Experts Who Sold the Idea of Oil Exports Proven Very Wrong Very Fast

Experts Who Sold the Idea of Oil Exports Proven Very Wrong Very Fast

SOURCE: DeSmog Blog

DATE: October 11, 2017

SNIP: As Bloomberg put it recently, today “crude oil gushes out of the U.S. like never before.” U.S. exports of crude oil just hit a new record: nearly two million barrels per day. And while at DeSmog we predicted that “lifting the oil export ban will result in large increases in fracking for oil in the U.S.,” most industry experts at the time were making very different claims.

“It’s universally agreed in the short term that we won’t see a flood of ships leaving for foreign ports because the economics aren’t right,” Sandy Fielden, director of energy analytics at respected consulting firm RBN Energy, said in December 2015, just before the ban on crude oil export lifted. Fielden was explaining why lifting that ban wouldn’t result in a sizable and ongoing rush to export American crude.

The U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) had its most optimistic prediction for U.S. oil exports reaching two million barrels per day by 2050. They were only off by three-plus decades.

Worrying new research finds that the ocean is cutting through a key Antarctic ice shelf

Worrying new research finds that the ocean is cutting through a key Antarctic ice shelf

SOURCE: Washington Post

DATE: October 11, 2017

SNIP: A new scientific study published Tuesday has found that warm ocean water is carving an enormous channel into the underside of one of the key floating ice shelves of West Antarctica, the most vulnerable sector of the enormous ice continent.

The Dotson ice shelf, which holds back two separate large glaciers, is about 1,350 square miles in area and between 1,000 and 1,600 feet thick. But on its western side, it is now only about half that thickness, said Noel Gourmelen, a researcher at the University of Edinburgh in Scotland and the lead author of the research, which was just published in Geophysical Research Letters.

The reason is the same one that is believed to be shrinking glaciers and pouring ice into the ocean across West Antarctica — warm ocean water located offshore is now reaching the ice from below.

“We think that this channel is actually being carved for the last 25 years,” said Gourmelen, whose research team detected the channel using satellite observations. “It’s been thinning and melting at the base for at least 25 years, and that’s where we are now.”

Dotson ice shelf as a whole has been thinning at an average rate of more than eight feet per year since 1994, even as the speed of ice flowing outward through the shelf has increased by 180 percent. But the thinning in the channel has been far greater. The research calculates that 45 feet of ice thickness is being subtracted annually from the channel.

The new study calculates that as a result of this highly uneven melting, the Dotson ice shelf could be melted all the way through in 40 years, rather than 170 years, which would be the time it would take if the melt were occurring evenly.

Hurricane Irma, global warming and the bomb: comparing energy giants

Hurricane Irma, global warming and the bomb: comparing energy giants

SOURCE: National Observer

DATE: October 11, 2017

SNIP: [H]ow does the ferocious energy of Hurricane Irma measure up to the energy that global warming is adding to our climate?

Global warming is pumping energy into our climate at the rate of:

* 4 atomic bombs a second
* 36 Hurricane Irmas​ blasting non-stop
* 13 times all global energy use

However you slice it, it’s a crazy-huge amount of energy.

Climate change a ‘key’ factor in migration

Climate change a ‘key’ factor in migration

SOURCE: New Zealand Herald

DATE: October 11, 2017

SNIP: Climate change is proving a bigger factor in people’s decisions to migrate more than income and political freedom combined, Kiwi researchers say.

An analysis by Otago University economics researcher Dr Dennis Wesselbaum and Victoria University Master’s student Amelia Aburn crunched figures around migration flows between 16 OECD destination and 198 origin countries, including New Zealand, across 35 years.

Their results suggested it to be a more important driver than even income and political freedom put together.

“In combination, the effect of climate change through higher temperatures and an increase in the incidence of disasters is more important than the effects of income and policy at origin [country] together,” they reported.

“In conclusion, our results suggest that climate change is a key driver of migration.”

“Given the overwhelming evidence about the expected adverse effects of climate change in the future, we can expect that it will become an even more important driver of migration in the future,” the authors stated.

Poison ivy on steroids: Another side of climate change

Poison ivy on steroids: Another side of climate change

SOURCE: Ottawa Citizen

DATE: October 6, 2017

SNIP: An American forest scientist has identified a new and scary face of global warming for Ottawa residents: Not drought or pestilence, but bigger and badder poison ivy.

Lee Frelich is a big name in the field of forecasting what climate change will do to forest species. He teaches at the University of Minnesota, and has been in the forest research business since the late 1970s. He knows Ontario’s forests too.

And he says there’s firm evidence that poison ivy will thrive in our expected future climate.

Climate change “will favour poison ivy quite dramatically,” he said in an interview. “Poison ivy is one of the few species that has a direct response to rising carbon dioxide levels.”

Amazon forest fires pushing climate change ‘beyond human control’

Amazon forest fires pushing climate change ‘beyond human control’

SOURCE: Climate Change News

DATE: October 5, 2017

SNIP: Philip Fearnside, a US-born professor at Brazil’s National Institute for Research in Amazonia (INPA), has researched the Amazon for three decades. In an interview with Climate Home in his office in Manaus, he explains how climate change is driving forest fires through the most important forest on earth, creating a cycle of carbon emissions that threatens to push beyond human’s capacity to control it.

These fires represent something that the forest simply can’t stand up to. The Amazon forest isn’t adapted to fire, it’s not like the savannahs in central Brazil, where the trees have thick bark and are adapted to fires. Amazon forest fires kill a lot of trees. The fire moves through the understory of the forest, burning leaves and twigs on the ground.

This is very dangerous for the climate because it’s something that doesn’t depend on people deciding what to do. You can decide not to burn fossil fuels and not to cut down trees with chainsaws. But if a forest is being killed because there are more forest fires, it’s something happening beyond human control. And there’s a limit to how much humans can do to control global warming.

Meat eaters are destroying the planet, says report

Meat eaters are destroying the planet, says report

SOURCE: The Independent

DATE: October 5, 2017

SNIP: Meat consumption is devastating some of the world’s most valuable and vulnerable regions, due to the vast amount of land needed to produce animal feed, a report has warned.

The growing popularity of a Western diet, which contains high levels of meat and dairy, means an area 1.5 times the size of the European Union would be saved if global consumption of animal products was reduced to meet nutritional requirements, according to the WWF.

The new report, Appetite for Destruction, launched at the Extinction and Livestock Conference, says the consumption of animal products is leading to a vast and increasing amount of land being used for crops.

This is threatening areas including the Amazon, Congo Basin and the Himalayas, where water and land resources are already under significant pressure, the report warned.

Excessive animal product consumption is responsible for 60 per cent of all biodiversity loss, according to WWF.

Carbon emissions from warming soils could trigger disastrous feedback loop

Carbon emissions from warming soils could trigger disastrous feedback loop

SOURCE: The Guardian and Washington Post

DATE: October 5, 2017

SNIP: Warming soils are releasing more carbon into the atmosphere than previously thought, suggesting a potentially disastrous feedback mechanism whereby increases in global temperatures will trigger massive new carbon releases in a cycle that may be impossible to break.

The increased production of carbon comes from the microbes within soils, according to a report in the peer-review journal Science, published on Friday.

The 26-year study is one of the biggest of its kind, and is a groundbreaking addition to our scant knowledge of exactly how warming will affect natural systems.

Potential feedback loops, or tipping points, have long been suspected to exist by scientists, and there is some evidence for them in the geological record. What appears to happen is that once warming reaches a certain point, these natural biological factors kick in and can lead to a runaway, and potentially unstoppable, increase in warming.

Scientists mapping Greenland have produced some surprising – and worrying – results

Scientists mapping Greenland have produced some surprising – and worrying – results

SOURCE: Washington Post

DATE: October 4, 2017

SNIP: Two new studies of Greenland, using sophisticated technologies and large scientific teams to pull together and process the data, have now gone further in taking the full measure of the island through that ever-so-basic scientific act: mapping.

The first, a comprehensive seabed mapping project, relying in part on new data from NASA’s OMG (“Oceans Melting Greenland”) mission, concludes that the Greenland ice sheet is far more exposed to the planet’s warming oceans than previously known — and has more ice to give up than, until now, has been recognized.

The new research finds that “between 30 and 100% more glaciers are potentially exposed to [warm Atlantic water] than suggested by previous mapping, which represents 55% of the ice sheet’s total drainage area.” In other words, more than half of Greenland’s ice lies in or flows through areas that could be influenced by warming seas.

Meanwhile, on Wednesday, a separate team of scientists used another quite different large-scale mapping exercise to document a surprising — but closely related — change in Greenland’s above-water topography. Publishing in the journal Nature, they showed that the contours of the huge island are changing because with all the ice melt rushing from glaciers to the sea, river deltas are expanding outward — a rare occurrence these days when deltas around the world are generally retreating, threatened by rising seas (think of the Mississippi River delta, for instance, and its vanishing wetlands).

“Over the period of the 1980s to 2010s, rapid increase of meltwater and sediment fluxes caused dramatic advance of these deltas into the ocean,” said Irina Overeem, one of the study’s authors and a researcher at the Institute of Arctic and Alpine Research at the University of Colorado at Boulder.

This delta expansion is not just a curiosity, Overeem explained, it’s a confirmation that Greenland has been losing more ice in the past few decades, awakening large flows of water from land to sea that carry sediment with them along the way.

Australian cities to have 50C summer days by 2040, study says

Australian cities to have 50C summer days by 2040, study says

SOURCE: The Guardian

DATE: October 3, 2017

SNIP: Even if the Paris agreement to limit the global temperature rise to below 2C is met, summer heatwaves in major Australian cities are likely to reach highs of 50C by 2040, a study published on Wednesday warns.

The lead author of the study, the climate scientist Dr Sophie Lewis, said Sydney and Melbourne could expect unprecedented summer temperatures of 50C under two degrees of global warming.

Governments needed to start thinking about how the public transport system would cope during peak hour in extreme temperatures, how emergency departments would respond to increased demand from elderly people and others vulnerable to heatstroke, and how energy requirements would be met during peak temperatures, she said.

“I don’t think we have any plans in place that would be adequate to withstand days of 50 degrees and it is another urgent warning to our leaders and all levels of government that we need a strong plan to cut commissions and deal with climate change.”