When will Earth lose its oceans?

by J.  Lecomte et al., CNRS, December 16, 2013

The natural increase in solar luminosity — a very slow process unrelated to current climate warming — will cause the Earth’s temperatures to rise over the next few hundred million years. This will result in the complete evaporation of the oceans. The first three-dimensional climate model able to simulate the phenomenon predicts that liquid water will disappear on Earth in approximately one billion years, extending previous estimates by several hundred million years.

Jérémy Leconte, Francois Forget, Benjamin Charnay, Robin Wordsworth, Alizée Pottier. Increased insolation threshold for runaway greenhouse processes on Earth-like planetsNature, 2013; 504 (7479): 268 DOI: 10.1038/nature12827


China and Pakistan Join Forces For World’s Biggest Brown Coal Programme

by Dr. Benny Peiser, April 3, 2017

Chinese engineer and inventor Feng Weizhong has an easy ­answer to how China plans to keep slashing coal use and power-­station emissions while relying on coal to provide at least 55 per cent of its massive energy demand for decades to come. The effervescent Professor Feng, who is also general manager of a large Shanghai power plant, explained to The Australian how the country can contrive to do both at the same time. “Simple! It’s clean coal!”

Une mine de charbon allemande bientôt reconvertie en site de stockage ?

by Connaissance des Energies, 22 mars 2017

Des chercheurs allemands étudient la possibilité de transformer dans la région de la Ruhr une mine de charbon en un site de stockage hydroélectrique. En Rhénanie-du-Nord-Westphalie (ouest de l’Allemagne), l’extraction au sein de la mine de charbon de Prosper-Haniel a débuté en 1863. Une procédure de fermeture de cette mine, qui fournit encore près de 2,5 millions de tonnes de charbon par an(1), devrait être engagée fin 2018. Mais l’activité ne devrait pas s’arrêter sur le site : il est prévu que la mine soit transformée en une station de transfert d’énergie par pompage (STEP).


Éolien en mer : la construction de l’usine de pales de Cherbourg lancée

by Connaissance des Energies, 22 mars 2017

La future usine de près de 25 000 m2 construira et stockera des pales de très grandes dimensions, LM Wind Power évoquant notamment un modèle de 73,5 m de long destiné à des éoliennes offshore de 5 à 6 MW de puissance comme l’éolienne Haliade 150 de General Electric (6 MW). Le plus grand modèle de pale au monde (« LM 88,4 P » en référence à sa longueur) est également conçu par la société danoise et pourrait équiper des éoliennes géantes de 8 à 10 MW. Au total, LM Wind Power annonce vouloir produire annuellement un volume de pales correspondant à « une capacité éolienne cumulée de 1,2 à 2 GW »

Which US States Produce the Most Shale Oil?

by M DiLallo, March 25, 2017

Believe it or not, America has been fracking oil wells since right around the time of the Civil War. That said, modern oil well fracking didn’t start taking shape until the 1940s, and it wasn’t until the 1990s when it was combined with horizontal drilling to unleash the shale gas boom. The industry eventually transferred those two techniques into oil drilling when Continental Resources (NYSE:CLR) drilled the first commercially successful well in the North Dakota Bakken.

Greenland was nearly ice-free for extended periods during the Pleistocene

by JM Schaefer et al., Nature, December8, 2016

Here we show that Greenland was deglaciated for extended periods during the Pleistocene epoch (from 2.6 million years ago to 11,700 years ago), based on new measurements of cosmic-ray-produced beryllium and aluminium isotopes (10Be and 26Al) in a bedrock core from beneath an ice core near the GIS summit.

On the Existence of a ‘Tropical Hot Spot’

by Dr JP Wallace III et al., August 2016

.pdf (69p.)

These analysis results would appear to leave very, very little doubt but that EPA’s claim of a Tropical Hot Spot (THS), caused by rising atmospheric CO2 levels, simply does not exist in the real world. Also critically important, even on an all-other-things- equal basis, this analysis failed to find that the steadily rising Atmospheric CO2 Concentrations have had a statistically significant impact on any of the 13 critically important temperature time series analyzed.

Methane emissions from trees

Tree trunks act as methane source in upland forests

by University of Delaware, March 30, 2017

Methane is about 25 times stronger than carbon dioxide, with some estimates as high as 33 times stronger due to its effects when it is in the atmosphere.

Because of methane’s global warming potential, identifying the sources and “sinks” or storehouses of this greenhouse gas is critical for measuring and understanding its implications across ecosystems.

Daniel L. Warner, Samuel Villarreal, Kelsey McWilliams, Shreeram Inamdar, Rodrigo Vargas. Carbon Dioxide and Methane Fluxes From Tree Stems, Coarse Woody Debris, and Soils in an Upland Temperate ForestEcosystems, 2017; DOI: 10.1007/s10021-016-0106-8

Absence of 21st century warming on Antarctic Peninsula consistent with natural variability

by J. Turner et al., Nature/July 2016

Here we use a stacked temperature record to show an absence of regional warming since the late 1990s. The annual mean temperature has decreased at a statistically significant rate, with the most rapid cooling during the Austral summer. Temperatures have decreased as a consequence of a greater frequency of cold, east-to-southeasterly winds, resulting from more cyclonic conditions in the northern Weddell Sea associated with a strengthening mid-latitude jet.

See also : 20+ Scientists: ‘No Continent-Scale Warming Of Antarctic Temperature Is Evident In The Last Century’

U.S. crude oil exports went to more destinations in 2016

by US Energy Information Administration, March 28, 2017

In 2016, U.S. crude oil exports averaged 520,000 barrels per day (b/d), 55,000 b/d (12%) above the 2015 level, despite a year-over-year decline in domestic crude oil production. Even though oil exports have increased, growth in U.S. crude oil exports has slowed significantly from its pace from 2013 to 2015, when annual U.S. crude oil production grew rapidly.

Recent Sea-Level Change at Major Cities

by Rich Taylor, March 29, 2017

Where the ground is stable, typical change appears to be a rise of 1- to 2-mm/y. Rates above 3 mm/y seem to have a substantial component of natural and/or anthropogenic subsidence. Rates above 10 mm/y appear to be a primarily a consequence of human activity, which implies they should be manageable to some degree.

All records in this review are from the website www.psmsl.org of the Permanent Service for Mean Sea Level.

A seismic mapping milestone

by DOE/Oak Ridge National Laboratory, March 28, 2017

Team produces 3-D map of Earth’s interior

Using advanced modeling and simulation, seismic data generated by earthquakes, and one of the world’s fastest supercomputers, a team of scientists is creating a detailed 3-D picture of Earth’s interior. Currently, the team is focused on imaging the entire globe from the surface to the core-mantle boundary, a depth of 1,800 miles.

Oil & Gas Editorial: Largest UK Oil Discovery This Century May Be A Russian Mountain

by Timothy Haïdar, EIC, March 27, 2017

Hurricane’s prospects are located West of Shetland, an area that has promised much in terms of the 12 to 24 billion remaining barrels of oil equivalent (boe) said to be lurking on the UKCS. The GLA announcement represents a rare chink of light glistening in the murky waters of an industry at its lowest ebb since production began in the 1960s.

‘Australia’s Jurassic Park’ the world’s most diverse

by University of Queensland, March 27, 2007

An unprecedented 21 different types of dinosaur tracks have been identified on a 25-kilometer stretch of the Dampier Peninsula coastline dubbed ‘Australia’s Jurassic Park.’ A team of paleontologists has unveiled the most diverse assemblage of dinosaur tracks in the world in 127 to 140 million-year-old rocks in the remote Kimberley region of Western Australia.

Published measurements of climate sensitivity declining

by Laterite, June 20, 2015

The climate sensitivity due to CO2 is expressed as the temperature change in °C associated with a doubling of the concentration of carbon dioxide in Earth’s atmosphere. The equilibrium climate sensitivity (ECS) refers to the equilibrium change in global mean near-surface air temperature that would result from a sustained doubling of the atmospheric carbon dioxide concentration.  The transient climate response (TCR) is defined as the average temperature response over a twenty-year period centered at CO2 doubling in a transient simulation with CO2 increasing at 1% per year. The transient response is lower than the equilibrium sensitivity, due to the “inertia” of ocean heat uptake.

Also, this post

“[T]here is growing evidence of much smaller climate sensitivity to CO2; and even if these drastic emissions reductions occurred, we see little impact on the climate in the 21st century (even if you believe the climate models).”

The Anthropocene: Scientists respond to criticisms of a new geological epoch

by Anthony Watts, March 24, 2017

A team of academics led by the University of Leicester has responded to criticisms of the proposal to formalise a new geological epoch – the Anthropocene.

Geological critics of a formalised Anthropocene have alleged that the idea did not arise from geology; that there is simply not enough physical evidence for it as strata; that it is based more on the future than on the past; that it is more a part of human history than the immensely long history of the Earth; and that it is a political statement, rather than a scientific one.

Alberta’s Proposed Climate Plan: A Burden with No Benefit

by Ken Gregory, July 2005

Energy Balance Climate Sensitivity

The most important parameter in determining the economic impact of climate change is the sensitivity of the climate to greenhouse gas emissions. Climatologist Nicholas Lewis used an energy balance method to calculate the Equilibrium Climate Sensitivity (ECS) best estimate at 1.45 °C. ECS is the global temperature change resulting from a doubling of CO2 in the atmosphere after allowing the oceans to reach temperature equilibrium, which takes about 3000 years in the models.

A more policy-relevant parameter is the Transient Climate Response (TCR) which is the global temperature change at the time of the CO2 doubling. A doubling of CO2 at the current growth rate would take 126 years. The analysis gives the TCR best estimate at 1.21 °C with a likely range [17 – 83% confidence] of 1.05 to 1.45 °C.

Quelles énergies dans le monde pour 2050 ?

par Prof. Samuel Furfari, 23 Mars 2017

Expert européen auprès de la DG Énergie de la Commission européenne

Maître de conférences à l’Université Libre de Bruxelles

2050, c’est dans 33 ans. Il y a 33 ans, nous étions en 1984, en plein contre-choc pétrolier. Après le tremblement du monde suite aux deux chocs pétroliers consécutifs provoqués par l’OPEP, le prix du pétrole était tombé si bas qu’aujourd’hui encore, tout nouveau contre-choc pétrolier constitue un épouvantail pour l’Arabie saoudite. Qu’est-ce qui avait permis cette contre-révolution et mis en échec la stratégie de l’OPEP ? Tout d’abord, l’abandon de la consommation de produits pétroliers dans les centrales électriques (à l’époque, le prix du brut était si bas que l’on pouvait se permettre le luxe de l’utiliser pour produire de l’électricité). La maturation de la technologie nucléaire et le développement de technologies modernes de combustion de charbon ont changé la donne. Ensuite, la mise en œuvre de technologies plus efficientes, notamment dans le secteur de l’automobile, avait donné lieu à des économies d’énergie qui ont permis de réduire la consommation de pétrole. Cela se résumait à l’époque par un slogan lancé par la Commission européenne : COCONUC pour « COal, COnservation and NUClear ». Les résultats ont été au rendez-vous et ont suscité un retour à la sérénité énergétique.

La géologie, une science plus que passionnante … et diverse