carbon dioxide emissions

Who is afraid of two degrees of warming?

In the past several weeks we have seen many demonstrations by brainwashed young people and others who think the world will end if global temperatures exceed two degrees Celsius (now it’s down to 1.5 degrees). The trouble with that claim is that we’ve been there and done that and nothing bad happened. During the past 10,000 years (the Holocene), Earth experienced several cycles of warming and cooling which exceeded the mythical two degree limit. Civilizations thrived during the warm periods and had a harder time during cold periods. There is, in fact, no scientific basis to the two degree limit. The number was plucked out of thin air, see: The fake two degree political limit on global warming.

Kenneth Richard, writing on the NoTrickszZone blog, reviews several recent studies which show the dread two-degree limit has been exceeded many times during the warm and cool cycles of the Holocene.

Physical evidence from recent research shows that:

Sweden was at least 3°C warmer than it is today about 6000 to 9000 years ago, when CO2 concentrations lingered around 265 ppm. At 410 ppm CO2, 21st century Sweden is colder now than almost any time in the last 9000 years.

During the Medieval Warm Period, wine vineyards flourished in Scandinavia and Russia at the same latitude (55°N) where polar bears roam today.

Earlier in the Holocene, when CO2 levels hovered around 260 ppm, vast forests extended all the way up to the coasts of the Arctic Ocean (Russia), suggesting temperatures were up to 7°C warmer than today.

The southern limits of Arctic sea ice (north of Greenland) extended 1000 kilometers further north of where sea ice extends to today (2007), as Arctic Ocean temperatures were 2-4°C warmer about 8500 to 6000 years ago.

Throughout the Northern Hemisphere (Austria, Canada, Iceland, Russia), summer air temperatures were about 3° to 5°C warmer than today between 10,000 and 8000 years ago, when CO2 values held steady at 260 ppm.

Permafrost that exists today in northern Sweden wasn’t present just a few hundred years ago, as the region was too warm to support permafrost until recent centuries.

Tree trunk remains located 600 to 700 meters atop the limits of today’s barren mountain treelines (northern Sweden) date to the Early Holocene, suggesting temperatures were 3-4°C warmer than today from about 9000 to 6000 years ago.

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One claim of the climate alarmists is that sea level rise is accelerating and will wipe out coastal cities. Since Earth is currently warming from one of the cold periods, sea level is rising slowly at the rate of 1-to 3.4 millimeters a year (about the thickness of one or two pennies). The rate of sea level rise is cyclical, controlled mainly by solar cycles. If you start counting at one of the low points in the cycle, then, yes, the rate appears to be increasing. See my article: The Sea Level Scam.

Carbon dioxide emissions and the “Greenhouse effect” are claimed as the chief villain in alarmist’s narratives. But, even if the entire world stopped emitting carbon dioxide, it would make a difference in global temperature of less than one degree Celsius by the year 2100. That’s because the Greenhouse hypothesis ignores convective heat transfer (weather) which shreds the greenhouse “blanket.”

See: Evidence that CO2 emissions do not intensify the greenhouse effect

Carbon dioxide emissions is the fake boogeyman. The UN admits that its real goal is to transform the global economy away from capitalism.

See: Top UN official admits climate change is about transforming world economy

Back in 2010, Ottmar Edenhofer, a German economist and co-chair of the IPCC Working Group III, explicitly affirmed the economic objective: “Climate policy has almost nothing to do anymore with environmental protection…One must say clearly that we redistribute the world’s wealth by climate policy…”

In my opinion, most of the climate demonstrators have been sipping the “climate Kool-ade” and have become the “useful idiots” in the quest to transform the world economy.

Additional reading:

Real-world Evidence that CO2 Emissions and Fossil Energy Enhance the Human Environment

 

Surprising results from NASA’s Orbiting Carbon Observatory

Results from NASA’s Orbiting Carbon Observatory show that atmospheric concentration of carbon dioxide is highest in the Southern Hemisphere (or very close to the equator) – not in the areas of all that fossil-fuel burning in the Northern Hemisphere.

In July, 2014, NASA launched a satellite which is dedicated to measure atmospheric carbon dioxide concentration from space. NASA describes it as follows:

“The Orbiting Carbon Observatory 2 (OCO-2) is NASA’s first dedicated Earth remote sensing satellite to study atmospheric carbon dioxide from Space. OCO-2 will be collecting space-based global measurements of atmospheric CO2 with the precision, resolution, and coverage needed to characterize sources and sinks on regional scales. OCO-2 will also be able to quantify CO2 variability over the seasonal cycles year after year.”

NASA has just released data from that satellite for the period October 1 through November 11, 2014. Brighter colors on the map show areas with higher concentrations of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. Presumably, those areas are emitting carbon dioxide. The surprise is that the Southern Hemisphere is the big emitter during this time period, not the Northern Hemisphere where we are burning fossil fuels to generate electricity, run our automobiles, and heat our homes and businesses. The only exception seems to be China where they are burning great quantities of coal.

OCO NASA Nov2014

So what accounts for all those emissions in the Southern Hemisphere? Here I will do some speculation.

Hot spots occur in the Amazon and in sub-tropical Africa. There, carbon dioxide emissions could be coming from rotting vegetation and/or from burning to clear jungle for agriculture.

The hot spots in the Western Pacific (right side of graphic above) are interesting. Martin Hovland, Geophysicist and Professor Emeritus, Center for Geobiology, University of Bergen, Norway, suggests these carbon dioxide emissions are from volcanoes and tectonically active areas on the sea floor. (See his post here).

Hovland presents an annotated version of the map above:

OCO Hovland

Hovland writes:

“Using the Smithsonian Volcano database, it is seen that these CO2-hotspots occur above seafloor features which are suspected to issue CO2, CH4 and occasionally large amounts of heat (especially for FH and EH). Here, it can be seen that the TH occurs over a deep-water accretionary subduction wedge. This is a collision zone, where huge amounts of oceanic sediments pile up before they sink into and are swallowed up beneath the island masses to the north. In such settings, it is well-known that continuous seepage of methane occurs out of the seafloor. Therefore, it is here speculated that the underwater and aerial oxidation of this excess methane gas provides the regional CO2-anomaly detected by OCO2.

The seafloor beneath the FH is also highly tectonized (Fig. 3), but in a completely different fashion to that of the TH. At Fiji, there are both colliding plates and rifting zones. The whole region is highly contorted and there are lots of seepage, both hot vents and cold, methane-dominated vents. Transmittal of methane and CO2 to the atmosphere is likely also here.”

(Note: methane quickly reacts with oxygen to produce carbon dioxide.)

These tectonically active areas contain many sub-marine volcanoes.

NASA has (perhaps unwittingly) provided proof that natural carbon dioxide emissions are responsible for most of the rise seen in atmospheric carbon dioxide. In fact, in 2001, the Energy Information Administration produced a table which shows (with a little arithmetic) that anthropogenic activities account for only 3 percent of the total annual carbon dioxide flux.

Global CO2 emissions EIA IPCC

Now, look back at the first graphic. Notice that the mapped range is 387ppm to 402ppm, a difference of 15ppm. Near-surface daily variation can be greater than 30ppm, but NASA claims that variation range decreases with altitude.

Some questions: Is NASA measuring something real? What is the actual range of instrumental error? Does the human contribution fall within that error range? See if you can figure out instrumental error from a rather dense NASA document here.

For some perspective, I remind you that your exhaled breath contains 40,000ppm carbon dioxide.

By the way, back in November, NASA released a computer-generated animation video of global carbon dioxide concentrations based on computer modeling conducted in 2006. The input data were surface measurements of carbon dioxide emissions from burning fossil fuels and completely ignored natural sources. That computer-based model is pretty, but seems to be contradicted by actual measurements by the satellite system. The video, for some reason, puts the highest carbon dioxide concentrations in the Arctic. Another case of garbage in, garbage out. Take a look here.

See also:

Evidence that CO2 emissions do not intensify the greenhouse effect

Why Your Carbon Footprint doesn’t Matter

The Price of Obama’s New Carbon Dioxide Emission Rules

President Obama, through the EPA, is mandating a 30 percent cut in carbon dioxide emissions, by 2030, from fossil-fuel fired electrical generating plants. The regulations will require each state to come up with a plan specifying the method for the reduction by 2017, and if they don’t, the EPA will impose a plan upon them. The net effect of this would be to prevent possible warming of 0.018ºC by 2100 according to the EPA.

Why a 30 percent reduction? No reason; that’s just a random number picked by a bureaucrat. There is no scientific basis for it.

This mandate will hit coal-fired plants the hardest. We currently get about 40 percent of our electricity from such plants. These regulations have the potential to make our national electricity grid much less secure because plant closures will reduce our reserve capacity to weather times of high electrical demand.

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce has a new report on the effects of the Obama administration’s proposed new carbon dioxide emission regulations. “Our analysis shows that Americans will pay significantly more for electricity, see slower economic growth and fewer jobs, and have less disposable income. Potential EPA regulations would result in a very slight reduction in carbon emissions, which would be overwhelmed by global increases.”

The Chamber estimates that as many as 224,000 jobs would be eliminated through 2030 and that the new regulations would impose costs on industry of $50 billion per year through 2030. The report also estimates that if the regulations are enacted, consumers would have to pay an estimated $289 billion more for electricity and their disposable income would decrease by $586 billion thus producing a “sustained lower standard of living for the U.S. population.” Read the full report here.

These draconian regulations are part of Obama’s Climate Action Plan to fight the phantom menace of global warming. So what will be the effect on global warming?

As noted in a National Review article by Patrick J. Michaels of the CATO institute, “The EPA’s own model, ironically acronymed MAGICC, estimates that its new policies will prevent a grand total of 0.018ºC in warming by 2100…In fact, dropping the carbon dioxide emissions from all sources of electrical generation to zero would reduce warming by a grand total of 0.04ºC by 2100.”

Comment by Alan Carlin, former EPA researcher: “It is important to note that the EPA proposals are not only attempts to circumvent Congress and the provisions of the Clean Air Act but also the separation of powers enshrined in the US Constitution. The separation of powers were built into the Constitution for a reason–to keep ideologues of any persuasion from being able to impose their views on the nation merely by controlling one branch of Government. The new EPA proposed rules are not based on any act of Congress but rather on an outrageous rewriting of the Clean Air Act by EPA on the basis of green ideology with all its bad science, bad economics and bad law.”

S. Fred Singer opines: “Why would the White House want to make energy more expensive and depress the standard of living for most of the US population? The problem becomes very acute for those in the lower income brackets where they have to decide between food and heat; whether to starve, or to freeze. Of course, they won’t be permitted to starve or freeze; they will now receive energy vouchers in addition to food stamps. These subsidies will have to be paid for by taxes — mainly from middle-income earners; they are the ones who will lose out in this scenario.”

“But perhaps that’s the ultimate purpose: To make a larger fraction of the population more dependent on government handouts — a Machiavellian scheme.”

In other words, these new regulations will have no effect on climate even if you believe that carbon dioxide emissions play a significant role. It is just an exercise in radical environmental religion with perhaps some crony capitalism thrown in. Hopefully, cooler heads will prevail in the next election.

By the way, East Antarctica is accumulating snow and calculations show that the mass balance is negative, i.e., there is a net drop in sea level. Even the UN IPCC AR5 agrees. Their report says “Projections of Antarctic [sea mass balance] changes over the 21st century … indicate a negative contribution to sea level because of the projected widespread increase in snowfall associated with warming air temperatures.”

See also:

Obama and bad weather
Antarctic ice melt numbers in perspective
Unstoppable collapse of West Antarctic ice sheet – not

Obama’s Climate Action Plan is Clueless and Dangerous
Climate change in perspective
Your Carbon Footprint doesn’t Matter
Carbon Dioxide and the Greenhouse Effect

 

 

 

California’s crazy cap &trade scheme

The California Air Resources Board has imposed a limit on carbon dioxide emissions on California businesses.  The limits will be lowered each year until 2020.  Industries can obtain carbon credits, initially free but which later must be purchased, in order to emit more carbon dioxide than the regulations decree.  See more of the story from the San Francisco Chronicle here.

These regulations will increase the cost of energy, hence the cost of doing business.  These costs will be passed on to consumers.

The carbon credits can be bought at auction and traded.  Experience in Europe and in other markets  in the U.S. shows that these schemes are ripe for fraud.  Back in 2010 it was found that 90% of the carbon trading volume in Belgium was due to fraudulent activities.

The U.S. used to have a climate exchange but that collapsed, see Carbon Credit Trading Collapses in US.  In 2010, The Chicago Climate Exchange saw prices of carbon credits go from $7.50 per ton to a nickel per ton before it ceased operations.  The Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, a consortium of ten Northeastern states, also collapsed last year.

Carbon trading is a wholly artificial market created by government edict rather than any real need for the product. Unlike traditional commodities, which sometime during the course of their market exchange must be delivered to someone in physical form, the carbon market is based on the lack of delivery of an invisible substance to no one.   And it may have contributed to the current financial crisis.  Major financial institutions such as Goldman Sachs, Barclays, and Citibank hosted carbon-trading desks.

The alleged rationale behind this scheme is that it will forestall global warming.  But observational evidence shows that carbon dioxide has no significant effect on global temperature.  Take a look at the graph below from a 1988 prediction made by climate guru James Hansen (h/t to Steve Goddard):

hansen-vs-reality

For more on Hansen and his predictions see: “Climastrologist” James Hansen versus reality

I predict  businesses that can, will leave California.  That will help reduce emissions.  This will be an interesting experiment; one whose negative impacts will perhaps show the foolishness of imposing a national cap & trade scheme.

See also:

A Perspective on Climate Change a tutorial

Does the Chevy Volt produce more CO2 from its battery than from its gasoline engine?

The hybrid Chevy Volt is touted by General Motors as producing less carbon dioxide than purely gasoline-powered cars.  But that may not be true according to an analysis by Junkscience.com:

According to the EPA the 4-seat Volt is capable of driving 35 miles on its 16 kilowatt hours (kWh) of stored electric charge. The Volt’s gas-only fuel economy rating is 37 mpg.

Since two oxygen atoms from the atmosphere combine with each carbon atom when gasoline is burned, a gallon of gas produces about 19.6 lbs. of carbon dioxide (CO2) when burned. So when operating on gasoline, the Volt produces 0.53 lbs. of CO2 per mile (19.6 lbs. of CO2 per gallon divided by 37 miles per gallon).

Since we can’t quantify accurately just how much transmission loss there is between electricity generation and charging points, we’ll assume an impossible 100 percent efficiency at the charger to work out the CO2 emissions for the Volt’s 16 kWh stored charge.

In 2007, national “average” CO2 emissions were 2.16 lbs per kWh from coal-fired generation and 1.01 lbs per kW for gas-fired generation. according to Power Systems Analysis. Given that 44.46 percent of electricity in the U.S. is coal-fired and 23.31 percent is gas-fired, on a national basis, then, the mean emission of CO2 per kWh is 1.2 lbs/kWh. (2.16 lbs/kWh x 0.4446 = 0.96 lbs/kWh from coal, plus 1.01 lbs/kWh x 0.2331 = 0.24 lbs/kWh from gas).

The Volt’s “emissions mileage” from its stored charge is then 16 kWh x 1.2 lbs/kWh divided by 35 MPG = 0.55 lb CO2/mile.

So on an “average” basis, the Volt emits more CO2 from battery use than from gasoline use (0.55 lbs/mile vs. 0.53 lbs/mile).

Maybe you don’t think that’s a big difference, but the difference becomes more pronounced when the Volt is charged in states that rely more on coal-fired electricity.

When I first read this analysis I wondered how one gallon of gasoline, which weighs about 6 pounds could produce almost 20 pounds of carbon dioxide.  Well according to a Department of Energy website, it works like this:

It seems impossible that a gallon of gasoline, which weighs about 6.3 pounds, could produce 20 pounds of carbon dioxide (CO2) when burned. However, most of the weight of the CO2 doesn’t come from the gasoline itself, but the oxygen in the air.

When gasoline burns, the carbon and hydrogen separate. The hydrogen combines with oxygen to form water (H2O), and carbon combines with oxygen to form carbon dioxide (CO2).

A carbon atom has a weight of 12, and each oxygen atom has a weight of 16, giving each single molecule of CO2 an atomic weight of 44 (12 from carbon and 32 from oxygen).

Therefore, to calculate the amount of CO2 produced from a gallon of gasoline, the weight of the carbon in the gasoline is multiplied by 44/12 or 3.7.

Since gasoline is about 87% carbon and 13% hydrogen by weight, the carbon in a gallon of gasoline weighs 5.5 pounds (6.3 lbs. x .87).

We can then multiply the weight of the carbon (5.5 pounds) by 3.7, which equals 20 pounds of CO2!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Marijuana causes global warming

According to a study titled “Energy up in smoke, the Carbon Footprint of Cannabis Production” by Dr. Evan Mills, a scientist with the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, marijuana grown indoors in the U.S. uses as much energy as 2 million homes and produces carbon dioxide emissions equivalent to 3 million automobiles.  If you believe that carbon dioxide is responsible for global warming, then potheads are partly responsible for our hot heads.

Mills estimates that in 2011, national production of marijuana will be 17,000 metric tons, one-third of that produced indoors.  Based on the energy requirement estimates for high-intensity lighting, dehumidification, space heating, water heating, and air conditioning, it adds up to 1% of our national electricity production and produces 17 million metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions.

Read the whole study here.

UPDATE April 18:

Upon reading the many comments to this post, I realize that I should have put a question mark at the end of the title so it would read “Marijuana causes global warming?”

The cited paper is just another example of climate silliness.  For those who believe carbon dioxide has a significant effect on temperature, then the author of the study shows that marijuana grown indoors uses lots of energy which implies the practice can produce carbon dioxide emissions.

Regular readers of this blog should know that I do not believe that human carbon dioxide emissions have a significant effect on global temperature because there is no physical evidence to support that contention, there are only speculations from computer modeling  – garbage in-garbage out.  Go over to the Quick Links page and scroll down to the climate section to see my posts on the matter.