WMO Greenhouse Gas Bulletin
The WMO is agnostic about the reason for the increase in methane emissions, but in this ABC story Paul Fraser from the CSIRO tells us what they are thinking and it’s not good news.He says that the increase of methane is coming from high and low attitudes, which seems to indicate that northern permafrost and tropical wetlands may be the source.
The story also looks at HFCs and refrigeration. As linked on the last thread, go here to Figure 2.21 for the IPCC’s graph on forcings.
The IPCC on extreme weather
In case you missed the link in the last thread, Roger Jones looks at the IPCCs release on extreme weather. The story is too complex to summarise here. You have to be careful about terms and definitions in saying anything.
Already the report illustrates what for me is the biggest problem with the IPCC process.
The cycle of scientific research, publication and assessment means that events occurring over the past two years will not be included in the report.
Then for another six years responsible organisations will quote the unfortunately out of date report as representing the received position. Irresponsible organisations such as most of our media will spin it immediately and mercilessly, as they already are.
I loved the fogged up windscreen image, which led me to ask, which is clearer, the past or the future? I’d incline to the latter, providing we keep to generalities.
Bier her, oder ich fall um, juchhe!
BTW that’s a German drinking song which is better if you’ve had a few.
A few weeks ago we were told that coffee was at risk from climate change. Now it’s beer!
Forbes has a roundup of reactions from business and financial leaders to the aforementioned IPCC report on extreme weather. It includes this:
“For our brewery, growth depends on abundant clean water and quality barley and hops—and climate change puts those ingredients at risk. Our supply chain—including barley, hops and water—is especially vulnerable to weather in the short-term and to climate change in the long-term.” Jenn Orgolini, Sustainability Director, New Belgium Brewing Co, the third-largest craft brewing company in the U.S.
Funds for climate mitigation and adaptation will now surely flow freely!
Use of groundwater in power generation
In the US “so many plants rely on water-cooling that they accounted for 41 percent of the withdrawals of freshwater in the United States in 2005”.
Texas is in structural water deficit now and it’s only going to get worse.
Joe Romm added a comment about the large amounts of water used in fracking in gas production, up to 13 million litres to stimulate a well.
It’s hard to get a handle on the situation here, but in this post the figure going around was that CSG operators were planning to extract up to 350,000 megalitres of ground water against a sustainable yield of 71,960 Ml/yr. I understand that we are no closer to knowing how much they will use and also that there are no controls put on them by the Queensland Government.
Additionally, I understand that water is required for coal washing. The Xstrata mine at Wandoan is scheduled to produce more coal than the Hunter Valley. If water is required for coal washing I have no idea where it would come from. Does anyone know?
BHP’s Texan water torture
Readers may know the BHP Billiton recently bought into US shale gas in a big way, apparently paying about $15 billion. According to Climate Spectator they also bought into the Texan water problem. And they don’t actually have a solution to the problem. Buyer beware!
The article also tells us that China also has a problem:
HSBC earlier this month issued a startling report documenting the water crisis facing China, where it said 14 provincial economies could be at risk from water stress because they are heavily reliant on manufacturing; and three provinces that account for half of China’s wheat production – Henan, Shandong and Hebei – were suffering from extreme water scarcity.
“We believe the challenges are so severe that to meet tough new environmental targets some provinces including powerhouse Guangdong may have to change the make-up of their economies,” the HSBC analysts wrote.
The Brits look at shale gas
Britain is the latest to be tempted by the shale gas siren.
But the Tyndall Centre for Climate Research warned that exploiting even a fifth of this gas would generate so much carbon dioxide that the government’s greenhouse gas emission targets would be rendered unreachable.
They too could end up with a landscape something like this.
New battery technology
Sooner rather than later, I suspect, it’s going to happen – battery technology that makes it possible to store intermittent power sources to allow us to get away from gargantuan grids and base-load power.
Stanford researchers have used nanoparticles of a copper compound to develop a high-power battery electrode that is so inexpensive to make, so efficient and so durable that it could be used to build batteries big enough for economical large-scale energy storage on the electrical grid — something researchers have sought for years.
Seems it will charge and discharge rapidly and practically last forever.
Sustainable air travel?
Mark Lynas has an article on new aviation fuels. Virgin are looking at a process where waste carbon monoxide gas produced by steel manufacturing and other industries is chewed up by microbes to form ethanol which is then converted by another process into hydrocarbons “chemically indistinguishable from fossil-derived kerosene.”
British Airways is looking at a process which “uses plasma gasification to produce syngas from [mumicipal] waste, which is then catalytically converted into synthetic liquid biofuels.”
Neither of these is strictly carbon neutral as they merely intercept what would become a greenhouse gas from human activity and get a double use out of it on the way.
Still it beats many biofuels and may salve consciences in the Maldives, depending economically as they do on air travel.