Posts Tagged ‘Fossil fuel’

Unchanged seasonal variation shows that Carbon dioxide concentration increase is probably not due to fossil fuel combustion

May 5, 2013

Carbon dioxide concentration in the atmosphere varies seasonally with the May peak being about 6 ppm higher than the October low. These are very regular and are a reflection of biogenic and chemical interactions from plants, the soil and the oceans

This concentration is the net result following all the mechanisms by which carbon dioxide is produced and absorbed. Since 1960 the mean concentration has risen about 25% from about 320 ppm to just under 400 ppm now (399 as of yesterday) but the seasonal variation has remained virtually unchanged during this time.

from wikipedia

from wikipedia

This is not new and analyses the 25 year period from 1997 but I have only just come across it.

SOURCES AND SINKS OF CARBON DIOXIDE

CO2 seasonal variation

CO2 seasonal variation

The constancy of seasonal variations in CO2 and the lack of time delays between the hemispheres suggest that fossil fuel derived CO2 is almost totally absorbed locally in the year it is emitted. This implies that natural variability of the climate is the prime cause of increasing CO2, not the emissions of CO2 from the use of fossil fuels.

The annual increase of CO2 in the atmosphere is in sharp contrast with the annual change in the seasonal variations (last 25 years)

The mean values are:
Annual CO2 increase = 1.572 ± 0.013 ppm per year
Seasonal CO2 increase = -0.001 ± 0.013 ppm per year

The general assumption is that about 40% of man-made carbon dioxide shows up as this increase with the remainder being absorbed by the enhanced action of sinks.

The justification for this conclusion is supported by measurements of the falling proportion of  13C  in the atmosphere which is taken to signal the appearance of CO2 from fossil fuel emissions. …… 

The correlation of changes in δ13C with ENSO events and the comparison with a simple model of a series of cascades suggest that the changes in δ13C in the atmosphere have little to do with the input of CO2 emissions from the continuous use of fossil fuels.

Even though the combustion of fossil fuels only contributes less than 4% of total carbon dioxide production (about 26Gt/year of 800+GT/year), it is usually assumed that the sinks available balance the natural sources and that the carbon dioxide concentration – without the effects of man – would be largely in equilibrium.  (Why carbon dioxide concentration should not vary naturally escapes me!). It seems rather illogical to me to claim that sinks can somehow distinguish the source of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere and preferentially choose to absorb natural emissions and reject anthropogenic emissions! Also, there is no sink where the absorption rate would not increase with concentration.

Carbon dioxide emission sources (GT CO2/year)

  • Transpiration 440
  • Release from oceans 330
  • Fossil fuel combustion 26
  • Changing land use 6
  • Volcanoes and weathering 1

Carbon dioxide is accumulating in the atmosphere by about 15 GT CO2/ year. The accuracy of the amounts of carbon dioxide emitted by transpiration and by the oceans is no better than about 2 – 3% and that error band (+/- 20GT/year)  is itself almost as large as the total amount of emissions from fossil fuels.

SOURCES AND SINKS OF CARBON DIOXIDE

Conclusions:

During the 1977 to 2001 time period analysed:
Changes in the isotope ratio are discontinuous. The temporal peaks in 13C appear to correlate with the CO2 concentration changes. Further the temporal peaks in 13C and the CO2 peaks correlate with ENSO events.
The yearly increases of atmospheric CO2 concentrations have been nearly two orders of magnitude greater than the change to seasonal variation which implies that the fossil fuel derived CO2 is almost totally absorbed locally in the year that it is emitted.
A time comparison of the SIO measurements of CO2 at Mauna Loa with the South Pole shows a lack of time delay for CO2 variations between the hemispheres that suggests a global or equatorial source of increasing CO2. The time comparison of 13C measurements suggest the Southern Hemisphere is the source. This does not favour the fossil fuel emissions of the Northern Hemisphere being responsible for ther observed increases.
All three approaches suggest that the increase of CO2 in the atmosphere may not be from the CO2 derived from fossil fuels. The 13C data is the most striking result and the other two approaches simply support the conclusion of the first approach.

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The demise of coal has been greatly exaggerated

October 11, 2012

Reality Check.

The death of coal utilisation or the exhaustion of coal reserves is not even a glimmer on the world’s energy horizon — thank goodness.

Add to this the fact that carbon dioxide concentrations in the atmosphere (and man made CO2 emissions are a minor contribution to this concentration) simply have no significant effect on climate. Trying to control climate by reducing man-made carbon dioxide emissions must rank as one of the world’s most useless and wasteful efforts in the last 30 years.

Terence Corcoran writes in the Financial Post:

….. The idea that coal is dying seems to be mostly wishful thinking on the part of green activists, as well as some politicians and regulators in the United States and parts of Canada. Ontario aims to end dirty coal-fired power generation, at great cost to consumers who are now paying high prices for the putative clean alternatives, wind and solar. The United States, via regulation from the Environmental Protection Agency, has established rules that are said to present the coal-power industry with a “dead end.”

(more…)

Coal consumption increases almost 50% in 10 years and has no impact on global temperature

August 26, 2011

There is a clear disconnect between global coal consumption (and therefore carbon dioxide emissions) and global temperatures.

Of course we must take into account that these are only real data over the last 10 years and are not generated by computer models and have not been validated by the IPCC!!

Quote of the week at WUWT 22nd May 2011

“People underestimate the power of models. Observational evidence is not very useful,” adding, “Our approach is not entirely empirical.” John Mitchell, principal research scientist at the UK Met Office

P Gosselin at NoTricksZone has the “heretical” story:

Global Coal Consumption Jumps Almost 50% – Yet Global Temps Drop! 

recently released BP report here shows that global coal consumption has risen over the last 10 years by almost 50%. So wouldn’t you think that all those millions of tons of emitted CO2 (food for plants) as a result would drive the global temperatures up? Have temperatures risen along with all that extra coal burning?

No they haven’t. In fact they’ve dropped slightly over the same period. So go figure!

Coal consumption and global temperature: http://notrickszone.com

In the above chart the blue line shows global coal consumption, data taken here, Review of World Energy. According to the report, India and China alone are responsible for 90% of the world’s coal consumption increase, while renewable energy in the 2 countries plays nary a role. According to BP figures, global CO2 emissions rose 5.8% in the year 2010. ……..

Read source report

The Age of Fossil Fuel may be just beginning

June 3, 2011

A little bit over the top from Michael Lind in Salon but still fundamentally not wrong:

Are we living at the beginning of the Age of Fossil Fuels, not its final decades? The very thought goes against everything that politicians and the educated public have been taught to believe in the past generation. According to the conventional wisdom, the U.S. and other industrial nations must undertake a rapid and expensive transition from fossil fuels to renewable energy for three reasons: The imminent depletion of fossil fuels, national security and the danger of global warming.

What if the conventional wisdom about the energy future of America and the world has been completely wrong?

As everyone who follows news about energy knows by now, in the last decade the technique of hydraulic fracturing or “fracking,” long used in the oil industry, has evolved to permit energy companies to access reserves of previously-unrecoverable “shale gas” or unconventional natural gas. According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, these advances mean there is at least six times as much recoverable natural gas today as there was a decade ago.

Natural gas, which emits less carbon dioxide than coal, can be used in both electricity generation and as a fuel for automobiles.

……

Two arguments for switching to renewable energy — the depletion of fossil fuels and national security — are no longer plausible. What about the claim that a rapid transition to wind and solar energy is necessary, to avert catastrophic global warming?

The scenarios with the most catastrophic outcomes of global warming are low probability outcomes — a fact that explains why the world’s governments in practice treat reducing CO2 emissions as a low priority, despite paying lip service to it. But even if the worst outcomes were likely, the rational response would not be a conversion to wind and solar power but a massive build-out of nuclear power. Nuclear energy already provides around 13-14 percent of the world’s electricity and nearly 3 percent of global final energy consumption, while wind, solar and geothermal power combined account for less than one percent of global final energy consumption. ….

In the meantime, it appears that the prophets of an age of renewable energy following Peak Oil got things backwards. We may be living in the era of Peak Renewables, which will be followed by a very long Age of Fossil Fuels that has only just begun.

Read complete article

 


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