Tag Archives: climate change

Blowout Week 163

This week: Australian blackouts; NOAA plays fast and loose with temperature data; a US carbon tax? OPEC’s production cuts; Horse Hill resource upgraded; North Sea on road to recovery; Vattenfall loses money on nuclear; fire at Flamanville; Nord Stream 2 and Europe’s energy security; do we need Yucca Mountain? radiation from power plants; Bangladesh bets on coal; wind power growth in Europe; the UK capacity auction; Brexit to hold up Anglesey nuclear plant, Russian nuclear in Hungary; Google and renewables; UK solar industry takes dim view of energy storage; climate change to overload US grid; distressed US climate scientists welcome in France and Lord’s cricket ground goes renewable. Continue reading

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Blowout Week 161

We lead with UK Government moves to reduce or remove renewable subsidies and follow with Scotland still pushing renewables, Brexit to delay Hinkley Point, and the Northern Ireland biomass subsidy fiasco. Then on to the rest of the world – Europe losing its status as a world renewable energy leader, EDF to be compensated for Fessenheim shutdown, Gazprom continues to make European inroads, the precipitous drop in oil & gas discoveries, OPEC’s production cuts aren’t working – or are they? Trump revives the Keystone Pipeline, sets out contradictory coal and gas policies and scares scientists, Rio Tinto sells Australian coal assets, Shell sell North Sea O&G assets, China and Saudi Arabia to build a high-temperature gas-cooled reactor, 100% renewables in Massachusetts, Hawaii and Costa Rica, all trains in the Netherlands are now wind-powered and the latest solution to climate change – floating cities. Continue reading

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The gulf between the Paris Climate Agreement and energy projections

According to the Paris Climate Agreement a rapid decrease in the world’s consumption of fossil fuels is now mandatory if the Earth is to be saved from climate disaster. Projections of future energy use, however, are unanimous in predicting an increase in the world’s consumption of fossil fuels in coming decades. Either the energy consumption projections are wrong or the Paris goal is unachievable. This post reviews the basic provisions of the Paris Agreement, compares them with six independent estimates of future energy consumption and concludes that while the energy consumption estimates are subject to uncertainty the goals of the Paris Agreement are indeed unachievable. Continue reading

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Blowout week 155

This week we kick off with the good news that the Antarctic sea ice area has changed little since the time of Scott and Shackelton. All those who have feared for the worse can breathe a huge sigh of relief. We … Continue reading

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Blowout Week 150

Trump special blowout includes reactions to the Trump triumph at the polls, dismay on the part of the greens and the climate science establishment, warnings from foreign governments (except Russia, which likes Trump), predicted impacts on the energy industry, the possible demise of the Paris Climate Accord, a remarkably upbeat Al Gore and a classic example from the Independent of a projection gone awry. Following Trump we have an abbreviated mix of stories, including a $6 billion gas deal in Iran, CCS in the UAE, Scotland and Brexit, the French nuclear crunch, NatGrid says no blackouts this winter and Ed Davey falls foul of the Freedom of Information Act. Continue reading

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Death and Climate Change

According to various studies and numerous web postings climate change is already causing hundreds of thousands of deaths and will cause millions more in the future, dominantly in poor countries. In this post we take a brief look at how these estimates were arrived at and whether they have any firm observational or statistical backup. Continue reading

Posted in Climate change, Political commentary | Tagged , , | 40 Comments

Blowout Week 147

This week we return to the South Australian blackout followed by plus Saudi Arabia’s $17.5 billion bond sale, Iran puts up 50 oil & gas projects for lease, the USA’s first nuclear plant in 20 years goes on line, nuclear woes in France, the EU/Canada trade deal falls apart, the world’s largest solar PV farm to be built in Turkey, Vattenfall sues Germany, environmentalists sue Norway, the EPA comes under fire in US courts, UK MPs want more battery storage, UK energy bills to increase, emissions from biofuels, scientists accidentally turn CO2 into ethanol and an apartment block which is a model of sustainable luxury. Continue reading

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Blowout Week 145

In this weeks bumper blowout: OPEC deal and oil prices; major oil find in Alaska; North Sea drilling plunges; floating nuclear in Russia; Russia suspends plutonium agreement; coal mining in India, China, USA and Poland; too much renewables; the Australian outblack; global super grid; Gibralter rules the waves; megadrought in America; fracking in the UK; coal gasification in Scotland; kite power in Scotland; UAH global warming at +0.44˚C. Continue reading

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Blowout Week 144

This week’s Blowout features a blackout, specifically the long-anticipated outage that plunged South Australia into darkness last week. But it was caused by strong winds that took down transmission lines, not by too much wind power on the grid. Or was it? Continue reading

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Blowout Week 139

Elsewhere in this week’s Blowout: Iran / OPEC deal on the cards; China accused of nuclear espionage; UK government looks for ways to torpedo Hinkley Point; Fessenheim nuclear power plant in France to close; coking coal price on the rise; £200 million pumped storage hydro scheme on Lewis; National grid clutching at straw batteries; Telegraph living in the real world; Tesla cramming in more electrons; Human caused climate change started in 1830; Air Africa to run on Woodbines; France opts for tree wind power over nuclear power. Continue reading

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Blowout Week 136

This week’s blowout kicks off with a look at the destiny of waste from the US Camp Century base on Greenland and follows up with the proposed OPEC freeze, more on Hinkley Point, molten salt reactors, Rosatom in Belarus, Westinghouse in Ukraine, peak coal in China, renewable subsidies, Brexit, Ofgem should be scrapped, compressed air energy storage and shale gas in China. Continue reading

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Blowout Week 134

This week we feature the forthcoming US elections, in particular the Republican and Democratic Platforms on energy and climate change. It’s difficult to conceive of such diametrically opposed positions. If Clinton wins the US will continue with Obama’s pro-renewable policies, but a Trump victory could well put paid to the world’s vision of a renewable energy future. Or could it?

The Democrats: “Climate change is an urgent threat and a defining challenge of our time.”

The Republicans: “would end limits to CO2 emissions, pull the US out of the United Nations climate process, open protected forests to logging and end all subsidies to renewable energy.” Continue reading

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Climate science and the UK Climate Change Act

The Climate Change Act of 2008 is, supposedly, underpinned by the findings of climate science, and riding herd on these findings is the Climate Change Committee (CCC), which reviews the state of climate science whenever a new carbon budget is published to see whether any significant changes have occurred. Here we briefly review the CCC’s latest assessment, which accompanies the fifth carbon budget. We find that few if any of the CCC’s conclusions are backed up by hard evidence and that some of them are the opposite of the truth. Yet they still underpin the Climate Change Act, which continues to govern the UK’s long-term energy policy. Continue reading

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Blowout Week 133

This week’s Blowout features the demise of the DECC and its amalgamation into the Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy. Does this signal a sea change in UK government energy policy, or is it business-as-usual under a new banner?

Following up are stories on the reactions of the greens to the disappearance of the DECC and on what Theresa May thinks about climate change. (It seems that she has never established a position; her few recorded utterances are heavy into energy security but say nothing about climate change per se.)
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Blowout Week 131

Roger Andrews, a UK national by birth now living in Mexico provides the Energy Matters’ view on Brexit, energy matters, climate change and global politics. 75 years experience analysing complex data impartially does count! Continue reading

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Do clouds control temperature, or does temperature control clouds?

Previous Energy Matters posts that have dealt with the cloud/temperature relationship (here and here) have concluded, as have most other studies, that cloud cover acts as a control on global surface temperatures. In this post I dust off a widely ignored but apparently robust cloud cover series – the ICOADS ocean series – which suggests that ocean surface temperatures may in fact be acting as a control on cloud cover rather than the other way round. Continue reading

Posted in Climate change | Tagged , , , , , , | 15 Comments

The World’s First “Climate Refugees”

As one of the lucky winners of the US Department of Housing and Urban Development’s $1 billion National Disaster Resilience Competition, some 60 Native American residents of the Isle de Jean Charles in the Mississippi Delta will shortly be relocated to a place safe from the relentless sea level rise that has supposedly destroyed most of their island. This will make the island’s residents the US’s – and arguably the world’s – first certified, card-carrying climate change refugees. This post addresses the questions of a) whether they really are victims of climate change and b) whether we might now see a rapid increase in their numbers. The conclusions are a) no they aren’t and b) no we won’t – moving people is far too expensive. Continue reading

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Periodicities in solar variability and climate change: A simple model

The Sun is a variable star and periodically changes its activity levels producing variations in radiation emission, magnetic field intensity, magnetic polarity, particle emissions, and surface convection. These changes affect the Earth in several ways that manifest through auroras, magnetic storms, changes in galactic (GCR) and solar cosmic rays, and a generally agreed small climate effect. Solar variability is included in some coupled general circulation climate models. Continue reading

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Blowout Week 120

To provide a little light relief from weightier issues this week’s Blowout features the extraordinary capacity of the human mind to invent new ways of generating low-carbon energy. We already generate biogas from rotting garbage, waste food, vegetable oils and animal manure, and now we generate it from – cheese: Continue reading

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Blowout Week 119

The Obama Administration is becoming progressively more strident in its attempts to bring home the perils of climate change to a largely disinterested public. Last week it published the results of a 300-page multi-year study involving “scores of researchers and the work of eight federal agencies”. The study’s conclusion was that climate change could kill tens of thousands of Americans each year by the end of the century. Continue reading

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