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Messages - Ken Feldman

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Policy and solutions / Re: Renewable Energy
« on: August 24, 2020, 06:30:26 PM »
A Chinese coal mining company is building a solar panel manufacturing plant with an initial capacity of 3 GW of panels per year.  The company plans to expand the capacity to 10 GW per year.

A Chinese Coal Miner Is Getting Into Solar Production
Bloomberg News
August 23, 2020

Mid-tier Chinese coal miner Shanxi Coal International Energy Group is planning a significant investment in the competing business of making high-tech solar power cells.

The state-owned firm will lead a joint venture to build a 3-gigawatt solar manufacturing plant for 3.19 billion yuan ($461 million), according to a statement on Friday. It’s the first phase of a project that will grow to 10 gigawatts -- the equivalent of the generating power of 10 nuclear power plants -- producing high-efficiency cells through so-called heterojunction technology.

Permafrost / Re: Arctic Methane Release
« on: August 21, 2020, 11:34:28 PM »
Here's the title:
Massive Ice Control on Permafrost Coast Erosion and Sensitivity.

It will be in GRL. A lot of it is from my PhD research,though I'm further down the author list as more senior people take the main authorship positions:(. This one is primarily based on our use of passive seismics to detect and map out variations in subsurface layers of ice. This was used with DEMs and historical shoreline analysis to describe how these ice layers alter the variations in shoreline retreat rates and vertical mass loss at our field site. Being able to detect where and how thick these ice layers are is important for determining how much carbon is in the soil too. Lots of ice = less carbon. Little ice = more carbon.

Congratulations on being published!  I'm looking forward to reading it.

Policy and solutions / Re: Coal
« on: August 21, 2020, 07:41:13 PM »
The energy transition is happening faster than the experts expected.  Renewables are on pace to produce more electricity than coal in the US this year, something the EIA didn't expect to happen until 2031.

Coal’s Days May Be Over in the U.S.

Renewables will most likely surpass the fossil fuel in electricity generation this year despite the Trump administration’s efforts to prop it up.
By Justin Fox
August 17, 2020

Last year, there were 38 days when U.S. utilities got more electricity from hydroelectric, wind and solar generation than from coal, according to the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis. So far this year, according to the IEEFA and my own crunching of U.S. Energy Information Administration data, it’s already 122 — including every day in the month of April and all but three in May.

n the summer months, higher electricity demand and decreased production from wind turbines and dams give coal a seasonal boost, but expect renewables to start outgenerating it again in the fall. The EIA is now projecting that renewables will produce more electricity than coal for 2020 as a whole — a milestone that as recently as last year it didn’t anticipate coming until 2031.

Permafrost / Re: Arctic Methane Release
« on: August 20, 2020, 06:42:14 PM »
Continuing the quotes from Saunois et al 2020, they also discuss methane hydrates:

Among the different origins of oceanic methane, hydrates have attracted a lot of attention. Methane hydrates (or clathrates) are ice-like crystals formed under specific temperature and pressure conditions (Milkov, 2005). Methane hydrates can be either of biogenic origin (formed in situ at depth in the sediment by microbial activity) or of thermogenic origin (non-biogenic gas migrated from deeper sediments and trapped due to pressure–temperature conditions or due to some capping geological structure such as marine permafrost). The total stock of marine methane hydrates is large but uncertain, with global estimates ranging from hundreds to thousands of Pg CH4 (Klauda and Sandler, 2005; Wallmann et al., 2012).

Concerning more specifically atmospheric emissions from marine hydrates, Etiope (2015) points out that current estimates of methane air–sea flux from hydrates (2–10 Tg CH4 yr−1 in Ciais et al., 2013, or Kirschke et al., 2013) originate from the hypothetical values of Cicerone and Oremland (1988). No experimental data or estimation procedures have been explicitly described along the chain of references since then (Denman et al., 2007; IPCC, 2001; Kirschke et al., 2013; Lelieveld et al., 1998). It was estimated that ∼ 473 Tg CH4 has been released in the water column over 100 years (Kretschmer et al., 2015). Those few teragrams per year become negligible once consumption in the water column has been accounted for. While events such as submarine slumps may trigger local releases of considerable amounts of methane from hydrates that may reach the atmosphere (Etiope, 2015; Paull et al., 2002), on a global scale, present-day atmospheric methane emissions from hydrates do not appear to be a significant source to the atmosphere, and at least formally, we should consider 0 (< 0.1) Tg CH4 yr−1 emissions.

Permafrost / Re: Arctic Methane Release
« on: August 20, 2020, 06:38:23 PM »
Thank you Ken. I bookmarked it.
I think India really need to cut down on their cows. Holy Cow! But I guess some of that must also come from oil and gas exploitation in the middle east?

The arctic looks surprisingly void of Methane. That's interesting. I didn't expect that...

A lot is from oil and gas production in the Middle East.  I think the Himalayan Mountains probably block some of the airflow and increase the concentrations.  And don't forget, most of the population in south Asia rely on rice as their main staple crop, and rice paddies produce methane.  There are also a lot of wetlands in the coastal areas, which also produce a lot of methane.

The methane seeps and bubbles get a lot of hype in the media, but when you compare the amount of methane produced, the Arctic Ocean doesn't really contribute a lot of methane to the atmosphere.  Most of the methane from the subsea permafrost is eaten by microbes before it gets to the ocean floor and then a lot of it is absorbed by the ocean as it bubbles toward the surface.

Estimates for methane emissions for all of the oceans are around 5 to 10 million tons annually.  Total global emissions are around 576 million tons of which  359 million tons are from anthropogenic sources.

The Global Methane Budget 2000–2017
Saunois et. al 2020

Back to top

Understanding and quantifying the global methane (CH4) budget is important for assessing realistic pathways to mitigate climate change. Atmospheric emissions and concentrations of CH4 continue to increase, making CH4 the second most important human-influenced greenhouse gas in terms of climate forcing, after carbon dioxide (CO2). The relative importance of CH4 compared to CO2 depends on its shorter atmospheric lifetime, stronger warming potential, and variations in atmospheric growth rate over the past decade, the causes of which are still debated. Two major challenges in reducing uncertainties in the atmospheric growth rate arise from the variety of geographically overlapping CH4 sources and from the destruction of CH4 by short-lived hydroxyl radicals (OH). To address these challenges, we have established a consortium of multidisciplinary scientists under the umbrella of the Global Carbon Project to synthesize and stimulate new research aimed at improving and regularly updating the global methane budget. Following Saunois et al. (2016), we present here the second version of the living review paper dedicated to the decadal methane budget, integrating results of top-down studies (atmospheric observations within an atmospheric inverse-modelling framework) and bottom-up estimates (including process-based models for estimating land surface emissions and atmospheric chemistry, inventories of anthropogenic emissions, and data-driven extrapolations).

For the 2008–2017 decade, global methane emissions are estimated by atmospheric inversions (a top-down approach) to be 576 Tg CH4 yr−1 (range 550–594, corresponding to the minimum and maximum estimates of the model ensemble). Of this total, 359 Tg CH4 yr−1 or ∼ 60 % is attributed to anthropogenic sources, that is emissions caused by direct human activity (i.e. anthropogenic emissions; range 336–376 Tg CH4 yr−1 or 50 %–65 %). The mean annual total emission for the new decade (2008–2017) is 29 Tg CH4 yr−1 larger than our estimate for the previous decade (2000–2009), and 24 Tg CH4 yr−1 larger than the one reported in the previous budget for 2003–2012 (Saunois et al., 2016). Since 2012, global CH4 emissions have been tracking the warmest scenarios assessed by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. Bottom-up methods suggest almost 30 % larger global emissions (737 Tg CH4 yr−1, range 594–881) than top-down inversion methods. Indeed, bottom-up estimates for natural sources such as natural wetlands, other inland water systems, and geological sources are higher than top-down estimates. The atmospheric constraints on the top-down budget suggest that at least some of these bottom-up emissions are overestimated. The latitudinal distribution of atmospheric observation-based emissions indicates a predominance of tropical emissions (∼ 65 % of the global budget, < 30∘ N) compared to mid-latitudes (∼ 30 %, 30–60∘ N) and high northern latitudes (∼ 4 %, 60–90∘ N). The most important source of uncertainty in the methane budget is attributable to natural emissions, especially those from wetlands and other inland waters.

Some of our global source estimates are smaller than those in previously published budgets (Saunois et al., 2016; Kirschke et al., 2013). In particular wetland emissions are about 35 Tg CH4 yr−1 lower due to improved partition wetlands and other inland waters. Emissions from geological sources and wild animals are also found to be smaller by 7 Tg CH4 yr−1 by 8 Tg CH4 yr−1, respectively. However, the overall discrepancy between bottom-up and top-down estimates has been reduced by only 5 % compared to Saunois et al. (2016), due to a higher estimate of emissions from inland waters, highlighting the need for more detailed research on emissions factors. Priorities for improving the methane budget include (i) a global, high-resolution map of water-saturated soils and inundated areas emitting methane based on a robust classification of different types of emitting habitats; (ii) further development of process-based models for inland-water emissions; (iii) intensification of methane observations at local scales (e.g., FLUXNET-CH4 measurements) and urban-scale monitoring to constrain bottom-up land surface models, and at regional scales (surface networks and satellites) to constrain atmospheric inversions; (iv) improvements of transport models and the representation of photochemical sinks in top-down inversions; and (v) development of a 3D variational inversion system using isotopic and/or co-emitted species such as ethane to improve source partitioning.

The production of methane at the seabed is known to be significant. For instance, marine seepages emit up to 65 Tg CH4 yr−1 globally at seabed level (USEPA, 2010b). What is uncertain is the flux of oceanic methane reaching the atmosphere. For example, bubble plumes of CH4 from the seabed have been observed in the water column, but not detected in the Arctic atmosphere (Fisher et al., 2011; Westbrook et al., 2009). There are several barriers preventing methane from being expelled to the atmosphere (James et al., 2016). From below the seafloor to the sea surface, gas hydrates and permafrost serve as a barrier to fluid and gas migration towards the seafloor; microbial activity around the seafloor can strongly oxidize methane releases or production; further oxidation occurs in the water column; the oceanic pycnocline acts as a physical barrier towards the surface waters, including efficient dissolution of bubbles; and finally, surface oceans are aerobic and contribute to the oxidation of dissolved methane. However, surface waters can be more supersaturated than the underlying deeper waters, leading to a methane paradox (Sasakawa et al., 2008). Possible explanations involve (i) upwelling in areas with surface mixed layers covered by sea ice (Damm et al., 2015), (ii) the release of methane by the degradation of dissolved organic matter phosphonates in aerobic conditions (Repeta et al., 2016), (iii)  methane production by marine algae (Lenhart et al., 2016), or (iv) methane production within the anoxic centre of sinking particles (Sasakawa et al., 2008), but more work is still needed to be conclusive about this apparent paradox.

For geological emissions, the most used value has long been 20 Tg CH4 yr−1, relying on expert knowledge and literature synthesis proposed in a workshop reported in Kvenvolden et al. (2001); the authors of this study recognize that this was a first estimation and needs revision. Since then, oceanographic campaigns have been organized, especially to sample bubbling areas of active seafloor gas seep bubbling. For instance, Shakhova et al. (2010, 2014) infer 8–17 Tg CH4 yr−1 in emissions just for the Eastern Siberian Arctic Shelf (ESAS), based on the extrapolation of numerous but local measurements, and possibly related to thawing sub-seabed permafrost (Shakhova et al., 2015). Because of the highly heterogeneous distribution of dissolved CH4 in coastal regions, where bubbles can most easily reach the atmosphere, extrapolation of in situ local measurements to the global scale can be hazardous and lead to biased global estimates. Indeed, using very precise and accurate continuous land shore-based atmospheric methane observations in the Arctic region, Berchet et al. (2016) found a range of emissions for ESAS of ∼ 2.5 Tg CH4 yr−1 (range [0–5]), 4–8 times lower than Shakhova's estimates. Such a reduction in ESAS emission estimate has also been inferred from oceanic observations by Thornton et al. (2016b) with a maximum sea–air CH4 flux of 2.9 Tg CH4 yr−1 for this region. Etiope et al. (2019) suggested a minimum global total submarine seepage emission of 3.9 Tg CH4 yr−1 simply summing published regional emission estimates for 15 areas for identified emission areas (above 7 Tg CH4 yr−1 when extrapolated to include non-measured areas). These recent results, based on different approaches, suggest that the current estimate of 20 Tg CH4 yr−1 is too large and needs revision.

Therefore, as discussed in Sect. 3.2.2, we report here a reduced range of 5–10 Tg CH4 yr−1 for marine geological emissions compared to the previous budget, with a mean value of 7 Tg CH4 yr−1.

Policy and solutions / Re: Renewable Energy
« on: August 19, 2020, 05:58:27 PM »
Turkey has opened it's first solar panel manufacturing plant.  It has a capacity to manufacture 500 MW of panels annually.

Turkey opens 1st integrated solar panel manufacturing facility
Aug 19, 2020

Turkey on Wednesday witnessed the opening of the country's first and Europe and the Middle East’s only integrated solar panel manufacturing facility, which promises to further develop the country's renewable energy resources.

The facility will be operated through an investment of $400 million (TL 2.9 billion) at a 100,000-square-meter (nearly 25-acre) closed area and will employ 1,400 people, Erdoğan said in his speech.

Turkey has managed to become ninth in the world and third in Europe among countries that have increased their installed solar power capacity since it started bringing solar plants into action in 2014, Dönmez said.

With the commissioning of the plant, the share of solar energy in electricity production in Turkey will increase by 25% and the annual emission of 2 million tons of carbon dioxide will be prevented, the minister added.

Kalyon's facility will produce components for Turkey’s biggest solar power plant, which will be established in the Karapınar district of the central Anatolian province of Konya as part of the first solar Renewable Energy Resource Zone (YEKA) tender with a capacity of 1,000 megawatts.

Permafrost / Re: Arctic Methane Release
« on: August 19, 2020, 05:31:56 PM »
Is there any information available yet on the release of methane in the ESS this year? All those storms in the ESS these last few weeks must be mixing up all that hot water there and causing a massive amount of methane to be released, no?

You can see it daily from the Copernicus Atmosphere Monitoring Service.  Here's today's forecast (North Pole view):,3,2020081803&projection=classical_north_pole&layer_name=composition_ch4_totalcolumn

And then compare that view to the NOAA globally averaged measurement.

ESAS methane emissions are less than the global average.  Areas with large concentrations of people and lots of agricultural and industrial activity are more than global average.

Policy and solutions / Re: Renewable Energy
« on: August 18, 2020, 08:12:30 PM »
Solar capacity is increasing rapidly in Texas.

Texas Solar Hits a Turning Point
As the coronavirus pandemic devastates the state’s already flailing oil and gas industry, solar energy production is on a trajectory for record growth.

Nancy Nusser
Aug 13, 2020

According to the  Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT), the nonprofit that oversees Texas’s electrical grid, the state’s utility-scale solar capacity (the big solar farms that connect to the grid) is expected to increase 150 percent this year to 5,777 megawatts. Next year, installed solar capacity is expected to grow more than 130 percent to 13,449 megawatts, according to ERCOT, which relies on information provided by developers.

Momentum has slowed slightly since COVID-19 began spreading across Texas in March, quarantining workers and disrupting supply chains. But unlike the oil and gas industry, the solar industry has not been devastated. “There have been impacts,” says Charlie Hemmeline, executive director of the Texas Solar Power Association. “But big picture, 2020 was slated to be solar’s best year in Texas, and we’re still on track for that to be the case.”

Policy and solutions / Re: Oil and Gas Issues
« on: August 18, 2020, 08:06:39 PM »
LNG demand remains low.

COVID-19 mitigation efforts keep liquefied natural gas demand low

Published on August 13, 2020 by Chris Galford

A new report from the United States Energy Information Administration (EIA) brought mixed news for the natural gas sector, noting that liquefied natural gas exports for the United States remain low due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but with the hope that normality should return in November.

In January 2020, before COVID-19 went into full swing across the world, U.S. exports of LNG hit a record high of 8 billion cubic feet per day (bcf/d). By July, they were down to 3.1 billion bcf/d, and at one point — the week of July 12-18 — only 2 bcf/d were loaded. About 50 cargoes were canceled in July, exceeding the reported number of expected cancelations, according to the EIA.

Worldwide demand has also tanked in response to COVID-19 mitigation efforts.

Policy and solutions / Re: Oil and Gas Issues
« on: August 18, 2020, 08:03:38 PM »
Many oil refineries are idling or closing permanently due to the demand destruction caused by the Covid pandemic.

Refinery Closures Continue Amid Oil Demand Slump
By Tsvetana Paraskova - Aug 17, 2020

Refiners are shutting down permanently or converging oil refineries as the demand crash from the pandemic continues to crush refining margins.

Several refiners and oil majors have recently announced permanent closures in the United States and Asia, while analysts believe that some high-cost refineries in Europe could also be shut down over the next few years as margins for processing crude into fuels are expected to remain depressed.

Some refiners have already announced closures. Last week, Phillips 66 said it plans to shut down the Rodeo Carbon Plant and Santa Maria refining facility in Arroyo Grande, California, in 2023. Phillips 66 plans to reconfigure its San Francisco Refinery in Rodeo, California, to produce renewable fuels.

Marathon Petroleum is idling the Gallup and Martinez refineries indefinitely and is evaluating the strategic repositioning of Martinez to a renewable diesel facility.

In Asia, Shell plans to transform its Tabangao oil refinery in the Philippines into a full import terminal to optimize its asset portfolio.

Policy and solutions / Re: But, but, but, China....
« on: August 10, 2020, 09:01:08 PM »
China is developing its five-year plan for 2021-2025.  If they take into account the need to produce electricity as cheaply as other nations, that should lead to a big increase in the share of renewable energy in thier electricity generation system.

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

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

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

China plans its economy in “Five Year Plans” guiding development and serving as the principal measure of performance for government officials. The plans lay out binding, quantitative targets for everything from the economy and infrastructure, to health and social development, to the environment.

China’s leaders are currently developing the 14th Five Year Plan for 2021-2025, and greater climate and clean energy ambition could accelerate decarbonization. For example, the country’s current climate goals allow emissions to increase through 2030 before declining, and to date the country’s carbon dioxide (CO2) targets have been expressed as carbon intensity per unit of GDP allowing for emissions increases with economic growth.

But as the new paper from Stony Brook University and Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory researchers points out, even these optimistic analyses fail to capture just how dramatically renewable energy and storage prices have dropped in recent years. The global weighted-average levelized costs of electricity (LCOE) of utility-scale solar panels, onshore wind, and battery storage have fallen by 77%, 35%, and 85%, respectively, between 2010 and 2018.

Policy and solutions / Re: Aviation
« on: August 10, 2020, 08:06:20 PM »
There's been a slight recovery in air traffic, but it's still down more than 40% from last year.

In another sign of optimism about demand, data from global flight tracking service Flightradar24 showed on Saturday that on Friday, August 7, there were more than 70,000 commercial flights globally for the first time since March 20. Yet, the number of commercial flights was still down 43.6 percent compared to the same Friday in August 2019.

Policy and solutions / Re: Oil and Gas Issues
« on: August 10, 2020, 08:03:40 PM »
Saudi Aramco is spinning every bit of positive news they can to try to prop up oil prices.  Read beyond the headlines.

Saudi Aramco: Asian Oil Demand Recovery Almost At Pre-Crisis Levels
By Tsvetana Paraskova - Aug 10, 2020

The world’s biggest oil-producing and oil-exporting company, state oil giant Saudi Aramco, is optimistic about the pace of oil demand recovery in Asia, chief executive Amin Nasser said on Sunday, helping oil prices rise on Monday.

Saudi Aramco says,
Demand for crude oil in Asia has almost returned to the levels from before the pandemic, Bloomberg quoted Nasser as saying.

Reality says,
In June, global oil demand is somewhere around 90 million barrels per day (bpd), up from 75-80 million bpd in April

Note that global oil demand was 100 million barrels per day before the Covid recession.

The article also has this interesting info about aviation levels:

n another sign of optimism about demand, data from global flight tracking service Flightradar24 showed on Saturday that on Friday, August 7, there were more than 70,000 commercial flights globally for the first time since March 20. Yet, the number of commercial flights was still down 43.6 percent compared to the same Friday in August 2019.

And many Asian countries are now struggling to contain a second wave of Covid-19 outbreaks.

Even countries that got coronavirus under control are now struggling. That's deeply concerning for the rest of the world
July 28, 2020
James Griffiths, CNN

Across the Asia-Pacific region, where countries were among the first hit by the virus and the first to contain it, there have been new and in some cases seemingly unexplained increases in the number of infections. Governments that had previously been lauded for their response to the pandemic now seem to be struggling.

On Tuesday, China reported the highest number of locally transmitted coronavirus cases since early March for the second consecutive day, with the majority of the 64 new domestic cases in Xinjiang. The far western region has seen a fresh outbreak in its capital Urumqi since July 15, after nearly five months of no new cases.

Down south in Hong Kong, the semi-autonomous Chinese city is also experiencing a major new outbreak, with more than a thousand new cases in the past two weeks, and six days straight of over 100 cases. The new surge came after the city appeared to be almost cornonavirus free, relaxing restrictions and beginning discussion of potential "travel bubbles" with other post-pandemic parts of the world.

While there was a slight dip in the number of cases recorded on Monday, Japan has been seeing some of its worst numbers since the early phases of the pandemic, with some 5,000 new cases in the past week, according to Johns Hopkins University (JHU) data. The worst of the new outbreak has been focused on the capital Tokyo, which recorded six straight days of over 200 new cases until Monday, when there were 131 cases. However, that dip may be because there were far fewer tests performed over a four-day holiday weekend designed to promote domestic tourism.

Science / Re: The Father Of Global Warming?
« on: August 10, 2020, 07:39:13 PM »
I think that the idea behind a title like, "the father of global warming" is that a paper has to include the anthropogenic effects of adding carbon dioxide to atmosphere.  A lot of the papers sited above from the 1850s are dealing with the temperature effects of increasing pressure and determining which gases in the atmosphere are greenhouse gases, but don't look into the impact of burning coal (too early for oil and natural gas at that time). Arrhenius  is usually credited with that idea in the 1890s.  (Thanks for the info on Högbom Kassy, I didn't realize that Arrhenius had help with his paper).

After Arrhenius and Högbom in the 1890s, there was back and forth as to whether carbon dioxide would be saturated after a low initial amount and not lead to additional warming, and whether the oceans would absorb the extra carbon dioxide so it would accumulate in the atmosphere.  Revelle and Keeling answered the question about the oceans and the accumulation in the atmosphere in the late 1950s.  Gilbert Plass addressed the saturation of absorption bands in 1955.

The Carbon Dioxide Theory of Climatic  Change
 By GlLBERT N. PLASS The Johns Hopkins  University, Baltimore,  Md.
(Manuscript received  August g 1955)
The most  recent  calculations of the infra-red flux in the  region of the 15 micron CO2 band show that the average surface temperature of the earth increases 3.6” C if  the C02 concentration in the atmosphere is  doubled  and decreases 3.8’ C if  the CO2 amount is halved,  provided  that no other factors  change  which  influence the radiation  balance. Variations in CO2 amount of this magnitude must have occurred during geological history; the resulting temperature changes were sufficiently large to influence the climate. The CO2 balance is discussed. The CO equilibrium between   atmosphere   and  oceans is calculated with and without CaCO3  equilibrium, assuming  that  the  average temperature changes with the CO2 concentration by  the amount predicted by the CO2 theory. When the total CO2 is  reduced below a critical value, it is found that the climate continuously oscillates between a glacial and an inter-glacial stage with a period of tens of thousands of years; there is  no possible stable state for the climate. Simple explanations are provided by the CO2 theory for the increased precipitation at the  onset of a glacial period, the time lag of millions of years between  periods of mountain building  and  the ensuing glaciation, and the severe glaciation at the end of the Carboniferous. The extra CO2 released into the atmosphere by  industrial processes and other  human activities may have caused the temperature rise during  the present  century. In contrast with other  theories of climate,  the CO2 theory predicts that  this warming trend  will continue, at least for several centuries.

I would argue that the title should go to Plass.

Policy and solutions / Re: Coal
« on: August 05, 2020, 10:52:14 PM »
Global coal-fire power plant capacity dropped by 2.9 GW in the first half of 2020, for the first time on record!  It would've been even more, but for China.

China's new coal projects account for 90% of global total in first half - study
David Stanway

SHANGHAI, August 3 (Reuters) - China built more than half of the world’s new coal-fired power plants this year and accounted for 90% of new planned capacity, a study showed on Monday, with Beijing still commissioning new projects even as capacity worldwide declines.

Global coal-fired generation capacity saw a net decline of 2.9 gigawatts (GW) from January to June, the first drop on record for a six-month period, thanks to plant retirements in Europe and elsewhere, the U.S.-based think tank Global Energy Monitor (GEM) said in the study.

But China added 53.2 GW of capacity to its project pipeline in the first half of this year - 90% of the global total - even as the world’s second-largest economy seeks to boost its use of renewable energy as part of a broader anti-pollution drive.

China said that most of its new generation capacity would come from renewables this year but also set targets allowing another 60 GW of coal-fired projects to go into operation. It has more than 250 GW of new capacity either proposed or under construction.

But it remains unclear how much will be completed, with existing plants already facing losses as a result of overcapacity and low utilisation rates. China has issued investment warnings to 10 regions, saying returns from coal-fired power would fall below government bond yields.

Policy and solutions / Re: Oil and Gas Issues
« on: August 05, 2020, 06:12:56 PM »
For the first time since 1914, there are no drilling rigs active in Venezuela.

Venezuela’s Rig Count Officially Falls To Zero
By Tsvetana Paraskova - Aug 05, 2020

Venezuela no longer has any operational oil rigs after the last oilfield services firm that was still drilling for oil in the country holding the world’s largest crude oil reserves pulled its only rig out of service.

With Nabors shutting down its rig activity, Venezuela is now left with zero oil drilling rigs, Russ Dallen, founder of investment bank Caracas Capital, told Houston Chronicle.

That sends the Latin American nation back more than a century in terms of rig count, to before 1914 when Venezuela’s first oil well was drilled, according to Dallen.

Venezuela’s oil production has been in freefall for several years, but the U.S. sanctions on its industry and exports, the crash in demand, and the pandemic further accelerated the decline.

Policy and solutions / Re: Renewable Energy
« on: August 05, 2020, 12:53:51 AM »
BP announced that it's shifting substantial resources from fossil fuel extraction to developing renewable energy.  They've set a goal of developing 20 GW or renewables capacity by 2025 and 50 GW by 2030.  They only have 2.5 GW now.

BP Aims to Build 50GW of Renewables by 2030, Cut Fossil Fuel Output by 40%

The oil supermajor lays out further details on its path toward net-zero, keeping ahead of its fossil fuel rivals in its energy transition ambitions.
John Parnell August 04, 2020

BP will cut its oil and gas output by 40 percent by 2030 and increase its low-carbon investment tenfold by then, the company announced Tuesday as it begins to detail its 2050 net-zero strategy.

BP, which first revealed its net-zero ambitions in February, says it will ramp up its annual low-carbon investment from $500 million in 2019 to $5 billion per year by 2030, with an interim goal of $3 billion to $4 billion per year by 2025.

BP is now targeting 50 gigawatts of renewables capacity by 2030, an ambition that puts it on a level with French utility giant EDF. BP's renewables target includes a 20-gigawatt goal by 2025, up from the 2.5 gigawatts it has today.

BP will slash oil production by 40% and pour billions into green energy
By Hanna Ziady, CNN Business
Tue August 4, 2020

BP is planning to slash oil and gas production and pour billions of dollars into clean energy as part of a major strategic overhaul unveiled on Tuesday, alongside a huge second quarter loss and dividend cut.

BP (BP) has already sold its petrochemicals unit, and announced plans to cut 10,000 jobs as it reels from a crash in oil prices and tries to pivot towards renewable energy. The company said Tuesday it expects restructuring to cost $1.5 billion in 2020.

August 4, 2020
Breakingviews - BP gets serious about tough corporate reshaping
Ed Cropley

LONDON (Reuters Breakingviews) - Bernard Looney is betting BP’s house on his green energy ambitions. Besides cutting the dividend to free up cash for renewable investment, the chief executive of what is still essentially a 61 billion pound oil and gas company plans to reduce hydrocarbon production by 40% over the next decade.

Then there is growing the new. Some of the money not spent on oil and gas will go towards a tenfold increase in green energy investment over the decade, to $5 billion a year. That is roughly a third of forecast annual capital expenditure over the next five years. Tangible targets include 70,000 electric vehicle charging points and 50 gigawatts of renewable power capacity. 

Science / Re: Where are we now in CO2e , which pathway are we on?
« on: August 05, 2020, 12:24:09 AM »
'Worst-Case' CO2 Emissions Scenario Is Best for Assessing Climate Risk and Impacts to 2050

The RCP 8.5 CO2 emissions pathway, long considered a "worst case scenario" by the international science community, is the most appropriate for conducting assessments of climate change impacts by 2050, according to a new article published today in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Long dismissed as alarmist or misleading, the paper argues that is actually the closest approximation of both historical emissions and anticipated outcomes of current global climate policies, tracking within 1% of actual emissions.

"Not only are the emissions consistent with RCP 8.5 in close agreement with historical total cumulative CO2 emissions (within 1%), but RCP8.5 is also the best match out to mid-century under current and stated policies with still highly plausible levels of CO2 emissions in 2100," the authors wrote. "... Not using RCP8.5 to describe the previous 15 years assumes a level of mitigation that did not occur, thereby skewing subsequent assessments by lessening the severity of warming and associated physical climate risk."

The commentary also emphasizes that while there are signs of progress on bending the global emissions curve and that our emissions picture may change significantly by 2100, focusing on the unknowable, distant future may distort the current debate on these issues. "For purposes of informing societal decisions, shorter time horizons are highly relevant, and it is important to have scenarios which are useful on those horizons. Looking at mid-century and sooner, RCP8.5 is clearly the most useful choice," they wrote.

The article also notes that RCP 8.5 would not be significantly impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, adding that "we note that the usefulness of RCP 8.5 is not changed due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Assuming pandemic restrictions remain in place until the end of 2020 would entail a reduction in emissions of -4.7 Gt CO2. This represents less than 1% of total cumulative CO2 emissions since 2005 for all RCPs and observations."

Christopher R. Schwalm el al., "RCP8.5 tracks cumulative CO2 emissions," PNAS (2020)


A close read of the study shows that it didn't take into account economic considerations, such as the fact that renewables are now cheaper than fossil fuels.  And it's also missing the point that emissions up through the 2020s are very close in all scenarios.  Here's a figure from the paper that shows that fact:

For future projections, they rely on the IEA assessment of Government policy decisions, ignoring the impacts of the energy transition underway.  And let's not forget how badly the IEA has been at forecasting the pace of the energy transition.

Policy and solutions / Re: Coal
« on: July 31, 2020, 07:31:47 PM »
While we're mainly concerned about carbon emissions on this site, let's not forget what else coal brings to the surface.

Judge Rules Justice-Controlled Coal Company Liable For Pollution Violations At W.Va. Mine
By Brittany Patterson • Jul 27, 2020

A federal judge has ruled a coal company owned by the family of West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice is liable for more than 3,000 violations of federal clean water standards stemming from pollution discharged from a coal mine in southern West Virginia.

In a motion issued Monday, U.S. District Judge David Faber ruled Bluestone Coal Corporation discharged selenium at the Red Fox Surface Mine in McDowell County many times at levels above its permitted allowances from July 2018 to March 2020. Selenium is a chemical element found in coal that accumulates in the body and has been linked to growth deformities and reproductive failure in fish.

Faber also ruled that the company violated its permit under the federal Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act 183 times.

Policy and solutions / Re: Nuclear Power
« on: July 31, 2020, 07:28:05 PM »
It looks like Ohio may repeal the law that was passed because of the corruption.  That's bad news for the nuclear reactors that are benefiting from the subsidies, but could be good news for renewables as they're the cheapest form of unsubsidized electrical generation now.

July 23, 2020
Ohio governor calls for repeal of state nuclear bailout bill under probe
Timothy Gardner

(Reuters) - Ohio Governor Mike DeWine on Thursday reversed course and called on the state’s legislature to repeal and replace a nuclear energy bailout bill at the center of a federal investigation into bribery.

DeVillers said the company, without identifying it, gave $60 million to Generation Now, a political nonprofit operated by the five men, funds used for lobbying that secured passage of a controversial $1.5 billion bill.

The bill, which passed mostly on a party-line vote with Republicans in the majority, also rolled back renewable energy standards, requiring utilities to get 8.5% of their power from renewable energy, down from 12.5%. DeWine said the legislature should debate whether to reinstate the measure.

Policy and solutions / Re: Renewable Energy
« on: July 30, 2020, 07:46:34 PM »
The Public Regulation Commission of New Mexico approved a plan to replace a coal-fired power plant with solar farms and battery storage.  The considered and rejected plans that included natural gas fired-power plants.

PRC approves all-renewable plan to replace power from San Juan
By Kevin Robinson-Avila / Journal Staff Writer
Published: Wednesday, July 29th, 2020

The state Public Regulation Commission unanimously approved an all-renewable energy plan Wednesday morning to replace the coal-fired San Juan Generating Station near Farmington.

The 5-0 decision sets in motion plans for Public Service Company of New Mexico to sign power purchase agreements with third-party providers to build 650 megawatts of solar farms in San Juan, Rio Arriba and McKinley counties, plus 300 MW of backup battery storage. Investment in those new resources could total about $1 billion, bringing 1,200 or more construction jobs to the northwestern region of the state.

Various power replacement options were discussed in public hearings in January, including proposals to rely entirely on solar energy and battery storage, and others that called for some new gas-fired generation to shore up system reliability as more renewables are added to the grid.

Eventually the heat stored in the deep ocean comes back to the surface.  If we can lower the greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere before it comes back to the surface, the stored heat can radiate out to space when the warmer water upwells to the surface.

Only a small portion of the warm water comes into contact with the ice sheets.  Most of it circulates around the globe for centuries.

Here are a couple of studies that discuss the Southern Ocean (where most of the excess heat gets stored) and how it interacts with the Antarctic Ice Sheet.

The Southern Ocean and its interaction with the Antarctic Ice Sheet
David M. Holland, Keith W. Nicholls and Aurora Basinski
DOI: 10.1126/science.aaz5491 (6484), 1326-133

The Southern Ocean exerts a major influence on the mass balance of the Antarctic Ice Sheet, eitherindirectly, by its influence on air temperatures and winds, or directly, mostly through its effects on iceshelves. How much melting the ocean causes depends on the temperature of the water, which in turn is controlled by the combination of the thermal structure of the surrounding ocean and local ocean circulation, which in turn is determined largely by winds and bathymetry. As climate warms and atmospheric circulation changes, there will be follow-on changes in the ocean circulation and temperature. These consequences will affect the pace of mass loss of the Antarctic Ice Sheet.

Sallée, J.-B. 2018. Southern Ocean warming.
Oceanography 31(2):52–62,

Article Abstract

The Southern Ocean plays a fundamental role in global climate. With no continental barriers, it distributes climate signals among the Pacific, Atlantic, and Indian Oceans through its fast-flowing, energetic, and deep-reaching dominant current, the Antarctic Circumpolar Current. The unusual dynamics of this current, in conjunction with energetic atmospheric and ice conditions, make the Southern Ocean a key region for connecting the surface ocean with the world ocean’s deep seas. Recent examinations of global ocean temperature show that the Southern Ocean plays a major role in global ocean heat uptake and storage. Since 2006, an estimated 60%–90% of global ocean heat content change associated with global warming is based in the Southern Ocean. But the warming of its water masses is inhomogeneous. While the upper 1,000 m of the Southern Ocean within and north of the Antarctic Circumpolar Current are warming rapidly, at a rate of 0.1°–0.2°C per decade, the surface sub­polar seas south of this region are not warming or are slightly cooling. However, subpolar abyssal waters are warming at a substantial rate of ~0.05°C per decade due to the formation of bottom waters on the Antarctic continental shelves. Although the processes at play in this warming and their regional distribution are beginning to become clear, the specific mechanisms associated with wind change, eddy activity, and ocean-ice interaction remain areas of active research, and substantial challenges persist to representing them accurately in climate models.

Policy and solutions / Re: Coal
« on: July 29, 2020, 06:40:23 PM »
I don't think the coal producers can hold off collapse much longer.  US coal production continues to decrease rapidly.

U.S. Coal Production Crashes To 1978 Lows
By Julianne Geiger - Jul 28, 2020

U.S. coal production fell another 7% in 2019—the lowest amount of coal produced in the United States since 1978, during the national coal miners' strike, according to the Energy Information Agency (EIA).

And it is set to fall even further in 2020 as the international appetite for coal has waned with the pandemic.

U.S. coal production totaled 706 million short tones in 2019, compared to 756 million short tons in the year prior.

This year is shaping up to be even worse for coal, as production is expected to dip to levels not seen since the '60s.

Arizona stopped its coal production late last year, while Kansas and Arkansas stopped production in 2017 and 2018 respectively, shortening the list of states that produce the energy source that is now looked upon most unfavorably, even among the not-terribly-climate-conscious crowd.

For 2020, the EIA's outlook on coal production in the U.S. is grim, with the agency expecting another annual loss of 29%. The EIA uses railcar loading data to estimate production, which as of July 18, were 27.1% off compared to the same period last year.

The anticipated dip this year is primarily due to a fall in U.S. coal exports, which were 29% off as of May, compared to the same five months in 2019.

Ken Feldman,

Thanks for mentioning the article by Lynch et al. It is a good example of what worries me.

It addresses the peak temperature target of the Paris Agreement and avoids an issue that may be important. An example ...
Imagine two scenarios, which stay within the 1.5C limit:

(A) Global surface temperature rises to the 1.5C limit immediately and remains there until 2100.

(B) Global surface temperature rises steadily to 1.5C just reaching 1.5C  in 2100.

Both are Compliant with the Paris Agreement.
(A) heats  the Earth more than (B).

Is the difference important?


Lynch et al. say
Sustained SLCP emissions result in stable forcing. Eventually, if maintained indefinitely,this results in no additional warming

Surely they mean "no additional rise in the Global Mean Surface Temperature (GMST)".

Not the same thing as "no additional warming"

What are the other differences?

Sea-level rise?

Feedbacks triggered?

In a simple energy balance model, no changes in forcings would result in stable energy exchanges and no increase in temperatures.  In reality, there would be interannual variations in temperatures and forcings due to natural release of GHGs and variations in sinks.  However, temperatures wouldn't vary too much from the long term average once it stabilizes.

Our goal though would be to decrease the forcings over time and bring the temperatures down to avoid losing too much of the Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets.  If West Antarctica starts to collapse due to marine ice sheet instability, sea levels will continue to increase by multi-meter amounts per century.  For comparison, they're currently increasing about 38 cm per century, and that's already causing problems.

Policy and solutions / Re: Coal
« on: July 28, 2020, 09:59:17 PM »
Vietnam is considering delaying or scrapping 13 planned coal plants and building natural gas and renewables instead.  Renewables would make up more than half of their capacity by 2030.

Vietnam considers scrapping half of coal power plant pipeline in favour of gas and renewables
With coal development sluggish, the country eyes alternative power sources to meet burgeoning demand. Analysts say the plan is contingent on gas prices staying low.

By Tim Ha
July 28, 2020

The coming decade could see Vietnam shelve nearly half of its currently planned coal power plant capacity as alternative sources of energy take up growing shares in its power mix, the government-affiliated research body tasked with drawing up the nation’s next power sector roadmap has said.

Together, the 13 plants concerned boast a staggering capacity of 17.1 gigawatts (GW), almost matching the current 18.9 GW of coal power installed. Development scenarios presented at the meeting, seen by Eco-Business, show Vietnam expects wind and solar energy together to comprise the largest share in its capacity mix by as early as 2030.

In a statement released last week, the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis (IEEFA) and Vietnam-based environmental group Green Innovation and Development Centre (GreenID) said amid plummeting clean energy prices, difficulties in obtaining financing and increasingly ambitious climate targets, it was unlikely the 13 projects would be revived, once shelved.

Vietnam’s coal power expansion strategy has been among the most ambitious in Southeast Asia, with consumption of the fossil fuel—the single biggest contributor to man-made climate change—tripling over the past decade.

Beyond the nation’s power sector, the cancellation plans are set to further shake up the Asian coal market if formalised. The announcement comes a month after Bangladesh indicated it may review up to 90 per cent of planned coal power capacity. Southeast Asia’s largest coal producer, Indonesia, has already had to drastically cut production amid falling demand this year.

Policy and solutions / Re: Oil and Gas Issues
« on: July 28, 2020, 08:46:05 PM »
It looks like oil production is set to pick up again, just as the second wave of coronavirus is hitting several countries.  Will the futures prices go negative again?

Oil Markets Face New Glut As OPEC Prepares To Open The Taps
By Rystad Energy - Jul 28, 2020

The upcoming partial return of curtailed OPEC+ oil production from August is set to create a new four-month supply glut of around 170 million barrels, a Rystad Energy analysis reveals. The analysis is based on the assumption that oil demand will not rebound as quickly as previously thought due to the persistent expansion of the Covid-19 pandemic in key markets, or what we call a mild second wave of the virus.

But with the mild second wave already hitting several countries, we scale back our total liquids (crude, condensate, NGLs, other liquids, and refinery gains) demand recovery expectations in the short-term. Between August and October, total liquids demand levels will stay flat at around 90.5 million bpd, before rising to 92.9 million bpd in November and 94.6 million bpd in December.

Unlike demand, global oil supply is set for a mini growth rally after reaching an astonishing low of 86.4 million bpd in June and an expected 88.2 million bpd in July. The planned output increase from the OPEC+ alliance and the reactivation of other global shut-in production is forecast to push supply to 91.2 million bpd in August, 92.5 million bpd in September, 92.9 million bpd in October and 93.3 million bpd in November, before closing at 93.4 million bpd in December.

Policy and solutions / Re: Renewable Energy
« on: July 28, 2020, 08:19:56 PM »
India is aiming to have renewables supply 60% of their power by 2030.

India to have 60% renewable energy by 2030: Power minister RK Singh
July 21, 2020 9:55 PM

In September last year at the United Nations Climate Action Summit, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had announced increasing the renewable energy target to 450 GW by 2030 from 175 GW by 2022.

The minister explained that by 2030, 450 GW of power generation capacity would come from renewables like solar and wind. Besides 60 GW would come from hydro-electric power, he said.

About the progress on clean energy, he said that India’s clean energy capacity including under development projects and hydro electric power is around 190 GW, which is more than the targetted 175 GW by 2022.

Policy and solutions / Re: Renewable Energy
« on: July 28, 2020, 08:15:53 PM »
It looks like China and India can skip the "natural gas bridge" and go straight to renewables.  That would give them a huge competitive advantage over the western countries with billions in stranded assets related to natural gas infrastructure.

We're already seeing that LNG export terminals in the US are being underutilized with the glut in natural gas.

Nat Gas Prices Crash As U.S. Exports Fall
By Julianne Geiger - Jul 20, 2020

The price of natural gas fell nearly 5% on Monday, as lower U.S. LNG exports threaten to exacerbate inventories, which are already significantly higher than the five-year average.

The price of natural gas was just $1.636 as of 4:27pm EDT, a drop pf $0.082 or 4.77%.

The EIA reported that U.S. LNG exports fell week over week for the week ending July 15, with just four vessels with a combined carrying capacity of 15 Bcf leaving the United States that week. This is the lowest volume since the end of 2016—a time when the Sabine Pass LNG was the only LNG export facility in the United States, according to FX Empire.

Last year at this time, natural gas deliveries to U.S. LNG export facilities were setting records, according to the EIA. This year, the pandemic is cramping the style for the cleaner fuel, and inventories are well above the five-year average, at 3.178 billion cubic feet as of July 10. That compares to the year ago levels of 2.515 Bcf, and the five-year average of 2.742 Bcf.

Policy and solutions / Re: Oil and Gas Issues
« on: July 27, 2020, 08:38:32 PM »
US oil production is holding steady at around 11 million barrels per day, down from 13 million barrels per day in January and February.  New well drilling is still down, but producers are still fracking drilled but uncompleted wells.

US oil production wells up after Covid price crash
Output expected to stabilise at about 11m barrels a day after recovery from June low
Derek Brower and Myles McCormick yesterday

US oil companies have increased production by 1.2m barrels a day over the past six weeks, as they restore wells shut earlier this year and start producing from others they left unfinished as prices sank.

Output bottomed out at 9.7m b/d in the second week of June but has since risen to 10.9m b/d as activity starts to pick up in the big shale fields of Texas, according to Genscape, a division of consultancy Wood Mackenzie that monitors energy flows. That figure is more than the UK’s entire crude production of 1.1m b/d.

Despite the restarting of wells shut around the time the US oil price plunged below zero in April, drilling activity remains weak. The number of operating rigs was just 251 last week, compared with about 800 in January.

The number of so-called frac crews carrying out well-completion work crashed to a low of 45 in May, just 10 per cent of the levels a year earlier, according to Primary Vision, an oilfield data provider.

But the research firm said 62 frac crews were now operating across the country. Rystad estimated more than 400 wells would be fracked this month, up from a low of 325 in June.

Policy and solutions / Re: Oil and Gas Issues
« on: July 27, 2020, 08:19:50 PM »
Gas flaring remains a problem in Texas and it's growing globally.

1 In 10 Gas Flares In Permian Malfunction
By Irina Slav - Jul 23, 2020

More a tenth of gas flares in the Permian play tend to malfunction and release unlit methane into the atmosphere, the Environmental Defense Fund has reported, based on a new aerial survey.

According to the Fund, the survey revealed that one in ten flares either didn’t burn the methane completely, with some of it escapimg into the atmosphere, or they didn’t burn it at all, releasing it as it is.

Flaring is a serious problem and it is getting increasingly serious, it appears. The World Bank reported earlier this week that global gas flaring last year jumped to 150 billion cu m, from 145 billion cu m in 2018.

It is also a growing problem in the Permian, specifically: after a decline in flaring accompanying the decline in oil production during the worst of the crisis, flaring in the Permian is once again on the rise, the Environmental Defense Fund reported, with flaring in June 50 percent higher than the previous month.

The linked article about the differences between the short-term and long-term global warming potentials of methane indicates that focusing exclusively on methane reductions at the expense of reducing carbon dioxide emissions results in higher long term temperature increases.

Demonstrating GWP*: a means of reporting warming-equivalent emissions that captures the contrasting impacts of short- and long-lived climate pollutants
John Lynch et al 2020 Environ. Res. Lett.15 044023

The atmospheric lifetime and radiative impacts of different climate pollutants can both differ markedly, so metrics that equate emissions using a single scaling factor, such as the 100-year Global Warming Potential (GWP100), can be misleading. An alternative approach is to report emissions as ‘warming-equivalents’ that result in similar warming impacts without requiring a like-for-like weighting per emission. GWP*, an alternative application of GWPs where the CO2-equivalence of short-lived climate pollutant emissions is predominantly determined by changes in their emission rate, provides a straightforward means of generating warming-equivalent emissions. In this letter we illustrate the contrasting climate impacts resulting from emissions of methane, a short-lived greenhouse gas, and CO2, and compare GWP100 and GWP* CO2-equivalents for a number of simple emissions scenarios. We demonstrate that GWP* provides a useful indication of warming, while conventional application of GWP100 falls short in many scenarios and particularly when methane emissions are stable or declining, with important implications for how we consider ‘zero emission’ or ‘climate neutral’ targets for sectors emitting different compositions of gases. We then illustrate how GWP* can provide an improved means of assessing alternative mitigation strategies. GWP*allows warming-equivalent emissions to be calculated directly from CO2-equivalent emissions reported using GWP100, consistent with the Paris Rulebook agreed by the UNFCCC, on condition that short-lived and cumulative climate pollutants are aggregated separately, which is essential for transparency. It provides a direct link between emissions and anticipated warming impacts, supporting stocktakes of progress towards a long-term temperature goal and compatible with cumulative emissions budgets

We can demonstrate the utility of multi-gas cumulative CO2-w.e. totals in a decision making context by considering how they would describe alternative mitigation pathways, as infigure8. In this scenario, the emissions of one gas cease in year 50, and then the emissions of the remaining gas in year 100. Stopping methane first results in a large initial reversal of recent warming, but temperatures then start to rise again due to the ongoing CO2 emissions. Temperature then stabilises at the temperature reached in year 100 when CO2 emissions are also stopped. Stopping CO2 first,we see that the rate of warming declines, and then when methane emissions stop in year 100 we have a significant reversal of warming, stabilising at a lower long-term temperature than in the methane-first scenario. Cumulative CO2-w.e. provides a clear indication of these dynamics, while cumulative CO2e suggests either strategy would lead to the same response, but which represents neither scenario.

Antarctica / Re: Methane in Antarctica
« on: July 22, 2020, 08:07:45 PM »
Not a video, but a pretty clear narrative explanation.

Because CO2 has a very long residence time in the atmosphere, its emissions cause increases in atmospheric concentrations of CO2 that will last thousands of years [8]. Methane’s average atmospheric residence time is about a decade. However, its capacity to absorb substantially more energy than CO2 gives it a GWP ranging from 28 to 36. The GWP also accounts for some indirect effects; for example, CH4 is a precursor to another greenhouse gas, ozone.

What happens to the methane GWP if a 20-year averaging time is used?

A 20-year GWP is sometimes used as an alternative to the 100-year GWP. The 20-year GWP is based on the energy absorbed over 20 years, which prioritizes gases with shorter lifetimes, since it ignores any impacts that occur after 20 years from the emission. The GWPs are calculated relative to CO2, so the GWPs are based on an 80% shorter time frame that will be larger for gases with atmospheric residence times shorter than that of CO2 and smaller for gases with residence times greater than CO2.

Since CH4 has a shorter atmospheric residence time than CO2, the 100-year GWP is much less than the 20-year GWP. The CH4 20-year GWP has been estimated [8] to be 84–87, compared with the 100-year GWP of 28–36.

A new metric, GWP*, has been developed to address the confusion between the short term and long term GWPs of short lived greenhouse gases like methane.  Here's a link to a study about GWP*.

Demonstrating GWP*: a means of reporting warming-equivalentemissions that captures the contrasting impacts of short- and long-lived climate pollutants
John Lynch, Michelle Cain, Raymond Pierrehumbert and Myles Allen

The atmospheric lifetime and radiative impacts of different climate pollutants can both differ markedly, so metrics that equate emissions using a single scaling factor, such as the 100-year Global Warming Potential (GWP100), can be misleading. An alternative approach is to report emissions as ‘warming-equivalents’ that result in similar warming impacts without requiring a like-for-like weighting per emission. GWP*, an alternative application of GWPs where the CO2-equivalence of short-lived climate pollutant emissions is predominantly determined by changes in their emission rate, provides a straightforward means of generating warming-equivalent emissions. In this letter we illustrate the contrasting climate impacts resulting from emissions of methane, a short-lived greenhouse gas, and CO2, and compare GWP100 and GWP* CO2-equivalents for a number of simple emissions scenarios. We demonstrate that GWP* provides a useful indication of warming, while conventional application of GWP100 falls short in many scenarios and particularly when methane emissions are stable or declining, with important implications for how we consider ‘zero emission’ or ‘climate neutral’ targets for sectors emitting different compositions of gases. We then illustrate how GWP* can provide an improved means of assessing alternative mitigation strategies. GWP* allows warming-equivalent emissions to be calculated directly from CO2-equivalent emissions reported using GWP100, consistent with the Paris Rulebook agreed by the UNFCCC, on condition that short-lived and cumulative climate pollutants are aggregated separately, which is essential for transparency. It provides a direct link between emissions and anticipated warming impacts, supporting stock takes of progress towards a long-term temperature goal and compatible with cumulative emissions budgets.

Policy and solutions / Re: Renewable Energy
« on: July 22, 2020, 07:01:48 PM »
The share of electricity generated in Europe increased from 37% last year to 44% this year during the Covid shutdowns.

July 22, 2020
Green energy ratchets up power during coronavirus pandemic
Susanna Twidale

LONDON (Reuters) - Renewable power has taken up a record share of global electricity production since the onset of the coronavirus pandemic, according to a Reuters review of data, suggesting a transition away from polluting fossil fuels could be accelerated in the coming years.

Most grid operators automatically turned to the cheapest energy supplies to meet the falling demand. Wind and solar power costs very little to generate once the installations are built and is often backed by government mandates and subsidies. As a result, more expensive fossil fuel sources were the first to be pulled.

Data from Finnish energy technology group Wartsila, collated from Europe’s electricity grid operators, shows renewables generated an average of 44% of power across the 27-nation bloc and Britain from April to June, when many countries were in lockdown, against 37.2% in the same period last year. Daily peaks hit 53%.

The leading performer was Austria which saw renewables average 93% from a previous 91%, thanks largely to hydropower, the data showed. Portugal saw its share of renewable energy surge to 67% from 49%, while in Europe’s biggest economy Germany it averaged 54% up from 47.5%.

It's interesting to see that the Netherlands is lagging behind other countries.  Perhaps that's why posters from that country are so skeptical about the energy transition which is well underway in the rest of the world.

As elsewhere in the world, the share of renewable energy in India’s electricity market climbed during the COVID-19 lockdown, hitting a record high of 30.9% in the week of June 15 from 17.9% in mid-March, the IEA said.

The United States is a world leader when it comes to storage, notably battery technology, and some businesses are investing heavily in the sector.

Renewables, including hydro, wind and solar, provided 23% of U.S. electricity during the April lockdown, up from 17% in the same period of 2019, latest U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) data shows. The peak share rose to almost 80% in parts of the windy interior of the country.

Policy and solutions / Re: Renewable Energy
« on: July 22, 2020, 06:47:25 PM »
New York state issued a solicitation for 4GW of renewable power yesterday.

State to procure 2,500 more megawatts of offshore wind power
By Mark Harrington
July 22, 2020

New York State this year will seek bids for another 2,500 megawatts of offshore wind power, along with 1,500 megawatts of land-based renewable energy projects in what the state is calling the country’s largest clean-energy solicitation of its kind.

The new plans for wind, solar and other green energy projects follow last year’s awarding of nearly 1,700 megawatts of offshore wind to two developers, Equinor of Norway and Orsted of Denmark — part of the state’s march toward some 9,000 megawatts of offshore wind for the New York grid by 2035. LIPA has contracted for another 130 megawatts.

The combined 4,000 megawatts of new green energy, if built, will be enough to power some 1.5 million homes, the state said. The plan includes $400 million in public and private investments for 11 state-selected port facilities to make or stage key wind-farm components, or operate the facilities once completed, said the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority, which is overseeing the bids. The New York Power Authority will also administer bids for around half the land-based projects.

Policy and solutions / Re: Oil and Gas Issues
« on: July 22, 2020, 06:17:03 PM »
Much of the optimism in the oil and gas industry came from China's buying of large quantities of oil this spring.  Turns out, it was just small refiners taking advantage to the super low prices due to the worldwide supply glut.  Now that prices have increased, they aren't buy so much, as they have plenty of oil in storage.

China’s Oil Buying Spree May Be Coming To An End
By Tsvetana Paraskova - Jul 21, 2020

While the rest of the world continues to struggle with fuel demand recovery in fits and starts, China has been a key factor in supporting oil prices as it breaks crude oil import records.  Record Chinese crude oil imports over the past few months have supported still weak global oil demand and instilled confidence in the market that the demand recovery will continue.   

But the Chinese buying spree may be coming to an end, as oil is not as dirt cheap as it was in April and as China is estimated to have amassed large crude inventories in commercial and strategic storage.

Despite processing rates hitting a record in June, China’s exports of refined oil products were lower than those in May and lower by 29 percent compared to June 2019, according to Reuters estimates of customs data. This suggests that demand in Asia is still weak, even if China’s domestic demand looks strong.

Going forward, China’s record crude oil buying spree may be coming to an end.

First, oil prices are now double the lows from April—this could discourage refiners from importing record volumes from August onwards, especially as oil in storage is abundant.

Then, weaker fuel demand recovery in the rest of Asia still weighs on refining margins in the region—this could discourage refiners in China from continuing to process record volumes of crude oil. 

Next up, there’s the storage wild card—no one outside China is really certain how much crude the world’s largest oil importer has amassed in commercial and strategic inventories. But estimates point to growing amounts of oil in both onshore storage and floating storage off China.

If China doesn’t keep its record imports of crude oil through the rest of the year, it could remove a major support factor for oil prices, especially if oil demand recovery elsewhere wanes in a second coronavirus wave.

Policy and solutions / Re: Oil and Gas Issues
« on: July 22, 2020, 06:10:32 PM »
Despite the rosy projections from the oil and gas industry about the pace of the recovery from the Covid recession, demand remains "subdued" and the gas and oil supply glut is growing.

Oil Prices Drop After EIA Confirms Crude Inventory Build
By Irina Slav - Jul 22, 2020

Crude oil prices fell further today after the Energy Information Administration reported a crude oil inventory build of 4.9 million barrels for the week to July 17.

The EIA said that at 536.6 million barrels, inventories were 19 percent above the seasonal average as demand for fuels remains subdued.

Yesterday, the American Petroleum Institute reported an inventory increase of 7.544 million barrels, dampening any nascent optimism about U.S. oil demand. As has now become usual, the inventory build surprised markets in an unpleasant way, weighing on oil prices.

In the past few weeks, the EIA’s inventory report has lost some of its influence over prices as fears of an uncontained spread of the coronavirus have strengthened on record-high numbers of new cases in several states. These fears appear to outweigh any positive messages the EIA or the API might have for the oil market.

There are already signs the spread of the infection has all but cancelled the demand boost from driving season this year: while many expected a pickup in demand for fuels spurred by the pandemic as people chose their cars over airplanes, this has failed to materialize.

Policy and solutions / Re: Nuclear Power
« on: July 22, 2020, 12:05:02 AM »
Remember when Ohio passed a law to subsidize those two nuclear reactors that can't compete against cheap renewables?

Ohio House Speaker Arrested In Connection With $60 Million Bribery Scheme

July 21, 2020

FBI agents arrested Ohio House Speaker Larry Householder on Tuesday morning at his rural farm. Householder was taken into custody in connection with a $60 million bribery scheme allegedly involving state officials and associates.

Four others were also arrested: former Ohio Republican Party Chairman Matt Borges, Householder adviser Jeffrey Longstreth and lobbyists Neil Clark and Juan Cespedes.

The charges are linked to a controversial law passed last year that bailed out two nuclear power plants in the state while gutting subsidies for renewable energy and energy efficiency.

Federal prosecutors say that between March 2017 and March 2020, entities related to an unnamed company — but that would appear to be nuclear power company FirstEnergy Solutions — paid approximately $60 million to Householder's Generation Now.

"Make no mistake, this is Larry Householder's 501 (c)(4)," U.S. Attorney David DeVillers told reporters on Tuesday. The money from the scheme was spent to the detriment of other political candidates and the people of Ohio, DeVillers said.

Members of Householder's enterprise used those payments for their own personal benefit and to gain support for Householder's bid to become speaker, prosecutors say.

In exchange for payments, prosecutors say, Householder and his associates helped pass House Bill 6, then worked to ensure it went into effect by defeating a ballot initiative.

The plan worked. The complaint says Householder-backed candidates that benefited from money from Generation Now helped to elect Householder as the Speaker. House Bill 6 was introduced three months into his term – legislation worth $1.3 billion to Company A.

Regular payments to Householder's secret company from Company A began in March 2017, a couple months after he took a trip on Company A's private jet, according to the federal complaint. But the payments got much bigger after the legislation was introduced: In May 2019, while the bill was pending before lawmakers, Company A allegedly wired $8 million to Generation Now.

In total, Company A allegedly paid the Householder enterprise $60 million over a three-year period, in exchange for the billion-dollar-bailout.

Prosecutors say the payments were "akin to bags of cash – unlike campaign or PAC contributions, they were not regulated, not reported, not subject to public scrutiny—and the Enterprise freely spent the bribe payments to further the Enterprise's political interests and to enrich themselves."

Last year's nuclear bailout law tacked on a charge to residents' power bills, sending $150 million a year to the nuclear power plants. They are owned by the company Energy Harbor, which was previously known as FirstEnergy Solutions.

The law also included a subsidy for two coal plants.

NPR member station WOSU reported that FirstEnergy contributed more than $150,000 to Ohio House Republicans in the run-up to the 2018 election — including over $25,000 in donations to Householder's campaign.

Policy and solutions / Re: Renewable Energy
« on: July 21, 2020, 06:48:41 PM »
In Australia, emissions from coal are down and renewables are replacing coal.  Natural gas is also down, despite very low prices.

Grid emissions hit record low, as both coal output and prices plunge
Giles Parkinson 22 July 2020

Australia’s main electricity grid achieved a remarkable trifecta in the last three months: The level of greenhouse gas emissions fell to a record low in the June quarter, even as the level of both coal production and wholesale market prices plunged at the same time.

This next graph shows th inexorable trend. Black coal proaction down significantly, gas also falling, brown coal increasing slightly (only because the previous corresponding quarter featured many outages), and growth in wind, solar, and rooftop solar. Good recent rains meant that hydro generation was also up.

Nearly all that increased competition for coal came from new wind and solar. AEMO says grid-scale VRE (variable renewable energy, or wind and solar) output increased by 454 MW on average, accounting for 13 per cent of the supply mix, up from 10 per cent in the second quarter of last year. That doesn’t include rooftop solar.

And before anyone assumes that this is the end of the road for VRE, AEMO estimates that there are several gigawatts of new capacity under construction or awaiting connection, and by 2030 the share of renewables will be 50 per cent, at least.

By 2040, it could be as high as 90 per cent, and in any case at least 70 per cent because wind, solar and storage remain the cheapest option to replace ageing coal generators. By 2035, it has suggested, the “instant” penetration of wind and solar alone could reach 75 per cent, or even higher in a faster transition.

Policy and solutions / Re: Oil and Gas Issues
« on: July 17, 2020, 10:07:23 PM »
We are in peak "driving season" in the US, a time when many people hit the road on summer vacations.  Not so much this year with the Covid and all.

Surge In Coronavirus Cases Sparks Concerns About Demand Recovery
By Irina Slav - Jul 17, 2020

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Surge In Coronavirus Cases Sparks Concerns About Demand Recovery
By Irina Slav - Jul 17, 2020, 10:00 AM CDT
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A surge in new cases in parts of the world and a resurgence of the coronavirus in places that had thought they’d beat it are leading to renewed lockdowns and worry that the recovery in oil demand, already hesitant, might end, Reuters reports.

GasBuddy data, for instance, shows that gasoline demand in the world’s top consumer fell by 5 percent on the week in the seven days to July 11. Meanwhile, new Covid-19 case numbers in the U.S. have been rising fast: yesterday, the country broke all records by reporting 77,000 new cases. The number of deaths, however, is falling.

In the U.S., demand for gasoline fell for two straight weeks in July, when it was supposed to be rising the most. Reuters notes that this coincided with a sharp increase in new Covid-19 cases in some of the most populous states, which together account for more than 25 percent of total gasoline consumption.

Policy and solutions / Re: Oil and Gas Issues
« on: July 17, 2020, 10:03:31 PM »
The US oil and gas rig count continues to decline.

U.S. Oil Rig Count Falls For Nineteenth Straight Week
By Julianne Geiger - Jul 17, 2020

Baker Hughes reported on Friday that the number of oil and gas rigs in the US fell again this week, by 5, to 253, marking the nineteenth straight loss in the number of active rigs, even as some analysts were predicting a rise in the number of active drilling rigs.

The total oil and gas rigs is now sitting at 701 fewer than this time last year.

Science / Re: Where are we now in CO2e , which pathway are we on?
« on: July 17, 2020, 08:27:20 PM »
Renewables only became cheaper than fossil fuels in some areas starting in 2018.  With costs of renewables continuing to decline, they are becoming cheaper than fossil fuels in more areas.  And given that it can take two years for a new wind or solar farm to come online, and five to ten years for a fossil fuel plant, it will take some time for the full impact of the cost reductions in renewables to be seen.

We're already seeing it in new investments.  Investments in renewables are now outpacing investment in fossil fuel infrastructure.

Goldman Sachs says renewable-energy spending will surpass oil and gas for the first time ever in 2021 — and sees total investment spiking to $16 trillion over the next decade
Ben Winck
Jun. 17, 2020

Green-energy investing will account for 25% of all energy spending in 2021 and, for the first time ever, surpass spending on traditional fuel sources like oil and gas, Goldman Sachs said in a Tuesday note.
Should the US aim to hold global warming within 2 degrees Celsius, the pivot to renewable energy sources will create between $1 trillion and $2 trillion in yearly infrastructure spending, the team of analysts added, or an investment opportunity as big as $16 trillion through 2030.
While past economic downturns halted efforts to lift clean energy initiatives, the coronavirus recession "will be different," the firm said.
Green technologies "are now mature enough to be deployed at scale," and the transition can benefit massively from cheap capital and "an attractive regulatory framework," according to Goldman.

In the US, electric utilities are retiring coal plants early and replacing them with renewables.  Becuase they can save lots and lots of money.  It's cheaper to build new renewable power plants than to operate existing coal fired power plants.  And that trend is spreading around the world.  It's estimated that $141 billion can be saved by replacing coal with clean energy by 2025.

Replacing coal with clean energy can save up to $141 billion by 2025

Out of 2,500 coal plants, the share of uncompetitive coal plants worldwide will increase rapidly to 60 per cent in 2022 and to 73 per cent in 2025

ETEnergyWorld July 10, 2020

New Delhi: Replacing coal with clean energy can potentially save electricity customers around the world $141 billion by 2025, according to a report by US-based Rocky Mountain Institute launched in collaboration with Carbon Tracker Initiative and the US-based environmental organisation Sierra Club.

Utilities are increasingly skip the "bridge" of replacing coal with natural gas and just jumping strait to solar or wind.

More utilities bypassing natural gas bridge and going straight to renewables

Utilities that are transitioning away from coal are starting to view the creation of a natural gas “bridge” to renewable energy as an unnecessary step.
July 2, 2020 Jean Haggerty

Utilities that are transitioning away from coal are starting to view the creation of a natural gas “bridge” to renewable energy as an unnecessary step. Last week utilities in Arizona, Colorado and Florida announced plans to close one or more of their coal plants and build renewables without adding any new gas-fired generation.

There are many more examples I could post of renewables replacing operating fossil fuel plants.  And the trend will accelerate in the future as the costs of renewables continue to decrease.

Policy and solutions / Re: Renewable Energy
« on: July 16, 2020, 10:27:39 PM »
India's share of electric power installed capacity from non-fossil fuel is planned to grow from 36.5% in 2019 to 64% in 2030.

India to overachieve UNFCCC 2030 target, share of non-fossil fuels to increase to 64 per cent by 2030

The percentage of non-fossil fuel in India’s electric power installed capacity is estimated to increase to 64 per cent in March 2030, according to a recent report by the Central Electricity Agency.

The report on optimal generation capacity mix for 2029-30 added that the percentage of non-fossil fuel in installed capacity stood at 49 per cent and 36.5 per cent in March 2022 and March 2019, respectively.

Policy and solutions / Re: Renewable Energy
« on: July 16, 2020, 10:24:10 PM »
China will subsidize 434 solar power projects with a capacity of almost 26 GW this year.

China Boosts Subsidy-Eligible Solar Projects by 13% in 2020
Bloomberg News
June 28, 2020

China, the world’s biggest solar market, plans to subsidize 434 photovoltaic power projects with a combined capacity of almost 26 gigawatts of this year.

The projects, located in 15 regions, include 25.6 gigawatts of utility-scale ground-mounted plants, with the rest for smaller projects at industrial and commercial sites, the NEA said in a statement dated June 23 and posted online Sunday.

The scale is “within expectations” after the nation announced earlier this year it will allocate 1 billion yuan ($141 million) of financial support for large solar projects, according to Jonathan Luan, a Beijing-based analyst at BloombergNEF. He expects China to add about 37 gigawatts of solar power in 2020, including some zero-subsidy projects and plants that were approved but not commissioned last year.

Policy and solutions / Re: Nuclear Power
« on: July 16, 2020, 08:57:44 PM »
As NeilT mentioned, when nuclear reactors explode, it's usually from a hydrogen explosion.  Of course this still releases a lot of radiation and the area around the reactor needs to be evacuated for decades, but not as bad as a nuclear bomb. 

The Fukushima Daiichi disaster is a good example.

The article correctly notes that the reactors successfully withstood the seismic events and were scrammed in accordance with emergency procedures.  However, when the ensuing tsunami destroyed the backup power generators that kept the cooling systems going, the three reactors that had been operating melted down, which lead to hydrogen explosions and massive radiation leaks to the atmosphere, surrounding land, and ultimately the ocean.

When the power failed at 3.42 pm, about one hour after shutdown of the fission reactions, the reactor cores would still be producing about 1.5% of their nominal thermal power, from fission product decay – about 22 MW in unit 1 and 33 MW in units 2&3. Without heat removal by circulation to an outside heat exchanger, this produced a lot of steam in the reactor pressure vessels housing the cores, and this was released into the dry primary containment (PCV) through safety valves. Later this was accompanied by hydrogen, produced by the interaction of the fuel's very hot zirconium cladding with steam after the water level dropped.

As pressure rose, attempts were made to vent the containment, and when external power and compressed air sources were harnessed this was successful, by about 2.30 pm Saturday, though some manual venting was apparently achieved at about 10.17 am. The venting was designed to be through an external stack, but in the absence of power much of it apparently backflowed to the service floor at the top of the reactor building, representing a serious failure of this system (though another possibility is leakage from the drywell). The vented steam, noble gases and aerosols were accompanied by hydrogen. At 3.36 pm on Saturday 12th, there was a hydrogen explosion on the service floor of the building above unit 1 reactor containment, blowing off the roof and cladding on the top part of the building, after the hydrogen mixed with air and ignited. (Oxidation of the zirconium cladding at high temperatures in the presence of steam produces hydrogen exothermically, with this exacerbating the fuel decay heat problem.)

Much of the fuel in units 2&3 also apparently melted to some degree, but to a lesser extent than in unit 1, and a day or two later. In mid-May 2011 the unit 1 core would still be producing 1.8 MW of heat, and units 2&3 would be producing about 3.0 MW each.

In Unit 3, the main back-up water injection system failed at about 11 am on Saturday 12th and early on Sunday 13th, water injection using the high pressure system failed also and water levels dropped dramatically. RPV pressure was reduced by venting steam into the wetwell, allowing injection of seawater using a fire pump from just before noon. Early on Sunday venting the suppression chamber and containment was successfully undertaken. It is now understood that core damage started about 5:30 am and much or all of the fuel melted on the morning of Sunday 13th and fell into the bottom of the RPV, with some probably going through the bottom of the reactor pressure vessel and onto the concrete below.

Early on Monday 14th PCV venting was repeated, and this evidently backflowed to the service floor of the building, so that at 11 am a very large hydrogen explosion here above unit 3 reactor containment blew off much of the roof and walls and demolished the top part of the building. This explosion created a lot of debris, and some of that on the ground near unit 3 was very radioactive.

Found the paper.  It was published in PNAS in 2004.

Greenhouse gas growth rates
James Hansen* and Makiko Sato

We posit that feasible reversal of the growth of atmospheric CH4 and other trace gases would provide a vital contribution toward averting  dangerous  anthropogenic  interference  with  global  cli-mate. Such trace gas reductions may allow stabilization of atmospheric CO2 at an achievable level of anthropogenic CO2 emissions, even if the added global warming constituting dangerous anthropogenic  interference  is  as  small  as  1°C.  A  1°C  limit  on  global warming, with canonical climate sensitivity, requires peak CO2 ~440 ppm if further non-CO2 forcing is ~0.5 W/m2, but peak CO2 ~520 ppm if further non-CO2 forcing is ~0.5 W/m2. The practical result is that a decline of non-CO2 forcings allows climate forcing to be stabilized with a significantly higher transient level of CO2 emissions. Increased ‘‘natural’’ emissions of CO2, N2O, and CH4 are expected  in  response  to  global  warming.  These  emissions,  an indirect  effect  of  all  climate  forcings,  are  small  compared  with human-made climate forcing and occur on a time scale of a few centuries,  but  they  tend  to  aggravate  the  task  of  stabilizing atmospheric composition.

We have suggested (13) that a concerted effort to reduce CH4 emissions could yield a negative forcing, which would be amplified ~40% by the indirect effects of CH4 on stratospheric H2O and tropospheric O3. CH4by itself could yield a forcing change of ~0.25 W/m2 if it were reduced from today’s 1,755 ppb to 1,215 ppb, which would require reducing anthropogenic CH4 emissions by 40–50% (ref. 14 and Drew Shindell, personal communication). Conversely, CH4 could provide large positive forcing if emissions grow, e.g.,CH4 increases to 3,140 ppb in 2100 in the IPCC (3) IS92a scenario,yielding ~0.5 W/m2 forcing.

Science / Re: Where are we now in CO2e , which pathway are we on?
« on: July 16, 2020, 06:57:37 PM »
Keep in mind that RCP 2.6 is a scenario with a peak above 3.0 w/m2 and then a decrease in the later half of the century back down to 2.6 w/m2.  Given the rate at which renewables are replacing coal and natural gas plants and the coming transition from gas to electric vehicles, RCP 2.6 is still very possible.

Also, RCP 4.5 is currently possible too.  This article was written before the Covid recession and the oil and natural gas gluts that are currently stifling further investment in fossil fuel infrastructure.  (It also uses the new SSP scenarios, which are an update over the RCPs).

Our business-as-usual projection of 3C of warming — rather than 4 or 5C — is a testament to the progress in global decarbonization over the last few decades. It also reflects the fact that rapid growth in coal use during the 2000s was not necessarily characteristic of longer-term energy use trends. The world has taken concrete steps to move away from coal in the past decade, and this progress should be reflected in our assessment of likely emissions pathways — and their resulting climate impacts — going forward.

The worst case outcomes of ten years ago appear far less likely today. But there is also a risk of overenthusiasm about progress; there is still an ever-growing gap between current emissions and what would be needed to limit warming below 2C. With every year of continued emissions growth and increased deployment of clean energy, we make both low warming (<2C) and high warming (>4C) increasingly unlikely.

IEA CPS emissions in 2040 are in-between the SSP4-6.0 and SSP2-4.5 scenarios, and are in the bottom 15% of all the baseline scenarios in the SSP database. The SPS scenario is a bit below SSP2-4.5, and lower than any baseline scenarios — though this is not necessarily unexpected, as baseline scenarios exclude current commitments that have not yet been translated into policy.

The recent UNEP Emissions Gap report provided an estimate of combined emissions from all greenhouse gases — including land use change — in the year 2030 under both current policy and under a scenario where countries meet their Paris Agreement nationally determined contributions (NDCs). UNEP’s current policies scenario has 2030 GHG emissions of 60 GtCO2e. This falls between SSP2-4.5 (57 GtCO2e) and SSP3-6.0 (62 GtCO2e), and is well below SSP3-7.0 (69 GtCO2e) and the worst-case SSP5-8.5 (71GtCO2e). UNEP projects 2030 emissions of 54 GtCO2e if all Paris Agreement NDCs are met.

Policy and solutions / Re: Renewable Energy
« on: July 16, 2020, 01:29:52 AM »
In the US, a seven year-old financial technology startup raised $100 million to invest in 300 solar power companies.

Boulder solar industry fintech company raises more than $100 million
By Greg Avery
July 15, 2020

Solar financing company Wunder Capital raised a fresh $100 million fund from which it will help finance commercial and industrial-scale solar power projects around the U.S.

The money will go to solar project loans that Boulder-based Wunder Capital arranges with its network of more than 300 solar project installers and developers.

Wunder Capital assembles funds from credentialled investors and then finances the commercial and local government solar power projects that property owners and investors build at malls, factories, warehouses, libraries and other places. Its goal is to eliminate bottlenecks that have traditionally limited investment in solar power projects.

The 24-employee startup formed in 2013 and later graduated from the Boulder startup accelerator Techstars. It built financing software designed to match solar projects with funding, and its loans have financed solar projects with a total generating capacity of 185 megawatts of electricity.

Policy and solutions / Re: Renewable Energy
« on: July 16, 2020, 01:18:51 AM »
The Netherlands is going to pay Denmark 100 million Euro to count some of Denmark's renewable energy generation toward their goal.

Netherlands to pay EUR 100m to count Danish renewables towards 2020 goal
June 24 (Renewables Now) - The Dutch State will pay EUR 100 million (USD 113m) to Denmark under an agreement for statistical transfer so as to be able to count 8 TWh of Danish green power towards the Netherlands’ binding 2020 renewable energy target.

Arctic sea ice / Re: When will the Arctic Go Ice Free?
« on: July 15, 2020, 11:15:30 PM »
The "ice free" definition was set at less than 1 million square km because there will be many years when the thick ice near Greenland and the CAA won't melt out but the rest of the Arctic will be ice free.  So you'll have deniers claiming that a BOE isn't a BOE because there's still 100,000 to 900,000 of ice around the fringes.

An "ice-free" Arctic Ocean is often defined as "having less than 1 million square kilometers of sea ice", because it is very difficult to melt the thick ice around the Canadian Arctic Archipelago.[20][21][22] The IPCC AR5 defines "nearly ice-free conditions" as sea ice extent less than 106 km2 for at least five consecutive years.[4]

James Hansen wrote a paper that emphasized the benefits of decreasing methane concentrations in the short term while we worked on bringing down CO2 (a much harder task).  I can't find it thought (he's written a ton of papers).

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