (other studies don't support his doomer conclusions), which is no longer possible because we aren't going to burn the amount of coal and oil that the RCP8.5 projected.

The clear facts are that the transition to a carbon free electricity generation and an electric vehicle future are well underway.  Insurers are no longer insuring coal infrastructure.  And now banks have realized that by the late 2020s oil is going to be unprofitable.

https://thinkprogress.org/oil-faces-irreversible-decline-thanks-to-electric-cars-and-solar-warns-worlds-8th-largest-bank-d128101ef4a8/

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Plunging prices for batteries and renewables are driving an electric vehicle (EV) revolution so rapidly that the economics of oil “are now in relentless and irreversible decline.”

That’s the startling conclusion of a detailed new analysis for “professional investors” of the economics of EVs versus gasoline cars produced by BNP Paribas, the world’s eighth largest bank by total assets.

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Lewis notes that many independent analyses — including Bloomberg New Energy Finance and the risk management firm DNV GL — have concluded that in the 2022-2024 timeframe, the total lifecycle cost of owning an EV will be cheaper than that of owning a gasoline-fueled car.

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But one of the most startling findings is that because the cost of running EVs on solar or wind power is dropping so rapidly, the only way gasoline cars can compete with these renewable energy-powered EVs in the 2020s is if the price of oil were to drop to $11 to $12 per barrel. The current price of oil is over $50.

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“By the late 2020s” Lewis explains, a significant fraction of the oil produced today “might only be competitive at a price below [oil companies’] full cost of production.” Even worse, this fraction “will rise over the lifetime of these projects as the penetration rate of EVs increases.”

If you can’t produce oil profitably at under $10 or $20 a barrel, your oil company is in big trouble.

19
Policy and solutions / Re: Renewable Energy
« on: August 09, 2019, 10:12:51 PM »
The 1.5 degrees UN IPCC report is politicized soft-denial, as have all such reports been for at least 10 years. They assume gargantuan amounts of carbon dioxide removal from the atmosphere, use a ridiculously low risk tolerance (i.e. 66% and 50% confidence intervals vs. the 95% and 99% ones used in most risk management), make too-low assumptions for Earth System sensitivity to GHGs, and ignore non-linear possibilities (e.g. a Blue Ocean Event), etc.

AbruptSLRs posts are a great source of education on the overly-conservative assumptions of the UN IPCC. It does seem that for the next report (2022) even they may have to accept some of the failings in their take on climate science. I won't hold my breath though, they have been failing since 1990 while making such optimistic prognostications.

Hard Denial: Anthropocentric Climate Change Is Not Happening
Soft Denial: Anthropocentric Climate Change Is Happening BUT We Can Spin Fairy Stories About How We Can Fix It Whilst Keeping Growing the Global Economy At 3% Per Year.

I will now go back on topic to renewable energy (before the topic police notice).

AbruptSLR posts a lot about studies based on the RCP8.5 emissions scenarios.  Given that renewables are now cheaper than coal, renewables plus batteries are cheaper than peaker natural gas plants and renewable powered ICEs are projected to be cheaper than gasoline powered cars by 2024, there's no way we'll burn enough fossil fuels to generate the emissions for RCP8.5.

You can deny the IPCC reports.  Keep in mind that that makes you a climate science denier though.

20
Policy and solutions / Re: Oil and Gas Issues
« on: August 09, 2019, 09:59:05 PM »
The rapidly declining prices for renewables combined with advances in electric vehicles spells the end of Big Oil.  Banks are starting to notice.

https://thinkprogress.org/oil-faces-irreversible-decline-thanks-to-electric-cars-and-solar-warns-worlds-8th-largest-bank-d128101ef4a8/

Quote
Plunging prices for batteries and renewables are driving an electric vehicle (EV) revolution so rapidly that the economics of oil “are now in relentless and irreversible decline.”

That’s the startling conclusion of a detailed new analysis for “professional investors” of the economics of EVs versus gasoline cars produced by BNP Paribas, the world’s eighth largest bank by total assets.

Quote
Since BNP Paribas is a big bank and the report is for investors, though, a key point of the analysis is that oil companies are investing staggering amounts of money in finding and producing new wells — and most of them are going to lose a lot of that money.

“By the late 2020s” Lewis explains, a significant fraction of the oil produced today “might only be competitive at a price below [oil companies’] full cost of production.” Even worse, this fraction “will rise over the lifetime of these projects as the penetration rate of EVs increases.”

If you can’t produce oil profitably at under $10 or $20 a barrel, your oil company is in big trouble.

From a broader perspective, Lewis warns that all this money currently being spent on finding and producing new oil is a huge waste — “an opportunity cost to society as a whole.”

21
Policy and solutions / Re: Oil and Gas Issues
« on: August 09, 2019, 08:50:22 PM »
The largest US shale oil field, the Permian, is nearing peak.

https://oilprice.com/Energy/Energy-General/The-Permian-Boom-Is-On-Its-Last-Leg.html

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The Permian Basin is responsible for the greatest oil production gains in the U.S. in recent years. Over the past eight years, there has been phenomenal production growth in the Permian. Between August 2011 and today, Permian Basin oil production quadrupled, with oil production there topping 4 million barrels per day (BPD) earlier this year:

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However, if we look at the year-over-year gains over the past few years, there has been a noticeable slowdown in oil production growth. This slowdown is particularly pronounced in the Permian Basin. The most recent estimates in the Permian are that year-over-year production is growing today at just over half the level of a year ago. Production growth there has been in rapid decline since peaking a year ago.


22
Policy and solutions / Re: Direct Air Capture (of Carbon Dioxide)
« on: August 09, 2019, 08:46:28 PM »
DAC is not enough:
https://news.umich.edu/climate-change-why-removing-co2-from-the-air-wont-be-enough/

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In order to stay below the 2-degree mark, all sectors must reduce emissions by 70%.

This article is a joke as it doesn't address the physical reality of the climate catastrophe and our critical need for direct action and massive national mobilization to immediately move toward a zero emissions and (in the next decade or so) negative emissions through regenerative agriculture and DIRECT air capture to prevent 4C globally by 2065.

Please see the first post on this thread.

There are no realistic scenarios that lead to a 4C global increase by 2065. 

Here's what the IPCC report in 2018 stated about near-term temperature increases:

https://www.ipcc.ch/sr15/chapter/spm/

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A.1. Human activities are estimated to have caused approximately 1.0°C of global warming5 above pre-industrial levels, with a likely range of 0.8°C to 1.2°C. Global warming is likely to reach 1.5°C between 2030 and 2052 if it continues to increase at the current rate. (high confidence) (Figure SPM.1) {1.2}

A.1.1. Reflecting the long-term warming trend since pre-industrial times, observed global mean surface temperature (GMST) for the decade 2006–2015 was 0.87°C (likely between 0.75°C and 0.99°C)6 higher than the average over the 1850–1900 period (very high confidence). Estimated anthropogenic global warming matches the level of observed warming to within ±20% (likely range). Estimated anthropogenic global warming is currently increasing at 0.2°C (likely between 0.1°C and 0.3°C) per decade due to past and ongoing emissions (high confidence). {1.2.1, Table 1.1, 1.2.4}

Given that coal is rapidly being phased out and replaced by renewables, the warming rate will be decreasing, not increasing, over the next few years.

The IPCC report states that Carbon Dioxide Removal will be needed to prevent overshoot of 1.5C though, which is why this topic is important.

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C.3. All pathways that limit global warming to 1.5°C with limited or no overshoot project the use of carbon dioxide removal (CDR) on the order of 100–1000 GtCO2 over the 21st century. CDR would be used to compensate for residual emissions and, in most cases, achieve net negative emissions to return global warming to 1.5°C following a peak (high confidence). CDR deployment of several hundreds of GtCO2 is subject to multiple feasibility and sustainability constraints (high confidence). Significant near-term emissions reductions and measures to lower energy and land demand can limit CDR deployment to a few hundred GtCO2 without reliance on bioenergy with carbon capture and storage (BECCS) (high confidence). {2.3, 2.4, 3.6.2, 4.3, 5.4}

23
Policy and solutions / Re: Renewable Energy
« on: August 09, 2019, 08:36:12 PM »
Ken
With all of this wonderful news, when should we expect the Keeling curve to curve back on itself?


Renewables and batteries are wonderful additions to our power mix, but in most venues they aren't keeping up with additional demand.


Terry

First emissions need to peak.  That'll be within a few years.



Ken
We don't have a few years, we used them up a few years ago.


A few generations ago we probably had a few years.
A few decades ago we might have had a few years.
A few years ago we didn't still have a few years.


Right now the few years needed are a few years behind us.
We can't run fast enough to catch what's already behind us.
Terry

Terry,

Please see the IPCC report published in 2018, available at this link:

https://www.ipcc.ch/sr15/

They clearly point out that we still have a chance to keep the temperature rise to 1.5C (and a much better chance to keep it under 2C).

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C.1. In model pathways with no or limited overshoot of 1.5°C, global net anthropogenic CO2 emissions decline by about 45% from 2010 levels by 2030 (40–60% interquartile range), reaching net zero around 2050 (2045–2055 interquartile range). For limiting global warming to below 2°C 12 CO2 emissions are projected to decline by about 25% by 2030 in most pathways (10–30% interquartile range) and reach net zero around 2070 (2065–2080 interquartile range). Non-CO2 emissions in pathways that limit global warming to 1.5°C show deep reductions that are similar to those in pathways limiting warming to 2°C. (high confidence) (Figure SPM.3a) {2.1, 2.3, Table 2.4}

24
Consequences / Re: Working on (free) Climate Themed Game,
« on: August 09, 2019, 08:22:10 PM »
You may want to show your denier developer the following:

http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2018/06/30-years-after-hansens-testimony/

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The first transient climate projections using GCMs are 30 years old this year, and they have stood up remarkably well.

We’ve looked at the skill in the Hansen et al (1988) (pdf) simulations before (back in 2008), and we said at the time that the simulations were skillful and that differences from observations would be clearer with a decade or two’s more data. Well, another decade has passed!



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The easiest assessment is the crudest. What were the temperature trends predicted and what were the trends observed? The simulations were run in 1984 or so, and that seems a reasonable beginning date for a trend calculation through to the last full year available, 2017. The modeled changes were as follows:
•Scenario A: 0.33±0.03ºC/decade (95% CI)
•Scenario B: 0.28±0.03ºC/decade (95% CI)
•Scenario C: 0.16±0.03ºC/decade (95% CI)

The observed changes 1984-2017 are 0.19±0.03ºC/decade (GISTEMP), or 0.21±0.03ºC/decade (Cowtan and Way), lying between Scenario B and C, and notably smaller than Scenario A. Compared to 10 years ago, the uncertainties on the trends have halved, and so the different scenarios are more clearly distinguished. By this measure it is clear that the scenarios bracketed the reality (as they were designed to), but did not match it exactly. Can we say more by looking at the details of what was in the scenarios more specifically? Yes, we can.

BTW, one of the co-authors of the denial piece in the WSJ was Pat Michaels, who is in the pay of Big Oil specifically to write articles denying climate change.

https://skepticalscience.com/patrick-michaels-history-getting-climate-wrong.html

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Who Is Patrick Michaels, Cato's Contrarian Climate Scientist?

Despite Being One Of A Few Contrarians, Michaels Is Prominent Media Figure. Michaels made about 49 major media appearances from 2007 to July 2011 (13 of them on Fox News), according to a Nexis search. In addition, The Washington Times and Forbes often publish opinion pieces by Michaels and do not disclose his funding from the fossil fuel industry. Yet during that time, Michaels only published four peer-reviewed climate articles. In comparison, 97 percent of the most actively publishing climate researchers agree that "most" of recent warming is manmade, and 84 percent of climate scientists say the public should be told to be worried or "very worried" about climate change. Despite this, USA TODAY, The Washington Post, and CNN all hosted or quoted Patrick Michaels in 2012.

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Michaels Estimated That 40 Percent Of His Funding Comes From Fossil Fuel Industries. In 2010, Patrick Michaels estimated that about 40 percent of his funding comes from fossil fuel industries:


FAREED ZAKARIA, CNN HOST: Can I ask you what percentage of your work is funded by the petroleum industry?

PATRICK MICHAELS: I don't know. Forty percent? I don't know. [CNN, Fareed Zakaria GPS, 8/15/10, via Think Progress]

Michaels Initially Did Not Disclose His Publication Was Funded By Coal Industry Association. The Society of Environmental Journalists reported in 2007 that Michaels initially did not disclose that World Climate Report, published by Michaels' PR firm New Hope Environmental Services, was partially funded by the Western Fuels Association, an association of coal mining companies and coal-fired utilities:


Michaels' web publication, World Climate Report, and its skeptical predecessors have been heavily funded by coal and electric utility industries with a large financial stake in preventing regulation of greenhouse emissions. In the 1990s, he published World Climate Review without clearly disclosing in the publication itself that it was funded by the Western Fuels Association - until after journalist Bud Ward brought this to light in the Environment Writer newsletter. [Society of Environmental Journalists, 9/19/07] [Western Fuels Association, accessed 7/8/13]

25
Policy and solutions / Re: Batteries: Today's Energy Solution
« on: August 09, 2019, 01:44:12 AM »
Technological advances are quickly improving the energy density and charging times for batteries.

https://oilprice.com/Energy/Energy-General/This-Is-A-Game-Changer-For-Lithium-Ion-Batteries.html

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This Is A Game-Changer For Lithium-Ion Batteries

By Irina Slav - Aug 07, 2019, 3:00 PM CDT

The latest news in the battery space has been about alternatives to lithium-ion technology, which still dominates the space in electronics and cars but is being increasingly challenged from several directions, notably solid-state batteries. Now, a team of researchers has reported they have improved lithium-ion batteries in a way that could discourage some challengers.

In a paper published in Nature magazine, the team, led by Jeff Dahn from Dalhousie University, reports they had designed more battery cells with higher energy density without using the solid-state electrolyte that many believe is a necessary condition for enhanced density. What’s more, the battery cell the team designed demonstrated a longer life than some comparable alternatives.

The team from Dalhousie University was working with Tesla’s Canadian research and development team, Electrek notes in its report of the news, as well as the University of Waterloo. The EV maker is probably the staunchest proponent of lithium-ion technology for electric car batteries, so it would make sense for it to continue investing in research that would keep the technology’s dominance in the face of multiple challengers.

Recently, for example, Japanese researchers announced they had successfully found a substitute for the lithium ions used in batteries and this substitute was much cheaper and more abundant: sodium.

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Sodium batteries are among the more advanced challengers to lithium ion dominance, but like other alternatives to Li-ion batteries, they have been plagued by persistent problems with their performance. Even so, work continues to make them competitive with lithium-ion technology.

This fact has probably made li-ion proponents such as Tesla, who have invested substantial amounts in the technology, double their efforts to improve their batteries’ performance or reduce their cost. As the most expensive component of an electric car, the battery is a top priority for R&D departments in the car-making industry.

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Earlier this year, German scientists said they had found a way to make lithium ion batteries charge much faster. Charing times are the second most important consideration after cost for potential EV buyers, and another priority for EV makers. What the scientists did was replace the cobalt oxide used in the cathode of a lithium ion battery with another compound, vanadium disulfide.

26
Policy and solutions / Re: Renewable Energy
« on: August 09, 2019, 01:35:50 AM »
Ken
With all of this wonderful news, when should we expect the Keeling curve to curve back on itself?


Renewables and batteries are wonderful additions to our power mix, but in most venues they aren't keeping up with additional demand.


Terry

First emissions need to peak.  That'll be within a few years.

Then emissions need to go to zero.  That'll be about 2050.

Meanwhile, direct air capture and carbon sequestration needs to be deployed, along with land use changes that sequester more carbon and build up carbon sinks.  The Democratic candidates for President in the US are talking about that now, so hopefully we'll see that deployment in the US in the 2020s.  A lot of these applications, such as biochar to replace (or at least offset some) chemical fertilizers are being used in small scales now.

So when the carbon sinks are beefed up and the carbon emissions are near zero, the concentrations of CO2 in the atmosphere will start declining.  I assume that's what you mean by the Keeling curve curving back on itself.  I think we'll see that in the 2040s.

27
Policy and solutions / Re: Direct Air Capture (of Carbon Dioxide)
« on: August 02, 2019, 10:27:30 PM »
DAC is not enough:
https://news.umich.edu/climate-change-why-removing-co2-from-the-air-wont-be-enough/

DAC wont be the only solution.  It's one of the tools that must be deployed to draw down the carbon that's already in the atmosphere. 

Fossil fuels are already on the way out.  Renewables have made great progress and are now cheaper than fossil fuels in most of the world.  Battery electric vehicles will be outselling ICE vehicles within the next decade.  Methods to make concrete and steel without emitting carbon are being deployed now.  That takes care of most of the future emissions.

However, eventually we need to decrease the carbon dioxide concentrations in the atmosphere from where they peak (probably around 450 ppm) to around 350 ppm.  It would take centuries to millennia for that to happen by natural causes.

Biochar and biomass burning with carbon sequestration is another big part of the solution.  The biochar can be used to help replenish soils in agriculture or reforest projects.  The biogas generated in making the biochar will replace fossil fuel natural gas in other applications (such as building heating and cooking) until they're fully electrified.  However, biomass and biogas burning just recycle the carbon already in the atmosphere.

That's where DAC comes in.  Unlike the renewables and biochar/biogas however, there isn't a payback for capturing the CO2, beyond a few industrial uses.   Most of the captured CO2 will need to be sequestered underground.  So few private sector entities will build DAC facilities.  They'll need to be government funded and run, much like sewage treatment plants.

28
Policy and solutions / Re: Renewable Energy
« on: August 02, 2019, 10:12:11 PM »
One of the myths about solar and wind that the fossil fuel advocates keep pushing is that "they take up too much space".  They ignore the fact that the panels can be put on rooftops and land that isn't currently being used for a productive purpose, such as over a parking lot (shading the cars parked underneath as well) or an old landfill site.

http://www.courant.com/community/hartford/hc-news-hartford-landfill-solar-20190802-ckke3q45vjdahayw2ltrmhspfm-story.html

Quote

Hartford is seeking developers to expand the array of solar panels atop the city’s former landfill.

Initially installed in 2014, the state’s first landfill-based solar energy-generating facility has nearly 4,000 solar panels, covering 6 acres of the summit of the 96-acre, capped garbage pile along the Connecticut River.

Those panels produce about 1 megawatt of electricity, enough to power about 1,000 homes at full capacity.

The amount of solar panels to be added to the landfill is dependent on the proposals received but is expected to be about 1 megawatt as well, according to a recently issued request for proposals.

29
Policy and solutions / Re: Renewable Energy
« on: August 02, 2019, 10:06:16 PM »
Adding battery storage to cheap renewables "disrupts" the energy markets (in a positive way, read on).

https://www.forbes.com/sites/jeffmcmahon/2019/08/02/why-energy-storage-is-proving-even-more-disruptive-than-cheap-renewables/#2b1dcc4a51e5

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In the past, utilities had to "take what they could get" from slow, inflexible fossil-fuel plants, Ahlstrom said. Their primary concern was having enough energy to meet peak demand.

Now, utilities will have abundant cheap power from renewables. Paired with batteries, that power can be deployed by computer in microseconds to ensure reliability or fulfill other ancillary services.

30
Policy and solutions / Re: Renewable Energy
« on: August 02, 2019, 09:58:08 PM »
Renewables in India continue to make up more of the generating capacity in the country.  The share of fossil fuel generation in India had decreased for 14 consecutive quarters.

https://cleantechnica.com/2019/08/02/share-of-fossil-fuel-in-indian-power-mix-drops-for-14th-consecutive-quarter/

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CleanTechnica Research analyzed the trends for 17 quarters between Q2 2015 and Q2 2019 and found that the share of fossil fuel-based generation increased only in two quarters, i.e., Q3 2015 and Q4 2015 when it registered the highest share of 69.81%. Since Q4 2015 this share has declined at a compound annual rate of 0.78%. At the end of Q2 2015, the total installed capacity in the fossil fuel sector was 191 gigawatts which increased to 226 gigawatts at the end of Q2 2019.

The declining share is the direct result of the slow rate of new capacity addition in the fossil fuel sector compared to solar, wind, and the overall renewable energy sector over the last few years. Additionally, there have been several retirements as well as in the fossil fuel sector.

The share of wind energy in the installed capacity mix has grown at a compound annual rate of 1.29% since Q4 2015. Wind energy crossed the milestone of 10% share in the installed power mix in Q4 2018. At the end of Q2 2015, the operational wind energy capacity in India was 23.4 gigawatts which increased to 36.3 gigawatts at the end of Q2 2019.

The share of solar energy grew at a stellar compound annual rate of 13.8% between Q4 2015 and Q2 2019. The actual share of solar energy increased from just 1.53% at an installed capacity of 4.3 gigawatts at the end of Q4 2015 to 8.23% at an installed capacity of 29.5 gigawatts at the end of Q2 2019.

31
Policy and solutions / Re: Renewable Energy
« on: August 02, 2019, 09:51:14 PM »
The cost of solar farms keeps going down.

https://cleantechnica.com/2019/08/01/portugal-bags-lowest-cost-solar-bid/

Quote
The Portuguese energy secretariat has secured 1.15 GW of solar development at an average cost of €20.33 ($22.53 per megawatt-hour), representing an investment of about €800 million or $887 million.

One of the bids was made at €14.76/MWh ($16.44/MWh), which was declared a new world record for low solar bidding, according to Portugal’s Journal Económico. The secretariat had placed a €45/kWh ceiling on bidding.

Quote
Portugal produced a record level of power from clean energy sources in March 2018, the first time that renewables filled 100% of its production, the agency said. Much of the country’s renewable energy comes from hydro and wind sources, although solar generation is increasing rapidly now. The country expects to be a 100% renewable energy producer by 2040. In 2018, renewables provided about 52% of the country’s electricity demand, according to the Portuguese power utility Redes Energeticas Nacionais (REN).

“By 2021 we will be able to triple the solar capacity in Portugal, from the current 572 MW to close to 1600 MW,” said Jorge Seguro Sanches, Portugal’s Energy Secretary of State, in a 2018 CleanTechnica report.

32
Policy and solutions / Re: Coal
« on: July 27, 2019, 12:38:14 AM »
Yet another large insurer will no longer insure coal mines or power plants.

https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2019/jul/26/insurance-giant-suncorp-says-it-will-no-longer-cover-new-thermal-coal-projects

Quote
Australian insurance giant Suncorp will no longer invest in, finance or insure new thermal coal mines and power plants, and will not underwrite any existing thermal coal projects after 2025.

33
Policy and solutions / Re: Renewable Energy
« on: July 26, 2019, 09:55:46 PM »
South Australia is on target for generating 100% of its electricity from renewables by 2030.

https://www.pv-magazine.com/2019/07/24/more-big-pv-down-under-as-south-australias-wind-and-solar-pipeline-swells-to-10-gw/

Quote
Following a string of development approvals for big solar+storage projects, South Australia’s large-scale wind and solar pipeline has grew to 10 GW. As it moves further than the previous target of 75% of its electricity generated by renewables by 2025, SA aims to hit “net” 100% renewables by 2030 and become a major energy exporter to other states.

Quote
SA has long been the nation’s renewable energy front runner. According to a recent report from Green Energy Markets, the state is on track to generating renewable energy equal to 73.5% of its consumption by 2030, up from 53% in 2018. To achieve the government’s target of 100% renewables it roughly needs another 1,300 MW of capacity, the report found.

With a number of development approvals for massive solar and battery projects in the recent period, SA is taking major strides towards its target. In a matter of weeks, the state government has waved through 500 MW of solar PV collocated with 250 MW/1000 MWh of battery storage around five kilometers north-east from Robertstown and the 280 MW Bungama Solar Farm coupled with a 140MW/560MWh battery storage facility proposed by EPS Energy, while another massive project – the Solar River Project, which comprises a 200 MW solar PV and 120 MWh of battery storage and potentially another 200 MW of solar and 150 MWh in the second stage, inked a power purchase agreement with Alinta Energy.

As reported by the daily, the latest project to receive the government’s tick of approval is a $200 million solar+storage facility at Murray Bridge. Proposed by developers RES, the 176 MW Pallamana Solar Farm coupled with 66 MW/140MWh lithium-ion battery will be located on 730 hectares of land around 60km south-east of Adelaide.

34
Policy and solutions / Re: Renewable Energy
« on: July 26, 2019, 09:42:46 PM »
Oklahoma is going with a wind/solar/battery hybrid plant instead of natural gas peakers.

https://www.greentechmedia.com/articles/read/nextera-inks-even-bigger-windsolarstorage-deal-with-oklahoma-cooperative

Quote
The powerhouse renewables developer contracted this week with Oklahoma-based Western Farmers Electric Cooperative to build the largest proposed solar-plus-wind-plus-storage plant in the U.S. The Skeleton Creek facility, slated for completion by the close of 2023, will include:
• 250 megawatts of wind capacity (which will arrive first, before the end of 2019)
• 250 megawatts of solar power
• 200 megawatts/800 megawatt-hours of battery storage

Quote
By balancing the divergent production schedules of wind and solar resources, and using batteries for additional flexibility, hybrid plants like these deliver cheap renewables while mitigating the limitations of intermittency. In this case, the configuration offered an economic alternative to a natural gas peaker plant.

Quote
Western Farmers, a generation and transmission company that supplies power to 21 member co-ops, needed 400 megawatts of capacity by 2025 for its resource adequacy obligation, said Phillip Schaeffer, the principal resource planning engineer.

The traditional solution would be to build a natural-gas peaker to deliver that capacity to the Southwest Power Pool, but Schaeffer crunched the numbers around the solar/wind/storage combination and found something intriguing.

"It’s actually cheaper, economically, than a gas peaker plant of similar size, particularly with the tax credits that are available right now," Schaeffer told GTM. "Prices have fallen significantly over the last several years."

The wind component comes online this year to capture the full federal Production Tax Credit, and the solar and storage will be built together to qualify for the federal Investment Tax Credit, enhancing project economics.

The new arrangement also improves operationally on a gas peaker, Schaeffer noted. The battery will respond faster than a gas peaker can, and has the added benefit of absorbing excess capacity, useful on Oklahoma's most blustery days.

35
Policy and solutions / Re: Renewable Energy
« on: July 25, 2019, 05:51:58 PM »
In South Carolina, electricity bills are very high to pay off the failed VC Summer nuclear power plant abandoned several years into construction.  The state recently passed a bill promoting rooftop solar and people are using it to cut their energy bills.

https://www.wistv.com/2019/07/24/future-is-bright-solar-energy-south-carolina-after-energy-freedom-act/

Quote

Freed made the switch to solar energy a few months ago. He said he wanted to reduce his carbon footprint and slash his monthly power bill. Especially after the VC Summer debacle. According to officials, South Carolina has one of the highest power rates in the country.

Freed said his bill has reduced dramatically. “For at least two months now, I’ve had no electricity charges minus the facility fee you’re going to pay no matter what.”

Solar companies said they will see an increase in the number of customers, all thanks to the Energy Freedom Act that was signed into law earlier this year.

According to the Solar Energy Industries Association, companies have installed 18,000 solar systems in South Carolina. Over the next year five years, they predict 22,000 new systems will be installed.

Solar companies said the new law removed caps on net metering and leasing, which means more customers will be incentivized to put solar on their roofs at their homes and businesses.

36
Arctic sea ice / Re: When will the Arctic Go Ice Free?
« on: July 24, 2019, 10:28:13 PM »
Let's start with the beginning.

https://agupubs.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1029/2007GL030253
D. Schröder  W. M. Connolley
Impact of instantaneous sea ice removal in a coupled general circulation model


There are either two things seriously wrong with this model or I have a serious misunderstanding of how the arctic works.

2.

From the article and very important because all the paper I've seen are counting on negative auto correlation:

Quote
For SAT a large positive anomaly occurs between October and February after the initial perturbation, with a peak of almost 11 K in November (Figure 2). After February, there are no further SAT anomalies stronger than natural variability.


This does not match the reality observed during winter since 2016. We have seen how the Chukchi remains very warm, way past November, even with a giant mass of ice to the North.

We are also starting to see the accumulation of heat are having long term effect in the Bering and Chukchi.

Did you miss this fall and winter?

http://ocean.dmi.dk/arctic/meant80n.uk.php




37
Arctic sea ice / Re: When will the Arctic Go Ice Free?
« on: July 24, 2019, 10:24:25 PM »
Let's start with the beginning.

https://agupubs.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1029/2007GL030253
D. Schröder  W. M. Connolley
Impact of instantaneous sea ice removal in a coupled general circulation model


There are either two things seriously wrong with this model or I have a serious misunderstanding of how the arctic works.
1.

The melting season over the Arctic starts somewhere in April.  By May the periphery is melting fast and the inside forming meltponds. By June, CAB melting begins. This melting has one principal culprit, the sun. Of course most of that sun energy is returned back to space due to the high albedo of ice, but even then, there is enough heat to melt the ice.

This paper removes the ice on July 1st, because if they remove the ice before then refreezing begins. How? How in the world they remove all the ice during solstice and refreeze begins but if they do it 10 days later refreeze doesn't?

From the paper:

Quote
To examine the recovery mechanisms of Arctic summer sea ice, we simulate the consequences of an ice‐free Arctic Ocean during summer. We set up experiments to start on 1st July from initial conditions that are taken from the reference run, but are perturbed by converting the entire Northern Hemisphere sea ice to water with the same properties as the sea surface water below the ice. Such conversion of relatively fresh sea ice to salty sea water has the advantage of leaving the properties of sea surface water unchanged. The start date is chosen such that the effect of the perturbation is maximal: starting from ice‐free conditions earlier in the year leads to immediate re‐freezing,

This makes no physical sense. By june 21st, with the arctic full of meters thick, cold ice with high albedo, there is more than enough melting to spread across the whole arctic. However this model says that if all ice was removed by the 21st of june refreeze would immediately begin?

What am I missing?

The hottest time of the day isn't noon, it's approximately 3PM in temperate zones.  If noon = June 21 at the North Pole, 3PM would be a bit later.

http://weather101.net/when-is-the-coldest-and-hottest-time-of-the-day/

Quote
The hottest time of day

We all know that the sun is at its highest point in the sky at noon, so that must be the hottest time of the day, right? Not really.

While it is true that the most energy being received by the earth from the sun is at noon, the thermal response means that all that energy isn’t felt in the air for at least a few hours. So, if you add three or four hours to noon, you get 3 or 4 p.m.

38
Arctic sea ice / Re: When will the Arctic Go Ice Free?
« on: July 24, 2019, 08:42:40 PM »
Ken,

You missed the point. Read their own limitations statements.

I do use models. I am decidedly not a great fan of models of any kind. They always need to be sanity checked against reality. Models nearly always have embedded in them serious limitations that are often not fully recognized or described. Very often perceptual and belief systems biases result in unstated presumptions and assumptions that strongly affect or limit them.

And in this I am not specifically or even majorly focusing on climate models. Their limitations are greater than most. More I am referring to a huge array of models that I have personally worked with over the last 40 years. In my youth I trusted them far more than I should have. In a couple of cases that misplaced trust nearly got me killed. I developed a strong skepticism as a result. I still used models. They are incredibly valuable. However, I do not place faith in them.

Extrapolating models beyond their proven basis conditions is particularly dangerous. For climate that now is required if we are to have any guidance from them at all. That does not mean using them blindly without thoroughly and critically analyzing them and their origins. By that I mean especially looking for unstated unconscious biases and errors.

Any statements like “we must assume that...” are huge red flags. And I am not saying this happened here.

But so too are things like creating a linear model from chaotic data and then concluding based on that model that nonlinearities will not arise under radically changed conditions.

Sam

Sam,

Hard to argue with that.  Really hard.  Unless you have access to a time machine, models are all we have to project the future.

Ken

39
Policy and solutions / Re: Oil and Gas Issues
« on: July 24, 2019, 08:23:45 PM »
The recent projections of large increases in LNG infrastructure are doubtful, given the current gas glut and the trade disputes between China and US causing uncertainty in demand.  And the falling price of renewables limits the time horizon to recoup the massive investments needed to build the LNG terminals and tankers.

https://oilprice.com/Energy/Energy-General/RBC-Natural-Gas-Glut-Will-Last-Into-2020s.html

Quote
RBC: Natural Gas Glut Will Last Into 2020s
By Irina Slav - Jul 22, 2019, 11:00 AM CD

A supply overhang in natural gas will persist into the next decade, the Royal Bank of Canada has projected, adding that China will be the single biggest driver of demand on this market.

S&P Global Platts quoted the bank’s report on the topic as saying "We see the market as clearly oversupplied in 2019 and more moderately oversupplied in 2020, with really only China able to re-balance the market through continued demand growth."

Quote
According to a senior IEA official, China will become the world’s top LNG importer within the next five years, just as the U.S. becomes the largest exporter by 2024, with annual exports of over 100 billion cubic meters in that year. That, however, would only work out with stronger LNG prices and an end to the trade war that has stumped some LNG ambitions because of the lack of long-term import commitments, notably from Chinese importers.

Quote
Going forward, the RBC analysts warned that European demand for gas will stagnate thanks to the increased adoption of renewables. However, the continent will not be able to wean itself off natural gas completely anytime soon. It will remain dependent on imports of pipeline gas and LNG, with the latter’s share in the European energy mix rising.

40
Arctic sea ice / Re: When will the Arctic Go Ice Free?
« on: July 24, 2019, 08:11:54 PM »
Here's a link to a review article (an article that examines recent studies and summarizes them) published in the journal "Climate Change Reports" in December 2018. The article examines whether an ice-free Arctic leads to "tipping point" behavior and concludes that it doesn't.

https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s40641-018-0113-2

Actually, it doesn’t. The limitations of the study are bounded by the conditions it studied. These include limitations to a data set of only variably ice covered Arctic, linearity in response in that regime, and omission of other factors not studied that might cause non-linearities and tipping points. They did go beyond those bounds in projecting an ice free arctic from July to December at +4C. But that projection too must be taken in the context of the studies limitations. In other words, that is a lower bound. Feedbacks and inputs leading to nonlinear behavior were excluded.

Said differently, the study creates a linear model based on the observational period. Arguments beyond the observational period conditions are at best speculative. To use the model to argue that tipping point behavior won’t occur falls victim of a self referential error in logic of the type: “We made a model. The model only includes linear response. The model doesn’t predict nonlinear response. Therefore nonlinear response is not possible.” Gack! 

Sadly, this sort of error is common, as is the error of extrapolating beyond the bounds of the data set and trying to apply the data set to regimes where it may not and likely does not apply.

Sam

Sam,

They used a wide range of models.  Are you saying that you don't believe climate models?  If so, what scientific based method do you use to make your projections?

Also, the models used were Global Climate Models, and included global responses to projected future forcings. These models often show non-linear behavior in climate responses to forcings.  In this case, they show a clear linear relationship between global temperature increase and Arctic ice cover.

From the article:

Quote
Past Evolution of the Sea-Ice Cover

The major role of changes in the external forcing for the past evolution of Arctic sea ice has been identified both in the observational record and in model simulations. In particular, both in models and in observations the Arctic sea-ice coverage (i.e., sea-ice area or sea-ice extent) during summer is linearly related to the rise in global-mean temperature [3, 11, 12, 22, 30, 31, 32]. [14] suggest a simple conceptual model to explain the linearity, establishing an underlying causal relationship between temperature rise and Arctic sea-ice loss. Linear correlations have also been established between the evolution of Arctic summer sea ice and atmospheric CO2 concentration [26, 33] and cumulative anthropogenic CO2 emissions [14, 34, 35]. These individual correlations are directly related to each other, because anthropogenic emissions of CO2 are also the main driver of the observed warming of the atmosphere [27], and the relationship between temperature rise and CO2 emissions has been largely linear in the past.

The linear relationships between the external drivers and Arctic sea-ice coverage do not only hold during summer, but have been shown to hold for all months, both for temperature [36] and for cumulative CO2 emissions [37]. For the linear regression against CO2, R2 values range between 0.75 and 0.92 for every month of the year over the period 1953–2017 [37]. This suggests that the majority of the ice loss across all seasons can directly be explained by the anthropogenic release of CO2.

Do you have any peer-reviewed studies published after December 2018 to indicate this science is wrong?

41
Arctic sea ice / Re: When will the Arctic Go Ice Free?
« on: July 24, 2019, 07:17:57 PM »
Here's some good news that gets overlooked amid current emissions.  Current energy investments in fossil fuels and renewables will significantly lower future carbon emissions and are projected to meet the 2C target.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/business/energy/the-worlds-last-coal-plant-will-soon-be-built/2019/05/14/56d4425e-76be-11e9-a7bf-c8a43b84ee31_story.html?utm_term=.be05ae5b8be8

Quote
The Washington Post
The World’s Last Coal Plant Will Soon Be Built
By David Fickling | Bloomberg
May 15
Fossil-fuel advocates have a favorite rejoinder to those who predict a global shift to renewable energy: Coal has never been more popular. 

It’s a decent argument because it happens to be true. While coal-fired power has declined by nearly a quarter in Europe and almost 40 percent in North America over the past decade, the change has been overwhelmed by a 63 percent increase in Asia.

Quote
The tide may finally be turning, though. Final investment decisions, or FIDs, for coal plants have fallen by about three-quarters over the past three years, from about 88GW over the course of 2015 to around 22GW in 2018, according to the International Energy Agency’s latest world investment report released this week.

The full significance of that figure isn’t apparent until you compare it to the pace at which plants are shutting down. Some 30GW of generators were retired last year, so more capacity was closed in 2018 than was approved – almost certainly the first time this has happened in a generation, and possibly the first time since the 19th century. When FIDs drop to zero, the 140-year era of coal plant construction will finally be over.(2)

It will take a few years for that to work its way through the system, since plants typically take about four years to build after reaching FID. Still, the peak in global plant capacity could be just months away.

Quote
Still, that’s not the way that financial decisions are pointing. The top line of the IEA report is that energy investment in general is falling short – renewables spending, for instance, needs to double by 2025 to get the world on track below 2 degrees of warming. But the deeper story is of an energy industry whose bean counters seem to be betting on a sharp decline in fossil fuel use, even as policymakers track a less ambitious path.

Annual FIDs for coal-fired power are already below where the IEA expects them to be seven years from now under its New Policies Scenario, which envisages countries making somewhat more ambitious emissions cuts than are currently in place. That suggests spending is likely to wind up closer to its Sustainable Development Scenario or SDS, an alternative model that would target global temperature increases below 2 degrees.(1)

Indeed, to judge by the slow pace of recent investments in gas-fired power and new oil and gas production, it looks like energy companies are treating the SDS as their central case. That would be an extraordinary outcome, suggesting that a mere continuation of current trends in fossil-fuel investment would be enough to hit the IEA’s most ambitious major climate target.


42
Arctic sea ice / Re: When will the Arctic Go Ice Free?
« on: July 24, 2019, 06:47:25 PM »
I noted the difference between 1.5C, which will be difficult to reach, and 2C, which is achievable.

You stated that a 45% reduction in CO2 emissions by 2030 would prevent us from reaching 1.5 C of warming when the IPCC report you quoted clearly does not say this.

As to reducing emissions by 11 billion tons annually by 2030, eliminating coal power plants will do that.

Please tell me you did not type this sentence with a straight face.

If we eliminate all use of coal in 10 years, we'll be able to hold global warming below 2C.

If my Aunt had balls, she'd be my Uncle.

Coal plant retirements already outpace new startups in the US and Europe.  That's expected to be true in the rest of the world by 2021.

https://www.petroleum-economist.com/articles/politics-economics/asia-pacific/2019/coal-clinging-on-in-south-and-east-asia

Quote
Bleak outlook for growth

If there is little prospect for coal use to decline much in the short-to-medium-term, a new phase of growth also looks unlikely. Coal financing is drying up quickly. And India, one of coal's last growth centres, continues to cancel coal plant openings.

"The fight is coming to an end game," says Tim Buckley, director of energy finance studies at environmental economics think tank Ieefa in Sydney. "India began this decade with over 600GW of planned capacity, and 85pc of those proposals have either been shelved or cancelled. The banking sector collectively in India has $100bn of impaired exposure to the coal sector. So, they have got no new capacity to lend for coal fired projects."

Buckley's preferred measure to track the coal plant pipeline is to compare closures to final investment decisions, or FIDs, on any new plant completions. Because FIDs are declining, and because closures are rising, he calculates that, around 2021, closures will fully outpace openings. "Closures accelerated the last 4 years by 50pc compared to the previous 4 years," says Buckley, adding that "there are now 113 institutions that will no longer provide financing to coal".

In Buckley's view, coal's fortunes are most closely tied to capital availability. The financing sector can see significant risk, he says, that any new coal plant, proposed to open four years from now, begins its life-cycle in a fundamentally uneconomic position, unable to compete with ultra-cheap wind and solar, or in regions with carbon pricing, natural gas. In short, why bother?

43
Policy and solutions / Re: Coal
« on: July 24, 2019, 06:43:24 PM »
Coal is basically in the "dead man walking" phase of existence.

https://www.petroleum-economist.com/articles/politics-economics/asia-pacific/2019/coal-clinging-on-in-south-and-east-asia

Quote
Bleak outlook for growth

If there is little prospect for coal use to decline much in the short-to-medium-term, a new phase of growth also looks unlikely. Coal financing is drying up quickly. And India, one of coal's last growth centres, continues to cancel coal plant openings.

"The fight is coming to an end game," says Tim Buckley, director of energy finance studies at environmental economics think tank Ieefa in Sydney. "India began this decade with over 600GW of planned capacity, and 85pc of those proposals have either been shelved or cancelled. The banking sector collectively in India has $100bn of impaired exposure to the coal sector. So, they have got no new capacity to lend for coal fired projects."

Buckley's preferred measure to track the coal plant pipeline is to compare closures to final investment decisions, or FIDs, on any new plant completions. Because FIDs are declining, and because closures are rising, he calculates that, around 2021, closures will fully outpace openings. "Closures accelerated the last 4 years by 50pc compared to the previous 4 years," says Buckley, adding that "there are now 113 institutions that will no longer provide financing to coal".

In Buckley's view, coal's fortunes are most closely tied to capital availability. The financing sector can see significant risk, he says, that any new coal plant, proposed to open four years from now, begins its life-cycle in a fundamentally uneconomic position, unable to compete with ultra-cheap wind and solar, or in regions with carbon pricing, natural gas. In short, why bother?

44
Policy and solutions / Re: Oil and Gas Issues
« on: July 24, 2019, 06:33:58 PM »
Renewables are expected to displace gas by 2025.  (Note that it's already happening with gas peakers).

https://www.rigzone.com/news/us_gas_economics_set_to_fall_below_3-23-jul-2019-159380-article/

Quote
U.S. natural gas economics will reach below $3 per million British thermal units (MMBtu) within the next decade, McKinsey Energy Insights reported Tuesday.

According to McKinsey’s newly released 2019 North American Gas Outlook, North American gas demand will increase approximately 32 percent by 2030 – from 95 billion cubic feet per day (bcfd) to 125 bcfd. The firm contends the period will be marked by ample supply, escalating gas exports from North America and new domestic gas demand growth.

McKinsey’s report also predicts that 20 bcfd of North American gas demand growth will come from gas and liquefied natural gas (LNG) exports. It also anticipates that coal-fired plant retirements will help gas’ share of the power mix to grow by 5 bcfd; however, it includes the caveat that renewables will start to displace gas after 2025 amid power sector decarbonization.

That could happen in 2021 depending on what happens in November 2020.

45
Arctic sea ice / Re: When will the Arctic Go Ice Free?
« on: July 24, 2019, 06:10:05 PM »
Here's a link to a review article (an article that examines recent studies and summarizes them) published in the journal "Climate Change Reports" in December 2018. The article examines whether an ice-free Arctic leads to "tipping point" behavior and concludes that it doesn't.

https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s40641-018-0113-2

Quote
The Trajectory Towards a Seasonally Ice-Free Arctic Ocean

Dirk Notz, Julienne Stroeve

Abstract


Purpose of Review

The observed substantial loss of Arctic sea ice has raised prospects of a seasonally ice-free Arctic Ocean within the foreseeable future. In this review, we summarize our current understanding of the most likely trajectory of the Arctic sea-ice cover towards this state.


Recent Findings

The future trajectory of the Arctic sea-ice cover can be described through a deterministic component arising primarily from future greenhouse gas emissions, and a chaotic component arising from internal variability. The deterministic component is expected to cause a largely ice-free Arctic Ocean during summer for less than 2 ∘C global warming relative to pre-industrial levels. To keep chances below 5 % that the Arctic Ocean will largely be ice free in a given year, total future CO2 emissions must remain below 500 Gt.


Summary

The Arctic Ocean will become ice free during summer before mid-century unless greenhouse gas emissions are rapidly reduced.

Quote
The Impact of Self-Amplification


In addition to changes in the external forcing and internal variability, also a possible self-amplification of the ice loss has been suggested to contribute to the substantial ice loss in recent years. This has often been framed in the context of nonlinear threshold behavior of the ice cover, also referred to as “tipping points.” The main mechanism that has been suggested to possibly give rise to such “tipping” of the ice cover has been the ice-albedo feedback.


Past Evolution of the Sea-Ice Cover

The observed evolution of the Arctic sea-ice cover is inconsistent with the possible existence of a tipping point arising from self-amplification of the ice cover. First, the evolution has remained linearly linked to the long-term rise in global-mean temperature as outlined above. Second, the 1-year lag autocorrelation of year-to-year changes in summer sea-ice coverage is negative (around − 0.5, see also [26]), implying that after a summer with a particularly strong ice loss, the ice cover usually recovers somewhat in the following year. If indeed self-amplification played a significant role in the observed evolution of the ice cover, one would expect both an increasing failure of the linear relationship with rising temperature and an even more substantial ice loss after a year with a substantial ice loss.

Several stabilizing feedbacks during winter contribute to the lack of self-amplification even in light of the ice-albedo feedback [53]: First, any ice-free parts of the Arctic Ocean more effectively lose their heat to the atmosphere than those parts that remained ice-covered during winter [54]. Second, thin ice grows much faster than thick ice in response to the same external forcing, allowing for some recovery of total sea-ice volume after any record ice loss during summer [55]. And third, the later the ice cover forms, the thinner will be its isolating snow cover during winter [56].

Note that all these stabilizing feedbacks are only active during winter. Throughout summer of a given year, any small perturbation of the ice cover will be effectively amplified. For example, the observed progressively earlier melt onset translates directly to more absorption of solar heat, and thus to a more substantial ice loss during summer and a later onset of autumn freeze-up. This behavior has been found in the observational record [57] and can be used to estimate the timing of freeze onset at the end of the summer [58].

The observed lack of self-amplification of the ongoing ice loss is consistent with the behaviour of the Arctic sea-ice cover in large-scale climate models. In contrast, simplified models of the sea-ice cover often show instabilities [59]. This behavior has been explained by the lack of meridional heat transport and a lack of a seasonal cycle in these simplified models [60].

46
Arctic sea ice / Re: When will the Arctic Go Ice Free?
« on: July 24, 2019, 05:51:26 PM »
The reduction of 45% by 2030 and carbon neutral by 2050 is to keep warming under 1.5C.  I agree that probably wont happen.

Here's what the IPCC stated about reductions needed to stay under 2C:

Quote
In model pathways with no or limited overshoot of 1.5°C, global net anthropogenic CO2 emissions decline by about 45% from 2010 levels by 2030 (40–60% interquartile range), reaching net zero around 2050 (2045–2055 interquartile range). For limiting global warming to below 2°C11 CO2 emissions are projected to decline by about 25% by 2030 in most pathways (10–30% interquartile range) and reach net zero around 2070 (2065–2080 interquartile range). Non-CO2 emissions in pathways that limit global warming to 1.5°C show deep reductions that are similar to those in pathways limiting warming to 2°C. (high confidence) (Figure SPM.3a) {2.1, 2.3, Table 2.4}


Ken...you challenged someone for not reading the IPCC report that you linked to. Did you even read the quote you pulled from the report before you posted this comment? The bold underlined text has been highlighted by me.

Also please take a look at this linked chart...

https://ourworldindata.org/grapher/annual-co-emissions-by-region

...and explain to me where you think we will get a 11 billion ton reduction in annual CO2 emissions in the next decade in order to keep warming below 2C, given the current trends.

At best, emissions in 2030 will match emissions in 2019 and that is only if we start doing things we are not yet doing. We are not going to hold temp gains below 2C, not even close.

I noted the difference between 1.5C, which will be difficult to reach, and 2C, which is achievable.

As to reducing emissions by 11 billion tons annually by 2030, eliminating coal power plants will do that.

https://www.climatecentral.org/news/coal-plants-lock-in-300-billion-tons-of-co2-emissions-17950

Quote
Worldwide, coal-burning released 14.4 billion tons of CO2 in 2011.

With the cost of building new renewables (solar and wind) now much cheaper than operating coal power plants, there's an economic incentive to shut down coal power plants and replace them with wind and solar.  Utility companies in the US are already accelerating their retirements of coal power plants and replacing them with solar and wind.  The trend will accelerate as the cost of renewables is continuing to drop.

Renewables plus batteries are already replacing gas peaker power plants.  California recently cancelled two new gas peaker plants and is building solar farms with battery storage instead.

Even developing countries are cancelling planned coal power plants and building wind or solar instead.  Look at new developments in Kenya, Indonesia and Vietnam as examples.

47
Arctic sea ice / Re: When will the Arctic Go Ice Free?
« on: July 24, 2019, 02:10:35 AM »
The UNFCC treaty signed in 1992 has the goal of keeping temperature increases below 2 degrees C globally.  This treaty also established the IPCC which produces scientific assessments of the effects of climate change.  The IPCC published an updated assessment in 2018 which reviews the impacts of an increase of 1.5C vs 2C.

I only quoted this one piece as your comment was quite long and, I might add, packed with useful info. I would encourage everyone to go back and read it so as to understand my response.

I am not here to refute what is said in the IPCC report. While I believe they error on the side of caution, this conservatism is not due to some subtle agenda but rather due to the method used to generate the report. It requires a consensus of all of the contributors, all of them far brighter and informed than me.

My objection to your post is grounded in one simple fact. We simply will not hold warming to 2C. This same IPCC report stated that we need to reduce global warming emissions 45% by 2030 and be carbon neutral by 2050 in order to avoid warming beyond 2C. Our BAU behavior virtually guarantees a 4C warmer world by 2100. This temperature increase has been described as incompatible with human civilization.

The reduction of 45% by 2030 and carbon neutral by 2050 is to keep warming under 1.5C.  I agree that probably wont happen.

Here's what the IPCC stated about reductions needed to stay under 2C:

Quote
In model pathways with no or limited overshoot of 1.5°C, global net anthropogenic CO2 emissions decline by about 45% from 2010 levels by 2030 (40–60% interquartile range), reaching net zero around 2050 (2045–2055 interquartile range). For limiting global warming to below 2°C11 CO2 emissions are projected to decline by about 25% by 2030 in most pathways (10–30% interquartile range) and reach net zero around 2070 (2065–2080 interquartile range). Non-CO2 emissions in pathways that limit global warming to 1.5°C show deep reductions that are similar to those in pathways limiting warming to 2°C. (high confidence) (Figure SPM.3a) {2.1, 2.3, Table 2.4}

My speculative guess is that we'll wind up between 1.5C and 2C.  I'm guessing that a BOE will first occur in the late 2020s and it won't have much more impact than our low extent fall of 2012 had.  I base that on a lot of reading (and talking to some researchers who have studied the Arctic ice).

For the record, I'm neither a boomer nor an academic.  Just someone who cares.  I dislike seeing people who have given up hope trying to take it from those of us who are still trying to make positive changes.

48
Arctic sea ice / Re: When will the Arctic Go Ice Free?
« on: July 23, 2019, 06:18:04 PM »

In the last interglacial, temperatures in the Arctic were much higher than today, and the world didn't end.


The world won't end. Just the humans and most species on it...

So you clearly didn't read the IPCC report that I linked to.

49
Arctic sea ice / Re: When will the Arctic Go Ice Free?
« on: July 23, 2019, 05:53:19 PM »
Quote
Perhaps it would help if Archimid laid out his reasoning, preferably supported by facts and figures and even (one hopes) a peer-reviewed paper or two.

Ok so who has the burden of proof? The one that's making an extraordinary claim.

Quote
Archimid, please explain: Why do you think that a BOE will be such a cataclysmic catastrophe?

I promise I will, but first the burden of proof is on you to prove it won't be a cataclysm. It is an extraordinary claim that no ice on the Arctic does not lead to cataclysm. It is only the assumption of human permanence that gives you the impression that a cataclysm is not likely. The most basic physics dictate that cataclysm is the most likely outcome. What makes you think that such a large scale and sudden change in planetary heat distribution will not have huge impact?

Quote
How can anybody claim that a single event, albeit important, that does not really change anything can be a bigger catastrophe than what has been happening all the time leading up to that event?

You think having no ice over the arctic in September does not really change anything?  How can I possibly take that seriously?

I'm sorry but I'm debating absurdities product of fear psychology, not logic or science.

In the last interglacial, temperatures in the Arctic were much higher than today, and the world didn't end.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5575311/

Quote
The last time that Arctic temperatures were significantly higher than today was the Early Holocene Thermal Maximum9, 10. The Holocene, however, is an interglacial cycle not concluded yet. This certainly justifies climatic evaluations of older, concluded warm interglacial cycles such as the last interglacial (LIG), i.e., Marine Isotope Stage (MIS) 5e (Eemian), lasting from about 130 to 115 ka and often proposed as a possible analog for our near-future climatic conditions on Earth11, 12. Based on proxy records from ice, terrestrial and marine archives, the LIG is characterized by an atmospheric CO2 concentration of about 290 ppm, i.e., similar to the pre-industrial (PI) value13, mean air temperatures in Northeast Siberia that were about 9 °C higher than today14, air temperatures above the Greenland NEEM ice core site of about 8 ± 4 °C above the mean of the past millennium15, North Atlantic sea-surface temperatures of about 2 °C higher than the modern (PI) temperatures12, 16, and a global sea level 5–9 m above the present sea level17

The UNFCC treaty signed in 1992 has the goal of keeping temperature increases below 2 degrees C globally.  This treaty also established the IPCC which produces scientific assessments of the effects of climate change.  The IPCC published an updated assessment in 2018 which reviews the impacts of an increase of 1.5C vs 2C.

https://report.ipcc.ch/sr15/pdf/sr15_spm_final.pdf

Quote
Human activities are estimated to have caused approximately 1.0°C of global warming5 above
pre-industrial levels, with a likely range of 0.8°C to 1.2°C. Global warming is likely to reach 1.5°C
between 2030 and 2052 if it continues to increase at the current rate. (high confidence) (Figure
SPM.1) {1.2}

Quote
Anthropogenic emissions (including greenhouse gases, aerosols and their precursors) up to the present are unlikely to
cause further warming of more than 0.5°C over the next two to three decades (high confidence) or on a century time scale
(medium confidence). {1.2.4, Figure 1.5}

Quote
There is high confidence that the probability of a sea ice-free Arctic Ocean during summer is substantially lower at global
warming of 1.5°C when compared to 2°C. With 1.5°C of global warming, one sea ice-free Arctic summer is projected per
century. This likelihood is increased to at least one per decade with 2°C global warming. Effects of a temperature overshoot
are reversible for Arctic sea ice cover on decadal time scales (high confidence). {3.3.8, 3.4.4.7}

That's what the science supports.  You're the one making the extraordinary claims, so you need to come up with the peer reviewed science to support those claims.

50
Policy and solutions / Re: Oil and Gas Issues
« on: July 22, 2019, 07:55:40 PM »
The fracking industry is in trouble.

https://oilprice.com/Energy/Energy-General/US-Shale-Is-Doomed-No-Matter-What-They-Do.html

Quote


U.S. Shale Is Doomed No Matter What They Do

By Nick Cunningham - Jul 21, 2019, 4:00 PM CDT

With financial stress setting in for U.S. shale companies, some are trying to drill their way out of the problem, while others are hoping to boost profitability by cutting costs and implementing spending restraint. Both approaches are riddled with risk.

Quote
But while the philosophies differ – relentless growth versus restraint – IEEFA argues that “neither of these strategies seem viable.” On the one hand, natural gas prices are expected to stay below $3 per MMBtu, a price that is unlikely to lead to profits, IEEFA says. That is especially true if shale companies aggressively spend and produce more gas.

However, a strategy of restraint may not work either. “[E]ven if natural gas producers coordinate their activities and reduce supply—a highly unlikely prospect—Schlotterbeck’s expectation that natural gas prices would inevitably rise is questionable,” IEEFA analysts wrote.

There are few reasons why natural gas prices might not rebound. For instance, any increase in natural gas prices will only induce more renewable energy. Costs for solar, wind and even energy storage has plunged. For years, natural gas was the cheapest option, but that is no longer the case. Renewable energy increasingly beats out gas on price, which means that natural gas prices will run into resistance when they start to rise as demand would inevitably slow.

A second reason why prices might not rise is because public policy is beginning to really work against the gas industry. IEEFA pointed to the recent decision in New York to block the construction of Williams Co.’s pipeline that would have connected Appalachian gas to New York City. In fact, New York seems to be heading in a different direction, recently passing one of the most ambitious and comprehensive pieces of climate and energy bills in the nation. Or, look to Berkeley, California, which just became the first city in the country to ban the installation of natural gas lines in new homes. As public policy increasingly targets the demand side of the equation, natural gas prices face downward pressure.

Another complication for natural gas producers is that the petrochemical industry, which is attracting tens billions of dollars in investment due to the belief that natural gas will remain cheap in perpetuity. Gas producers, who want higher prices, are in conflict with petrochemical manufacturers, who need cheap feedstocks.

“Companies like Shell, which is considering a $6 billion petrochemical investment, must choose: absorb a higher price cost structure for natural gas liquids (NGLs) needed to produce its product, while facing stiff global competition in the petrochemical business. Or, intensify capital commitments and take over the fracking business, hoping to find synergies through integration,” IEEFA noted. “Both of these scenarios change the risk profile Shell has described to justify its aggressive expansion plans in the Ohio Valley.”

The upshot is that while companies like EQT undertake a major shift in strategy, the road ahead remains rocky either way. “More bankruptcies are all but certain as oil and gas borrowers must repay or refinance several hundred billion dollars of debt over the next six months,” IEEFA concluded.


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