Friday, June 15, 2018

GWPF Newsletter: Coal Comeback Spurs CO2 Emissions Growth








Global Emissions Surged To Record High — But In The US, They Dropped

In this newsletter:

1) Coal Comeback Spurs CO2 Emissions Growth
Reuters, 13 June 2018
 
2) Oh Dear: Global CO2 Emissions Surged To Record High In 2017 — But In The US, They Dropped
Bloomberg, 13 June 2018


 
3) Rising CO2 Emissions: Why Solar & Wind Can't Save The Climate
Michael Shellenberger, Forbes, 13 June 2018
 
4) China And India Want To Buy More U.S. Oil To Counter OPEC
Bloomberg, 14 June 2018 
 
5) Antarctica’s Ice May Be More Durable Than We Thought
Avery Thompson, Popular Mechanics, 13 June 2018 
 
6) New Study: The Sun And Volcanoes Caused The Pause
GWPF Observatory, 12 June 2018 
 
7) And Finally: Blue State Rejects Free Electricity To Avoid Seeing A Wind Farm
Hot Air, 12 June 2018 


Full details:

1) Coal Comeback Spurs CO2 Emissions Growth
Reuters, 13 June 2018


Global greenhouse gas emissions began rising again last year as the first pick-up in coal burning since 2013 overshadowed a record expansion in renewable energy, a BP report said.

Energy demand accelerated in 2017 by 2.2 percent, but a 17 percent gain in clean power such as solar and wind did little to offset the dominance of fossil fuels in the rapidly expanding global economy.

Demand for hydrocarbons rose across the board, led by a 3 percent increase in natural gas consumption, the fastest since 2010, followed by a 1.8 percent rise in oil demand which far exceeded the average of the previous 10 years, data in BP’s benchmark annual Statistical Review of World Energy showed.

 
(GRAPHIC: Energy fuel mix -BP – reut.rs/2MkpDZE)

The opening of new coal-fired power plants in India and China drove coal consumption higher by 1 percent, highlighting the difficulties developing economies face in meeting demand for electricity while fighting pollution.

Still, the share of coal in power generation today remains around 38 percent, practically unchanged since 1997, while the share of non-fossil fuels slightly dipped as nuclear power capacity shrunk, BP Chief Economist Spencer Dale said.

Full story

 

2) Oh Dear: Global CO2 Emissions Surged To Record High In 2017 — But In The US, They Dropped
Bloomberg, 13 June 2018


London — Two years after 200 or so nations forged a new UN deal to protect the climate, output of the gases blamed for global warming surged to a record.

Carbon dioxide emissions from energy use climbed 1.6% in 2017, with both emerging and developed economies contributing to the increase, according to BP data published on Wednesday. In the US, which intends to withdraw from the UN’s Paris accord, greenhouse-gas output fell for a third year.

Emissions are rising in the run-up to the 2020 start of the Paris deal, which pushed all countries, rich and poor, to make reductions in fossil-fuel use. As emerging-nation economic growth accelerates, countries remain divided about who should finance projects to limit pollution and how deep national pledges should go.

The biggest advances in emissions were in emerging nations, with a 4.4% jump in India and a 1.6% gain in China. Carbon dioxide output also rose in Brazil, Qatar and Russia, while Turkey’s jumped by 13%. In the EU, home to the world’s biggest carbon market, emissions from energy use advanced 1.5%. Greenhouse-gas output also rose in Canada.

BP’s data is among the first that provides an estimate of national emissions output for the year. Official data is published later and covers a wider range of greenhouse gases.

While the use of renewables has surged, it’s still not displacing coal, the dirtiest of fossil fuels. Coal’s share of power-generation globally has been little changed over the past three decades, according to the BP data.

Full story

 

3) Rising CO2 Emissions: Why Solar & Wind Can't Save The Climate
Michael Shellenberger, Forbes, 13 June 2018


Carbon emissions are on the rise despite record-breaking deployment of renewables, according to new BP Energy data released today.

“Despite the extraordinary growth in renewables in recent years,” said BP, “and the huge policy efforts to encourage a shift away from coal into cleaner, lower carbon fuels, there has been almost no improvement in the power sector fuel mix over the past 20 years.”

The data is further evidence that dilute and unreliable sources of energy like solar and wind cannot replace coal and other fossil fuels and will not lead to significant reductions in carbon emissions.

Coal grew one percent in 2017 — its first growth since 2013. For the last few years, energy analysts had speculated that we had reached “peak coal,” thanks to abundant cheap natural gas.

Natural gas consumption grew three percent globally and a whopping 15 percent in China in 2017.

The last few years have seen huge amounts of hype about India’s investment in solar, but according to BP, the global rise in coal consumption came mostly from India, and to a lesser extent, China.

And, “despite all the talk of peak oil demand, increasing car efficiency, growth of electrical vehicles,” BP notes, oil consumption grew 50 percent faster in 2017 than its decade-long average.

The growth of coal and natural gas was enough to wipe out any emissions reductions from wind and solar, which grew 17 percent and 35 percent, respectively.

Wind and solar account for just six percent of total electricity globally, despite decades of subsidies. The growth of fossil fuels was enough to wipe out any emissions reductions from wind and solar, which grew 17 percent and 35 percent, respectively.

According to Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF), public and private actors spent $1.1 trillion on solar and over $900 billion on wind between 2007 and 2016. According to BNEF, global investment in these clean 10 energies hovered at about $300 billion per year between 2010 and 2016.

To put this roughly $2 trillion in investment in solar and wind during the past 10 years in perspective, it represents an amount of similar magnitude to the global investment in nuclear over the past 54 years, which totals about $1.8 trillion.

A big part of the problem has been the decline of nuclear. “The share of non-fossil in 2017 is actually a little lower than it was 20 years ago,” noted BP, “as the growth of renewables hasn’t offset the declining share of nuclear.”

Full post


 

4) China And India Want To Buy More U.S. Oil To Counter OPEC
Bloomberg, 14 June 2018 


Two of Asia’s largest crude buyers are considering teaming up to buy U.S. supplies and counter OPEC’s dominance in the world’s biggest oil market.

India and China are discussing ways to boost imports of U.S. crude to Asia, a move aimed at reducing their dependence on cargoes from members of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries, according to an Indian government official. The two nations want to put pressure on OPEC producers to keep prices under control, he said in New Delhi on Wednesday, asking not to be identified because of internal policy.

The potential collaboration between the two major oil buyers would present another challenge for OPEC, which is facing competition for market share in Asia from the flood of crude pumped in the Gulf of Mexico and shale fields of Texas. The group is also contending with internal differences: Saudi Arabia favors easing output curbs implemented last year after they succeeded in shrinking a global glut, while Iran, Iraq and Venezuela oppose boosting production.

“Diversification of supply sources will benefit both India and China by increasing competition among oil producers,” said Abhishek Kumar, an analyst at Interfax Global Energy in London. “Procuring oil at the cheapest price is vital for the two energy hungry Asian consumers.”

The output reductions by OPEC and allies including Russia helped oil rebound from the worst crash in a generation, weighing on the economies of consuming nations. Prices last month were further boosted to the highest level since 2014 after a U.S. decision to reimpose sanctions on Iran threatened to curb exports from the Islamic Republic and as economic turmoil in Venezuela hurt the Latin American nation’s output.

Indian oil minister Dharmendra Pradhan said last month that he had expressed concern about rising crude and its negative impact on consumers and the Asian nation’s economy to Saudi energy minister Khalid Al-Falih. The trading unit of China’s biggest refiner has cut supplies from OPEC’s biggest producer in recent months, citing costly oil pricing by the Middle East nation.

Oil Alliance

The oil-buying alliance may initially be made up of India and China, with South Korea and Japan — also major buyers — joining the club later, the Indian government official said on Wednesday. While OPEC countries are still the dominant suppliers to Asia, almost all big importers in the region have increasingly turned to U.S. crude after a four-decade ban on American exports was lifted in late 2015.

Full story


 

5) Antarctica’s Ice May Be More Durable Than We Thought
Avery Thompson, Popular Mechanics, 13 June 2018 


A study has found that the East Antarctic Ice Sheet has survived higher temperatures than we’ve created.



One of the biggest potential dangers of increasing climate change is sea level rise caused by the melting of the polar ice caps. As our planet heats up, large ice sheets in Greenland and Antarctica will melt, potentially triggering several feet of increased sea level rise. If the entire Antarctic ice sheet melts into the ocean, it could lead to dozens of feet of sea level rise, likely enough to wipe out entire cities.

Of course, it’s important to remember that ice sheets are complex and predicting how they will react is difficult—there’s a wide range of possibilities. Perhaps the best way for scientists to predict how ice sheets will behave in the future is by learning how they behaved in the past, so one group of scientists traveled to the East Antarctic Ice Sheet to learn its history.

Specifically, the researchers were interested in what happened to the ice sheet during the Pliocene epoch, the geologic period from about 5.4 million years ago to around 2.5 million. During the Pliocene, global temperatures were a few degrees warmer than they are today, which means this era is a good model for what our world might look like in a few decades, if climate change remains unchecked.

To determine just what happened to the ice sheet during this period, the researchers drilled deep into the rock beneath it. The scientists were looking for samples of certain isotopes, beryllium-10 and aluminum-26. These particular isotopes are created from the impact of cosmic rays from space. When these cosmic rays hit the atoms in the soil, they trigger atomic reactions that produce these isotopes….

In the end, the researchers found only trace amounts of the isotopes, suggesting that the ice sheet was present throughout the entire Pliocene. This is good news for us, because it means the ice sheet will also likely survive the next few decades of climate change as well.

“Based on this evidence from the Pliocene, today’s current carbon dioxide levels are not enough to destabilize the land-based ice on the Antarctic continent,” said study author Jeremy Shakun.

Full story


 

6) New Study: The Sun And Volcanoes Caused The Pause
GWPF Observatory, 12 June 2018 


Dr David Whitehouse, GWPF Science Editor

Last week a team of researchers from the UK Met Office, the University of East Anglia, the University of Gothenburg, the University of Southern Queensland and the Sorbonne published in the journal Science Advances an interesting paper showing that the recent much debated and researched 21st century “slowdown” in global surface temperatures was real and could be explained by reduced solar activity and increased volcanic counteracting climate forcing from greenhouse gases. It achieved almost no media coverage despite being published in a high profile journal.

Its stated aim was to “place the slowdown in a longer term context.” It chose not to use the words “pause” or “hiatus” because it says warming did not entirely cease on decadal timescales.

That’s where I disagree. It depends upon when you start the decade. All the global databases clearly show that warming did cease between 2001 – 2013 (before the recent very strong El Nino), though I would advise the reader to experiment with trends by altering start and end dates to get a better picture of what is going on.

Over this period HadCRUT4 for example has a trend of -0.005 +/- 0.167 degrees per decade which is statistically equivalent to no trend in any researchers notebook. The krigged HadCRUT4 has 0.051 +/- 0.185 degrees per decade, GISTEMP 0.038 =/- 0.175 degrees per decade, Berkeley 0.050 +/- 0.176, NOAA 0.044 +/- 0.185. The satellites also show the same effect RSSv4.0 TLT 0.001 +/- 0.301, RSSv4.0 TTT -0.069 +/- 0.294, UAH v5.6 TLT 0.044 +/- 0.292 and UAH v5.6 TTT -0.070 +/- 0.291. (click on image to enlarge).



From 2001 to 2013 it is flat and after that period the El Nino takes over. Because of this the post-2001 period contains no information that can be extrapolated backwards to see if it is a continuance of previous warming statistics. It is a true break with the warming before it.

Some maintain that you can take the data starting in 1980 (the start of the most recent warming period) and fit a linear trend to it and maintain there is no slowdown whatsoever. They should take up their position with these scientists who say there was a slowdown.

Perhaps it would be interesting to read this paper alongside the famous Karl et al paper in 2015 that removed the slowdown by upgrading an ocean temperature database. It hasn’t stood the test of time, has it?

The science looks different today than it did a decade ago. Back then it was said that greenhouse gas forcing was strong and would in the next decade overwhelm natural climatic variations. It hasn’t. Remember the time when experts told us that all the changes happening to the Earth’s climate were happening faster than the IPCC had predicted!

Climate change is still vitally important but the past decade has shown us that the science was not settled then and isn’t now. The BBC said the science was settled in 2005 and led the cry that there was no sun link to climate change. A decade later it seems it does. A decade in science, as any competent reporter who covers science should know, can be humbling.

Feedback: david.whitehouse@thegwpf.com

 

7) And Finally: Blue State Rejects Free Electricity To Avoid Seeing A Wind Farm
Hot Air, 12 June 2018 


Put out the NIMBY alert for Maryland. This very blue state is, of course, largely onboard with the entire “keep it in the ground” movement to abandon fossil fuels and embrace renewable energy. Unless, of course, you want to generate any of that electricity within sight of the state’s tony coastal communities. 

In Ocean City, Maryland, an energy company called U.S. Wind has plans in place to develop the second largest wind farm in the country offshore there, taking advantage of the almost constant breezes which blow in off the Atlantic. The amount of renewable electricity it would generate would be impressive indeed.

There’s just one problem. The locals don’t want any wind turbines within thirty miles of the coast for fear that it might obstruct the view and cut into tourism. U.S. Wind tried to tempt them by offering to invest hundreds of thousands of dollars into other community development projects as an incentive. The locals said no. The company offered to build in a guarantee that they would cover any unanticipated cost overruns so Ocean City wouldn’t be stuck with the tab. The natives still wouldn’t relent. The final offer was truly incredible. The developers offered to provide Ocean City with free electricity for the life of the wind farm.

Their response? Sorry. Still not interested. (Baltimore Sun)

Full story


The London-based Global Warming Policy Forum is a world leading think tank on global warming policy issues. The GWPF newsletter is prepared by Director Dr Benny Peiser - for more information, please visit the website at www.thegwpf.com.

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