Rise of Earth’s atmospheric oxygen controlled by efficient subduction of organic carbon

by M. Duncan and R. Dasgupta, April 25, 2017, Nature Geoscience


We suggest that immobilization of organic carbon in subduction zones and deep sequestration in the mantle facilitated the rise (~103–5 fold) and maintenance of atmospheric oxygen since the Palaeoproterozoic and is causally linked to the Great Oxidation Event. Our modelling shows that episodic recycling of organic carbon before the Great Oxidation Event may also explain occasional whiffs of atmospheric oxygen observed in the Archaean.

China’s coal-fired power generation surprises naysayers

by Michael Cooper, May 2, 2017


Anyone with doubts about China’s demand for energy including for thermal coal needed to sustain its gigantic economy should cast their eyes over the latest statistics for power generation from Beijing’s National Statistics Bureau.

These data are a treasure trove in terms of revealing trends in China’s energy production and appetite for thermal coal sourced from both inside China and from imports shipped from countries including, Australia, Indonesia and Russia.

Antarctic Peninsula ice more stable than thought

by University of Leeds, May 2, 2017

in ScienceDaily


An international team of researchers, led by the UK Centre for Polar Observation and Modelling at the University of Leeds, are the first to map the change in ice speed. The team collated measurements recorded by five different satellites to track changes in the speed of more than 30 glaciers since 1992.

Glacier flow at the southern Antarctic Peninsula has increased since the 1990s, but a new study has found the change to be only a third of what was recently reported.

Future Global Mineral Resources

by Nicholas T. Arndt et al., April 2017, Geochemical Perspectives


Some scientists and journalists, and many members of the general public, have been led to believe that the world is rapidly running out of the metals on which our modern society is based. Advocates of the peak metal concept have predicted for many decades that increasing consumption will soon lead to exhaustion of mineral resources. Yet, despite ever-increasing production and consumption, supplies of minerals have continued to meet the needs of industry and society, and lifetimes of reserves remain similar to what they were 30-40 years ago.

Full text (171 pages) pdf, here

Thoughts on the Public Discourse over Climate Change

by MIT Prof. Richard Lindzen, April 25, 2017

Richard Lindzen is the Alfred P. Sloan Professor of Atmospheric Sciences, Emeritus at Massachusetts Institute of Technology.


For over 30 years, I have been giving talks on the science of climate change. When, however, I speak to a non-expert audience, and attempt to explain such matters as climate sensitivity, the relation of global mean temperature anomaly to extreme weather, that warming has decreased profoundly for the past 18 years, etc., it is obvious that the audience’s eyes are glazing over.


 

Pétrole : des découvertes « conventionnelles » au plus bas qui inquiètent l’AIE

by Connaissance des Energies, 28 avril 2017


L’ Agence internationale de l’énergie (AIE) a fait part hier de son inquiétude sur le niveau historiquement bas des découvertes de nouvelles réserves de pétrole « conventionnel ». Le schiste américain pourra-t-il à lui seul compenser le déséquilibre résultant de la baisse des investissements sur le marché ?

2017 Accumulated Cyclone Energy

by Dr. Ryan N. Maue, May 01, 1017


Tropical cyclone accumulated cyclone energy (ACE) has exhibited strikingly large global interannual variability during the past 40-years. In the pentad since 2006, Northern Hemisphere and global tropical cyclone ACE has decreased dramatically to the lowest levels since the late 1970s. Additionally, the frequency of tropical cyclones has reached a historical low. Here evidence is presented demonstrating that considerable variability in tropical cyclone ACE is associated with the evolution of the character of observed large-scale climate mechanisms including the El Nino Southern Oscillation and Pacific Decadal Oscillation. In contrast to record quiet North Pacific tropical cyclone activity in 2010, the North Atlantic basin remained very active by contributing almost one-third of the overall calendar year global ACE.

Can the U.S. Become the Saudi Arabia of Natural Gas?

by David Middleton, April 28, 2017


The Department of Energy gave a Texas-based energy company permission Tuesday to export liquefied natural gas (LNG) to countries with which the U.S. does not have free trade agreements.

While low U.S. natural gas prices are currently a drag on production and reserve growth, they also provide an advantage to domestic gas producers.  U.S. natural gas is extremely competitive in the global market.

Mining: Bacteria with Midas touch for efficient gold processing

by University of Adelaide, April 28, 2017, in Science News


Special ‘nugget-producing’ bacteria may hold the key to more efficient processing of gold ore, mine tailings and recycled electronics, as well as aid in exploration for new deposits, University of Adelaide research has shown.

Now they have shown for the first time, just how long this biogeochemical cycle takes and they hope to make to it even faster in the future.

Impact of the ~ 2400 yr solar cycle on climate and human societies

by  Javier, September 20, 2016


The role of solar variability on climate change, despite having a very long scientific tradition, is currently downplayed as a climatic factor within the most popular hypothesis for climate change.

As the root of this neglect lie two fundamental problems. Solar variability is quite small (about 0.1% of total irradiation), and there is no generally accepted mechanism by which the solar variability signal could be amplified by the climate system

The Meaning and Utility of Averages as it Applies to Climate

by Clyde Spencer, April 23, 2017


By convention, climate is usually defined as the average of meteorological parameters over a period of 30 years. How can we use the available temperature data, intended for weather monitoring and forecasting, to characterize climate? The approach currently used is to calculate the arithmetic mean for an arbitrary base period, and subtract modern temperatures (either individual temperatures or averages) to determine what is called an anomaly. However, just what does it mean to collect all the temperature data and calculate the mean?

USGS Estimates 304 Trillion Cubic Feet of Natural Gas in the Bossier and Haynesville Formations of the U.S. Gulf Coast

USGS, April 13, 2017


The Bossier and Haynesville Formations of the onshore and State waters portion of the U.S. Gulf Coast contain estimated means of 4.0 billion barrels of oil, 304.4 trillion cubic feet of natural gas, and 1.9 billion barrels of natural gas liquids, according to updated assessments by the U.S. Geological Survey. These estimates, the largest continuous natural gas assessment USGS has yet conducted, include petroleum in both conventional and continuous accumulations, and consist of undiscovered, technically recoverable resources.

How inconstant are climate feedbacks – and does it matter?

by Nic Lewis, April 18, 2017


There is as yet no observational evidence that climate sensitivity increases with time in the real climate system – although this cannot be ruled out – nor is it fully understood why it increases in most AOGCMs. In any event, even if real-world climate sensitivity does increase with time, in the longer run other factors that are not reflected in ECS, such as melting ice sheets, are probably more important. Therefore, while time-varying climate sensitivity is of considerable interest from a theoretical point of view, for practical purposes its influence is likely to be very modest.

L’acidification des océans : causes anthropiques versus variabililité naturelle

Usbek, 13 avril 2017


L’acidification n’est pas une simple réponse statique à l’augmentation de la concentration de CO2 dans l’atmosphère : c’est la résultante de processus biologiques et physico-chimiques qui entraînent une répartition inégale du carbone sur la verticale de l’océan. D’autre part la vie océanique a survécu à des niveaux beaucoup plus élevés de CO2 depuis des millions d’années dans le passé.

Le mix énergétique mondial de 1990 à 2035

by planete energies, 03 février 2016


L’ Agence Internationale de l’Énergie (AIE) a élaboré plusieurs scénarios de l’évolution prévisible du mix énergétique d’ici 2035. Le scénario moyen (« New policies scenario ») met en évidence l’augmentation de la demande en énergie primaire, qui passe de 13 000 Mtep en 2011 à 17 400 en 2035. La part des énergies fossiles (pétrole, gaz, charbon) restera largement dominante : elle passerait de 81 % en 2011 à 76 % en 2035. Les énergies renouvelables (y compris hydraulique et biomasse) seront en croissance : de 13 % en 2011 à 18 % en 2035

La géologie, une science plus que passionnante … et diverse