Sunday, August 14, 2016

Big volcano stopped sea levels from rising (?)

Just modelling nonsense.  When Warmist models show predictive skill will be the time to take notice of them.  Hasn't happened yet

In 1991, Mount Pinatubo in the Philippines erupted in what was the second biggest volcanic eruption this century.

The cataclysmic effect caused worldwide cooling, which triggered sea levels to drop.

But scientists say that the eruption has masked the accelerating effect of greenhouse gases on rising sea levels.

An increase in greenhouse gases affects sea levels in a number of ways, including warming the ocean which causes the water to expand, and melting glaciers and ice sheets.

Although the pace of warming and melting has increased in recent decades, [Says who?] scientists have been surprised not to see a corresponding increase in the rate of sea level rise.

Researchers from the National Centre for Atmospheric Research in Colorado say that greenhouse gases are already having an accelerating effect on sea level rise, but the impact has been masked by the 1991 eruption of Mount Pinatubo.

Satellite observations only began in 1993, two years after the devastating eruption.

These indicate that the rate of sea level rise has been fairly steady, at about three millimetres per year.

However, the accelerated effect on sea level rise is probably masked due to the timing of the eruption, which temporarily cooled the planet.

Dr John Fasullo, who led the study, said: ‘When we used climate model runs designed to remove the effect of the Pinatubo eruption, we saw the rate of sea level rise accelerating in our simulations.

‘Now that the impacts of Pinatubo have faded, this acceleration should become evident in the satellite measurements in the coming decade, barring another major volcanic eruption.’

An increase in greenhouse gases affects sea levels in a number of ways, including warming the ocean, and melting glaciers and ice sheets.

Although the pace of warming and melting has increased in recent decades, scientists have been surprised not to see a corresponding increase in the rate of sea level rise.

Using computer simulations, the researchers found that Mount Pinatubo's eruption caused the oceans to cool and sea levels to drop by about six millimetres before satellite observations began in 1993.

However, as the aerosols emitted by the volcano slowly dissipated, sea levels began to slowly rise to pre-eruption levels, delaying the recorded sea-level rise to the late 1990s.

These results suggest that acceleration of sea level rising should become evident in the coming decade.

Dr Fasullo said: 'Sea level rise is potentially one of the most damaging impacts of climate change, so it's critical that we understand how quickly it will rise in the future.'

The researchers hope that their findings could be used to help coastal communities to plan for the future.

Over the course of the 20th century, sea levels across the globe rose faster than in any of the previous 29 centuries.

In a separate study earlier this year, scientists at University of York  discovered that the 5.5-inch (14cm) global rise is at least twice as much as would have been seen without global warming.

In fact, they believe levels might have actually fallen if it hadn't been for soaring global temperatures.


FRACKING RIDICULOUS: UK will start importing shale gas from US while it sits on enough gas to last 500 years

BRITAIN is to start importing shale gas in weeks as we sit on vast untapped reserves of our own.  The revelation yesterday sparked pleas for Theresa May to end the stalemate over fracking for the fuel here.

Energy firm boss Francis Egan led the calls — which came as the PM hinted locals could get £10,000 each under a scheme for them to share in profits from the industry.

Mr Egan’s company Cuadrilla has been waiting for the green light to frack at two sites in Lancashire.

The first consignment of shipped-in US shale gas is poised to arrive in Grangemouth, Scotland, at the huge Ineos chemical plant.

Mr Egan blasted the imports as ridiculous. He said: “They are taking ethane, turning it into a liquid, transporting it across the sea in a container, turning it back into a gas and then pumping it into Grangemouth.

“Just beneath Grangemouth are deposits of shale gas the Scottish Government is saying you can’t touch.”

But Eco groups in the UK have led a vocal campaign against it after it was blamed for causing mini-earthquakes.

Mr Egan said: “We are in the ridiculous situation where this month or next month Ineos is going to have their first shipment.”

He hit back at activists who say fracking here would cause pollution. Mr Egan said: “These will be the most monitored sites in the history of oil and gas.”

He also welcomed the Shale Wealth Fund — which Mrs May said would allow profits to be ploughed back into communities


Carbon emissions from fossil fuels are projected to be less than 5.2 billion metric tons this year, the lowest since 1992

The boom in natural gas from fracking is reducing carbon dioxide emissions blamed for driving man-made climate change, the federal government said Tuesday.

Carbon emissions from fossil fuels are projected to be less than 5.2 billion metric tons this year, the lowest since 1992, said Adam Sieminski, the head of the Energy Information Administration, the Energy Department's statistical and analysis arm.

"The drop in CO2 emissions is largely the result of low natural gas prices, which have contributed to natural gas displacing a large amount of coal used for electricity generation," he said, commenting on the agency's latest monthly energy forecast released Tuesday.

The U.S. natural gas supply has surged over the past few years as a result of the shale oil and gas boom and the use of the drilling method known as fracking. The process, formally known as hydraulic fracturing, involves the use of horizontal drilling to extract fossil fuels from large rock formations deep underground. Drillers use a mix of water and sand to crack the shale rock to release oil and gas.

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The nation is actually oversupplied, which has kept natural gas prices low and has driven power companies to use more of the fuel to produce electricity.

Sieminski also said that wind power is increasing, which also will reduce U.S. greenhouse gas emissions. Wind power is projected to account for 6 percent of power generation next year, with solar providing about 1 percent, Sieminski said.


Anti-Fracking Ballot Petitions Submitted to Colorado Secretary of State

Citizen petitions to restrict hydraulic fracturing for oil and gas ("fracking") were submitted to the Colorado Secretary of State’s office by the deadline on Monday.

The anti-fracking measures will be placed on the November 8 ballot after the state verifies that the requisite number of valid signatures (98,492 needed for each initiative) have been obtained.

Initiative 75 would amend the Colorado Constitution by “authorizing local governments to prohibit, limit, or impose moratoriums on oil and gas development” and allow them to pass local laws “that are more restrictive of oil and gas development” than current state law.

The initiative would also prohibit the state from “preempting any local laws or regulations that prevent or mitigate local impacts from oil and gas development.”

In May, the Colorado Supreme Court struck down two voter-approved fracking bans in Fort Collins and Longmont, reiterating a 2014 ruling that only the state government has the authority to ban fracking.

Initiative 78 would also amend the state constitution by “changing setback requirements to require any new oil and gas development facility in the state to be located at least 2,500 feet from the nearest occupied structure.”

The current setback is 500 feet from an occupied building and 1,000 feet from a high-occupancy building, such as a hospital or school.

According to a May 27 report by the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission, “90% of surface acreage in Colorado would be unavailable for future oil and gas development or hydraulic fracturing under the proposed mandatory setback requirement.”

Signatures on the petitions for the statewide referenda were collected by a number of environmental groups.

“These are common-sense, down-to-earth proposals to keep our communities from being overwhelmed and harmed by heavy industrial oil and gas operations right next to neighborhoods and schools,” said Tricia Olson, executive director of Coloradans Resisting Extreme Energy Development, which helped spearhead the effort.

However, Dan Haley, president of the Colorado Oil and Gas Association, which opposes the initiatives, said in a statement that “if these measures somehow make the ballot, Colorado voters will know exactly what’s at stake: private property rights, more than $1 billion in state and local taxes that help pay for schools, parks, libraries and roads, energy security for our nation, and the good-paying jobs of more than 100,000 working families across our state.”

Hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, is a method of extracting oil and gas from underground shale deposits by injecting pressurized water, chemicals and sand into the deposits to fracture them.

Colorado is one of the nation’s top producers of oil and gas, with more than 50,000 active wells.


Ecological double standards

Why can locals block fracking, but not support it … get wind turbines, but not block them?

Paul Driessen

Donald Trump recently said he supports giving local communities control over hydraulic fracturing. “If some areas don’t want” fracking, the decision should be “up to them,” he commented.

Trump supports this proven and safe technology to develop America’s enormous oil and natural gas deposits, create millions of jobs and generate billions in revenues. However, his stance on local veto power is the same as Hillary Clinton’s, though she would also try to regulate fracking into oblivion.

Their willingness to cede control over this single energy technology to thousands of communities across shale country appears to reflect common misperceptions that fracking causes earthquakes, water contamination and air pollution. As explained in articles, commentaries, reports and documentary films, there is no evidence to support these claims.

Fracking-induced earth tremors are akin to vibrations from a dump truck on your street. No groundwater contamination has ever been traced to hydraulic fracturing. Methane in tap water results from water wells improperly drilled through gas-prone rock formations and was an issue long before fracking. Air emissions are below what we find in residential neighborhoods during non-rush hours.

But anti-fossil fuel activists assiduously promote disinformation about this revolutionary technology, as part of their agenda to fundamentally transform the way we produce energy to support our livelihoods and living standards. They want to replace affordable, reliable hydrocarbons with expensive, unreliable, subsidized, crony-corporatist, environmentally damaging wind, solar and biofuel sources.

Equally important, the two candidates’ stance on local fracking vetoes represents a double standard that raises fascinating public policy questions.

What if poor communities WANT fracking? What if a state restricts or bans fracking – but some towns (like those in New York’s Southern Tier, where Marcellus Shale deposits are located) don’t believe the anti-fracking disinformation and desperately need the jobs, revenues and improved living standards they see across the border in Pennsylvania, where fracking is permitted? Shouldn’t those communities be able to permit it, in defiance of the state ban? Will Trump and Clinton support THEIR self-determination?

Suppose those same communities don’t want any more 600-foot-tall wind turbines, but the state decrees they have no choice. The locals underscore the human health impacts, bird and bat slaughter, lost tourism and high electricity prices associated with wind power. They note that a few landowners will profit, while the rest receive no benefits, and many monstrous towers will not be removed when they stop working.

They point out that people could go to jail for possessing an eagle feather, but wind energy companies can kill thousands of eagles annually with no penalty. They note that politicians support turbines because they get hefty campaign contributions from Big Wind, in exchange for mandates, subsidies and big profits.

If those NY communities don’t want more (or any) wind turbines, shouldn’t the decision be up to them?

If West Virginians want coal mining, low-cost coal-based electricity and the good jobs that these industries provide – and reject Climate Hustle assertions that carbon-based energy causes weather and climate chaos – shouldn’t the decision to continue mining and burning coal be “up to them,” too?

If they are tired of thousands of lost jobs, local families and businesses driven into bankruptcy, housing markets devastated, people forced to go on welfare, churches and charities overwhelmed by pleas for food and counseling, schools and hospitals unable to remain open – because of EPA’s War on Coal – shouldn’t their state and local communities be “given control” over their lives and destinies?

Yet another conflagration is incinerating forests, wildlife and homes, and threatening the lives of residents and firefighters west of Hamilton, Montana. Like the Waldo Canyon fire near Colorado Springs a few years ago, and countless others in between, the Roaring Lion wildfire is largely due to radical environmentalists, politicians, bureaucrats and judges refusing to allow tree thinning in national forests. They know dry summers, high winds and beetle kills make disasters in and around these forests highly likely, but they refuse to revise their policies, and don’t seem to give one spotted owl hoot.

Shouldn’t those communities have the right to thin out trees and brush, create fire breaks and take other preventive measures, before additional homes, dreams and lives are lost to more uncontrollable infernos?

Hundreds of millions of acres have already been set aside as national parks, wildlife refuges and wilderness areas – made off-limits to any development. Other federal lands (in states where the federal government controls 30-89% of all the acreage) contain vast amounts of oil, gas, coal, metals, timber, water, grazing and other valuable resources. The Institute for Energy Research has calculated that US federal, state and private lands contain five times more oil than Saudi Arabia, 575 years worth of natural gas and 4,000 years of coal, at current consumption rates.

Developing just the fossil fuels on federal lands – in an environmentally sound fashion – could create millions of new jobs, increase US economic activity by $21 trillion, and generate $5.8 trillion in federal, state and local tax revenues over the next 37 years, the IER estimates.

If the majority of Americans want to develop these resources and create jobs and better futures for their children, shouldn’t that decision be up to them? Shouldn’t they be freed from the shackles of unelected, unaccountable Big Green and Big Government? Shouldn’t decisions about responsibly developing oil, gas, coal, gold and rare earth metals be primarily up to voters at large and individual states – with guidance and assistance (but not veto power) from federal authorities – especially when the bureaucrats are in improper and illegal collusion with radical environmentalist groups?

Why should California farm families and communities be sacrificed on the altar of a fishy evolutionary failure that barely escaped extinction – while bald and golden eagles are wiped out by wind turbines?

If the majority of Americans don’t want climate change agendas jammed down their throats – including carbon taxes and restrictions, habitat-eating biofuels, wind turbines, bird-roasting solar thermal plants, and huge solar farms that smother cropland and wildlife habitats under solar panels – shouldn’t the decisions be up to them, and not just to a few greenies, politicians, bureaucrats and judges?

Why must these decisions always amount to a one-way street, a ratchet that cranks ever tighter and more restrictive – always in favor of eco-purists and fanatics?

Indeed, on a host of issues, why should small numbers of activist politicians, campaigners and judges be able to dictate our lives, livelihoods, living standards, liberties, life spans and societal norms – and asset the “right” to bend or break our laws, constitution and science to impose their will?

With our economy growing at its worst rate out of a recession since 1949, and expanding at barely 1% a year in Obama’s last year, why should every state, community, business and family have to accept the lies and edicts handed down by intolerant, dictatorial Washington, Albany or Sacramento elites?

If local control is a good thing, and it generally is, why not have it across the board, or at least on most issues? On abortion, health insurance for nuns and transgender access to bathrooms, for instance?

Why, instead, is local control almost always ignored in favor of policies that serve progressive-leftist-environmentalist-Democrat ideologies and agendas? And why isn’t our national will implemented on immigration and sanctuary cities for illegal, criminal and terrorist immigrants?

These issues dominate this year’s election. Let’s remember that when we head to the polls.

Via email

Study: Electric Vehicles Don’t Have A Chance Unless Oil Prices Increase 1,000 Percent

Oil prices would have to skyrocket above $350 per barrel for electric vehicle makers to make a dent in the auto market, according to a study done by researchers at the University of Chicago.

The batteries for electric vehicles cost, on average, about $325 per kWh, which means the price of oil would need to pitch upward by nearly 1,000 percent before Tesla’s auto fleet and the Nissan Leaf would be cheaper than gas-powered vehicles, researchers at the University of Chicago’s Energy Policy Institute noted in February.

The number are not likely to change much over the next few years, as oil traded at an average of $49 per barrel during 2015 and is currently trading at a paltry $39.51 a barrel.

“While alternative sources of energy and energy storage technologies have vastly improved, lowering costs, they still have a long way to go before they are cost competitive with fossil fuels,” Chris Knittel, co-author of the study and director of the Center for Energy and Environmental Policy Research, said in a press statement announcing the study’s findings in February.

 The problems will no doubt be compounded by the fact that consumers are buying fewer electric vehicles and hybrids.

Registrations in California for Land Rover, for instance, were up nearly 40 percent last year compared to 2014, and Jeep saw a 29.8 percent surge in the Golden State, according to IHS Automotive.

Meanwhile, deliveries for hybrids, electric vehicles, and clean energy cars in the U.S. dropped 13.2 percent in figures released by Kelley Blue Book looking at numbers in 2015 compared to 2014.

Knittel’s research also shows troubling signs for the solar power industry.

The cost of solar power, according to the study, tumbled from nearly $450/MWh in 2009 to $150/MWh in 2014. Unfortunately for the likes of solar power companies SolarCity and Sunrun, these levels are still not low enough to compete with natural gas prices. The technological developments helping to produce massive currents of natural gas-fired power, Knittel and his co-authors note, are essentially keeping solar power at a disadvantage on energy.

“It seems unlikely that our technological abilities to recover fossil fuels should stop improving any time soon, Thomas Covert, an assistant professor of microeconomics at the University of Chicago’s Booth School of Business, said in the statement.  “With continually improving technology, the world will likely be awash in fossil fuels for decades and perhaps even centuries to come.”

Knittel, for his part, advanced the idea that perhaps the best way to even the odds is to make fossil fuels much more expensive through legislative or executive actions.

“To change this, governments should put a price on carbon emissions and start injecting more money towards the basic R&D that is critical to making these technologies more cost competitive,” he said in the statement.

Democrats and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) continue to work to push through regulations that do the things Knittel suggested in the study.

The Democratic Party, for instance, added a carbon tax to a plank on its party platform in July, addressing so-called man-made global warming, despite warnings from one of the party’s wealthiest benefactors.

“Democrats believe that carbon dioxide, methane, and other greenhouse gases should be priced to reflect their negative externalities, and to accelerate the transition to a clean economy and help meet out climate goals,” the Democratic Party platform now reads.



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