Support the Arctic Sea Ice Forum and Blog

Show Posts

This section allows you to view all posts made by this member. Note that you can only see posts made in areas you currently have access to.


Messages - Ken Feldman

Pages: 1 2 [3] 4 5 ... 12
101
Permafrost / Re: Arctic Methane Release
« on: July 09, 2019, 09:25:18 PM »
That won't help with the problem of double-counting carbon emissions.  This study from 2016 mentioned the flow of dissolved carbon from melting permafrost into Arctic Ocean, but didn't quantify it.

https://agupubs.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1002/2016GL071772

Quote
Double‐counting challenges the accuracy of high‐latitude methane inventories

Brett F. Thornton, Martin Wik, Patrick M. Crill 

First published: 04 December 2016

Abstract
 

Quantification of the present and future contribution to atmospheric methane (CH4) from lakes, wetlands, fluvial systems, and, potentially, coastal waters remains an important unfinished task for balancing the global CH4 budget. Discriminating between these sources is crucial, especially across climate‐sensitive Arctic and subarctic landscapes and waters. Yet basic underlying uncertainties remain, in such areas as total wetland area and definitions of wetlands, which can lead to conflation of wetlands and small ponds in regional studies. We discuss how in situ sampling choices, remote sensing limitations, and isotopic signature overlaps can lead to unintentional double‐counting of CH4 emissions and propose that this double‐counting can explain a pan‐Arctic bottom‐up estimate from published sources, 59.7 Tg yr−1 (range 36.9–89.4 Tg yr−1) greatly exceeding the most recent top‐down inverse modeled estimate of the pan‐Arctic CH4 budget (23 ± 5 Tg yr−1).

Quote
1 Introduction

At first glance, balancing the CH4 budget should be simple. Decades long records of atmospheric CH4 exist, and with a lifetime of less than 10 years in the atmosphere [Prather et al., 2012], we should be able to construct a box model where known CH4 sources minus known CH4 sinks equals the current atmospheric burden. Though the atmospheric burden is well known, detailed accounting of both sources and sinks remains a tremendous challenge [Kirschke et al., 2013], somewhat due to potentially large CH4 sources newly noted in the past 10 years. Many of these potential new sources are regional, and many lie in the Arctic where warming temperatures may be more favorable for production and release of CH4 from long‐stored permafrost carbon (C), potentially contributing to a permafrost C warming feedback [Schuur et al., 2015; Vonk et al., 2013]. It remains a goal to reconcile the top‐down Arctic CH4 budget (e.g., calculating backward from the amount of CH4 observed in the atmosphere to sources), with bottom‐up budgets (e.g., summing the CH4 sources and sinks to determine the atmospheric burden). We provide here an updated, but rough, bottom‐up inventory, based on published estimates of various categories of natural Arctic CH4 sources, in Table 1. Although we concentrate on the bottom‐up budget in our discussion here, the top‐down budget is not without issues. Top‐down inverse modeling estimates for the Arctic are limited by relatively few atmospheric measurements in the Arctic [Bruhwiler et al., 2014], tropospheric modeling capabilities [Houweling et al., 1999], and uncertainty surrounding the hydroxyl radical, the primary atmospheric sink for CH4 [Montzka et al., 2011]. But top‐down budgets are mass balanced by design, which is not the case for the bottom‐up sums of independent studies.


Table 1. Arctic CH4 Budget; Bottom‐Up Versus Top‐Down

                                                                      Tg y−1            Study

Bottom‐Up Estimates
Lakes and ponds > 50°N                                         16.5 ± 9.2         Wik et al. [2016b] 
Lakes and ponds > 60°N (bLake4Me model)              11.9                Tan and Zhuang [2015] 
Rivers and streams > 54°N                                        0.3                Bastviken et al. [2011] 
Rivers and streams > 54°N                                        7.5                Stanley et al. [2016] 
Reservoirs > 54°N                                                     1.2                Bastviken et al. [2011] 
Arctic Ocean + Beaufort and Chukchi Seas (<82°N)      2                  Kort et al. [2012] 
ESAS                                                                        2.9               Thornton et al. [2016] 
ESAS                                                                      17                  Shakhova et al. [2014] 
Wetlands > 60°N                                                      23.2               Zhang et al. [2004] 
Wetlands > 53.1°N (CarbonTracker prior model,
based on Bergamaschi et al. [2005])                         31                  Bruhwiler et al. [2014] 
Wetlands > 50°N (ORCHIDEE model)                         31 ± 5             Bousquet et al. [2011] 
Sources sum (minimum–maximum)                       59.7 (36.9–89.4)
 
Top‐Down Inverse Model Estimates
>60°N, all natural sources                                    23 ± 5        Bruhwiler et al. [2014] Saunois et al. [2016] 
ESAS                                                                       0–4.5              Berchet et al. [2016] 

a Recent bottom‐up estimates for various Arctic CH4 source flux strengths are sorted into categories of lakes and ponds, rivers and streams, reservoirs, Arctic Ocean, ESAS, and wetlands. Estimates are based on extrapolations of measurements, except for the three process models noted. Note that the latitude bands differ, which partly account for the ultimate bottom‐up uncertainty seen here. Arctic Ocean flux is from the reported 2 mg m−2 d−1 extrapolated over 10 × 106 km2 of seasonally ice‐free Arctic Ocean regions for 100 ice‐free days [Kort et al., 2012]. Rivers and streams high estimate is based on the Stanley et al. [2016] global fluvial flux database distributed into fluvial surface areas reported by Bastviken et al. [2011]. Sum uses averages of the all estimates per category. Minimum uses category low values and lower bound of the Wik et al. [2016b] lake estimates; maximum uses category high values and upper bounds of ORCHIDEE wetland model and the Wik et al. [2016b] lake estimates. Including subarctic and boreal wetlands from 45°N to 60°N would add 34 Tg yr−1 to the Zhang et al. [2004] wetland estimate.

Quote
There are a wide variety of potential sources of CH4 in the waters of the ESAS. As the ESAS was above sea level at the last glaciation, it contains substantial subsea permafrost and organic material originally formed and frozen subaerially [Dmitrenko et al., 2011]. Additionally, the Laptev and East Siberian Seas are strongly influenced by terrestrial organic carbon input from rivers, providing a modern source of C to the seas [Charkin et al., 2011; Semiletov et al., 2005]. Complicating matters further, the age of the carbon in the present day terrestrial organic matter source may be old or young, C released from thawing permafrost—or C in organic material produced in the annual cycle of plant growth. Coastal erosion of thawing permafrost shorelines provides yet another carbon input into the Arctic system [Lantuit et al., 2013]. All of these marine and shore processes might contribute C to the Arctic CH4 cycle.

102
Policy and solutions / Re: Renewable Energy
« on: July 09, 2019, 09:05:37 PM »
A Danish fund management company is studying the feasibility of a 2.2 GW wind farm off the Victoria coast in Australia.

https://reneweconomy.com.au/australias-first-offshore-wind-project-moves-forward-with-labour-market-study-33139/

Quote
Australia’s first offshore wind project moves forward with labour market study

Michael Mazengarb   
8 July 2019

Quote
The project proposed off the Gippsland coast in the south of Victoria has a planned capacity of up to 2,200MW and would be expected to produce roughly the same amount of energy each year as the now de-commissioned Hazelwood brown-coal power station.

Quote
GE Renewable Energy successfully deployed a new record-setting 12MW offshore wind turbine in the Netherlands last month, with the turbine standing 260 metres tall, and sporting 107 metre-long blades, that is expected to go into commercial production after a period of testing in 2021.

The proposed 250 wind turbine project, with an expected investment value of around $8 billion, would see some of the world’s largest wind turbine designs deployed in Australia for the first time.

With proximity to Victoria’s Latrobe Valley, the project would have the ability to tap into the existing transmission infrastructure that exists in the region, with an undersea cable planned for linking the offshore turbines to the mainland.

Progress for the project comes as an AEMO report highlights the “unprecedented change” underway in the Victorian energy system, as the State’s generation base shifts from east to west, as large brown coal generators in the Latrobe Valley reach the end of their operating life, and the development of renewable energy projects occurs in the west.

103
Policy and solutions / Re: Renewable Energy
« on: July 09, 2019, 08:51:10 PM »
Projections for the retirement of coal and the deployment of renewables in the US are increasing.  This article discusses recent changes to the projections made by the FERC.

https://cleantechnica.com/2019/07/08/ferc-dramatically-revises-us-electricity-generating-predictions/

Quote
FERC Dramatically Revises US Electricity Generating Predictions

July 8th, 2019 by Joshua S Hill

Quote
According to an analysis by the SUN DAY Campaign of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s most recent “Energy Infrastructure Update” for May — published on July 5, detailing data through May 31 — there has been a sharp movement in favor of renewable energy sources. Specifically, according to FERC’s “Proposed Generation Additions and Retirements by June 2022,” fossil fuel generation will be slashed as the coal industry is expected to see retirements of 17,054 megawatts (MW) by June 2022, with the installation of only 1 coal unit worth a measly 17 MW. Natural gas will continue to grow in strength over the same period, but the country’s nuclear capacity is expected to plummet by 7,286 MW.

Quote
On the other hand, in the last couple of months, expectations for wind capacity additions have blossomed, growing from an expected increase in capacity of 25,105 MW between now and April 2022, to a new expected increase in capacity of 27,128 MW by June 2022 — an added 2 GW. Solar, on the other hand, similarly benefited from an upward revised projection, growing from an expected capacity increase of 12,927 MW between now and April 2022 to a new expected increase in capacity of 16,303 MW — another 2.2 GW.

Overall, between now and the middle of 2022, FERC expects the renewable energy industry to add a total of 45 GW of new generating capacity.

104
The summer of 2012 saw not just "the GAC", but a whole series of cyclones starting in June leading up to it. Using Worldview, you can see clear spiral cloud patterns on the Pacific side of the CAB on June 20-21, July 11, July 16-18 immediately followed by multiple small ones (?) July 19-22, July 29, and Aug 3-7+ (the GAC).

Each of these cyclones temporarily reversed the clockwise rotation of the ice, dispersing it. By August, there was already a huge rip in the fabric of the pack.

So far this year, there don't seem to be any such damaging cyclones in the same area (a small one on June 25). Instead, there were several in the Beaufort, starting as early as May (!) with obvious impacts on the ice: May 25, June 11-16, June 24-28.

And currently (since yesterday) there is one (or two) in the ESS. It will be very interesting in about a week to see what damage this will have done, especially following on the heels of the storm that just came through the Bearing.

2012, first obvious cyclone that I could find:
https://worldview.earthdata.nasa.gov/?p=arctic&l=MODIS_Aqua_CorrectedReflectance_Bands721,Graticule,Coastlines&t=2012-06-20-T00%3A00%3A00Z&z=3&v=-4365829.436066626,-904214.593060046,1532410.5639333741,2413545.406939954

Today, ESS cyclone(s):
https://worldview.earthdata.nasa.gov/?p=arctic&l=MODIS_Aqua_CorrectedReflectance_Bands721,Graticule,Coastlines&t=2019-07-02-T00%3A00%3A00Z&z=3&v=-2733573.4360666256,558057.406939954,215546.56393337413,2216937.406939954

We may not need an GAC for a new record low.  First, the following link indicates that 2012 would have reached a record low even without the GAC:

Quote
https://agupubs.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1002/grl.50190

Quote
The impact of an intense summer cyclone on 2012 Arctic sea ice retreat

Jinlun Zhang, Ron Lindsay, Axel Schweiger, Michael Steele

Abstract
 

[1] This model study examines the impact of an intense early August cyclone on the 2012 record low Arctic sea ice extent. The cyclone passed when Arctic sea ice was thin and the simulated Arctic ice volume had already declined ~40% from the 2007–2011 mean. The thin sea ice pack and the presence of ocean heat in the near surface temperature maximum layer created conditions that made the ice particularly vulnerable to storms. During the storm, ice volume decreased about twice as fast as usual, owing largely to a quadrupling in bottom melt caused by increased upward ocean heat transport. This increased ocean heat flux was due to enhanced mixing in the oceanic boundary layer, driven by strong winds and rapid ice movement. A comparison with a sensitivity simulation driven by reduced wind speeds during the cyclone indicates that cyclone‐enhanced bottom melt strongly reduces ice extent for about 2 weeks, with a declining effect afterward. The simulated Arctic sea ice extent minimum in 2012 is reduced by the cyclone but only by 0.15 × 106 km2 (4.4%). Thus, without the storm, 2012 would still have produced a record minimum.

In fact, fewer cyclones may increase the probability of a new record low, because even in summer, cyclones tend to help preserve sea ice.  Here's the explanation from the Director of the NSIDC, Mark Serreze:

https://nsidc.org/cryosphere/icelights/2013/08/are-arctic-cyclones-chewing-sea-ice

Quote
Cyclones do three things to sea ice. They spread out ice to cover a larger area, forming space between ice floes, and increasing ice extent. They bring on cool conditions. And they cause precipitation, which even in the peak of summer is still between 40 to 50 percent in the form of snow. Storms are good for the Arctic. Snow reinforces ice by increasing the amount of sunlight reflected back into the atmosphere, helping to cool the region. When rain falls, it is near freezing; so it doesn’t melt snow like a warm rainstorm over snow banks in lower latitudes. “Statistically speaking,” Serreze said, “summers with lots of cyclones have less ice loss than summers with fewer storms. That’s pretty clear.” That’s what happened this past June. A stormy pattern slowed the rate of ice loss. “Having said that,” Serreze said, “the impacts of an individual storm may not follow that rule, and maybe importantly, the rules are starting to change.”

When a storm breaks up the ice causing ice sprawl, it accelerates ice loss because the darker spaces of open ocean water, absorb more solar energy and increase melting. “If you looked at it that way,” Serreze said, “okay, I’d buy it. But that’s not the only thing that’s happening.” Stormy patterns bring on cool conditions and more precipitation, which tends to increase ice extent. However, individual cyclones may start to change the rules, putting more emphasis on ice break up as a factor in ice loss. Scientists don’t quite know yet if that is the case. Serreze warned, however, that at some point, the ice becomes so thin it doesn’t matter if there’s a storm or not. “It’s just going to melt anyhow,” he said.

It seems from the volume measurements that the ice may be thinner this summer than 2012.  I'm more concerned about a repeat of the conditions that caused so much ice loss in 2007, even though that ice started the season with much more volume than either 2012 or 2019.  This article explains the conditions that caused the ice loss in 2007:

https://journals.ametsoc.org/doi/full/10.1175/2008JCLI2521.1

Quote
Arctic Sea Ice Retreat in 2007 Follows Thinning Trend

R. W. Lindsay, J. Zhang, A. Schweiger, M. Steele, and H. Stern

Polar Science Center, Applied Physics Laboratory, University of Washington, Seattle, Washington

Abstract

The minimum of Arctic sea ice extent in the summer of 2007 was unprecedented in the historical record. A coupled ice–ocean model is used to determine the state of the ice and ocean over the past 29 yr to investigate the causes of this ice extent minimum within a historical perspective. It is found that even though the 2007 ice extent was strongly anomalous, the loss in total ice mass was not. Rather, the 2007 ice mass loss is largely consistent with a steady decrease in ice thickness that began in 1987. Since then, the simulated mean September ice thickness within the Arctic Ocean has declined from 3.7 to 2.6 m at a rate of −0.57 m decade−1. Both the area coverage of thin ice at the beginning of the melt season and the total volume of ice lost in the summer have been steadily increasing. The combined impact of these two trends caused a large reduction in the September mean ice concentration in the Arctic Ocean. This created conditions during the summer of 2007 that allowed persistent winds to push the remaining ice from the Pacific side to the Atlantic side of the basin and more than usual into the Greenland Sea. This exposed large areas of open water, resulting in the record ice extent anomaly.

Quote
The ice–albedo feedback was particularly strong in 2007. Perovich et al. (2008) found a sixfold increase (relative to the 1990s) in bottom melt at the location of a mass balance buoy in the Beaufort Sea but only normal amounts of surface melt. This was caused by a 500% increase (relative to 1979–2005 average) in the absorbed solar flux due chiefly to more open water and a small anomaly (6%) in downwelling solar radiation. The anomaly in downwelling solar radiation and potentially increased melt rates were due to persistent high pressure in the Beaufort Sea region that brought unusually clear skies (Kay et al. 2008). However, the anomalous downwelling solar flux was not a key component of the large retreat of ice in 2007 according to a modeling study by Schweiger et al. (2008). They conclude that the anomalous radiative flux was not in the region where the ice retreated most dramatically and numerical experiments without the anomaly produced ice extents similar to those with the anomaly.

The anomalous winds of 2007 contributed to the reduction in ice extent by pushing the ice to one side of the basin, but if the sea ice had been of near-normal thickness at the start of the year, the unprecedented reduction in extent would likely not have occurred. This increase in the advection of ice from the Pacific sector to the Atlantic sector may be amplified by two dynamic feedbacks, one in which thinner (and hence weaker) ice is more easily compacted (Maslanik et al. 2007) and one in which thinner ice responds more readily to wind forcing, which is manifested in higher ice drift speeds (Rampal et al. 2007). The thinner ice is more easily compacted and is flushed out of the basin more quickly. In addition, winds favorable for sequestering multiyear ice within the basin have been rare since the 1980s.

Tealight's albedo warming potential graphs are showing record highs.  All that remains to set a new record is the wrong wind patterns to blow the remaining ice out of the Arctic.

105
Policy and solutions / Re: Tesla glory/failure
« on: July 08, 2019, 06:43:55 PM »
Interesting article that shows how quickly the Tesla supercharging network has grown:

https://cleantechnica.com/2019/07/06/tesla-supercharger-networks-evolution/

In 2013, there were 8 in the US.



Now there are more than 13,000 around the world.






106
Policy and solutions / Re: Renewable Energy
« on: July 05, 2019, 08:11:34 PM »
Vietnam is rapidly expanding it's solar energy capacity, connecting 4.3 GW to the grid in the last 11 weeks!

https://www.pv-magazine.com/2019/07/05/vietnam-overtakes-australia-for-commissioned-utility-scale-solar-following-june-fit-rush/

Quote
While Australia and Vietnam have been progressively expanding over 12 months, the latest tally showed the Southeast Asian country had overtaken Australia for operating utility scale solar PV capacity, according to Norwegian consultancy Rystad Energy.

Building on the previous year’s record volume of new large scale PV capacity, Australia continued to expand its portfolio of commissioned projects. According to Rystad’s data, the nation’s operating capacity rose from less than 600 MW to 2.7 GW over 12 months. However, that performance was put in the shade as the Vietnamese market skyrocketed on the back of June installation figures, from less than 10 MW of operational generation capacity in June 2018 to more than 4 GW – a 400-fold increase.

People constantly underestimate how quickly solar can be deployed.  And now that it's cheaper than an operating coal plant (and almost as cheap as operating natural gas), we're going to be seeing many more stories like the one from Vietnam.

107
Policy and solutions / Re: Renewable Energy
« on: July 05, 2019, 07:47:09 PM »
European solar installations are expected to double in the next 3 years.

https://cleantechnica.com/2019/07/03/new-european-solar-installations-to-double-over-next-3-years-surpass-250-gigawatts/

Quote
Wood Mackenzie published their Europe Solar PV Market Outlook 2019 towards the end of June, revealing its analysis that new solar installations across Europe will double over the next three years to reach a level of approximately 20 GW per year.

Germany is expected to remain Europe’s largest solar PV market, installing 21 GW between 2019 and 2024, while Spain will eke into a close second, installing almost 20 GW — made up mostly of utility-scale solar.

All in all, a total of seven European countries will install at least 5 GW during the 2019-2024 period, while eighteen countries are expected to install over 1 GW.

108
Policy and solutions / Re: Renewable Energy
« on: July 02, 2019, 09:10:17 PM »
The utility scale renewable installations get a lot of attention, because they replace fossil fuel power plants.  Residential applications are also important, because they reduce the amount of electricity that needs to be supplied by the utilities (and in some cases, can be fed back into the grid when generation exceeds consumption).  Here's a news article about the growth of residential solar in Florida, not exactly a progressive state.

https://pv-magazine-usa.com/2019/07/01/floridas-stunted-customer-owned-solar-grows-76-in-2018/

Quote
Florida’s stunted customer owned solar grows 76% in 2018

The State of Florida deployed 113 MWac of net metered, customer owned solar power across 13,705 installations last year – 68% more installations and 76% more watts than the prior year.
July 1, 2019 John Weaver

Quote
The Florida Public Service Commission (PSC) has reported that cumulative customer-owned renewable energy systems installed in the state increased by 57% over the prior year’s cumulative total. The total capacity of customer sited renewable energy reached 317 MWac.

In terms of solar power alone – which pv magazine USA broke out alone in this Google Sheet, the state deployed over 13,702 systems and 113 MWac. These numbers were increase of 68% and 76%, respectively, versus 2017 deployment volumes. In total, the state now has 310 MW of customer owned, net metered, solar power in the state.

Quote
For comparison’s sake, the State of California – with nearly double population of Florida – deployed more than 1.5 GWdc of customer owned solar power in 2018. This value is more than four times greater than Florida has deployed cumulatively.

While this data doesn’t break it out, and since it takes time for large commercial machines to expand, some of this volume increase might be for “customer owned” systems that are actually owned by the large residential lease companies. This might lead to further expansion in growth numbers as we saw Sunrun break the dam by getting approved for a fixed price solar lease – not a power purchase agreement that varies based on generation – in the state in 2018. Subsequently, all major third party solar companies got their respectively solar lease contracts approved by the PSC as well.


109
Policy and solutions / Re: Oil and Gas Issues
« on: July 02, 2019, 09:03:15 PM »
The boom in natural gas facilities will be even shorter lived than the so-called "nuclear renaissance" that we went through before the Fukishima disaster.  With the price of renewables being so cheap, the fossil fuel companies are going to try to get as much money as they can before they go extinct.  A lot of facilities being built now will not be operating as long as their estimated useful life.

Cross posted from the renewables forum.

Rnewables are so cheap now that even states without renewable power mandates are closing coal plants early and replacing them with solar and wind, not natural gas.  Here's a news article about the plans in Indiana, a conservative Midwestern state (and home to our current Vice President, who is not a climate activist).

https://www.forbes.com/sites/jeffmcmahon/2019/07/02/mike-pences-indiana-chooses-renewables-over-gas-as-it-retires-coal-early/#f94ea2e43b40

Quote
Los Angeles just announced the largest and cheapest solar+storage project in the world, but that's the golden land of dreamers and subsidies. About 1,800 miles to the right, conservative Indiana—with no renewable-portfolio standard—is making similar choices.

Renewables are so cheap, said Mike Hooper, the senior vice president of the Northern Indiana Service Company (NIPSCO), that the utility can close its coal plants early and return $4 billion to its customers over the next 30 years.

"It ends up being a really big number, somewhere in the neighborhood of $4 billion for our customers, and clearly a lot of that comes from the fact that there’s hundreds of millions of dollars in fuel every year from a marginal standpoint that you're not spending, that the customer gets the advantage of through the check they write us every month."

Quote
"We kind of made an assumption that as the results came back it would be very much similar to 2016, particularly where we sit in the world, that natural-gas generation would be the most cost-effective option," Hooper said. "And as we ran this RFP and got our results back, we were surprised to see that wind—especially early wind in service in 2020 and 2021—and then solar, on a levelized-cost-of-energy-basis, were significantly less expensive than new gas-fired generation."

Quote
Empowered by the low price of renewables, NIPSCO decided to double the number of coal plants it will retire in 2023—four instead of two—and to retire its 12 Michigan City units ahead of schedule in 2028, getting the utility out of coal in ten years.

NIPSCO could theoretically abandon coal in five years, saving even more money, Hooper added, but it needs time to develop transmission and ensure a reliable transition.

110
Policy and solutions / Re: Renewable Energy
« on: July 02, 2019, 08:54:22 PM »
Rnewables are so cheap now that even states without renewable power mandates are closing coal plants early and replacing them with solar and wind, not natural gas.  Here's a news article about the plans in Indiana, a conservative Midwestern state (and home to our current Vice President, who is not a climate activist).

https://www.forbes.com/sites/jeffmcmahon/2019/07/02/mike-pences-indiana-chooses-renewables-over-gas-as-it-retires-coal-early/#f94ea2e43b40

Quote
Los Angeles just announced the largest and cheapest solar+storage project in the world, but that's the golden land of dreamers and subsidies. About 1,800 miles to the right, conservative Indiana—with no renewable-portfolio standard—is making similar choices.

Renewables are so cheap, said Mike Hooper, the senior vice president of the Northern Indiana Service Company (NIPSCO), that the utility can close its coal plants early and return $4 billion to its customers over the next 30 years.

"It ends up being a really big number, somewhere in the neighborhood of $4 billion for our customers, and clearly a lot of that comes from the fact that there’s hundreds of millions of dollars in fuel every year from a marginal standpoint that you're not spending, that the customer gets the advantage of through the check they write us every month."

Quote
"We kind of made an assumption that as the results came back it would be very much similar to 2016, particularly where we sit in the world, that natural-gas generation would be the most cost-effective option," Hooper said. "And as we ran this RFP and got our results back, we were surprised to see that wind—especially early wind in service in 2020 and 2021—and then solar, on a levelized-cost-of-energy-basis, were significantly less expensive than new gas-fired generation."

Quote
Empowered by the low price of renewables, NIPSCO decided to double the number of coal plants it will retire in 2023—four instead of two—and to retire its 12 Michigan City units ahead of schedule in 2028, getting the utility out of coal in ten years.

NIPSCO could theoretically abandon coal in five years, saving even more money, Hooper added, but it needs time to develop transmission and ensure a reliable transition.

111
Science / Re: Water vapour and warming potential
« on: July 02, 2019, 08:19:11 PM »
I'm not sure why you'd come up with a simplified CO2eq number for water vapor.  You seem to have missed the point that it's a feedback, not a forcing.  CO2eq numbers apply to the forcings.

Perhaps I am missing a key point, but is it not both a feedback and a forcing?

Similarly, CO2 is a forcing but the additional resultant heat creates more CO2 (permafrost) and so is also a feedback.

If there is a difference between the two cases, then you're right. I have missed an important point.

Here's a good overview of the differences between forcings and feedbacks:

https://www.climate.gov/maps-data/primer/climate-forcing

Quote
Another way to refer to climate forcings is to call them climate drivers. Natural climate drivers include changes in the sun’s energy output, regular changes in Earth’s orbital cycle, and large volcanic eruptions that put light-reflecting particles into the upper atmosphere. Human-caused, or anthropogenic climate drivers include emissions of heat-trapping gases (also known as greenhouse gases) and changes in land use that make land reflect more or less sunlight energy. Since 1750, human-caused climate drivers have been increasing, and their effect dominates all natural climate drivers.

Quote
Feedback: Amplifying Initial Forcings

Climate drivers can also trigger feedbacks that intensify or weaken the original forcing. For example, forcing from increased greenhouse gases also increases evaporation, which increases water vapor in the atmosphere and intensifies the forcing from greenhouse gases.

So taking CO2 as an example, we can show how much humans have emitted by burning fossil fuels and measure the changes in the concentration in the atmosphere.  That would be the forcing.  We can then estimate how much more CO2 is being emitted from natural sources due to the increase in temperatures caused by the melt of permafrost or increased biological activity from microbes, those are feedbacks.

What is your proposed forcing mechanism for water vapor?  I can't think of any.  (There might be more pools behind dams or irrigation canals that allow more water to evaporate, but that precipitates out of the atmosphere as rain or snow and winds up back in aquifers or lakes and oceans).  The effects of water vapor that I've read about are all feedbacks related to the increase in temperature due to other climate forcings.


112
Science / Re: Water vapour and warming potential
« on: July 02, 2019, 07:31:57 PM »
It's difficult to calculate the direct forcings for water vapor for a couple of reasons.  Water vapor leads to clouds which can both trap heat and reflect incoming sunlight and also some of the greenhouse gases overlap in the wavelengths of energy that they absorb.  They can sometimes act as additional positive feedback or sometimes work as additional negative feedback.  So it's difficult to come up with an exact formula for water vapor.  However, the relationship between water vapor and temperature can be calculated using the Clausius-Clapeyron relationship.  Climate science includes the water vapor feedback in the formulas for the greenhouse gas forcings.

The formulas for the greenhouse gas warming forcings were updated in 2016 to include additional feedbacks, primarily for methane.  Here's a link to the paper:

https://agupubs.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1002/2016GL071930




Ken, there is some excellent and pertinent info there. Not only does it discuss the water vapour issue but I can update a lot of what I presently have regarding conventional GHGs. Thank you for taking the time.

I was thinking somewhat simplistically, as obviously, clouds are water vapour and various types of clouds have wildly differing characteristics. It is little wonder no one is willing to put hard numbers to it, although I am sure they want to get there.

I knew I could easily get the spectroscopic absorption numbers, but that was just too simple and I was looking for how it behaves in the wild.

The short answer is "It's complicated" and for my purposes, unnecessarily so. From the information everyone has provided, I think a reasonable multiplier for CO2e is 7 for now, with the caveat that if cloud patterns change, all bets are off.

Cheers to all

I'm not sure why you'd come up with a simplified CO2eq number for water vapor.  You seem to have missed the point that it's a feedback, not a forcing.  CO2eq numbers apply to the forcings.

113
Science / Re: Water vapour and warming potential
« on: July 02, 2019, 07:14:30 PM »
Here's an example of how the water vapor feedback is included in the development of the Earth Systems Models that are used to project the impacts of climate change.  This is very detailed, so be forewarned.

https://agupubs.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1002/2017MS001209

Quote
The GFDL Global Atmosphere and Land Model AM4.0/LM4.0: 2. Model Description, Sensitivity Studies, and Tuning Strategies

Quote
Abstract
 

In Part 2 of this two‐part paper, documentation is provided of key aspects of a version of the AM4.0/LM4.0 atmosphere/land model that will serve as a base for a new set of climate and Earth system models (CM4 and ESM4) under development at NOAA's Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory (GFDL). The quality of the simulation in AMIP (Atmospheric Model Intercomparison Project) mode has been provided in Part 1. Part 2 provides documentation of key components and some sensitivities to choices of model formulation and values of parameters, highlighting the convection parameterization and orographic gravity wave drag. The approach taken to tune the model's clouds to observations is a particular focal point. Care is taken to describe the extent to which aerosol effective forcing and Cess sensitivity have been tuned through the model development process, both of which are relevant to the ability of the model to simulate the evolution of temperatures over the last century when coupled to an ocean model.

Quote
3 Radiation

Both the longwave and shortwave components of the GFDL radiation code have been extensively benchmarked and updated for AM4. This represents the first significant update to the GFDL radiation code since AM2 (GFDL‐GAMDT, 2004), as the updates for AM3 (Donner et al., 2011) were generally minor. The longwave and shortwave codes can be considered as independent and will be dealt with separately in the following. These updates and their resulting impact upon climate will be detailed in an upcoming paper. Here we summarize the key changes.

The longwave code continues to be based upon the simplified exchange approximation (SEA; Fels & Schwarzkopf, 1975; Schwarzkopf & Fels, 1991; Schwarzkopf & Ramaswamy, 1999). For the AM4 version, we have retained the SEA approximation for H2O line calculations but have updated the spectral information used for other species. Random band coefficients for H2O, O3, CO2, N2O, CH4, and halocarbons were all updated from HITRAN 2000 (Rothman et al., 2003) to HITRAN 2012 (Rothman et al., 2013), while the water vapor continuum was updated from CKD 2.1 (Clough et al., 1989) to MT‐CKD 2.5 (Mlawer et al., 2012).
...


114
Science / Re: Water vapour and warming potential
« on: July 02, 2019, 06:44:48 PM »
Gerontocrat,

I understand the basics and the mechanisms. What you say confirms what I wrote.

The quote you provided dances around what I am looking for, and I could intuit some rough values from it, but I don't understand why hard numbers are so hard to find.

It is easy to find an equation that takes two different CO2 concentration levels and can then give you, in watts/m2, the difference in the radiative forcing.

It is: ln(C1/C2)*5.35. (IIRC)

I see no reason why the same could not be done for water vapour.

Cheers

It's difficult to calculate the direct forcings for water vapor for a couple of reasons.  Water vapor leads to clouds which can both trap heat and reflect incoming sunlight and also some of the greenhouse gases overlap in the wavelengths of energy that they absorb.  They can sometimes act as additional positive feedback or sometimes work as additional negative feedback.  So it's difficult to come up with an exact formula for water vapor.  However, the relationship between water vapor and temperature can be calculated using the Clausius-Clapeyron relationship.  Climate science includes the water vapor feedback in the formulas for the greenhouse gas forcings.

The formulas for the greenhouse gas warming forcings were updated in 2016 to include additional feedbacks, primarily for methane.  Here's a link to the paper:

https://agupubs.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1002/2016GL071930

Quote
Radiative forcing of carbon dioxide, methane, and nitrous oxide: A significant revision of the methane radiative forcing

M. Etminan, G. Myhre , E. J. Highwood , K. P. Shine

Abstract
 

New calculations of the radiative forcing (RF) are presented for the three main well‐mixed greenhouse gases, methane, nitrous oxide, and carbon dioxide. Methane's RF is particularly impacted because of the inclusion of the shortwave forcing; the 1750–2011 RF is about 25% higher (increasing from 0.48 W m−2 to 0.61 W m−2) compared to the value in the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) 2013 assessment; the 100 year global warming potential is 14% higher than the IPCC value. We present new simplified expressions to calculate RF. Unlike previous expressions used by IPCC, the new ones include the overlap between CO2 and N2O; for N2O forcing, the CO2 overlap can be as important as the CH4 overlap. The 1750–2011 CO2 RF is within 1% of IPCC's value but is about 10% higher when CO2 amounts reach 2000 ppm, a value projected to be possible under the extended RCP8.5 scenario.


Quote
The most striking feature of the results is the enhancement of the methane RF by about 17–27% compared to the old expressions; this is beyond the nominal uncertainty estimates (about 10%) given in successive IPCC reports for WMGHG forcings. Two mechanisms are responsible–it is primarily due to the role of methane's shortwave bands, which were not included in MHSS98, with a secondary effect of an update to the water vapor continuum strength relative to that used in MHSS98.

Quote
Methane has a strong band at 3.3 µm (Figure 1a), which lies within a region of relatively strong water vapor absorption (Figure 1c), leading to a negative net forcing. The weaker bands at 1.6 and 2.3 µm lie toward the center of the windows in the water vapor spectrum. They cause a positive forcing which more than compensates for the 3.3 µm negative forcing. In summary, the magnitude and sign of the solar RF depend on band strength, gas concentration, and overlap with water vapor.

Quote
In trying to reconcile the present (longwave) results with those in MHSS98, we identified a further influence on the forcing due to CH4 (and, to a lesser extent, the N2O). MHSS98 used the Clough‐Kneizys‐Davies (CKD) water vapor continuum version 0 in the OLBL calculations. In the region of the CH4 and N2O bands that are most responsible for the longwave forcing (around 1300 cm−1), the foreign continuum was weakened by about a factor of 3.5 in subsequent versions of CKD [e.g., Mlawer et al., 1998] and successor versions (the Mlawer‐Tobin‐CKD) [Mlawer et al., 2012]. This reduces the effect of water vapor overlap with CH4, increasing its RF. Changes in the self‐continuum in this spectral region were much smaller during these updates. To isolate the effect of the continuum changes, the instantaneous cloudy‐sky longwave forcings were examined when CKD version 0 is updated to version 2.4.1. The update caused the CH4 forcing for a 1800 to 3500 ppb change to increase by 4.2%. For comparison, the N2O forcing increased by about 1.7% for a 323 to 525 ppb change; for CO2, RF changed by less than 0.2%.

The new formulas for the forcings are included in a table that doesn't copy and paste well into this blog.  Here is the new formula for CO2 forcing with a brief explanation.



Quote
For CO2, the logarithmic form used in MHSS98 (RF = α ln(C/Co), where Co and C are the initial and final CO2 concentrations) is retained but the nature of α term is changed; instead of being a constant, it is now a function of the CO2 and N2O concentrations. Note that the absolute value of CO2 concentration change |C‐Co| is adopted in the α term, to ensure that the forcing is symmetric for increases or decreases in CO2. That is, RF(C, Co) = − RF(Co, C). The C‐Co terms only become important for large changes in CO2; as shown below, for historical forcings, ignoring these terms and using the simple α ln(C/Co) form, and a midrange N2O concentration, yields a value of α within 1% of the value of 5.35 W m−2 given in MHSS98.


115
Science / Re: Water vapour and warming potential
« on: July 02, 2019, 06:21:43 PM »
Here's another explanation of the water vapor feedback (note that this article is from 2008, so the exact numbers have changes a little):

https://www.yaleclimateconnections.org/2008/02/common-climate-misconceptions-the-water-vapor-feedback-2/

Quote
Unlike water vapor, carbon dioxide, methane, and nitrous oxide are long-lived greenhouse gases. Carbon dioxide remains in the atmosphere for about 100 years (though this is somewhat of a simplification, as some is removed quickly, some stays for around a century, and some remains almost indefinitely). Methane stays in the atmosphere for a dozen years on average before decomposing into carbon dioxide and water vapor. Nitrous oxide remains around for over a century.

These long-lived greenhouse gases produce sustained warming, which drives the water vapor feedback. If concentrations of greenhouse gases are reduced, the planet will cool and the water vapor feedback will work the opposite way: lower temperatures lead to lower atmospheric water vapor concentrations, further cooling the Earth. The short residence time and relatively constant magnitude of evaporation as a function of temperature mean that water vapor will always follow, not lead, changes in long-lived greenhouse gases.

Climate scientists can quantify the effect of the water vapor feedback on the climate system, as shown by frequently modeled effects of doubling CO2. In the absence of a water vapor feedback, doubled CO2 would increase global temperatures by around 1 to 1.2 degrees C (1.8 to 2.2 degrees F). However, the additional water vapor in the atmosphere triggered by this initial warming will result in roughly 1.6 degrees C (2.9 degrees F) more warming, and positive feedbacks caused by changes in cloud formation add around 0.7 degrees C more (1.3 degrees F). This cloud feedback varies significantly between models, ranging from 0.3 to 1.1 degrees C (0.5 to 2 degrees F). See the IPCC AR4 WG1 chapter 8.6.3 (pdf) for a more detailed discussion on uncertainties regarding cloud forcings.

Climate scientists can also verify the effects of the water vapor feedback by examining the response of water vapor to a global decrease in temperatures after a major volcanic eruption. After Mount Pinatubo erupted in 1992, for example, water vapor concentrations decreased within the range predicted by the model and amplified the cooling by 60 percent more than would have occurred as a result of the sulphate aerosol emissions alone.

Claims that water vapor is the “dominant” driver of recently observed climate change are spurious at best. While uncertainties in the magnitude of water vapor feedbacks are one of the key areas concerning climate change, none of this research casts any doubt on the role of carbon dioxide and other anthropogenic greenhouse gases as the initial forcings behind our current climate perturbation.

116
Policy and solutions / Re: Nuclear Power
« on: July 02, 2019, 12:26:14 AM »
When calculating the capacity factor of nuclear power plants, is the time they are shut down due to the lack of cooling water considered?  It seems to me that this would be more stressful for the grid than compensating for the impact of the rising and setting of the sun on solar power plants.

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2019/06/30/heatwave-may-force-nuclear-power-shutdown-france-cooling-water/

Quote
Drought and overheating of river water may force some of the nuclear power plants that supply two-thirds of France’s electricity to shut down temporarily in the wake of the European heatwave.

The extreme temperatures are beginning to abate, but shortages and excessive temperatures of river water needed to cool reactors are worrying EDF, the largely state-owned electricity company.

117
Policy and solutions / Re: Biomass issues
« on: July 02, 2019, 12:19:25 AM »
If you look at the industrial revolution, you can see that fossil fuels were needed because there was just not enough biomass to power it. Now we hope to keep our living standard with just renewable, and my worry is that biomass is the only stored renewable energy, so we might try to use it above renewability, and that would be one more of the many catastrophes coming along with climate change and supporting the species extinction. Part of the biomass has to stay in and on the ground to keep the soil alive.

You may want to look into biochar.

118
Policy and solutions / Re: Renewable Energy
« on: July 02, 2019, 12:18:17 AM »
LA has already lost the record for the lowest price ($0.0199/kWhr) for solar.  The latest record holder is Brazil at $0.0175/kWhr).

https://www.pv-magazine.com/2019/07/01/brazil-a-4-auction-signs-211-mw-of-solar-for-record-low-price-of-0-0175-kwh/

Quote
Brazil A-4 auction signs 211 MW of solar for record-low price of $0.0175 kWh

Cracking the two-cent-mark as a global standard for PV appears within sight as projects in the U.S. and Brazil have been signed below that threshold. Just two years ago the industry celebrated sub-three-cent bids in the MENA region. Prices have come down so quickly, however, the new records are another third cheaper.

Quote
The replacement of feed-in tariff incentive programs with competitive reverse auction tenders around the world have dramatically reduced the price of solar power. French multinational Engie’s bid to make history in 2017, with a Saudi tender bid of $0.0178/kWh, was undone by the kingdom’s Renewable Energy Project Development Office, which instead opted for a significantly more expensive price of SAR0.08872/kWh ($0.0236/kWh) tendered by local player ACWA.

When the first projects passed the $0.03/kWh benchmark in the Middle East and North Africa region in 2017, the industry watched in awe. Just two years later, the solar world is watching prices fall below the $0.02/kWh mark.


119
Policy and solutions / Re: Coal
« on: July 01, 2019, 10:20:32 PM »
Bob, look at the numbers.

They said they'd stop insuring power companies only if they exceeded 30% of revenue derived from coal.

Coal only supplies 27.4 % of the power in the US. It supplies even less of the revenue.

Ergo; a very small minority of power companies will be affected by this policy change.

I'm all for eliminating coal as a power source, but if they were serious they'd cut off insurance to coal plants. Period!

Linking policy to revenue (net or gross?) and percentages gives them too much wiggle room while at the same time looks like positive P.R.

They aren't issuing any new policies for any coal power plants.

They're ending all existing policies for any coal power plants or coal mining by 2022.

No insurance policies from Chubb if you derive more than 30% of your revenues from coal.  There are large companies in this category, Arch, Cloud Peak, Peabody, Murray, etc...

The information about companies that get less than 30% of their revenue from coal power plants or coal mining gives those companies three years to divest from the coal related businesses if they still want to get insurance from Chubb.

The significance of the story is that a company that does a lot of business in the US is finally joining the European insurers in divesting from coal.  This article from March 2019 explains the issue.

https://poweringpastcoal.org/insights/policy-and-regulation/companies-reduce-exposure-to-coal-as-climate-risks-increase

Quote
European insurers in particular are moving away from insuring coal projects and the companies behind them. Since 2015, some 17 major insurance companies have divested from coal, withdrawing an estimated $30 billion from the sector, according to the Unfriend Coal campaign.

More than 100 financial institutions globally have introduced policies to restrict funding for coal, according to the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis. Since 2013, coal exit announcements have occurred at a rate exceeding one per month from banks and insurers with over $10 billion of assets under management, according to a reportfrom the institute.

Quote
However, U.S. companies AIG, Liberty Mutual, Chubb and Berkshire Hathaway continue to insure coal projects around the world, which demonstrates that the divestment movement has some way to go. AIG declined to comment on coal investment for this research.

The 40 largest U.S. insurers hold more than $450 billion in coal, oil, gas and electric utility stocks and bonds, according to Insure Our Future, a campaign against U.S. companies insuring and investing in coal and tar sands projects. U.S. insurers continue to financially prop up the coal industry, despite paying out in claims as a result of extreme weather events exacerbated by a changing climate. Wildfires in Northern California generated $12.6 billion in insurance claims in 2017, and that year’s hurricane season accounted for more than $200 billion in damages, according to an announcement from the campaign in September.


120
Policy and solutions / Re: Renewable Energy
« on: June 28, 2019, 08:38:03 PM »
With all of the new capacity of renewables added, and the old capacity of coal shut down, it was only a matter of time until the amount of electricity generated by renewables overtook coal.  It happened in the US in April.

https://oilprice.com/Latest-Energy-News/World-News/Renewables-Overtake-Coal-In-US-Electricity-Mix-For-The-First-Time.html

Quote
In April 2019, when U.S. electricity demand is often at its lowest because of mild temperatures, renewables including hydropower accounted for 23 percent of U.S. electricity generation, while coal-fired generation accounted for 20 percent of the U.S. electricity mix. Electricity generation from coal, natural gas, and nuclear is often lowest in the spring and fall months because of maintenance amid moderate temperatures and low demand for heating and air conditioning, the EIA said, pointing at the seasonal factors for renewables overtaking coal for the first time.

However, there’s an underlying long-term trend in the U.S. electricity mix—coal generation has been dropping from its peak a decade ago. Since 2015, some 47 GW of U.S. coal-fired capacity has retired, while virtually no new coal capacity has come online, the EIA said.

121
Permafrost / Re: Arctic Methane Release
« on: June 28, 2019, 08:30:20 PM »
Ken,

Yes, that was the paper I referenced and took exception to your comment on ALL of the methane being digested in situ vs. some or most of it.  When you stated that the bubbles were not methane, I thought you were suggesting the thermokarst bubbles were not methane when the high end estimate is that only 41 to 83% of it becomes digested (and the rest moves to the atmosphere.  Since the methane release at the surface of these ponds has been directly measured, it does not follow that all the CH4 gets digested in these circumstances.  As warming continues and the rate of anaerobic digestion increases rapidly, the disassociation rates of total CH4 produced will go down as the production rates exceed decomposition.  Again, this is more of a concern when we reach arctic ice free conditions by june 21 summer solstice at around 2065 and regional warming during this period is greater than 8C above the DMI arctic average for that day in the historical record.

Jai,

I haven't meant to imply that there are no increased methane emissions due to warming.  I've been arguing that the increases in methane emissions are not likely to be so fast as to produce a massive spike in temperatures and set off a feedback cycle that will result in runaway warming. Many of the catastrophists just add up every new source of fossil fuels emissions from every news article or blog post they read and wail that it's too late to stop runaway warming.  The point of my posts is to demonstrate that it's not too late.

I think it's still possible to keep global temperature increases to around 2C if we can transition to a decarbonized economy.  If we stop producing fossil fuels (which seems likely by 2065 given the pace of installations of renewable energy power plants and the projections for the transition to electric vehicles), we can more than offset the increased methane emissions from the Arctic with reductions in human emissions of methane, and more importantly, CO2.

122
Permafrost / Re: Arctic Methane Release
« on: June 28, 2019, 01:09:42 AM »
This article shows that most of the methane release from subsea permafrost gets consumed as it goes through the unfrozen sediments above the subsea permafrost.  This implies that breakdown of the subsea permafrost is not the source for methane detected in bubbles that break the surface.

https://agupubs.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1002/2014JG002862

Quote
Methane oxidation following submarine permafrost degradation: Measurements from a central Laptev Sea shelf borehole

PP Overduin, et. al. - ‎2015
 
Abstract
 

Submarine permafrost degradation has been invoked as a cause for recent observations of methane emissions from the seabed to the water column and atmosphere of the East Siberian shelf. Sediment drilled 52 m down from the sea ice in Buor Khaya Bay, central Laptev Sea revealed unfrozen sediment overlying ice‐bonded permafrost. Methane concentrations in the overlying unfrozen sediment were low (mean 20 µM) but higher in the underlying ice‐bonded submarine permafrost (mean 380 µM). In contrast, sulfate concentrations were substantially higher in the unfrozen sediment (mean 2.5 mM) than in the underlying submarine permafrost (mean 0.1 mM). Using deduced permafrost degradation rates, we calculate potential mean methane efflux from degrading permafrost of 120 mg m−2 yr−1 at this site. However, a drop of methane concentrations from 190 µM to 19 µM and a concomitant increase of methane δ13C from −63‰ to −35‰ directly above the ice‐bonded permafrost suggest that methane is effectively oxidized within the overlying unfrozen sediment before it reaches the water column. High rates of methane ebullition into the water column observed elsewhere are thus unlikely to have ice‐bonded permafrost as their source.

my apologies Ken,  I was referring to the thermokarst studies and the bubbles from those sources in the water.  https://climate.nasa.gov/news/2785/unexpected-future-boost-of-methane-possible-from-arctic-permafrost/

The issue of thermokarst abrupt thawing is the current info that needs to be incorporated into the models.

I have not been too concerned about ESAS CH4 emissions since Semiletov and Shakova (I think in 2015) did their subsea ESAS carbon core sample survey where they determined that the LENA river sediment had very low carbon present.  Though long-term all bets are off depending on what kind of warming we get at toward the end of this century.

No problem Jai.  I think I was responding to another poster with the paper about the unfrozen layers of subsea permafrost and how microbes consume the methane from the permafrost layers below. 

As to thermokarst lakes, there's new evidence that microbes can consume the methane produced by organic material at the bottom of the lake before it's released.  This paper published in April 2019 finds evidence that microbes consume a large portion of the methane produced in the lakes before it rises to the surface.  (Note that Walter Anthony, one of the authors on the paper you posted, is a co-author of this paper).

https://iopscience.iop.org/article/10.1088/2515-7620/ab1042/meta

Quote
First evidence for cold-adapted anaerobic oxidation of methane in deep sediments of thermokarst lakes

M Winkel1,2,4, A Sepulveda-Jauregui1,4,5,6, K Martinez-Cruz1,5, J K Heslop1,7, R Rijkers2, F Horn2, S Liebner2,3 and K M Walter Anthony1

 Published 3 April 2019 •   © 2019 The Author(s). Published by IOP Publishing Ltd
 Environmental Research Communications,  Volume 1,  Number 2


Abstract
 

Microbial decomposition of thawed permafrost carbon in thermokarst lakes leads to the release of ancient carbon as the greenhouse gas methane (CH4), yet potential mitigating processes are not understood. Here, we report δ 13C–CH4 signatures in the pore water of a thermokarst lake sediment core that points towards in situ occurrence of anaerobic oxidation of methane (AOM). Analysis of the microbial communities showed a natural enrichment in CH4-oxidizing archaeal communities that occur in sediment horizons at temperatures near 0 °C. These archaea also showed high rates of AOM in laboratory incubations. Calculation of the stable isotopes suggests that 41 to 83% of in situ dissolved CH4 is consumed anaerobically. Quantification of functional genes (mcrA) for anaerobic methanotrophic communities revealed up to 6.7 ± 0.7 × 105 copy numbers g−1 wet weight and showed similar abundances to bacterial 16S rRNA gene sequences in the sediment layers with the highest AOM rates. We conclude that these AOM communities are fueled by CH4 produced from permafrost organic matter degradation in the underlying sediments that represent the radially expanding permafrost thaw front beneath the lake. If these communities are widespread in thermokarst environments, they could have a major mitigating effect on the global CH4 emissions.

123
Check out this book by Mark Lynas:



http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2007/11/six-degrees/

Quote
Six Degrees, as the title suggests, is comprised of six main chapters (plus an introduction and a conclusion). Each of the main chapters examine what the earth might look like as we raise the planet’s temperature by 1o, 2o, etc. degrees Celsius, based on what the scientific literature has to say about it. Laying out the book this way makes for a good logical progression of ideas, and a fair bit of suspense. Very few people, Lynas says, have got “the slightest idea what two, four or six degrees of average warming actually means in reality, and I’m sure he is right.

Quote
At 4o, we have “with global sea levels half a meter or more above current levels, [the Egyptian city of] Alexandria’s long lifespan will be drawing to a close. Even in today’s climate, a substantial part of the city lies below sea level, and by the latter part of this century a terminal inundation will have begun. … a rise in sea levels of 50 cm would displace 1.5 million people and cause $35 billion of damage.” Alarmist? Hardly. A 50 cm rise in sea level, is well within the conservative IPCC projections, even for temperature rises less than four degrees.


124
Permafrost / Re: Arctic Methane Release
« on: June 26, 2019, 10:13:15 PM »
This article shows that most of the methane release from subsea permafrost gets consumed as it goes through the unfrozen sediments above the subsea permafrost.  This implies that breakdown of the subsea permafrost is not the source for methane detected in bubbles that break the surface.

https://agupubs.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1002/2014JG002862

Quote
Methane oxidation following submarine permafrost degradation: Measurements from a central Laptev Sea shelf borehole

PP Overduin, et. al. - ‎2015
 
Abstract
 

Submarine permafrost degradation has been invoked as a cause for recent observations of methane emissions from the seabed to the water column and atmosphere of the East Siberian shelf. Sediment drilled 52 m down from the sea ice in Buor Khaya Bay, central Laptev Sea revealed unfrozen sediment overlying ice‐bonded permafrost. Methane concentrations in the overlying unfrozen sediment were low (mean 20 µM) but higher in the underlying ice‐bonded submarine permafrost (mean 380 µM). In contrast, sulfate concentrations were substantially higher in the unfrozen sediment (mean 2.5 mM) than in the underlying submarine permafrost (mean 0.1 mM). Using deduced permafrost degradation rates, we calculate potential mean methane efflux from degrading permafrost of 120 mg m−2 yr−1 at this site. However, a drop of methane concentrations from 190 µM to 19 µM and a concomitant increase of methane δ13C from −63‰ to −35‰ directly above the ice‐bonded permafrost suggest that methane is effectively oxidized within the overlying unfrozen sediment before it reaches the water column. High rates of methane ebullition into the water column observed elsewhere are thus unlikely to have ice‐bonded permafrost as their source.


125
Permafrost / Re: Arctic Methane Release
« on: June 26, 2019, 10:06:20 PM »
I would like to learn more about his 'great work' however, he tends to make sweeping dismissive statements that are not factually based, like the idea that whatever those bubbles are they are not methane because most  (estimates are actually a range between 25% and 75% or so) of the methane is digested on the way up.   

That car cannot crash into that wall because the brakes removed most of the forward momentum. . .

It matters at what speed the car crashes into the wall.  At 5 mph, the paint might be scraped.  At 75 mph, the occupants of the vehicle are probably dead.

Catastrophists routinely ignore any evidence that contradicts with their highly improbable disaster scenarios.  They complain that "consensus scientists" ignore the threat.  Yet it's the catastrophists who ignore the science.

I spent a lot of time arguing with climate deniers in the past decade, so I have a lot of experience dealing with people who deny the climate science.  Catastrophists are basically a form of climate science deniers.

126
Policy and solutions / Re: Oil and Gas Issues
« on: June 26, 2019, 07:23:37 PM »
Oil demand is growing less than expected.

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2019-06-24/oil-s-outlook-could-be-even-bleaker-than-expected-here-s-why

Quote
While the Saudi Arabian-led efforts to restrain supply amid surging North American shale production have hogged headlines, a sense of malaise is quietly creeping across Asia. With the U.S.-China trade war now almost a year old and showing no signs of ending, its impact is manifesting itself in everything from profit warnings by Japanese car makers to sagging Chinese diesel consumption.

From Ulsan in South Korea to Mailiao in Taiwan, the region’s big oil processors are cutting run rates as weak demand for fuel products erode their margins. To make matters worse, a wave of Asian mega-refineries is coming on stream this year, flooding the market with cheap fuel and setting off a price war.

Quote
Chinese fuel demand appears weak since the start of the year, the International Energy Agency said in its June report, and Japanese and South Korean oil consumption dropped more-than-expected in March and April, respectively. Indian oil demand growth fell to 25,000 barrels a day in April from a year earlier from 225,000 a day in the first quarter, the IEA said.

Double-digit drops in Chinese diesel demand in March and April have been partially due to a sharp slowdown in industrial output.

Quote
The IEA cut its 2019 forecast for worldwide oil demand growth for a second straight month in June, to 1.2 million barrels a day, citing the slowdown in global trade. Wall Street is more pessimistic, with Morgan Stanley seeing an expansion of 1 million barrels a day and JPMorgan Chase & Co. projecting 800,000 barrels. While the IEA predicts growth will improve to 1.4 million barrels a day next year, it also sees supply jumping by 2.3 million barrels.

127
Permafrost / Re: Arctic Methane Release
« on: June 26, 2019, 06:30:29 PM »
From what i get from scientists who have worked in ESAS and elsewhere at the Byrd center agrees with consensus. An interesting titbit is that they are more worried about fossil carbon release (methane and CO2) from permafrost than buried methane hydrate.

But most of all they are worried about the world proceeding with BAU, much more than putative natural tipping points.

sidd



sidd & Ken
Your responses concern clathrate loss as opposed to the melting/leaking permafrost "cap" that S&S believe has caused the "Boiling Ocean" phenomena.


Ken
The fact that "boiling oceans" were witnessed and photographed precludes the possibility that these methane bubbles were "absorbed in the water column".
When a permafrost layer is hundreds or thousands of feet in depth, it may survive multiple melting events. Once "Boiling Oceans" are observed, it seems reasonable to assume that the cap has thinned, and that a broader collapse is possibly eminent.


While extreme endothermic reactions are inevitable as the CH4 changes phase, the same is not applicable to the CH4 simply capped over.


Your argument re. the exploitation of large fields reminds me of the Yamal field so recently opened. With sanctions in place & the low price for gas, I'm unsure that the Russians can afford a similar project, or that they have any need to explore additional sites at this time.


BAU is a problem that theoretically can be solved. The ESAS's possibly catastrophic out-gassing, if S&S are correct, is something that has been building since the oceans inundated the shelf as the last ice age waned. We may be speeding the process up a bit, but without another ice age in the near future, the out-gassing will occur.
Terry


Terry,

The thawing of the permafrost, even at the accelerated rates under bau scenarios, doesn't release enough methane at once to spike the temperatures.  The "methane time bomb" and "clathrate gun" are clearly related to sudden releases of large amounts of methane.  Take a look at the title of Shakhova and Semiltov's 2019 review paper, "Understanding the Permafrost–Hydrate System and Associated Methane Releases in the East Siberian Arctic Shelf".

Keep in mind that the permafrost is already melting and has been since the last ice age.  Here is what the IPCC AR5 Report stated about permafrost thaw in 2013 (with the preceding summary on human emissions included for comparison).  I have bolded the RCP8.5 scenario results for the comparison.

Quote
Taking climate and carbon cycle feedbacks into account, we
can quantify the fossil fuel emissions compatible with the
RCPs. Between 2012 and 2100, the RCP2.6, RCP4.5, RCP6.0, and
RCP8.5 scenarios imply cumulative compatible fossil fuel emissions
of 270 (140 to 410) PgC, 780 (595 to 1005) PgC, 1060 (840
to 1250) PgC and 1685 (1415 to 1910) PgC respectively (values
quoted to nearest 5 PgC, range derived from CMIP5 model results).
For RCP2.6, an average 50% (range 14 to 96%) emission reduction is
required by 2050 relative to 1990 levels. By the end of the 21st century,
about half of the models infer emissions slightly above zero, while the
other half infer a net removal of CO2 from the atmosphere. {6.4.3, Table
6.12, Figure 6.25}
There is high confidence that reductions in permafrost extent
due to warming will cause thawing of some currently frozen
carbon. However, there is low confidence on the magnitude of
carbon losses through CO2 and CH4 emissions to the atmosphere,
with a range from 50 to 250 PgC between 2000 and 2100 under the
RCP8.5 scenario
. The CMIP5 Earth System Models did not include
frozen carbon feedbacks. {6.4.3.4, Chapter 12}

And the "boiling oceans" you mention relate to carbon loss from seeps in the ocean floor.  These have been observed for years and there are numerous studies about how the gases transfer to the ocean as the bubbles rise.  In the case of thawing permafrost, there are also numerous studies showing that significant amounts of the methane are digested by microbes before the bubbles rise, so that gases in the bubbles are not methane.

128
Permafrost / Re: Arctic Methane Release
« on: June 26, 2019, 02:00:39 AM »
Quote
And I'm sure that you'll recall that while the average depth of the ESAS is 10m, 50% of the area of the ESAS is more than 50m deep.
I'm confused:  If 50% of an area is 50 m deep and the other 50% is 0.0 m deep, the average will be 25 m deep.  So how can the two halves of what I quoted be true?

To add to the discussion (maybe), I recall reading some permafrost is melting some 70 years before it was expected to (by some scientists).  I expect some things, like methane release from various natural environments, will be faster than 'expected'.  Bomb?  Hope not; but I'll let actual experts tease out the truth.  There will be lots of different types of truths revealed!

I accepted Oren's 10m average depth rather than looking it up.  My bad.

According to this 2002 paper, the average depth of the East Siberian Sea is 52 m.

This website about the work of Drs. Shakhova and Semiletov shows that the ESAS is composed of the parts of the Laptev, East Siberian and Chukchi Seas closest to Siberia.  It states that the average depth of the ESAS is 50 m.

https://envisionation.co.uk/index.php/nick-breeze/203-subsea-permafrost-on-east-siberian-arctic-shelf-now-in-accelerated-decline

Quote


What is the East Siberian Arctic Shelf?

The East Siberian Arctic Shelf (ESAS) is the largest and the shallowest shelf in the worlds ocean with a mean depth of  around 50m. The total area of the ESAS is 2,000,000 sq Km’s with a seabed of frozen organic matter called subsea permafrost. This coastal permafrost (ground that remains less than or equal to 0ºC for 2 or more years) developed when the northern hemisphere cooled  around 2.5 million years ago.

As the glaciers eventually melted, the sea-level rose submerging the permafrost. Inundation of the shelf with seawater has changed the permafrost properties due to an increase in temperature of as much as 17ºC.

Warming of the ESAS began about 12-13 thousand years ago when the entire shelf area was exposed above sea level. When the inundation occurred, numerous thaw lakes underlain by taliks, existed on the surface of the permafrost. A talik is a layer within the permafrost that is above 0ºC.


129
Permafrost / Re: Arctic Methane Release
« on: June 25, 2019, 11:59:37 PM »
Quote
Nutshell: there have been warm periods in the recent past, long ones – where the methane hydrates did not come out, so it’s a high bar to prove they will be forced out under current conditions.  For example, the last interglacial, known as the Eemian, about 120,000 years ago – got warm enough to raise sea levels 15 or 20 feet above todays (now, that’s a problem..) – but no “methane bomb”.

What a horrifying mistake from one of the world's leaders of climate science.

It is not the same a 10C temperature rise in the Arctic that takes ten thousand years than 10C over the arctic in just 100 years.

On top of that, unlike the modern quick thawing of the Arctic, the peak temperature during the eemian happened just as the continental ice sheets melted. This time around the natural peak temperature happened 10k years ago, most of the continental ice sheets melted and we are warming it back up in a geological instant. To draw a sense of safety from this analogy is simply wrong.

Archimid, that's the view of most of the scientists who study climate change, not just one.  That's why the UNFCCC agreed to the 2C temperature limit increase in 1992 and reaffirmed it under the Paris Treaty in 2015 and in the IPCC 2018 report.

Keep in mind that the long interglacials (thousands of years long) were caused because the axial tilt of the Earth meant much higher solar radiation in the Arctic than we are seeing now.  So the forcing on the Arctic was much higher than the we are seeing through global forcing of greenhouse gases, even with polar amplification (which also occurred during the interglacial periods as ice melted and the albedo decreased).  And the Arctic did not release the methane currently sequestered in the permafrost and hydrates during those interglacials.

The Arctic temperature was up to 4C higher than today during the "Holocene Climate Optimum" just 5,000 to 9,000 years ago when there were no continental ice sheets.  And still the methane did not explode out of the Arctic.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Holocene_climatic_optimum

130
Permafrost / Re: Arctic Methane Release
« on: June 25, 2019, 11:46:31 PM »
Ken, while I don't subscribe to the methane bomb theory, your recent posts and especially that video you cited seem to be intentionally biased in the direction of complacency. IIRC S&S are concerned with free methane under the ESAS permafrost. So countering with methane hydrates at 100m depths is quite irrelevant. I am sure you recall that the average depth of the ESAS is10m.

Oren, No one is advocating complacency, quite the opposite.  We must stop using fossil fuels and decarbonize the economy as soon as possible.  If we do that, we can keep the temperature increase to well under the global 3C which is what the global temperatures were during long interglacial periods when that same shallow permafrost retained the methane that is still there today.

That said, it appears you skimmed through the videos too quickly.  While most of the methane hydrates in the world are in the oceans at depths of greater than 100 meters, the videos clearly address the hydrates in the shallow Arctic coastal areas, including the ESAS.

And I'm sure that you'll recall that while the average depth of the ESAS is 10m, 50% of the area of the ESAS is more than 50m deep.

131
Here's a good summary of the proposals from the candidates.

https://www.vox.com/2019/6/25/18715447/green-new-deal-climate-change-first-democrat-debate

There are 23 candidates, so it's a long read.  Here are some interesting excerpts.

Quote
Washington Gov. Jay Inslee: Inslee has made climate change the heart of his campaign and established himself as the clear leader of the pack on climate policy.
...
Part one is about getting to 100 percent clean energy in electricity, new cars, and new buildings. Part two is a 10-year, $9 trillion investment plan. Part three is about how climate change would reshape foreign policy under Inslee. And part four, out earlier this week, is about cutting off the flow of fossil fuels from the US — “keeping it in the ground,” as the kids say.

The campaign promises more to come, including “strategies to promote farmers, sustainable agriculture, and thriving rural economies” and to “achieve greater climate, economic and environmental justice in building our clean energy future.”

All together, it amounts to more than a campaign document: It is a blueprint, an ambitious plan the next president, whoever it may be, can use to hit the ground running on climate change.

Quote
Former Rep. Beto O’Rourke: O’Rourke was the first 2020 Democrat with a comprehensive climate change plan, released on May 1.

Quote
Sen. Michael Bennet (D-CO): The Colorado senator has laid out not just an agenda but an “enforceable timeline” for climate action. Building on the net-zero by 2050 goal, Bennet wants to have a global climate summit in his first 100 days to set even more ambitious goals.

...

However, Bennet’s record on climate change might be tougher for environmental activists to support. He has backed natural gas as a “bridge fuel” and supported new pipelines. On the campaign trail, he has been circumspect about the Green New Deal, declining to support or criticize it outright. He also hasn’t signed the pledge to refuse fossil fuel donations.

Quote
Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA): Warren’s focus is on corruption in politics. She believes that big-money fossil fuel donors who are vested in the status quo are putting up roadblocks to curbing emissions and deploying cleaner energy.

Warren’s policy proposals on climate change reflect this ethos, aiming her opening salvo as president against lobbying. And rather than making climate change the foundation of every policy, like Inslee, she’s tackling climate change under the umbrella of other issues. So far, Warren has dealt with climate change through her policy agendas for public lands, the military, and domestic industrial development.

Quote
Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA): During her time as California’s attorney general, Harris launched an investigation into oil giant Exxon Mobil to see whether the company lied to investors and to the public about what it knew about climate change.

As a senator, she filed a brief supporting the cities of San Francisco and Oakland in their lawsuits against oil companies for causing climate change. The suits were dismissed from federal court last year, but the cities are currently filing appeals of the decision.

Harris was also one of the co-sponsors of the Green New Deal resolution. But since launching her campaign for president, she has been largely quiet about what she intends to do about climate change if she takes the White House.

Quote
Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT): Sanders has a long history of talking about climate change. You can find videos of him talking about it going back 30 years. In the Senate, he’s introduced carbon-pricing legislation and pushed for a carbon tax to be part of the Democratic Party platform.

...

Despite his head start, Sanders has been outflanked during the campaign by other candidates, who have laid out more detailed climate policy proposals.

Quote
Sen. Cory Booker (D-NY): Booker was an early backer of the Green New Deal; on his website, he writes that he is “committed to addressing climate change with an eye toward its impact on vulnerable communities.” He has also been a vocal proponent of nuclear energy, currently the largest source of zero-emissions electricity in the US.

...

During his time in the Senate, Booker co-sponsored Elizabeth Warren’s Climate Risk Disclosure Act, which would require publicly traded companies to tell investors about the risks they face from climate change. And as a vegan, he has warned about the climate impacts of meat production.

Quote
South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg: Buttigieg’s status as the youngest candidate in the field (he’s 37) gives him a unique perspective on the climate crisis. He reminds young voters that he and they will be alive mid-century when the impacts of climate change will be dramatically more severe. “If this generation doesn’t step up, we’re in trouble,” he said in a speech in April. “This is, after all, the generation that’s gonna be on the business end of climate change for as long as we live.”

...

Buttigieg hasn’t yet released a climate-specific proposal, but his platform cites support for implementing a Green New Deal. And in a speech on June 11, he said he would rejoin the Paris climate accord and increase investment in renewable technologies by at least $25 billion.

Quote
Former Vice President Joe Biden: Biden has the distinction of introducing the first climate change bill in the Senate, way back in 1987. Last month, Biden’s campaign teased a climate strategy that would be a “middle ground” approach to climate policy. He was then subjected to a torrent of criticism from environmental activists and some lawmakers, most notably, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez:

...

The proposal that was finally released earlier this month ended up roughly in line with those from other candidates, pegged to the 2050 deadline. The mechanisms for hitting the target include changes to the US tax code; job training and other equity provisions for those most impacted by climate change and the shift away from fossil fuels; and diplomatic pressure on other countries to reduce their emissions.

The agenda calls for $1.7 trillion in federal spending over the next decade on these policies. Biden has also pledged to refuse fossil fuel funding, backed the Green New Deal, and supported holding a climate change debate.

Quote
Former Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper: Hickenlooper is one of the only candidates to come out against the Green New Deal, which he says, “would lead to needless tax increases, expansion of the federal government, and reduced chances of enactment.”

The article is silent on the other candidates, so I don't know whether they've issued specific proposals to address climate change.

132
Here's a good overview of Sen. Elizabeth Warren's proposals to address climate change.

https://www.vox.com/policy-and-politics/2019/6/22/18691902/elizabeth-warren-2020-climate-change-policy-proposal-corruption

Quote
Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren has released not one, but three climate change plans as part of her campaign for president. So far.

Since April, she has outlined an agenda to counter growing greenhouse gas emissions and rising average temperatures through policies for public lands, the military, and US manufacturing. And more are in the works, according to her campaign.

Quote
Warren isn’t making climate change the centerpiece of her agenda, nor placing it in an “environmental” silo. Instead, she is using different parts of her agenda to address the climate crisis. She is making the policy case that climate change is a national security concern, an economic threat and opportunity, and the consequence of a violation of public trust.

That’s because Warren doesn’t see climate change itself as the central problem; rather, the problem is money in politics. “The reason the United States is where it is on climate is corruption,” Chris Hayden, a spokesperson for the Warren campaign, told Vox. “We need to rein in the economic and political power of Big Oil to get serious about addressing climate change — which is why the first thing Elizabeth would do as President is pass her anti-corruption bill which would end lobbying as we know it.”

Quote
Warren has laid out her climate agenda to date in a series of Medium posts. The first, published in April, deals with public lands. She observed that almost a quarter of US greenhouse gas emissions come from fossil fuels — oil, gas, and coal — extracted from territory administered by the federal government.

The profits from extracting these fuels mainly flow into powerful private hands, but the negative consequences — air pollution, degraded ecosystems, greenhouse gases — are borne by the public. “We must not allow corporations to pillage our public lands and leave taxpayers to clean up the mess,” she wrote.

On her first day as president, Warren would declare a moratorium on all new fossil fuel leases on public lands. “[T]hat’s pretty significant — putting all our federal lands, it’s nearly a quarter of our land mass, on the side of helping the climate instead of being a source of more carbon in the air,” Warren told Vox earlier this month. She would also reinstate an Obama-era rule that restricted the emissions of methane, a potent greenhouse gas, from existing drilling and mining sites.

At the same time, Warren’s proposal calls from generating 10 percent of US electricity from renewable energy on public lands and waters through expediting permitting and approvals for projects. The royalties from these generators would then be used to further wean the country off fossil fuels.

Quote
Warren’s second climate policy pillar focuses on the US military, the single-largest greenhouse gas-emitting institution in the world. Its massive footprint with bases spread out across more than 70 countries devours huge amounts of fuel and electricity to move personnel and equipment. US tanks, aircraft, ships, and power generators together emitted 59 million metric tons of carbon dioxide in 2017. If it were a country, the US military would rank 55th in greenhouse gas emissions.

But climate change also threatens the armed forces. Extreme weather has already damaged major military installations and many more are at risk from rising sea levels. The massive population movements expected in the wake of looming droughts, severe heat, and storms exacerbated by climate change create could lay the groundwork for future conflict. That’s why military planners have described climate change as a “threat multiplier.”

To address these concerns, Warren introduced the Defense Climate Resiliency and Readiness Act in Congress. “It starts with an ambitious goal: consistent with the objectives of the Green New Deal, the Pentagon should achieve net zero carbon emissions for all its non-combat bases and infrastructure by 2030,” Warren wrote.

Warren also said that military contractors should also be held to these climate targets and that the Department of Defense should prioritize threats from climate change. The proposal also calls for more clean energy research, infrastructure upgrades, and an audit of climate vulnerability for all military bases.

Quote
Her latest climate policy released earlier this month centers on “economic patriotism.” This uses climate change to motivate a new economic development push. It puts meat on the bones of the “just transition” idea outlined in the Green New Deal and it’s the longest of Warren’s climate proposals (Vox’s Matt Yglesias explained the proposal in more detail).

The idea is that a sharp turn away from fossil fuels and toward clean energy demands coordination across the economy. The transition requires not just cushioning the blow for fossil fuel workers who would lose their jobs, but also creating a massive surge in demand for clean energy jobs.

In Warren’s proposal, there’s a Green Industrial Mobilization mandating $1.5 trillion in federal procurement for US-made low-carbon technology, a Green Marshall Plan to help foreign countries buy US clean energy technologies, and a Green Apollo Program to invest $400 billion in energy research and development over a decade. So her proposal doesn’t just zero out emissions in the United States; it aims to drive down emissions around the world.

133
Gov. Jay Inslee just proposed a fee on greenhouse gases.

https://grist.org/article/watch-out-big-oil-jay-inslees-back-at-it-again-with-a-greenhouse-gas-fee/

Quote
Adding to his growing stack of policies aimed at averting the climate crisis, Washington Governor Jay Inslee, one of the 23 Democrats running for president, announced Monday the fourth part of his Climate Mission. No other candidate has released as many proposals centered on warming — but then again, no other candidate is trying to win the right to face Donald Trump on a platform solely centered on it.

Inslee’s Freedom from Fossil Fuels plan seeks to establish a new national energy strategy — and it provides a blueprint for kneecapping the fossil fuel industry. It’s comprised of 16 policy initiatives grouped under ambitious priorities like phasing out fossil fuel production, ending the $20 billion in annual fossil fuel subsidies, and beefing up corporate transparency. This is the most fleshed out candidate strategy for how the federal government can ease the United States off of fossil fuels and onto renewables.

Inslee calls these goals ambitious but achievable, and as with many of his climate proposals, notes that they’re “based on successes in Washington state and other communities all across America.” Inslee has a slew of recent achievements he can point to as evidence that he’s moving the needle: a 100 percent renewable energy by 2030 mandate, a state-wide ban on fracking, and a building efficiency bill, among other things.

But not all of the climate initiatives the governor has either offered or backed have been successful in Washington state. And one of them, a carbon price, has failed three times in various forms. Which is why the inclusion of a “climate pollution fee” in the Freedom from Fossil Fuels plan is curious. After all, it hearkens back to Inslee’s highest-profile failures in this arena.

When Grist asked the governor about his state’s trouble pricing carbon in April, he appeared to be cooling on the whole idea. “I would always look for new solutions if an old solution wasn’t working,” he said. “It’s called basically not being braindead.” Well, Inslee managed to stave off his hankering for pricing carbon for his first three policy rollouts. But he ultimately couldn’t quit the idea.

Inslee’s perseverance might be a good thing. Some environmentalists, like OG climate hawk James Hansen, have argued that a carbon tax is essential. And a slew of oil companies, CEOs of major corporations, and Republican economists agree.

So let’s take a closer look at this “fee” as the governor likes to call it.

The Democrat says he would work with Congress to set the price, which would start low and rise “steadily and aggressively over time.” (For reference, the latest ballot initiative in Washington state, which failed to pass last year, began at $15 per ton of carbon.) The fee would only apply to certain economic sectors, though Inslee doesn’t say which sectors will get tapped. And it appears that the money generated by the fee would go towards things like transitioning to a green economy, supporting front-line and low-income communities struggling with the aftermath of climate disaster, and spurring economic development.

A new twist in Inslee’s plan is that carbon dioxide isn’t the only pollutant regulated by this proposal. Methane, F-gases (synthetic gases used as refrigerants, among other things, that can stay in the atmosphere for centuries) and other greenhouse gases will also get a fee, priced by the risks each gas poses. And lest we forget that American’s aren’t only consuming products produced by U.S. companies, Inslee’s plan also proposes a “carbon duty,” to be imposed on imports of products manufactured or grown in countries that don’t adhere to the new and beefed up Paris agreement his third policy rollout proposed.

134
Democrat candidates pushing old, poor climate policy:
https://www.motherjones.com/environment/2019/06/2020-clean-power-plan/

The "old, poor climate policy" referred to in the link posted by Tom above would be to stay in the Paris Treaty and to restore the Obama climate rule.  Neither of these is a bad thing.

The Paris Treaty is an important symbolic agreement that shows the nations of the world are working together to address the problem.  While the specific commitments made by the nations are inadequate to address the problem, it at least shows that people are willing to work together to limit warming to 2 degrees C (and if possible, 1.5 C).  That's better than withdrawing from the Treaty and not committing to any reductions in greenhouse gases.

The Obama climate rule took years to get through the public notice and comment periods required by US law.  Creating a new rule would also take years to go through the same comment period.  The Obama rule could be reinstated by a new President on January 20, 2021 without needing new laws or comment periods.

135
As Tom's second link above points out, Sen. Warren has three specific proposals dealing with climate change.  The first two (no fossil fuels extraction from public lands and requiring 10% of electricity to be generated from renewables on public lands) are good incremental policies that will help reduce our fossil fuel emissions and increase our renewable emissions.   Her third proposal is the big one that would incorporate many of the jobs and energy aims of the Green New Deal.  Combined with her other proposals, her plans to address climate change make her the candidate I prefer now.

However, my Governor, Jay Inslee, has the best set of proposals to address climate change.  Like Sen. Warren, he has issued three major proposals to deal with the issue.

Today, Gov. Inslee just announce his fourth proposal, and it's the big one.

https://grist.org/article/watch-out-big-oil-jay-inslees-back-at-it-again-with-a-greenhouse-gas-fee/

Quote
Watch out, Big Oil. Jay Inslee’s back at it again with a greenhouse gas fee.


By Zoya Teirstein on Jun 24, 2019

Adding to his growing stack of policies aimed at averting the climate crisis, Washington Governor Jay Inslee, one of the 23 Democrats running for president, announced Monday the fourth part of his Climate Mission. No other candidate has released as many proposals centered on warming — but then again, no other candidate is trying to win the right to face Donald Trump on a platform solely centered on it.

Inslee’s Freedom from Fossil Fuels plan seeks to establish a new national energy strategy — and it provides a blueprint for kneecapping the fossil fuel industry. It’s comprised of 16 policy initiatives grouped under ambitious priorities like phasing out fossil fuel production, ending the $20 billion in annual fossil fuel subsidies, and beefing up corporate transparency. This is the most fleshed out candidate strategy for how the federal government can ease the United States off of fossil fuels and onto renewables.

Quote
But not all of the climate initiatives the governor has either offered or backed have been successful in Washington state. And one of them, a carbon price, has failed three times in various forms. Which is why the inclusion of a “climate pollution fee” in the Freedom from Fossil Fuels plan is curious. After all, it hearkens back to Inslee’s highest-profile failures in this arena.

Quote
Inslee’s perseverance might be a good thing. Some environmentalists, like OG climate hawk James Hansen, have argued that a carbon tax is essential. And a slew of oil companies, CEOs of major corporations, and Republican economists agree.

So let’s take a closer look at this “fee” as the governor likes to call it.

The Democrat says he would work with Congress to set the price, which would start low and rise “steadily and aggressively over time.” (For reference, the latest ballot initiative in Washington state, which failed to pass last year, began at $15 per ton of carbon.) The fee would only apply to certain economic sectors, though Inslee doesn’t say which sectors will get tapped. And it appears that the money generated by the fee would go towards things like transitioning to a green economy, supporting front-line and low-income communities struggling with the aftermath of climate disaster, and spurring economic development.

A new twist in Inslee’s plan is that carbon dioxide isn’t the only pollutant regulated by this proposal. Methane, F-gases (synthetic gases used as refrigerants, among other things, that can stay in the atmosphere for centuries) and other greenhouse gases will also get a fee, priced by the risks each gas poses. And lest we forget that American’s aren’t only consuming products produced by U.S. companies, Inslee’s plan also proposes a “carbon duty,” to be imposed on imports of products manufactured or grown in countries that don’t adhere to the new and beefed up Paris agreement his third policy rollout proposed.

Unfortunately, Inslee's campaign isn't gaining traction, so let's hope his proposals get picked up by some of the other candidates.

136
Permafrost / Re: Permafrost general science thread
« on: June 25, 2019, 10:01:26 PM »
The following paper, published in 2019, indicates that changes to wetlands will have more of an impact on the global methane concentrations than the thawing permafrost.

https://www.mdpi.com/2073-4433/10/4/187/htm

Quote
Anthropogenic and Natural Factors Affecting Trends in Atmospheric Methane in Barrow, Alaska

Christopher Lawrence 1 and Huiting Mao 2,*
1 Atmospheric Sciences Research Center, State University of New York University at Albany, Albany, NY 12203, USA
2 Department of Chemistry, State University of New York College of Environmental Science and Forestry, Syracuse, NY 13210, USA
* Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.

Received: 5 February 2019 / Accepted: 29 March 2019 / Published: 5 April 2019

Abstract: This study examined the long-term trends in Arctic ambient methane (CH4) mixing ratios over 1986–2014 and investigated their potential causes. Significant correlations between carbon monoxide (CO) and CH4 in Barrow, Alaska (r = −0.59, p = 0.007) and Alert, Canada (r = −0.62, p = 0.004) with the strongest correlations occurring in April (r = −0.81, p = 0.000, and r = −0.80, p = 0.000) suggest local to global anthropogenic contributions to ambient CH4 during the cold months. Backward trajectories indicate a significant influence (27% of total trajectories) of local emissions from the Prudhoe Bay Oil Field on ambient CH4 in Barrow in winter, and this influence was dominated by other factors in summer. The mean CH4 wetland emission flux in Barrow over 1986–2014 was estimated to be 0.008 ± 0.002 µg m−2 s−1 while in Tiksi, Russia it was 0.010 µg m−2 s−1 over 2012–2016, which is comparable to the lower end of measurements in the literature. Note that in Barrow, there was a decrease in wetland flux from 0.0083 ± 0.002 µg m−2 s−1 over 1986–1998 to 0.0077 ± 0.002 µg m−2 s−1 from 1999–2006 followed by an increase to 0.0081 ± 0.002 µg m−2 s−1 over 2007–2014. Although the difference between the three values is not statistically significant due to small sample size, it is indicative of possible warm season wetland emissions contributing to the zero-growth period. Strong support for this hypothesis is that these changes are consistent with a concurrent drop in summertime temperature possibly causing a decrease in wetland emissions over 1998–2006 based on the statistically significant correlations between temperature and CH4 during August through November (r ~ 0.36–0.56, p = ≤0.05). In a warming climate, permafrost thawing can increase CH4 wetland emissions and also decrease wetlands making it a complex problem, and, hence, further study is needed to better understand the mechanisms driving long-term trends in Arctic CH4.

Quote
. Summary

This study investigated factors affecting Arctic atmospheric CH4 in Barrow, Alaska along with comparison sites in Alert, Canada, Summit, Greenland, and Tiksi, Russia. During the winter, Barrow and Alert see a significant correlation between CO and CH4 concentrations, indicative of anthropogenic influences. Cluster Analysis of backward trajectories during the winter suggested transport of CH4 from the Eurasian Continent and significant contribution from the Prudhoe Bay Oil Field. The amplitude of the annual cycle of CH4 has decreased over time due to increasing summertime annual minimums indicating increasing wetland emissions of CH4. Wetland fluxes between May and July in Barrow and Tiksi were estimated to be 0.005 µg m−2 s−1 and 0.006 µg m−2 s−1, respectively, while fluxes between June and July were 0.011 µg m−2s−1 and 0.014 µg m−2s−1. These fluxes are near the lower end of the range of ones from in situ field measurement studies. Wetland emission fluxes were estimated to be 0.0083 µg m−2s−1 before, 0.0077 µg m−2s−1 during, and 0.0081 µg m−2s−1 after the CH4 growth rate plateau (1998–2006). Although the difference between these three periods is not statistically significant, it indicates that reduced wetland emissions in the Arctic linked to cooler temperature may have played a role in the CH4 plateau during 1998–2006. This hypothesis was supported by a correlation (r = 0.37–0.56, p = 0.05–0.00) between temperature and CH4 over August–November. As the planet continues to warm, global wetlands, including Arctic wetlands, are likely to play a growing role in increasing CH4 concentrations. It has been estimated that global wetland CH4 emissions could increase by 33–60% [55] or as high as 80–110% [56] by the year 2100. However, with the potential decrease of Arctic wetlands due to permafrost loss, CH4 emissions may decrease in the Arctic long term [33]. The complexity of how Arctic wetland emissions of CH4 would respond to a warming climate warrants further study.

137
Permafrost / Re: Permafrost general science thread
« on: June 25, 2019, 09:56:48 PM »
This study was published in 2016, it indicates that "observed short‐term temperature sensitivity from the Arctic will have little impact on the global atmospheric CH4 budget in the long term if future trajectories evolve with the same temperature sensitivity".

https://agupubs.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1002/2016GL069292

Quote
No significant increase in long‐term CH4 emissions on North Slope of Alaska despite significant increase in air temperature

Colm Sweeney, Edward Dlugokencky, Charles E. Miller, Steven Wofsy, Anna Karion, Steve Dinardo

Abstract
 

Continuous measurements of atmospheric methane (CH4) mole fractions measured by NOAA's Global Greenhouse Gas Reference Network in Barrow, AK (BRW), show strong enhancements above background values when winds come from the land sector from July to December from 1986 to 2015, indicating that emissions from arctic tundra continue through autumn and into early winter. Twenty‐nine years of measurements show little change in seasonal mean land sector CH4 enhancements, despite an increase in annual mean temperatures of 1.2 ± 0.8°C/decade (2σ). The record does reveal small increases in CH4 enhancements in November and December after 2010 due to increased late‐season emissions. The lack of significant long‐term trends suggests that more complex biogeochemical processes are counteracting the observed short‐term (monthly) temperature sensitivity of 5.0 ± 3.6 ppb CH4/°C. Our results suggest that even the observed short‐term temperature sensitivity from the Arctic will have little impact on the global atmospheric CH4 budget in the long term if future trajectories evolve with the same temperature sensitivity.

138
Permafrost / Re: Arctic Methane Release
« on: June 25, 2019, 09:41:25 PM »
The follow up to Peter Sinclair's post with the videos of Dr. Mann and Dr. Hansen disputing "the methane time bomb" is worth reading as well.

https://climatecrocks.com/2019/02/11/methane-bomb-row-continues/

Quote
Methane Bomb” Row Continues

February 11, 2019

I posted a clip from my interview with Mike Mann over the weekend, in regard to the “methane bomb” madness – Mike agrees with mainstream science that this particular doomsday scenario is overblown – a lot of folks mad at me on the twitter machine.

But it’s not like this is a new idea.  Gavin Schmidt holds Jim Hansen’s old job at NASA – and it’s Gavin’s objections that gelled the issue for me several years ago.
 Nutshell: there have been warm periods in the recent past, long ones – where the methane hydrates did not come out, so it’s a high bar to prove they will be forced out under current conditions.  For example, the last interglacial, known as the Eemian, about 120,000 years ago – got warm enough to raise sea levels 15 or 20 feet above todays (now, that’s a problem..) – but no “methane bomb”.

Quote
And, here’s the kicker: Nature, the same organization which published Wednesday’s commentary, published a scientific review of methane hydrates and climate change by Carolyn Ruppel in 2011 which suggests the scenario in said commentary is virtually impossible. The review states:

Catastrophic, widespread dissociation of methane gas hydrates will not be triggered by continued climate warming at contemporary rates (0.2ºC per decade; IPCC 2007) over timescales of a few hundred years. Most of Earth’s gas hydrates occur at low saturations and in sediments at such great depths below the seafloor or onshore permafrost that they will barely be affected by warming over even [1,000] yr.

Quote
I emailed NOAA methane expert Ed Dlugokencky and asked him if he could reconcile what the climate science literature says about methane versus the assumptions guiding Wednesday’s Nature commentary. His response:

“…our lab measures CH4 [methane] in air samples collected from sites around the world, including the Arctic. So far, we do not detect a permanent increase in CH4 emissions from natural Arctic CH4 sources (wetlands in permafrost regions and ocean hydrates) from our data, despite Arctic warming over the past couple decades. I tend to agree with the conclusions of Carolyn Ruppel [see above] and USCCSP SAP 3.4 Chapter 5 [the abrupt climate change report mentioned above] that increases in emissions as large as those suggested in the Nature article are unlikely.”

Quote
And this morning, I see a pointer to a new Nature paper that has relevance:

Nature:


Natural methane emissions are noticeably influenced by warming of cold arctic ecosystems and permafrost. An evaluation specifically of Arctic natural methane emissions in relation to our ability to mitigate anthropogenic methane emissions is needed. Here we use empirical scenarios of increases in natural emissions together with maximum technically feasible reductions in anthropogenic emissions to evaluate their potential influence on future atmospheric methane concentrations and associated radiative forcing (RF). The largest amplification of natural emissions yields up to 42% higher atmospheric methane concentrations by the year 2100 compared with no change in natural emissions. The most likely scenarios are lower than this, while anthropogenic emission reductions may have a much greater yielding effect, with the potential of halving atmospheric methane concentrations by 2100 compared to when anthropogenic emissions continue to increase as in a business-as-usual case. In a broader perspective, it is shown that man-made emissions can be reduced sufficiently to limit methane-caused climate warming by 2100 even in the case of an uncontrolled natural Arctic methane emission feedback, but this requires a committed, global effort towards maximum feasible reductions.

139
Permafrost / Re: Arctic Methane Release
« on: June 25, 2019, 09:32:18 PM »
Popular science blogger Phil Plait (Bad Astronomy) sums it up well.

https://www.syfy.com/syfywire/no-methane-bombs-arent-a-catastrophic-climate-change-problem-unless-we-make-them-so

Quote



Phil Plait

@BadAstronomer
 
Apr 23, 2019

A few years ago I was watching a documentary of some kind or another, and they were talking about something they said was a big concern: huge amounts of methane buried beneath the Siberian permafrost that was starting to leak out. I don’t remember much about the show, except they were clearly saying this was a catastrophe waiting to happen.

I’m not a climate scientist, but I have some science background, and could see this sounded like a big problem. Since that time I’ve seen more and more about this online, and every time I hear about it it seems to be bigger, more devastating, with more breathless coverage every time.

But … is it really a problem?

To my surprise (and tentative relief), it’s not nearly as bad as these shows claimed, though some folks still play it up.

So, what does the science say?

Quote
Now, here is where our story diverges. Some folks — like ones who run less-than-scientifically-based YouTube channels, and some TV networks who love this sort of story, like the one I saw a few years ago — say this is a massive and inevitable catastrophe, even calling these deposits “methane bombs.” We’re doomed, they say, because this feedback loop will eat itself faster and faster, and in a few years we’ll have global warming ramping up so rapidly that there’s nothing we can do.

Other folks — scientists, for example, people who have dedicated their careers to studying this — have a slightly different story. Methane release from methane hydrates is a concern, they say, but not necessarily a catastrophic one. It depends on our own actions.

You can guess where I land with this now. Psssst: science.

140
Permafrost / Re: Arctic Methane Release
« on: June 25, 2019, 09:20:43 PM »
Don't like Dr. Ruppert's conclusions?  Try Dr. Mann and Dr. Hansen.

https://climatecrocks.com/2019/02/09/mike-mann-on-the-arctic-methane-bomb/


141
Permafrost / Re: Arctic Methane Release
« on: June 25, 2019, 08:36:49 PM »
Note that in the videos above, the scientist states to methane released from depths greater than 100 meters is absorbed in the ocean.  This 2018 paper shows that this occurs in depths of 30m.

https://advances.sciencemag.org/content/4/1/eaao4842

Quote
Limited contribution of ancient methane to surface waters of the U.S. Beaufort Sea shelf

Katy J. Sparrow1,2,*, John D. Kessler1,*, John R. Southon3, Fenix Garcia-Tigreros1, Kathryn M. Schreiner4

Abstract

In response to warming climate, methane can be released to Arctic Ocean sediment and waters from thawing subsea permafrost and decomposing methane hydrates. However, it is unknown whether methane derived from this sediment storehouse of frozen ancient carbon reaches the atmosphere. We quantified the fraction of methane derived from ancient sources in shelf waters of the U.S. Beaufort Sea, a region that has both permafrost and methane hydrates and is experiencing significant warming. Although the radiocarbon-methane analyses indicate that ancient carbon is being mobilized and emitted as methane into shelf bottom waters, surprisingly, we find that methane in surface waters is principally derived from modern-aged carbon. We report that at and beyond approximately the 30-m isobath, ancient sources that dominate in deep waters contribute, at most, 10 ± 3% of the surface water methane. These results suggest that even if there is a heightened liberation of ancient carbon–sourced methane as climate change proceeds, oceanic oxidation and dispersion processes can strongly limit its emission to the atmosphere.

142
Permafrost / Re: Arctic Methane Release
« on: June 25, 2019, 08:12:36 PM »
I do think, though, that the risk is only immediately catastrophic if the submerged, degrading permafrost caps large reserves of free methane.  An unknown issue.


Steve


IIRC this was the conclusion of S&S's initial presentation (back in 2010/2011?). The premise was that the "cap", consisting of frozen permafrost & clathrates showed evidence of thinning and leaking, and that the "large reserves of free methane" being released were creating the "boiling oceans" reported by commercial navigators throughout the ESAS region.


Are there now doubts that this large reservoir exists, or are the nay sayers convinced the permafrost/clathrate "cap" is actually as permanent as it's name implies?
Terry

There's lots of carbon in soil deposits all over the world.  It's distributed in pockets throughout the soil.  The bits under permafrost decompose and seep out continuously.  In permafrost areas, this has been happening since the end of the last ice age, even on the shallow Arctic coastal shelves.

When there are large pools of free oil and gas, oil and gas companies drill for it and sell it.  They conduct seismic studies to determine where the pools are large enough to make the drilling and distribution efforts profitable.  There aren't large enough pools of free methane in the shallow Arctic available to make such operations profitable.

The S&S review article repeats the claims they have been making for years.  Other scientists have doubted these claims for years, for good reasons published in scientific journals.  I've posted many links to the articles that demonstrate how S&S overestimate the current amount of methane being emitted from the Arctic and why the fears of the "methane time bomb" are overblown.

Here's a link to a site with six videos released earlier this year that summarize what we currently know about the emissions from the Arctic and the prospects for a "methane time bomb".

https://www.yaleclimateconnections.org/2019/02/methane-hydrates-what-you-need-to-know/

Quote
These six segments provide authoritative background on the “methane time bomb” and why experts may not “lie awake at night” fretting about it.

Watch Video Part 1 (Duration: 4:46)
 In this video, Ruppel explains the fundamentals of methane hydrates, where they are concentrated, and why. The areas of greatest concern are in the Arctic continental shelf, which during the last glaciation, when sea level was lower, were vast northern permafrost grasslands. This “Serengeti of the North,” as climate scientist Ben Abbott of Brigham Young University has called it, helped lay down massive layers of vegetation and living remains, now frozen in permafrost.  And in that frozen permafrost are isolated deposits of methane hydrate, a potent greenhouse gas.

As the glaciers retreated as a result of changes in Earth’s orbit, oceans rose and flooded large areas of permafrost coastal plain, forming an extended Arctic Ocean shelf. In that shelf area, relatively warm ocean waters may cause those hydrates to break down.

Ruppel explains, however, that because hydrates can concentrate only in certain types of soils, they are not as widespread as some people believe, and huge methane releases from hydrates have not been confirmed in these areas.

Watch Video Part 2 (Duration: 1:28)
 In this video, Ruppel discusses newly described areas in the Barents Sea where pockmarks have been discovered on the sea floor. These may be indications of methane releases from deposits that formed under an ice sheet that covered the area during the glacial maximum. “That is a new environment,” Ruppel says, “but that doesn’t mean we need to panic about the amount of methane that’s coming out.”

Watch Video Part 3 (Duration: 1:16)
 In this third video, Ruppel explains that deposits of methane hydrate in the Arctic typically coincide with areas of conventional oil and gas deposits, and leaks from those deposits may be the source of the hydrate deposits. “They are not ubiquitous,” she says, “and the amount may not be as large as people might think it is.”

Watch Video Part 4 (Duration: 1:11)
 Ruppel here explains that ocean waters are under-saturated with methane, meaning that for releases from waters more than 100 meters deep, methane tends to be absorbed in the water column before reaching the surface. “It’s not a freight train that this methane is going to wind up directly in the atmosphere.”

Watch Video Part 5 (Duration: 1:01)
 Ruppel here discusses what she calls a common “misconception” involving the risk of a “catastrophic trigger” of methane releases. The thermodynamic properties of methane hydrate render that fear “not a scientifically sound worry,” she says. “That is simply not how these deposits can function thermodynamically.” She explains that the reaction that releases methane is “endothermic.” The significance of that, she says, is that the methane absorbs heat from the surroundings, and the methane “keeps shutting itself down.”

Watch Video Part 6 (Duration: 1:47)
 Here Ruppel points out that “methane seepage is not new … in geophysics, the tools have changed quite a bit in the last decade … you can actually do this with your fish finder. Go out on a lake, turn your fish finder on, and you may find methane coming out. We have the tools to routinely image the water column, and that is why we are finding methane coming out everywhere.”

There isn't a huge pool of it under a thin layer of permafrost in the Arctic.  There are many small

143
Policy and solutions / Re: Renewable Energy
« on: June 25, 2019, 07:25:59 PM »
Cross posted from the coal forum, with an emphasis on the role of renewables added.

The finances for the Adani mine were weak to begin with.  This wont help.

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-asia-coal-coaltrans/lower-for-longer-supply-glut-in-focus-as-asias-biggest-coal-meet-begins-idUSKCN1TP0BF

Quote
JUNE 23, 2019 / 9:32 PM / 2 DAYS AGO
Lower for longer: Supply glut in focus as Asia's biggest coal meet begins
Melanie Burton, Fransiska Nangoy

NUSA DUA, Indonesia (Reuters) - Slowing economic growth in China is weighing on demand expectations for thermal coal in the world’s biggest market for the fuel, while global moves toward cleaner energy are compounding problems arising from a glut in supply.

Quote
Prices for benchmark premium Australian coal out of Newcastle hit their weakest since September 2016 last week at $70.78 per ton and are likely to fall further given a slowing global economy.

In top consumer China, factory activity weakened in April and May, hit hard by a bruising trade war with the United States. That accounts for some, but hardly all, of the 4.9% fall in China’s coal-fired power generation in May compared with the year before, said analyst Helen Lau at Argonaut in Hong Kong.

“Weak consumption of thermal coal is mainly because of increasing competition from hydro and other clean energy,” she said in a report.

Quote
China’s wind-generated power grew 5.6 percent in the first five months of the year, hydroelectric power grew 12.8 percent, compared with 0.2 percent growth in LNG and coal combined, according to Commonwealth Bank of Australia (CBA).

A prolonged period of low thermal prices may signal that the global economy is decarbonizing - that is, moving away from carbon-based fuels to renewables such as solar and wind power - at a faster rate than expected, said CBA analyst Vivek Dhar.

This may hurt Australia the most because developed countries, which can afford to pay more for the high-energy, less-polluting coal it produces, are decarbonizing at the fastest rates, Dhar said.

144
Policy and solutions / Re: Coal
« on: June 25, 2019, 07:21:58 PM »
The finances for the Adani mine were weak to begin with.  This wont help.

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-asia-coal-coaltrans/lower-for-longer-supply-glut-in-focus-as-asias-biggest-coal-meet-begins-idUSKCN1TP0BF

Quote
JUNE 23, 2019 / 9:32 PM / 2 DAYS AGO
Lower for longer: Supply glut in focus as Asia's biggest coal meet begins
Melanie Burton, Fransiska Nangoy

NUSA DUA, Indonesia (Reuters) - Slowing economic growth in China is weighing on demand expectations for thermal coal in the world’s biggest market for the fuel, while global moves toward cleaner energy are compounding problems arising from a glut in supply.

Quote
Prices for benchmark premium Australian coal out of Newcastle hit their weakest since September 2016 last week at $70.78 per ton and are likely to fall further given a slowing global economy.

In top consumer China, factory activity weakened in April and May, hit hard by a bruising trade war with the United States. That accounts for some, but hardly all, of the 4.9% fall in China’s coal-fired power generation in May compared with the year before, said analyst Helen Lau at Argonaut in Hong Kong.

“Weak consumption of thermal coal is mainly because of increasing competition from hydro and other clean energy,” she said in a report.

Quote
China’s wind-generated power grew 5.6 percent in the first five months of the year, hydroelectric power grew 12.8 percent, compared with 0.2 percent growth in LNG and coal combined, according to Commonwealth Bank of Australia (CBA).

A prolonged period of low thermal prices may signal that the global economy is decarbonizing - that is, moving away from carbon-based fuels to renewables such as solar and wind power - at a faster rate than expected, said CBA analyst Vivek Dhar.

This may hurt Australia the most because developed countries, which can afford to pay more for the high-energy, less-polluting coal it produces, are decarbonizing at the fastest rates, Dhar said.

145
Policy and solutions / Re: Nuclear Power
« on: June 25, 2019, 06:01:28 PM »
I'm not going to have radiophobia.

That's good, because anyone living near a nuclear plant can live without fear for centuries as the radioactive waste sits in concrete casks.  Also, I hope you like paying a lot of money for something you don't use, because with nuclear power, that's what you do.

https://www.app.com/story/news/local/land-environment/2019/06/19/nuclear-power-oyster-creek-closes-jersey-shore-decommissioning-speeds-up/1274417001/

Quote
Shutting down nuclear plants is set to become a multi-billion dollar business. If that business fails, critics say, your tax dollars — and possibly your safety — could be on the line. Learn more in our USA TODAY NETWORK Northeast project, The Nuclear Option. 

Quote
With decommissioning, nuclear jobs will dry up. Property taxes are expected to spike. And, for the foreseeable future, the town's 30,000 residents will be left with the plant's dangerous legacy — the stored canisters, or casks, containing radioactive waste.

It’s not what Berkowicz expected when he purchased his home here in the 1970s. He believed the plant's radioactive waste, which can sicken and kill, would be removed from Lacey. In reality, towns across the United States, Lacey included, will likely be stuck with the waste for decades to come.

Quote
As the nuclear industry shrinks, its spent radioactive fuel — waste totaling more than 80,000 metric tons, or enough to fill a football field about 20 meters deep — will be left behind in towns like Lacey.

Quote
Holtec proposes taking down Oyster Creek, and other plants it's preparing to purchase, in a mere eight years, thanks to new technology and streamlined processes.

Exelon first proposed a 60-year decommissioning.

Gunter worries that a push for quick profits could eclipse caution and safety concerns.

“With an accelerated number of plants that are being decommissioned, we could possibly see broader risks,” he said.

Key to Holtec's speedier plan is an expedited process for removing spent nuclear fuel from the plant and putting the material into storage casks.

The Holtec design allows hot fuel to be loaded into the casks in under 3 years of storage in cooling pools, instead of the minimum 5 years.

But are they safe?

Holtec says its casks are designed to last 300 years, although the Nuclear Regulatory Commission only licenses casks for 40 years, with the expectation companies will apply for renewals periodically.

The casks "are very safe. They do require that people continue to monitor," said Robert S. Bean, associate director of the Center for Radiological and Nuclear Security at Purdue University.  "These facilities will not be allowed to put the stuff in casks and walk away.”

Edwin Lyman, acting director of the Nuclear Safety Project at the Union of Concerned Scientists, a nuclear safety watchdog, isn't as confident the casks will hold up.

“As materials and facilities age, unexpected things crop up,” said Lyman. He added that Holtec’s claims that its casks are designed to last 300 years are “totally unproven.”

Yet, Lyman said cask storage is the safest place for spent fuel.

Are the casks safe?

146
Policy and solutions / Re: Oil and Gas Issues
« on: June 25, 2019, 05:50:23 PM »
A fracking pioneer sums up the state of the industry.

https://oilprice.com/Energy/Energy-General/Shale-Pioneer-Fracking-is-an-Unmitigated-Disaster.html

Quote
“The shale gas revolution has frankly been an unmitigated disaster for any buy-and-hold investor in the shale gas industry with very few limited exceptions,” Steve Schlotterbeck, former chief executive of EQT, a shale gas giant, said at a petrochemicals conference in Pittsburgh. “In fact, I'm not aware of another case of a disruptive technological change that has done so much harm to the industry that created the change.”

He did not pull any punches. “While hundreds of billions of dollars of benefits have accrued to hundreds of millions of people, the amount of shareholder value destruction registers in the hundreds of billions of dollars,” he said. “The industry is self-destructive.”

The message is not a new one. The shale industry has been burning through capital for years, posting mountains of red ink. One estimate from the Wall Street Journal found that over the past decade, the top 40 independent U.S. shale companies burned through $200 billion more than they earned. A 2017 estimate from the WSJ found $280 billion in negative cash flow between 2010 and 2017. It’s incredible when you think about it – despite the record levels of oil and gas production, the industry is in the hole by roughly a quarter of a trillion dollars.

It's like a pyramid investment scheme.

Quote
The industry is at a bit of a crossroads with Wall Street losing faith and interest, finally recognizing the failed dreams of fracking. The Wall Street Journal reports that Pioneer Natural Resources, often cited as one of the strongest shale drillers in Texas, is largely giving up on growth and instead aiming to be a modest-sized driller that can hand money back to shareholders. “We lost the growth investors,” Pioneer’s CEO Scott Sheffield said in a WSJ interview. “Now we’ve got to attract a whole other set of investors.”

They'll make it up in volume though.

Quote
But, as Schlotterbeck told the industry conference in Pittsburgh, the problem with fracking runs deep. While shale E&Ps have succeeded in boosting oil and gas production to levels that were unthinkable only a few years ago, prices have crashed precisely because of the surge of supply. And, because wells decline at a precipitous rate, capital-intensive drilling ultimately leaves companies on a spending treadmill.

D'oh!

147
Policy and solutions / Re: Oil and Gas Issues
« on: June 24, 2019, 08:02:01 PM »
Rhode Island rejected a new natural gas power plant due to power prices being too low.

https://www.powermag.com/rhode-island-rejects-burrillville-gas-fired-plant/

Quote
A proposed 900-MW gas-fired power plant was rejected by Rhode Island regulators on June 20, leaving project developer Invenergy pondering its options for the planned facility in Burrillville.

Quote
The Burrillville plant, known as the Clear River Energy Center, was first proposed four years ago, before falling power prices in the region and across New England brought questions about the economic viability of new power generation projects. Invenergy originally planned to bring the plant online this year; that date had been moved to 2023 pending state approval.

Quote
A report from ISO New England (ISO-NE) earlier this year outlining future generation capacity in the region did not include the Burrillville plant; in fact, the April Participants Committee Report listed no new natural gas capacity coming online in the region from 2023 to 2025. The fall in power prices over the past few years is notable. ISO-NE said its capacity auction in 2015 had prices clearing more than $17.50/kW-month, the highest level recorded. ISO-NE said 34.8 GW of capacity cleared its auction this past February, at a price of $3.80/kW-month.

Meanwhile, a new wind farm off the shores of Rhode Island is advancing.

https://www.providencejournal.com/news/20190528/proposed-wind-farm-clears-another-hurdle

Quote
WARWICK — A proposal for a large offshore wind farm that could power as much as a quarter of Rhode Island’s electric load cleared a major hurdle on Tuesday when regulators approved a contract between the developers and the state’s dominant utility.

The state Public Utilities Commission unanimously voted in favor of the 20-year agreement under which National Grid will buy power from the 400-megawatt Revolution Wind Farm that is being developed in Rhode Island Sound by Danish-owned Orsted U.S. Offshore Wind and Boston-based energy company Eversource.

National Grid will pay 9.8 cents per kilowatt-hour as part of a deal that state energy officials estimate could save Rhode Island electric consumers $90 million over the life of the contract, or about 50 cents per month for the typical customer.

148
Policy and solutions / Re: Oil and Gas Issues
« on: June 24, 2019, 07:01:27 PM »
A natural gas plant built in California in 2009 will close 20 years before the end of its useful life because it can't compete with renewables.

https://cleantechnica.com/2019/06/21/ge-will-shutter-california-natural-gas-plant-20-years-early/

Quote
Now GE has notified the California Energy Commission it is shuttering a natural gas generating facility it owns and operates in Riverside, California, according to Reuters. The Inland Empire plant was only commissioned in 2009. Such generating facilities normally have a 30-year useful life, so GE is losing two-thirds of its roughly $1 billion investment in the plant.

The problem is two-fold. One, the Inland Empire Power Plant is fitted with GE H series turbines, which have proved troublesome in service. The only other facility in the world that used the H series turbines is located in Wales. Two, those turbines are not easy to start and stop quickly. As renewables have become more common in California, the Inland Empire plant is ill-suited to ramping up when the supply of renewable energy dwindles due to a lack of sunshine or wind.

149
Policy and solutions / Re: Renewable Energy
« on: June 21, 2019, 07:34:32 PM »
Europe is on track to get 90% of its electricity from renewable sources by 2040.

https://thinkprogress.org/europe-will-be-90-renewable-powered-in-two-decades-experts-say-8db3e7190bb7/

Quote
“By 2040, renewables make up 90% of the electricity mix in Europe, with wind and solar accounting for 80%,” predict the experts at Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF) in their annual energy outlook released this week.

“Cheap renewable energy and batteries fundamentally reshape the electricity system,” explains BNEF. Since 2010, wind power globally has dropped 49% in cost. Both solar and battery prices have plummeted 85%.

In fact, many countries are already at very high levels of renewable power: Iceland (100%), Paraguay (100%), Costa Rica (98%), Norway (97%), Uruguay (96.5%), Kenya (91%), New Zealand (84%), Austria (80%), Brazil (80%), Austria (74%), Canada (65%) and Denmark (61%). The main renewables in these countries are hydropower, wind, geothermal, and solar.

150
Policy and solutions / Re: Direct Air Capture (of Carbon Dioxide)
« on: June 20, 2019, 08:17:42 PM »
to kick this misconception into the bin is attached

One of many visualisations that have failed to understand the way energy is utilized.

Can you give us more detail rather than just a simple dismissal?

Let's assume, just for the sake of the argument, that 100x100 miles of solar panels would generate as many TWh of electricity as the US uses annually.  How much storage would it take to turn that output into a 24/365 reliable electricity source for the US?
--

Obviously a 100% solar feed is not optimal.  The best solution will involve wind and other renewables as their inclusion lowers the need for storage.  But just play along and explain your thinking regarding 100% solar and storage.

You don't have to go 100% solar.  There's wind (which often blows at night, alleviating some of the intermittency), hydro (avail 24/7 if there's not a drought), geothermal (also available 24/7) and still some nuclear operating (with small modular reactors possible if they can be made economically).  So the area need is even less than depicted and much of it can be on rooftops or over parking lots.

The point of the graphic is that the "renewables take up too much room" argument is pure B.S.

Pages: 1 2 [3] 4 5 ... 12