Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Scientists Warn World Will Miss Key Climate Target (UK Guardian).

Coral Reef in Fiji. Source: Alamy via UK Guardian.

Leading climate scientists have warned that the Earth is perilously close to breaking through a 1.5C upper limit for global warming, only eight months after the target was set. 
The decision to try to limit warming to 1.5C, measured in relation to pre-industrial temperatures, was the headline outcome of the Paris climate negotiations last December. The talks were hailed as a major success by scientists and campaigners, who claimed that, by setting the target, desertification, heatwaves, widespread flooding and other global warming impacts could be avoided. 
However, figures – based on Met Office data – prepared by meteorologist Ed Hawkins of Reading University show that average global temperatures were already more than 1C above pre-industrial levels for every month except one over the past year and peaked at +1.38C in February and March. Keeping within the 1.5C limit will be extremely difficult, say scientists, given these rises.
Atmospheric heating has been partly triggered by a major El Niño event in the Pacific, with 2016 expected to be the hottest year on record. Temperatures above 50C have afflicted Iraq; India is experiencing one of the most intense monsoons on record; and drought-stricken California has been ravaged by wildfires. 
Stanford University’s Professor Chris Field, co-chair of the IPCC working group on adaptation to climate change, told the Observer: “From the perspective of my research I would say the 1.5C goal now looks impossible or at the very least, a very, very difficult task. We should be under no illusions about the task we face.”

For more information, click here and here.

Friday, August 5, 2016

New Article out on Global Warming.

An atoll in the island nation of Kiribati, which is only a few feet above sea level
Photo credit: Kadir van Lohiuzen, Noor Images via National Geographic.
Reported by the National Geographic, here. (I know, it's owned by Murdoch now, but what can you do?)
An annual report that is sometimes called the planet's "physical" finds that 2015 was the warmest year since records began in the mid to late 19th century. The year also marked several other milestones, from a record carbon concentration to an unusual number of tropical storms. 
The 26th report, State of the Climate in 2015, released online today by theAmerican Meteorological Society  (AMS), was compiled by hundreds of scientists from 62 countries and was peer reviewed.
Speaking of tropical storms, yesterday here in New Orleans an afternoon pop-up thunderstorm cloud ended up behaving like a tropical storm, with lots of leaves and small debris blown this way and that.

Here are the five key points made by the report, according to NatGeo:

1. In 2015 Earth was about 1 deg C (1.8 F) warmer than it was in the 1880s. Warmer still in 2016, with January through June being 1.3 deg C warmer than the pre-industrial era in the late 19th Century. This is when El Niño has lost his strength.

2. Sea-surface temps are the hottest ever since records were kept, aided by The Blob in the Northeast Pacific, despite the freshening and cooling by the Greenland ice melt in the North Atlantic.

3. Carbon Dioxide atmospheric content has passed the 400 ppm milestone. This was last witnessed in the middle Pliocene Era, 2-3 million years ago, or perhaps even the middle Miocene, 10-15 million years ago.

4. Global Sea-Level Rise is the highest since records were kept. The global mean sea level rise is now about 70 mm (2-3/4") higher than the levels taken in 1993, which in turn was a little bit higher than the 1988 value which was higher than the 1929 value; the post-1929 rise actually varied from town to town, due to gravity, land subsidence, seismic pressures, crustal springback because of melting ice caps, etc., etc.

5. Many parts of the world experienced extreme weather. This weird weather is well documented on YouTube by LAST MESSAGES in his 2015 IS STRANGE and 2016 IS STRANGE series (and more dating back to 2011) and by others.

For more information, click here.




Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Peak Oil (Demand) Front Update 2

Hat tip to Raul Ilargi Meijer of The Automatic Earth.

Source: Bloomberg via The Automatic Earth.
The Permian shale oil basin contains as much as the Ghawar oil field did originally? That'll put supply-side Peak Oil off until the storms of our grandchildren REALLY ramp up.
[OPEC’s] worst fears are coming true. Twenty months after Saudi Arabia took the fateful decision to flood world markets with oil, it has failed to break the back of the US shale industry. The Saudi-led Gulf states have certainly succeeded in killing off a string of global mega-projects in deep waters. Investment in upstream exploration from 2014 to 2020 will be $1.8 trillion less than previously assumed, according to consultants IHS. But this is an illusive victory. North America’s hydraulic frackers are cutting costs so fast that most can now produce at prices far below levels needed to fund the Saudi welfare state and its military machine, or to cover Opec budget deficits. 
Scott Sheffield, the outgoing chief of Pioneer Natural Resources, threw down the gauntlet last week – with some poetic licence – claiming that his pre-tax production costs in the Permian Basin of West Texas have fallen to $2.25 a barrel. “Definitely we can compete with anything that Saudi Arabia has. We have the best rock,” he said. Revolutionary improvements in drilling technology and data analytics that have changed the cost calculus faster than most thought possible. The “decline rate” of production over the first four months of each well was 90pc a decade ago for US frackers. This dropped to 31pc in 2012. It is now 18pc. Drillers have learned how to extract more. Mr Sheffield said the Permian is as bountiful as the giant Ghawar field in Saudi Arabia and can expand from 2m to 5m barrels a day even if the price of oil never rises above $55.
But oil demand is still either running behind oil supply, or is actually on the decline. Remember, consumption of fossil fuels have remained stagnant for the past three years, 2013 through 2015.

Growing Oil Glut Shows Investors There’s Nowhere to Go But Down (Bloomberg)
Money managers have never been more certain that oil prices will drop. They increased bets on falling crude by the most ever as stockpiles climbed to the highest seasonal levels in at least two decades, nudging prices toward a bear market. The excess supply hammered the second-quarter earnings of Exxon Mobil and Chevron. Inventories are near the 97-year high reached in April as oil drillers boosted rigs for a fifth consecutive week. “The rise in supplies will add more downward pressure,” said Michael Corcelli, chief investment officer at Alexander Alternative Capital, a Miami-based hedge fund. “It will be a long time before we can drain the excess.” 
Hedge funds pushed up their short position in West Texas Intermediate crude by 38,897 futures and options combined during the week ended July 26, according to the Commodity Futures Trading Commission. It was the biggest increase in data going back to 2006. WTI dropped 3.9% to $42.92 a barrel in the report week, and traded at $41.75 at 12:20 p.m. Singapore time. WTI fell by 14% in July, the biggest monthly decline in a year. It’s down by 19% since early June, bringing it close to the 20% drop that would characterize a bear market. 
U.S. crude supplies rose by 1.67 million barrels to 521.1 million in the week ended July 22, according to U.S. Energy Information Administration data. Stockpiles reached 543.4 million barrels in the week ended April 29, the highest since 1929. Gasoline inventories expanded for a third week to 241.5 million barrels, the most since April. “The flow is solidly bearish,” said Tim Evans, an energy analyst at Citi Futures Perspective in New York. “It reflects a recognition that the market is, at least for the time being, oversupplied.”
"According to David Fransen, Geneva-based head of Vitol SA, the biggest independent oil trader. 'Demand growth has faltered a bit.'” That is, demand is still growing slower than expected in response to the lowered oil prices compared to their June 2014 heights or even dropping. Now where are the latest statistics on fossil fuel demand in 2016?
The bullish spirit that gripped oil traders as industry giants from Saudi Arabia to Goldman Sachs declared the supply glut over is rapidly ebbing away. Oil is poised for a drop of 20% since early June, meeting the definition of a bear market. While excess crude production is abating, inventories around the world are brimming, especially for gasoline, and a revival in U.S. drilling threatens to swell supplies further. As the output disruptions that cleared some of the surplus earlier this year begin to be resolved, crude could again slump toward $30 a barrel, Morgan Stanley predicts. “The tables are turning on the bulls, who were prematurely constructive on oil prices on the basis the re-balancing of the oil market was a done deal,” said Harry Tchilinguirian at BNP Paribas in London. 
“It’s probably going to take a little longer than they expected.” Oil almost doubled in New York between February and June as big names from Goldman and the International Energy Agency to new Saudi Energy Minister Khalid Al-Falih said declining U.S. oil production and disruptions from Nigeria to Canada were finally ending years of oversupply. Prices retreated to a three-month low near $41 a barrel this week amid a growing recognition the surplus will take time to clear. “There’s lots of crude and refined products around,” said David Fransen, Geneva-based head of Vitol SA, the biggest independent oil trader. “Demand growth has faltered a bit.”
In closing allow me to show you the glut in oil inventories since 

Source: Bloomberg via The Automatic Earth.
And demand is certainly going to drop again once the USA summer recreational driving season is over when school starts again.

Monday, August 1, 2016

Massive Die-off in Flower Garden Reef off the LA Coast.

Federal scientists say a massive die-off is taking place on a coral reef of a national marine sanctuary in the Gulf of Mexico.
Steve Gittings, chief scientist with the Office of National Marine Sanctuaries, reported this week that federal scientists are studying a large-scale mortality event of unknown cause taking place at the East Flower Garden Bank in Gulf of Mexico.
The reef is part of the Flower Garden Banks National Marine Sanctuary, about 100 miles off the coasts of Louisiana and Texas.
Hat tip to Colorado Bob at Robertscribbler (Tampa 2090 Hurricane post).

CNN Correspondent Calls Trump a BS Artist.

And Donald Trump has declared a Twitter war on CNN.



Hey, what else can I say?

Click here.

Friday, July 29, 2016

Suppose Consumption of Fossil Fuels Were to Peak in 2030

Even though, so far, they appear to be peaking due to the levelling off of demand, due to the ramp-up of renewables and because of affordability and financial reasons, like too high a debt load.

Source: Sam Caranas, Arctic News.
But if the did, a certain Grebulocities figured out a possible end point for atmospheric carbon content and posted it a a response to the post "Dark Ages America: Climate" at The Archdruid Report blog, in which the archdruid, John Michael Greer, suggested that fossil fuel emissions might peak in 2030 -- this was on July 30, 2014 mind you:

Now if only I could somehow find a time machine or a longevity potion and see if you're right... 
I just made a crude spreadsheet in Excel to see what type of CO2 concentration we might peak at under the assumption that the rate of change of the CO2 concentration peaks around 2030, falling to 0 by 2100. Under my model, the CO2 concentration rises by 0.55% this year (roughly equal to its average growth rate over the last decade) and the growth rate increases by 0.01% per year from now until 2029 (at 0.7%/year), then falls by 0.01%/year until it bottoms out at 0 by 2099. 
The peak concentration under these assumptions is "only" 562 ppm, obviously reached in 2099, conveniently about double the preindustrial level where temperatures were 0.8 C cooler than present. If the mean of most model estimates of equilibrium climate sensitivity is correct, we see about 3 C/doubling. So under these really crude assumptions, we've got a world 2.2 C warmer than present. Of course the error bars are huge, and they're larger on the warmer side. But if this is roughly where we end up, we're in the mid-Pliocene warm period at about 3.3 Ma, or perhaps a little worse. This is inconvenient because sea levels were 25 m higher than present, with no West Antarctic ice sheet and little or no Greenland ice sheet, but the East Antarctic ice sheet still existed and contained most of its current mass.
Well the CO2 did rise by about 2.25 ppm on average from 2014 through 2015.by about 0.57% which is roughly on target with his prediction of 0.55%. But from 2015 through 2016? Well we don't have the minimum yet, but the CO2 rise according to the graph maxima was about 3.5 ppm or about 0.88% according to the 2015 average content. And that's not even accounting for the fact that CO2 content for 2016 finally peaked out at around 408 ppm in April - May, shown below.

Annual CO2 pulse on Keeler Curve through July 2016.
Source: Mauna Loa Observatory, NOAA.
It appears that the 3.5 ppm rise is now being maintained. Although we're just coming off an El Niño, it's possible, especially when compared to the graph at the top, that we are having increased positive feedbacks or less negative feedbacks or both from natural sources, because it appears we did not have a nearly as big a Carbon Dioxide increase the last time we had an El Niño as strong as the one we've just had, i.e., the one in 1997-1998.

So will the atmosphere's Carbon Dioxide content be as little as 560 ppm? Don't know. But given the present rate of fossil fuels burning through 2030 and a new normal of 3.5 ppm for annual Carbon Dioxide content increase, we could be looking at 450 ppm or so around 2030, which makes the terminal content that much larger. Robertscribbler reports that under Business as Usual (IPCC's RCP 8.5) it could be as high as 936 ppm with a average planetary temperature increase at that time of around 4 to 5 degrees Celsius (7 to 9 Fahrenheit). Will it actually get that bad? Don't know.

But I DO know that global warming is NOT a myth!


Thursday, July 28, 2016

A Pence Presidency?



A Pence Administration also means that the neocons' Poking the Russian Bear will continue, even if it results in WW3 and the lobbing of nukes.

Mike Pence in Bed with the Neocons.

Now the rumor mill has it that Trump is also in bed with the Russian banks, to the tune of $100 million or more. This must give Putin headaches, because the saying goes, if you owe someone $1,000 you can't pay, have a problem. But if you owe someone a $1,000,000,000 you can't pay THEY have a problem.

Now what will Putin do, when Trump tells the Russian banks to go screw? He can't send any of "his" (according to Newsweek) Russian mafia assassins to take Trump out. And he can't exactly escalate the Ukranian proxy war to full-blown war in Eastern (Central) Europe without breaking the NATO tripwire.

And the lobbing of all those nukes both sides own would create a twenty years' ice age (i.e., the nuclear winter).