by Ernest Scheyder, June 27, 2018 in Reuters
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Natural gas production from U.S. shale fields can keep growing for decades, giving Washington a powerful diplomatic tool to counter the geopolitical influence of other energy exporters such as Russia, industry executives and government officials said at a conference here.
Already the world’s largest gas producer, the United States can expand shale gas output another 60 percent in the coming decades, according to at least one estimate. So far, liquefied natural gas (LNG) has been spared from retaliatory tariffs in U.S. President Donald Trump’s intensifying trade conflicts with China and other countries. …
by Geological Society of America, June 28, 2018 in ScienceDaily
On 27 and 28 September 2017, eight large rockfalls occurred from the southeast face of El Capitan. These rockfalls resulted in one fatality and two serious injuries, and spurred a complicated rescue and temporary closure of the main road exiting Yosemite Valley. In order to manage these challenging events, the National Park Service (NPS) had a critical, immediate need for quantitative information about the sequence of rockfalls and the potential for additional activity.
Using new “structure-from-motion” photogrammetry techniques in conjunction with baseline laser-scanning data, scientists from the NPS, the U.S. Geological Survey, and the University of Lausanne, Switzerland rapidly analyzed these rockfalls. By comparing 3-dimensional (3D) models of the cliff before, during, and after the rockfalls, the researchers were able to pinpoint the exact locations, dimensions, and volumes of the rockfalls, along with the spatial and temporal pattern of their progression up the cliff.
by Robert Tuttle, June 26, 2018 in Bloomberg
While U.S. drillers deploy more rigs than any time since 2015 amid a fracking surge in the Permian Basin, companies including ConocoPhillips, Royal Dutch Shell Plc and Equinor ASA have sold operations or pulled out of Canada’s oil sands, the world’s third largest source of crude reserves.
by Utah State University, June 26, 2018 in ScienceDaily
The discovery of the Durmid Ladder reveals the southern tip of the San Andreas Fault changes fairly gradually into the ladder-like Brawley Seismic zone. The structure trends northwest, extending from the well-known main trace of the San Andreas Fault along the Salton Sea’s northeastern shore, to the newly identified East Shoreline Fault Zone on the San Andreas’ opposite edge.
“We now have critical evidence about the possible nucleation site of the next major earthquake on the San Andreas Fault,” says Jänecke, professor in USU’s Department of Geology. “That possible nucleation site was thought to be a small area near Bombay Beach, California, but our work suggests there may be an additional, longer ‘fuse’ south of the Durmid Ladder within the 37-mile-long Brawley Seismic zone.” …
by Prof. F. Vahrenholt, June 12, 2018 in NoTricksZone
Only Europe and Canada exiting coal
Another reason the Paris Accord is collapsing is because it’s not going to do anything we were promised it would.
When it comes to coal, Vahrenholt notes, so far only Europe and Canada have expressed some sort of a commitment to exit coal, and then he reminds us China, India and all developing countries will still be permitted to continue “massively” expanding their use of coal. He writes : (…)
by Bonner Cohen, May 13, 2018 in CFACT
The Kremlin has masterminded an elaborate scheme to undermine American fossil-fuel production and distribution, concludes a report by the U.S. House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology.
Released March 1, the report, “Russian Attempts to Influence U.S. Domestic Energy Markets by Exploiting Social Media,” reveals how Russia has teamed up with U.S. and European environmental groups to use such popular outlets as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram to turn American public opinion against the domestic oil and natural gas industry.
With the United States having surpassed Russia as the world’s largest producer of natural gas, and now ranking as the world’s fastest-growing producer of oil, the Russians have reason to fear what is more than a little competition. Saying America’s soaring energy development “poses a direct threat to Russian energy interests,” the report explains: …
by Willis Essenbach, May 29, 2018 in WUWT
Inspired by Richard Keen’s interesting WUWT post on using eclipses to determine the clarity of the atmosphere, I went to the website of the Hawaiian Mauna Loa Observatory. They have some very fascinating datasets. One of them is a measurement of direct solar radiation, minute by minute, since about 1980.
I thought that I could use that dataset to determine the clarity of the atmosphere by looking at the maximum downwelling solar energy on a month by month basis. I’ve described my method of extracting the maximum solar energy from the minute by minute data in the appendix for those interested.
by Seismological Society of America, May 17, 2018 in ScienceDaily
The experiments conducted by Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory researcher Kayla Kroll and her colleagues were prompted by a recent spike in induced earthquake activity related to oil and gas production in the U.S. and Canada. The rise in induced earthquakes has some scientists proposing changes in injection or production processes to reduce the fluid pressures that destabilize faults in these regions.
In their simulations, Kroll and colleagues “found that active management was most advantageous for wells that were closest to a fault. This scenario is most successful at reducing the total number of seismic events and also the maximum magnitude of those events,” Kroll said. In their simulations, a “close well” was one to four meters away from a fault (…)
by Andy May, May 17, 2018 in WUWT
U.S. coal production declined from 2011 through 2016 as it was displaced in U.S. power plants by cheaper and cleaner natural gas. Some of the reduction was also due to the Obama Clean Power Plan regulations. However, the shale gas revolution in the U.S. has not spread to other countries, perhaps due to the “fracking” scare, so worldwide use of coal increased rapidly until 2013. From 2000 until 2013 global coal use increased at a rate of over 4% per year. This led to an increase in U.S. coal exports (see Figure 1) because the U.S. is a low-cost producer of high quality coal. Coal consumption worldwide has flattened and is expected to stay flat through 2040, according to ExxonMobil’s 2018 Energy Outlook as well as the EIA. Currently coal provides 25% of the global energy supply and this is projected to decrease to 20% by 2040 according to ExxonMobil.
Figure 2. U.S. coal export terminal construction locations blocked by environmentalist lobbying. Source: The Wall Street Journal.
by Rice University, May 16, 2018 in ScienceDaily
Clues from some unusual Arizona rocks pointed Rice University scientists toward a discovery — a subtle chemical signature in rocks the world over — that could answer a long-standing mystery: What stole the iron from Earth’s continents?
The find has weighty implications. If the iron content of continental rocks was a bit greater, as it is in the rocks beneath Earth’s oceans, for example, our atmosphere might look more like that of Mars, a planet so littered with rusty, oxidized rocks that it appears red even from Earth.
In a new paper available online in Science Advances, Rice petrologists Cin-Ty Lee, Ming Tang, Monica Erdman and Graham Eldridge make a case that garnet steals the most iron from continents. The hypothesis flies in the face of 40-plus years of geophysical thinking, and Tang, a postdoctoral fellow, and Lee, professor and chair of the Department of Earth, Environmental and Planetary Sciences at Rice, said they expect a healthy dose of skepticism from peers.
“The standard view … (…)
by Gary Ashton, May 12, 2018 in Investopedia
Disruption in Iran could force OPEC to adjust up production levels earlier than it had expected and could prompt U.S. shale drillers in West Texas to drill more. Despite these efforts to fill in for lost supply, analysts at Bank of America still expect oil to reach $100 per barrel in 2019.
OPEC and IEA Reports Up Next
On Monday, traders and analysts will get a look at the latest OPEC monthly oil market report. Key data to watch for are any additional upward revisions to world oil demand. Last month, OPEC revised 2018 world demand growth to 1.63 million barrels per day. Total demand for the year is forecast to average 98.7 million barrels per day. Traders will also be looking at OPEC’s world supply expectations. In last month’s report, OPEC said that it expects non-OPEC supply to grow by 1.71 million barrels per day in 2018, with the U.S. accounting for most of the supply growth.
by Eric Worrall, May 12, 2018 in WUWT
Puna Geothermal Venture has removed 60,000 gallons of flammable Pentane from a geothermal plant in the path of the Hawaii volcanic eruption. But concerns remain that if the geothermal wells break, they could flood the neighbourhood with toxic volcanic gasses.
Kilauea eastern rift zone fissure eruption May 2018. By United States Geological Survey [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
by Tony Heller, May 12, 2012 in TheDeplorableClimSciBlog
Ninety-five degree temperatures were common in the Midwest during May prior to 1940, but almost never happen any more. May afternoon temperatures have been declining in the Midwest since the 19th century. The hottest May (by far) was 1934, when 100 degree temperatures were widespread across the Midwest, including 101 degrees at Algona, Iowa on May 7th, 1934.
See also The Good News And The Bad News
by R. Lindsey, NOAA, May 11, 2018 in WUWT
Why do U.S. climate forecasters pay so much attention to a pattern that operates in the remote tropical Pacific? Because the Pacific is the world’s biggest ocean, and disruptions to its climate have a long reach. The seesawing changes in tropical rainfall, winds, and ocean temperature that accompany La Niña and its warm-phase partner, El Niño, trigger a cascade of potentially predictable impacts on seasonal climate in the United States and beyond.
by Columbia University, May 7, 2018 inPhysOrg
Scientists drilling deep into ancient rocks in the Arizona desert say they have documented a gradual shift in Earth’s orbit that repeats regularly every 405,000 years, playing a role in natural climate swings. Astrophysicists have long hypothesized that the cycle exists based on calculations of celestial mechanics, but the authors of the new research have found the first verifiable physical evidence. They showed that the cycle has been stable for hundreds of millions of years, from before the rise of dinosaurs, and is still active today. The research may have implications not only for climate studies, but our understanding of the evolution of life on Earth, and the evolution of the Solar System. It appears this week in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
Read more here