Showing posts with label Peter Carter. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Peter Carter. Show all posts

Saturday, July 13, 2013

The Obama Climate Plan: Disappointing and Hopeless

by Peter Carter

The Obama plan is a phony fossil fuel PR plan to keep increasing American fossil fuel production, which, under Obama, has reached an all-time high. We have to get atmospheric CO2 down below 350ppm fast – with a planetary emergency climate action plan. Today it is 400ppm. Under the Obama plan, it will only keep going up fast.

It is easy to rate a climate plan, but it seems America doesn’t know the climate science basics. Basic climate science fact number one is “zero carbon” (see If we don’t stop emitting carbon, we can’t stop, or even slow down, global warming.

It is definite that the global temperature and ocean acidification cannot stop increasing unless industrial carbon emissions get to zero. You probably haven’t heard this fact because it means the end of the fossil fuel industry.

It simply means all fossil fuel energy must be replaced by clean, zero-carbon energy. It means that although some fossil fuels are worse polluters than others, any fossil fuel energy (including natural gas) production has to stop and be replaced by real, clean, zero-carbon energy. It means that any climate action plan that does not drop carbon emissions is a deadly dirty lie.

US Fossil Fuel Production under Obama

Some quotes:

Below from: US to become world leader in oil and gas thanks to fracking — The UK Independent, 13 November 2012.

The United States will leapfrog Saudi Arabia and Russia to become the world’s biggest producer of oil and gas in the next five years as the controversial practice of ‘fracking’ for hydrocarbons contained in shale rocks has enabled the country to increase production massively.

US oil and gas production is set to leap by about a quarter by 2020 as the rapid growth of hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, propels the country towards providing all its own energy by 2035, according to the World Energy Outlook report from the International Energy Agency.

The fracking boom will push US oil production up from 8.1 million barrels a day last year to 11.1 million in 2020 while gas extraction will jump from 604 billion cubic metres a day to 747 billion (International Energy Agency).

Maria van der Hoeven, the IEA executive director, said: “North America is at the forefront of a sweeping transformation in oil and gas production that will affect all regions of the world.”

Below from: US may soon become world’s top oil producer — Associated Press, 19 February 2013.

Driven by high prices and new drilling methods, U.S. production of crude and other liquid hydrocarbons is on track to rise 7 percent this year to an average of 10.9 million barrels per day. This will be the fourth straight year of crude increases and the biggest single-year gain since 1951.

Planetary-scale climate change murder

Obama is getting away with planetary-scale climate change murder. His actions as the most influential leader on the planet will affect the entire planet forever.

Obama is proud of his record American oil production: “Now, we absolutely need safe, responsible oil production here in America. That’s why under my administration, America is producing more oil today than at any time in the last eight years.” (February 2012)

With atmospheric carbon at the highest level it’s been in 15 million years and ocean acidification occurring faster than in the past 300 million years, there’s no such thing as safe oil production any more.

Check the Obama climate action plan for any evidence of a decrease in fossil fuel production any time in the future. It is all continued increase, and it is locking America and the world into another 50 years of fossil fuel energy dependency. Only by then, civilization will have collapsed.

Cover up

Quotes from: The President's Climate Action Plan
Unlocking Long-Term Investment in Clean Energy Innovation.
The Fiscal Year 2014 Budget continues the President’s commitment to keeping the United States at the forefront of clean energy research, development, and deployment.  … This includes investment in a range of energy technologies, from advanced biofuels and emerging nuclear technologies – including small modular reactors – to clean coal.
Spurring Investment in Advanced Fossil Energy Projects: In the coming weeks, the Department of Energy will issue a Federal Register Notice announcing a draft of a solicitation that would make up to $8 billion in (self-pay) loan guarantee authority available for a wide array of advanced fossil energy projects under its Section 1703 loan guarantee program.

Clean Coal? Only the coal industry talks the “clean coal” oxymoron, which makes Obama a coal man in the White House, as well as an oil man. There is no such thing as clean coal or oil, and, in any case, the cleanest fossil fuels would be far from zero-carbon.

Biofuels? Burning food is an obvious obscenity. Burning biofuels emits CO2 and incurs a carbon debt from the land being used to produce biofuels – it is nowhere near a zero-carbon energy.

Where is the long-term investment in real, clean, zero-carbon, everlasting energy? Yet this is a fossil-fuel-promoting climate action plan.

All this money is being used as fossil-fuel cover-up, to deceive Americans into thinking there is such a thing as “clean coal” and “ethical oil.” All government money should be going to true clean, zero-carbon energy development if we are to survive. Obama has no intention of replacing or displacing fossil fuel energy from its longstanding energy dominance.

This climate “action” plan is designed to maintain American and world fossil fuel dominance of the energy market. Now that Obama has got US fossil fuel production up to all time record levels, he placates his environmental supporters with the clean-fossil-fuel energy big lie, and they fall for it. It is, of course, too good to be true.

The Real Obama Plan
  • Obama’s advanced fossil fuel energy projects are backward, retrogressive, and impel us faster to global climate catastrophe. These Advanced Fossil Energy Projects (Department of Energy) are designed to advance the insane planet-destroying agenda of the fossil fuel corporations. The future he has planned for American and world energy is a future that won’t last long.
  • Novel oil and gas drilling, stimulation, and completion technologies, including dry fracking, that avoid, reduce, or sequester air pollutants or anthropogenic emission of greenhouse gases
  • Coal-bed methane recovery CO2 capture from synthesis gases in fuel reforming or gasification processes
  • CO2 capture from flue gases in traditional coal or natural gas electricity generation
  • CO2 capture from effluent streams of industrial processing facilities
  • Coal or natural gas oxycombustion
DOE notes that the scope of this solicitation is intended to be broad. DOE will consider both electrical and non-electrical fossil energy use. All fossil fuels, including, without limitation:
  • Coal
  • natural gas
  • oil
  • shale gas
  • oil shale
  • coal bed methane
  • methane hydrates
These are all projects to support the big clean-energy lie. The fossil fuel industry is not wasting money on research into “clean” fossil fuels, which are bogus. The industry knows that feigning “clean” would add huge costs to fossil fuel energy in the attempt. But these US government projects permit the fossil fuel industry to keep up the clean fossil fuel myth. It is fossil fuel PR. Carbon capture and storage (CCS) language is now being used to make fossil fuel energy projects appear to be zero-carbon.

The US oil and gas fracking technology has fast become the end-of-the-world model for the rest of the world to follow. So much for President Obama and the great climate change hope for greenhouse-gas-polluting energy change.

When President Obama talks about American leadership, he means leadership in shale oil, shale gas and methane hydrate gas. He is leading America and the world to Climate Hell.

[ Above post is an extract of the posts that appeared earlier at Uprage and at Boomerwarrior ]

Peter Carter is a retired family MD. Peter has spent many years working with environmental health development policy.
Peter has been a blogger since 2008. You can reach him at Uprage, the Climate Emergency Institute and on Facebook.
“I now focus on global climate change, because if we fail to fix this, we fail on everything,” says Peter.

Monday, January 21, 2013

Call for High-Level Risk Assessment

There is a rapid and accelerating decline of Arctic and Far North snow and summer albedo cooling, with the Arctic summer sea ice past tipping point. Several potentially catastrophic (to huge human populations and all future generations) Arctic changes are happening decades ahead of model projections. This is potentially a United States and world food security emergency, and an Arctic methane feedback planetary emergency. The pace is outstripping the capacity of the international published climate modeling science to assess the risks. The climate science assessment process is unable to rapidly assess all the risks and the combined risk of all risk factors.

In 2008 and again in 2012, after the large drops in summer sea ice extent, James Hansen made a public statement that the world is a state of planetary emergency. Starting in 2006 John Holdren presented the scientific evidence that we are beyond dangerous interference with the climate system and challenged to prevent catastrophic interference.

The problem is that the summer sea ice cover, Arctic frozen methane and world food security are not projected by the assessments to be a serious problem for many decades. This despite the fact that for many years scientists have warned that the loss of the Arctic summer sea ice cover would result in a large boost in warming, and that this would cause the release of the vast Arctic stores methane to start. Scientists call the Arctic summer sea ice cover the air conditioner of the entire Northern hemisphere.

We are seeing a multi-year heat and drought situation affecting the world’s top Northern hemisphere food producing regions of the U.S., Russia and China. Increasing drought affecting these regions is projected, but the situation developing right now may be due to the loss of Arctic albedo affecting the weather of the normally temperate climate zone of the Northern hemisphere, on top of sustained direct greenhouse gas warming.

All Arctic sources of global warming vulnerable methane are emitting more methane with the amplified increasing Arctic warming. This includes the destabilization of the methane that is contained in the form of hydrates and free gas in the Arctic seabed. Atmospheric methane is now on a renewed sustained increase - this time due to planetary methane emissions.

Without getting a rapid risk assessment of this situation there seems no hope of any measures to address it. The UN climate negotiations for world emissions reductions are on hold till 2020. Emissions have never been higher and are increasing and the only plan is to burn more fossil fuels and of the worst kind.

Leading climate experts say we are now committed to a warming over 2C, probably to 3C and possibly 4C. We are on track for 6C by 2100. Even an all out emergency scale response would not see any reduction of atmospheric GHGs for many decades.

We call for an urgent high-level risk assessment to capture all these adverse trends and situations. An Arctic climate risk assessment is needed to address the unprecedented risks that are threatening the security of the U.S., the Northern hemisphere and the world at large, and the well-being of both current and future generations.

Above call for a high-level risk assessment was initiated by Dr. Peter Carter of the Climate Emergency Institute. Please try and improve this message and see that it finds its way to the people who need to see this and take action, including leading climate scientists, doctors, politicians and those holding public office positions with a duty of care.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

When the sea ice is gone

How long do you think it will take for most sea ice in the Arctic to disappear? How much change in temperature you think this would result in? 

Below an educated guess from some of the members of the Arctic Methane Emergency Group

Professor Peter Wadhams
Peter Wadhams Sc.D., Professor of Ocean Physics
and head of the Polar Ocean Physics group at the
of Cambridge, U.K., researching effects
of global warming 
on sea ice, icebergs and oceans

My own view of what will happen is:
  1. Summer sea ice disappears, except perhaps for small multiyear remnant north of Greenland and Ellesmere Island, by 2015-16.
  2. By 2020 the ice free season lasts at least a month and by 2030 has extended to 3 months.
  3. September sea surface temperatures are already elevated by 6-7°C over continental shelves of Arctic. As shrink back continues, the newly exposed surface water over abyssal depths warms up less in a single summer (say 2-3°C) because of deeper surface water layer (150 m) than over a shelf (50 m).
  4. The 6-7°C warming over the shelves causes offshore permafrost to shrink back and vanish over about 10 years. During this time there is elevated methane emission from offshore and from onshore warming, and global warming rates increase by about 50%.
  5. Result is that bad effects forecast for end of century (4°C warming worldwide, 10°C in Arctic) actually occur by about 2060. Speed of change is catastrophic for agriculture; warfare and population crashes ensue.
  6. Late in the day, the rapidly disintegrating civilised world tries desperate technofixes for warming and resource depletion, e.g. widespread use of nuclear power (thorium cycle), geoengineering. This may work, and bring us back from the brink of destruction after heavy losses.

Paul Beckwith
Paul Beckwith, B.Eng, M.Sc. (Physics),
Ph. D. student (Climatology) and
Part-time Professor, University of Ottawa

My projections for our planet conditions when the sea-ice has all vanished year round (PIOMAS graph projects about 2024 for this; I forecast 2020 for this) are:
  • Average global temperature: 22°C (+/- 1°C)
    (rise of 6-8°C above present day value of about 15°C)
  • Average equatorial temperature: 32°C
    (rise of 2 °C above present day value of 30°C)
  • Average Arctic pole temperature: 10°C
    (rise of 30°C above present day value of -20°C)
  • Average Antarctica pole temperature: -46°C
    (rise of 4°C above present day value of -50°C)
  • Water vapor in atmosphere: higher by 50%
    (rise of 4% over last 30 years, i.e. about 1.33% rise per decade)
  • Average temperature gradient from equator to North pole: 22°C
    (decrease of 28°C versus present day value of 50°C)
  • Very weak jet streams (driven by N-S humidity gradient and weak temperature gradient as opposed to existing large temperature gradient)
- Result: very fragmented, disjointed weather systems
- Basic weather: tropical rainforest like in some regions; arid deserts in others with few regions in between

Note: This scenario would require significant emissions of methane from the Arctic. Without this methane, the scenario would still occur but would take longer. Disclaimer: Best guess and subject to rolling revisions!

Peter Carter
Dr. Peter Carter, MD, Canada

If methane is the main driver of natural end glacial warming rather than carbon dioxide, projections of global temperature increases are out by orders of magnitude.

On sea ice:
According to Tim Lenton’s opinion that 2007 was the tipping point, the start of ice free summers would begin @2015 on a new linear trajectory. As we know the trajectory is not linear, it would probably be earlier. As most of the models project possible abrupt loss, I assume it could be any year now.

Whatever the additional warming may be [because of already unavoidable committed warming], the multiple cascading Arctic positive feedback domino effect is already unstoppable except by cooling. 

Sam Carana

Already now, temperature rises and levels of greenhouse gases are higher in the Arctic than elsewhere. The prospect is that we'll lose most sea ice within a few years, resulting in a lot more sunlight to be absorbed, adding to the temperature rise in the Arctic. 

This would push up Arctic temperatures by over 10°C within a few decades, but in some places such rises could occur in a matter of years, rather than decades

Most worrying is that such intense local warming in the Arctic can cause large abrupt methane releases from sediments. This would add a lot of additional warming that would result in massive crop losses globally, threatening global fresh water supply and causing extinction at massive scale. 

Clearly, action must be taken to reduce the danger that this will eventuate.

John Nissen 

John Nissen, MA (Cantab) Natural Sciences, 
Director of Cloudworld Ltd, U.K., Chair of
Arctic Methane Emergency Group (AMEG)
Of late, I have been basing my estimates of Arctic warming on a current rate of 1 degree per decade, doubling after sea ice collapse, and doubling again when ice is gone for five or six months of the year. Looking at PIOMAS data, I think we can safely assume 2015 for the first doubling, and around 2020 for the second doubling. This means that between 2015 and 2020, the rate would be 2°C per decade, i.e. 1°C per 5 years. After that, it would double to 4°C per decade, up to 2030. That gives 5°C warming over 15 years.

I am now wondering whether 1°C per decade is too small, since Peter says that the water has warmed 6-7°C. However 1°C per decade is already at least 5x global warming, reckoned to be at less or equal to 0.2°C per decade.

If today, there has been 0.8°C global warming temperature rise, then, by 2030, global warming will be around 1.2°C, neglecting methane and Arctic warming. If we take Flanner's higher figure of ~4 W/m2 increase, for the Northern Hemisphere, when sea ice has gone, then that is ~2 W/m2, globally. According to Hansen net the current net forcing imbalance is under 1 W/m2, producing the 0.2°C per decade, and nearly 1.0 degree global warming temperature rise by 2020. With complete loss of snow and ice, we'd only be doubling the global warming rate. Suppose we double the rate from 2020 to 2030, then the global warming temperature rise would be around 1.4°C by 2030.

A temperature rise of 1.4°C doesn't seem too bad, but then we have the disruptive effect of the Arctic warming disrupting the NH weather systems. This is already having a serious effect, so could be pretty catastrophic by 2020, let alone 2030.

Now we add in the methane, and there's more uncertainty, except things are going to be worse, and could be a lot worse, especially if that 50 Gt of methane comes out of ESAS this decade. That could send global forcing up to around 9W/m2 (averaged over 20 years?), and warming rate up to 2°C per decade, giving us over 3°C global warming temperature rise by 2030 in the worst case. So we'd be well beyond the so-called safety limit of 2°C!

I agree with Peter that some dramatic increase in methane emission is inevitable, so my conservative estimate would be an additional 400 Mt per year by 2020. This would nearly double the methane forcing by 2030, from current 1W/m2 (including indirect effects) to around 2W/m2. This would add a temperature rise of 0.1°C, taking the total from 1.4 to 1.5°C.

So my conclusion on global warming temperature rise is between 1.5°C and 3°C by 2030, while the Arctic warms at least 5°C above current temperatures. We must not go there! Geoengineering is essential!

BTW, the warming in the Arctic would guarantee collapse of the Greenland Ice Sheet this century, adding ~7 metre sea level rise and probably triggering the collapse of the WAIS adding a further 7 metres or so.

 Douglas Spence - Software Engineer,
interested party and concerned citizen 
Douglas Spence 


1. Even with the Arctic ice in the present state increasingly extreme weather is already moving us closer to a point of increasing risk to agricultural output.

2. For the last few years extreme weather has worsened year on year and since we have positive feedback processes in progress we have no reason to suppose this will do anything but accelerate rapidly.


3. I expect significant to majority sea ice loss to occur in either 2012 or 2013, and expect this to dramatically worsen the weather, causing immediate stress to global food supplies. Combined with weak economic conditions we will see stress in countries dependent on food imports or aid triggering more "Arab spring" moments in previously stable regimes. Movement of refugees will cause knock on effects in neighbouring regions.

4. Modern civilisation is fragile and dependent on global supply chains that can be disrupted both by weather and politics. We will experience an increasing incidence of problems maintaining normal operation in technologically advanced societies. There is the potential for conflict in the Arctic as new resources open up.

5. Other positive feedbacks such as methane release and forest burn off will accelerate.


6. I expect total sea ice loss will occur during summer in either 2014 or 2015. By this time I expect agricultural output to have declined to a point where food supplies are inadequate and famine and conflict are rife. Farmers will not know what to plant or when and even acquiring seed from other climatic regions may be problematic.

7. Social conditions will be comparable to the Holomodor. People will try to eat anything and everything - earthworms, insects, each other - even in some cases their own children. Nation states will fragment and reform into smaller and increasingly violent competitive groups fighting over rapidly diminishing resources. Maintaining the supply chains required for the operation of modern technology including agriculture will be largely impossible.

8. If we see widespread war before nation states fragment there is a possibility of the use of nuclear and genetically enhanced biological weaponry. Whether through war or famine the human population will be in freefall.


9. The climate will continue to worsen as more heat flows into the system and this will become the new threat to survivors as population density becomes too low to sustain conflict. Most survivors will be eliminated, leaving the human race on the brink of extinction. A majority of the planet will cease to be habitable. The deserts will greatly expand, though this will help balance the planets thermal budget. Very few people will live to see the Arctic sea ice entirely gone throughout the year or the ruined cities drowned in the rising sea.

10. Assuming the collapse is as rapid and severe as I expect – I would expect the human population to collapse below the new carrying capacity of the planet and therefore for resource pressure to lighten once a sufficient number of people die (granted with few useful resources left and uncertainty about precisely which regions would be good prospects).


Theoretically there will be some isolated and scattered areas where the climate is still habitable, resources are sufficient and some form of agriculture can be practised. If small groups of people make it to these areas, there is a theoretical chance over many generations to recover civilisation, albeit at great disadvantage.

Disaster taxa will rapidly proliferate into the empty ecosystem, leaving the return of biodiversity to occur over a few million years, bringing the sixth great mass extinction to a close.

NB Since we are at a point where weather is a key effect, allow +/- 1 year for (good/bad) luck.

Malcolm Light
Malcolm Light, PhD, University of London
Earth science consultant

If left alone the subsea Arctic methane hydrates will explosively destabilize on their own due to global warming and produce a massive Arctic wide methane “blowout” that will lead to humanity’s total extinction,  probably before the middle of this century. AIRS atmospheric methane concentration data between 2008 and 2012 (Yurganov 2012) show that the Arctic has already entered the early stages of a subsea methane “blowout” so we need to step in as soon as we can (e.g 2015) to prevent it escalating any further.

The Arctic Natural Gas Extraction, Liquefaction & Sales (ANGELS) Proposal aims to reduce the threat of large, abrupt releases of methane in the Arctic, by extracting methane from Arctic methane hydrates prone to destabilization.

After the Arctic sea ice has gone (probably around 2015) we propose that a large consortium of oil and gas companies/governments set up drilling platforms near the regions of maximum subsea methane emissions and drill a whole series of shallow directional production drill holes into the subsea subpermafost “free methane” reservoir in order to depressurize it in a controlled manner. This methane will be produced to the surface, liquefied, stored and transported on LNG tankers as a “green energy” source to all nations, totally replacing oil and coal as the major energy source. The subsea methane reserves are so large that they can supply the entire earth’s energy needs for several hundreds of years. By sufficiently depressurizing the Arctic subsea subpermafrost methane it will be possible to draw down Arctic ocean water through the old eruption sites and fracture systems and destabilize the methane hydrates in a controlled way thus shutting down the entire Arctic subsea methane blowout.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Temperature rise projections

The Climate Emergency Institute recently produced the image below. For more background, see the institute's page on the warming that Earth's is already committed to even if people's emissions were suddenly stopped. Also see the institute's warning on Food Security.