Showing posts with label energy. Show all posts
Showing posts with label energy. Show all posts

Friday, February 16, 2018

100% clean, renewable energy is cheaper

A new analysis by Stanford University professor Mark Z. Jacobson and colleagues shows that the world can be powered by 100% clean, renewable energy, with today's technology.

The analysis looks at different pathways, using different ways of energy generation (by wind, water and sunlight), in combination with storage, transmission, and demand response, concluding that the world can also be powered by 100% clean, renewable energy at a lower cost than a BAU (Business-As-Usual) scenario dominated by fossil fuel.

“Based on these results, I can more confidently state that there is no technical or economic barrier to transitioning the entire world to 100% clean, renewable energy with a stable electric grid at low cost,” says Mark Jacobson.

[ image added May 2018, see video ]
Moreover, the price of fuel currently excludes the cost of health and climate damage caused by fuel. When including these costs, the cost of clean, renewable energy is ¼ the cost of BAU. Since clean, renewable energy uses 43%-58% fewer kWh, it is ⅛ the cost of fuel.

[ brightened image, added May 2018, see video ]
The price of fuel looks set to go up over time due to decreasing economies of scale for fuel and due to the cost of conflict associated with fuel. As an example, a 2017 report puts the cost of U.S. military intervention in Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan, and Pakistan over the period FY2001-FY2018 at $5.6 trillion, or $23,386 for the average taxpayer. The report adds that, unlike past US wars, these wars have been paid for largely through borrowing. The $5.6 trillion includes the interest the US has already paid on this debt, but it does not include projected future interest. Even if the US stopped spending money on these wars right now, cumulated interest costs on borrowing will ultimately add more than $7.9 trillion to the national debt over the next several decades.

Meanwhile, the price of clean, renewable energy looks set to keep coming down, in line with ongoing innovation, efficiency improvements and economies of scale. Examples are induction cooking, batteries, heat pumps, LED lights, refrigeration and smelters.

Local feebates can most effectively and rapidly achieve the necessary transition to clean, renewable energy. One example is to impose fees on sales of fuel, with the revenues used to fund rebates on local supply of clean, renewable energy. Another example is to impose fees on registration of vehicles with internal combustion engines, with the revenues used to fund rebates on registration of battery-electric vehicles. Local feebates can best help areas each get their preferred mix (of local supply/storage, of grid interconnection and imports/exports of electricity, and of demand response).

The Climate Plan calls for dramatic cuts in emissions through such policies, while also calling for further lines of action. For more on the benefits of feebates, see the feebates and policies pages.

[ image from Renewables ]
100% clean & renewable energy is technically feasible and more attractive economically, more healthy, and will provide more jobs and more robust, stable and lower-cost energy with greater energy independence and security and with less need for land, water and imports. Moreover, it will dramatically reduce harmful pollution and emissions, which is absolutely imperative in the light of the urgent need to act on global warming.

Feel encouraged to discuss things further at the following groups at facebook:


• Climate Plan

• Matching demand with supply at low cost in 139 countries among 20 world regions with 100% intermittent wind, water, and sunlight (WWS) for all purposes, by Mark Z. Jacobson et al.

• Stanford engineers develop a new method of keeping the lights on if the world turns to 100% clean, renewable energy

• Costs of War project, Brown University’s Watson Institute for International and Public Affairs

• Rapid Transition to a Clean World

• Roadmap for Repowering California for all Purposes with Wind, Water, and Sunlight

• Feebates

• Policies

•  Professor Mark Z. Jacobson speaks at Cupertino Rotary, California, May 9, 2018

Saturday, November 21, 2015

Rapid Transition to a Clean World

100% clean and renewable wind, water, and solar (WWS)
all-sector energy roadmaps for 139 countries of the world

[ click here for explanatory video of above image ]
Above image is from an excellent study by Jacobson et al., showing that it is technically feasible and economically attractive to shift to clean energy facilities between now and 2050. This will create net jobs worldwide. It will avoid millions of air-pollution mortalities and avoid trillions of dollars in pollution and global warming damage. It will stabilize energy prices and reduce energy poverty. It will make countries energy independent and reduce international conflict over energy. It will reduce risks of large-scale system disruptions by significantly decentralizing power production.

Given that there are so many benefits and there are no technical and economic barriers to complete a 100% shift by the year 2050 (and 80% by 2030), why not make an even faster transition?

Sam Carana suggests that feebates, especially when implemented locally, can best facilitate the necessary shift. Moreover, when energy feebates are implemented jointly with feebates in further areas, greenhouse gas emissions could be cut by 80% by 2020, while soils, atmosphere and oceans could be restored to their pre-industrial status over the course of the century.

[ the above emission cuts and feebates images were used in a meanwhile dated 2011 post ]
To achieve the most effective and rapid shift, Sam Carana recommends implementing two types of feebates, i.e. energy feebates and further feebates such as fees on sales of livestock products while using the revenues to fund rebates on soil supplements containing biochar.

Sam Carana adds that further lines of action will be needed to prevent Earth from overheating, warning that comprehensive and effective action is needed as described in the Climate Plan.

The image below shows that a shift to 100% clean (WWS) energy by 2050 (80% by 2030) could reduce CO2 to ~350 ppmv by 2100.

[ from Jacobson et al. 2015 ]
Energy feebates are the most effective way to speed up the shift to clean energy. Further feebates could make additional cuts in greenhouse gases emissions, while also removing carbon from the atmosphere and oceans, allowing us to aim for bringing down carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere to 280 ppmv by the year 2100.


- How Renewable Energy Could Make Climate Treaties Moot (2015)

- 100% Wind, Water, and Solar (WWS) All-Sector Energy Roadmaps for Countries and States

- The Solutions Project - 100% Renewable Energy

- Feebates

- Climate Plan

A new study by Jacobson et al. shows that it is technically and economically feasible to shift to clean energy...
Posted by Sam Carana on Saturday, November 21, 2015

Friday, June 27, 2014

Roadmap for Repowering California for all Purposes with Wind, Water, and Sunlight

A study by Mark Z. Jacobson et al. concludes that California’s power needs (electricity, transportation, heating/cooling, industry) can be met entirely by WWS technologies.

The necessary WWS (wind, water, and sunlight) technologies consist of wind turbines, concentrated solar power (CSP) plants, solar photovoltaic (PV) plants and rooftop systems, solar hot water heater systems, geothermal power plants, a few additional hydroelectric power plants, and a small amount of tidal and wave power.

Transportation will use battery electric vehicles (BEVs), hydrogen fuel cell vehicles (HFCVs), and hybrid BEV-HFCVs. The hydrogen, where needed, will be produced with electrolysis (i.e. with electricity). While using electrolytic hydrogen in transportation will generally be less efficient and more costly than using BEVs, there are some segments of transportation where hydrogen-energy storage may be preferred over battery-energy storage (e.g., ships, aircraft, long-distance freight).

High temperatures for industrial processes will be produced with electricity and hydrogen, with hydrogen again produced with electricity.

Electricity-powered air-source and ground-source heat pumps, geothermal heat pumps, and backup electric resistance heaters will be used for building heating and air conditioning. Air-source heat pump water heaters powered by electricity and solar hot water preheaters will provide hot water for buildings.

This roadmap can serve as a template for plans in other states and countries. The implementation of similar plans worldwide should essentially eliminate energy-related global warming and energy insecurity, while substantially reducing energy insecurity.

For more, go to:

Monday, June 9, 2014

Arctic Sea Ice Steep Decline Continues

Steep decline of the Arctic sea ice continues. The yellow line on the image below follows 2014 sea ice area up to June 5 and shows that sea ice area now is close to a record low for the time of the year.

[ click on image to enlarge ]
The Naval Research Laboratory image below compares sea ice concentration on May 14, 2014 (left) with the sea ice concentration forecast for June 15, 2014 (run on June 7, 2014, on the right).

Above image shows falling sea ice concentration, with low sea ice concentration extending to the center of the Arctic Ocean.

Low sea ice concentration at the center of the Arctic Ocean is an ominous sign; at last year's minimum, very little sea ice was left close to the North Pole, as discussed in an earlier post.

On the right is an image of the University of Bremen showing sea ice concentration on June 8, 2014 (click on the images to enlarge them).

Arctic sea ice already is very thin, as discussed in recent posts. The image below shows that the sea ice volume trend down to zero was confirmed for the months April and May 2014.

[ image by Andy Lee Robinson based on PIOMAS data, click on image to enlarge ]
The lowest sea ice volume for 2014 is expected to be reached in September, and - given the shape the ice is in now - will likely be one of the lowest minima on record. In fact, there is a chance that there will be no ice left whatsoever later this year. As illustrated by the image by Wipneus below, an exponential curve based on annual minima from 1979 points at zero ice volume end 2016, with the lower limit of the 95% confidence interval pointing at zero ice end of 2014.
As the sea ice disappears, a lot more heat will be absorbed by the Arctic Ocean. Sea ice reflects 50% to 70% of the incoming energy, describes, but thick sea ice covered with snow reflects as much as 90% of the incoming solar radiation. Melting of snow creates melt ponds on the ice and because shallow melt ponds have an albedo of approximately 0.2 to 0.4, the surface albedo drops to about 0.75. As melt ponds grow and deepen, the surface albedo can drop to 0.15. The ocean reflects only 6% of the incoming solar radiation and absorbs the rest. Snow and ice decline comes with a further feedback in that all the energy that during the melt went into transforming ice into water will - in the absence of ice - now be absorbed by the ocean as well.

Accelerated Warming in the Arctic

[ from the post Near-Term Human Extinction ]
Such feedbacks are causing warming to accelerate in the Arctic Ocean, as depicted in above image and described in the earlier post Feedbacks in the Arctic. Much of the Arctic Ocean is very shallow and the seafloor is thus vulnerable to warming. The Gulf Stream can be expected to keep carrying warmer water into the Arctic Ocean, so the situation is dire, while extreme weather events such as heatwaves and cyclones can make the situation even worse.

The NOAA image below shows huge sea surface temperature anomalies all over the Northern Hemisphere on June 8, 2014.

[ click on image to enlarge ]
Large areas with sea surface temperature anomalies up to 8°C and higher show up in and around the Arctic Ocean, as further illustrated by the image below.

[ click on image to enlarge ]
The image below shows high sea surface temperature anomalies from February 21, 2014, up to June 9, 2014, on the Northern Hemisphere (red bars), next to global average anomalies (orange/shaded bars).

The global sea surface temperature anomaly is worrying (a 1.25°C anomaly was reached on May 22, 2014). See the NOAA website to compare this with earlier months. Note that on specific spots the anomaly is much higher, as illustrated by the images further above.

Warm surface waters in the Arctic sea ice spell bad news, given that the sea ice is already at or close to record lows, in terms of area and volume.

And as ocean heat threatens to melt the sea ice from beneath, the sun is now strongly warming up the ice from above. Insolation in the Arctic is at its highest at this time of year, as Earth reaches its maximum axial tilt toward the sun of 23° 26'. In fact, insolation during the months June and July is higher in the Arctic than anywhere else on Earth, as discussed at this earlier post.

The diminishing temperature difference between the equator and the North Pole reduces the speed at which the Jet Stream circumnavigates Earth and it makes the Jet Stream become wavier, increasing opportunities for cold air to escape from the Arctic and for warm air to move in. More extreme weather increases the chance of intense and prolonged heatwaves and fierce cyclones, storms and winds to hit the Arctic Ocean.

Making things even worsen, there is the prospect of an El Niño event, projected to occur later this year. According to NOAA (June 5, 2014), the chance of El Niño is 70% during the Northern Hemisphere summer and reaches 80% during the fall and winter. El Niño odds are even higher than this, according to this post at the Wunderground blog.


Temperature rises of the water close to the seafloor of the Arctic Ocean are very dangerous, as heat can penetrate sediments and cause hydrate destabilization. Huge amounts of methane are held in sediments at the seafloor, in the form of free gas and hydrates. In shallow waters, methane released from the seafloor can more easily enter the atmosphere without getting broken down by microbes in the water.

Methane levels are already very high. On June 6, 2014, mean global methane reached levels as high as 1809 ppb, with peaks as high as 2516 ppb.

Methane release from the seafloor of the Arctic Ocean will warm up the Arctic even further, triggering even more methane releases, heatwaves, wildfires and further feedbacks, in a spiral of runaway warming, threatening to cause starvation, destruction and extintion at massive scale across the globe.


Earthquakes are a further worry. A huge amount of melting takes place in Greenland, as described in the post Ten Cubic Kilometers of Ice Lost From Jakobshavn Glacier in Less than One Month. As the ice disappears, a large weight is lefted from Greenland, causing the Earth's crust there to be lifted in a phenomenon referred to as isostatic rebound. This can cause earthquakes to occur on the seafloor of the waters around Greenland, as illustrated by the image below.

[ click on image to enlarge ]

As the image below shows, the faultline alongside Greenland crosses the Arctic Ocean and extends into the Laptev Sea and Siberia, an area recently hit by two large earthquakes.

[ click on image to enlarge ]
Earthquakes in this region are very worrying. Earthquakes can trigger further earthquakes, especially at locations closeby on the same faultline. Earthquakes and subsequent shockwaves and landslides can further contribute to destabilization of methane hydrates contained in sediments under the seafloor of the Arctic Ocean.

In conclusion, the situation is dire and calls for comprehensive and effective action, as discussed at the climate plan blog.


- M4.4 Earthquake hits Arctic Ocean north of Greenland

- M4.5 Earthquake hits Arctic Ocean

- Earthquakes in the Arctic Ocean

- Methane, Faults and Sea Ice

- Norwegian Sea hit by 4.6M Earthquake

- Greenland Sea hit by M5.3 Earthquake

- Earthquake hits waters off Japan

- Earthquake hits Laptev Sea

- Methane Release caused by Earthquakes

- Earthquake M6.7 hits Sea of Okhotsk

- Sea of Okhotsk

- Seismic activity

- Climate Plan

Friday, February 28, 2014

President Obama, why don't you use your powers?

President Obama, why don't you use your powers to more effectively reduce the danger of catastrophic climate change?

As an example, you could direct the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to impose fees on sales of gasoline. The revenues of such fees could then be earmarked to fund ways to make the use of genuinely clean energy more attractive.


The duty to act on climate change can delegated to states, provided that sufficient progress is made to combat climate change. States can thus to a large extent decide what action and what mix of policies they feel will work best where. Where such progress is lacking, federal authority can resume control, impose fees in the respective state and decide to direct (part of) revenues to federal programs, such as construction of high speed rail tracks that cross state borders, waste management in national parks, federal research grants into ways to combat climate change, etc.

State administrators can similarly decide to delegate their authority to local levels, allowing each local council to implement feebates believed to work best in the respective area. And similarly, state administrators can resume control in case of a lack of progress in a specific area, and direct the revenues to state programs.

Further action

Further action will be needed to reduce the danger of catastrophic climate change, which calls for a comprehensive climate plan such as described at

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Global Warming and the Gulf Stream

Global Warming and the Gulf Stream - Our Atmospheric Pollution Roadway to Subsea Arctic Methane-Induced Climatic Hell

by Malcolm P.R. Light, 5th January, 2014

The amount of water presently transported north eastward by the Gulf Stream varies from 30 million cubic metres per second off Florida to a maximum of 150 million cubic metres per second south of Newfoundland at 55° is transported within this volume of water is approximately equal to the amount carried north east by the atmosphere which gives North Western Europe its milder climate (Wales, 2013).

The surface temperature off the Coast of the United States in the western North Atlantic shows the warm Gulf Stream (in red on Figure 1) while colder oceanic zones are in dark blue (Wales, 2013).

Figure 2 from Csanady (2001) shows the heat gain and loss for the Atlantic Ocean which was posthumously published from Bunker in (1988) In: the North Atlantic from Bunker and Worthington (1976).

Csanady (2001) says that "the contours connect points of equal heat gain in watts per square meter (Wm-2)(negative if heat is lost). The zero-gain contour cuts through this ocean along a diagonal roughly from Spain to the island of Hispaniola in the Caribbean. North of this contour the ocean loses heat, at spectacularly high rates over the warm waters of the Gulf Stream. Here the annual average rate of loss exceeds 200 watts per square meter (exceeds 250 watts per square meter off New England/Canada - my insertion). On the other side of the ocean, off the Norway coast, a northwards tongue of the Warm-Water-Sphere (Gulf Stream - my insertion) is still responsible for heat losses between 50 and 100 watts per square meter, and even higher off Lapland".

When humans get too hot their bodies perspire (sweat) water and this water evaporates at a high rate in windy conditions giving them "wind chill". The excessive heating off the Gulf Stream by pollution clouds pouring off the coast of North America is directly related to excessive heat loss in the same region (Figure 2) because the heat induced extreme atmospheric pressure change generates very strong winds which "wind chill" the overheated ocean there. Gulf Stream water temperatures range up to 13°C to 26.5°C (Hurricanes) and water in this temperature range requires about 2440 to 2470 thousand Joules of energy per kilogram for it to change from a liquid into a gaseous state (Latent heat of evaporation; Hyperphysics, 2013; Lide and Fredrickse, 1995). The loss of this latent heat of evaporation is the main reason for the extreme heat loss shown by the hot Gulf Stream waters offshore North America (Figure 2).
Figure 3. shows the yearly human carbon dioxide emissions in tons per person versus inflation adjusted income (Image from, 2013).

The total carbon dioxide emitted by each country is proportional to the size of the circles (Figure 3).

The United Kingdom emitted the most carbon dioxide per person at the start of the industrial revolution but the United States caught up with the U.K. at the start of the 20th century (Figure 3).

From then on the U.S.A. grew to be the largest emitter of carbon dioxide (Figure 3). An average U.S. citizen causes 3 times as much carbon dioxide to be emitted (19 tons of carbon dioxide/person) than a person in China (4.7 tons of carbon dioxide/person)(Figure 3).

China however due to its large population emits a lot of carbon dioxide in total (Figure 3). 5 states, the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Australia, U.S.A. and Canada have the most extreme human carbon footprints on Earth (Figure 3) (Light, 2013).

Figures 4a shows the giant equatorial current gyres in the Southern and Northern Hemispheres.

The southern gyre (South Atlantic) is very symetrical, while the northern gyre (North Atlantic) shows extreme asymetry with the elongated core rotational zone lying only a short distance east of the coast of North America and the narrow Gulf Stream current here is elevated and shows the highest volume of transport (150 Sverdrups = 150 million cubic metres per second).

This extreme asymetry is due to global warming from the large volume of pollution clouds pouring off the industrialized zones along the east coast of North America.

This generates a massive atmospheric pressure gradient and accelerates the strong prevailing South Westerly wind flow.

These winds drive the Gulf Stream to high velocities and force surface waters to move offshore from Ekman transport, piling them up (Figure 4b) (Csanady, 2001).

Figure 4b also shows the limited extent of the Sargasso Sea in the late 20th century.

In the late 18th century the Sargasso Sea extended over the entire middle of the North Atlantic (Figure 4c; Krummel 1891).

The extreme asymetry presently The extreme asymetry presently shown by the North Atlantic current gyre (Figure 4d) in the middle of the 20th century was caused by the migration of the rotational core zone more than 1500 km north west as the strength of the prevailing South Westerly winds picked up along the Gulf Stream offshore N. America due to the global warming caused by pollution clouds pouring offshore from the onshore U.S. industries.

The extremely high current transport rates of the Gulf Stream directly offshore the industrialized United States varied from 55 in 1942 to up to 150 Sverdrups (millions of cubic metres/second) at the present day indicating the effects of extreme global warming enhancement here (Figure 4d, Csanady, 2001; Sverdrup, Johnson and Fleming, 1942; Wales, 2013). In addition this map shows the extreme asymmetry of the North Atlantic current gyre, the heated ocean waters in the region of the Gulf Stream (line ornament) and the north east extension of the Gulf Stream via the Hebrides and Norway to the Arctic Ocean (Figure 4d, Sverdrup, Johnson and Fleming, 1942). Csanady (2001) says that:- "South of the zero-gain contour, over most of the subtropical gyre, the ocean gains heat as colder waters flow southward (Canary Current - my insertion) and absorb solar heat. The energy gain through this "cold water advection" process being, however, moderate, typically 25 watts per square meter. In this region, evaporation is also high, raising the salinity of surface waters". Figure 4d. shows the hot north - east trending Gulf Stream feeding into the North Atlantic Drift and a number of south east trending higher salinity branches which flow clockwise back into the extreme surface salinity zone in the North Atlantic (Weather - online 2012).

The spectacular rates of heat loss from the Gulf Stream waters off the coast of the United States can be clearly followed north east to Norway where they split into the eastern Yermack branch entering the Barents Sea and the West Spitzbergen (Svalbard) Current which dives beneath the floating Arctic Ice Cap (Figure 2). This northward pointing tongue of hot and saline Gulf Stream water is also clearly visible on the salinity map (Figure 5) as strong inflexions in the contours first west of Ireland and then south of Svalbard just before the Gulf Stream dives beneath the floating Arctic Ice cap as the West Spitzbergen Current (Figure 5).

The Gulf Stream (West Spitzbergen Current) follows the southern shelf edge of the Arctic Eurasian Basin to the Laptev Sea destabilizing the subsea Arctic methane hydrates en route and releasing ever increasing amounts of methane into the Arctic atmosphere (Figure 6). The West Spitzbergen Current is still losing some 50 watts per meter by the time it reaches the floating ice cap west of Svalbard but the shallower eastern Yermack Current looses much larger amounts of heat (100 - 600 watts per metre depending on the seasons). Häkkinen and Cavalieri, 1989 indicate that in mid-winter off Lapland, heat losses reach 600 watts per square meter while in August they range from 20 to 40 watts per square meter, where the ice-sheet edge stops any exchange of heat from the sea to the air.

Figures 7, 8 and 9 show the yearly north-eastward Gulf Stream transport of the energy (watts) from the North Atlantic Sub-Tropical Gyre to the Arctic Ocean. The map uses Gulf Stream flow volumes in Sverdrups (= one million cubic metres/second) calibrated to the heat flow trend from eight measured heat flow values along the Gulf Stream (Csanady, 2001). The calibration constant is 3.85 x ten to the power of 7. The heat flow data comes from Csanady, 2001; Gulf Stream flow volumes from Sverdrup, Johnson and Fleming, 1942, Wales J., 2013 and the University of California, (CDL, 2013).
The Gulf Stream shows a zone of anomalously large global warming heating, extremely high rates of South Westerly wind induced ocean current flow, extreme wind chill (caused by evaporation of the sea surface) and elevation of the surface of the Gulf Stream along the coast of the industrialized United States and Canada (Figures 7 to 9 and Figure 4b).
Quite clearly the global warming caused by pollution clouds pouring off the coast of the industialized United States is generating a large air pressure differential, accelerating and heating the prevailing South Westerly Wind flow with its consequent wide ranging effects on the Gulf Stream seen as far north as the central Arctic. As mentioned previously this global warming has increased the rate of water transport from 55 Sverdrups in 1942 to up to 150 Sverdrups at the present (Sverdrup et al. 1942, Wales, 2013).

The heat necessary to liberate methane from the methane hydrates in the Arctic Ocean and cause runaway global warming, total deglaciation and extinction in 2052 represents only one thousandth of the total amount of heat being added to the Arctic ocean by the Gulf Stream (Figure 9). The Yermack Current (E. extension of the Gulf Stream) in the Barents Sea intersects the West Spitzbergen Current (W. extension of the Gulf Stream) at the junction of the Eurasian Basin/Laptev Sea (Figure 7 - 9). This represents an extreme subsea - atmospheric methane emission point above a zone of hydrothermal methane hydrates formed on the Gakkel ridge where it enters the Laptev Sea (Light 2013).

Human-induced global warming caused by the burning of fossil fuels is found to be continuous when the ice, land and atmosphere heating data (Church et al. 2011) is combined with the 5 - year average ocean heat content to a depth of 2000 metres (Levitus et al. 2012)(Figure 10a. Nuccitelli et al. 2012).

The lack of incorporation of this data in the global warming equation by the IPCC, is the reason for the extreme 50 year error found in estimating the floating Arctic ice cap melt time using global atmospheric models as discussed in previous papers (Light 2012, Light 2013). The rate of increase of global warming heat is equivalent to 8 x ten to the power of 21 joules per year (Nuccitelli et al. 2012). The ocean has absorbed 93.4 percent of the heat from global warming (Figure 10b, ACS 2013). The total amount of heat generated by human induced global warming between 1990 and 2010 is some 14 x ten power 22 joules which is equivalent to an absorbed energy flux of 2.2 x ten power 14 watts, i.e about 0.5 watts per square metre of the earth's surface (ACS 2013).
The relative amount of human-induced global warming energy in watts being added every year to the oceans, ice, land and atmosphere and being transferred by the Gulf Stream to the subsea Arctic methane hydrates is shown in Figure 11 (Nuccitelli et al. 2012).

Methane release rates from the East Siberian Arctic Shelf (Shakova et al, 2013) combined with the area of the Arctic Ocean have been used to determine mean methane release rates for the entire Arctic Ocean (Light, 2013). If only a few percent of the subsea methane hydrate reserves in the Arctic Ocean (some 1000 billion tons of Carbon) are dissasociated and the methane released to the atmosphere, it will cause total delaciation and a major extinction event (Light and Solana 2002. The energy necessary to produce these Arctic methane release rates require only about one thousandth of the heat energy input from the Gulf Stream to dissociate the methane hydrates (Figure 11).
Furthermore the energy necessary to produce these Arctic methane release rates represent less than one millionth of the global warming heat energy being added to the oceans, ice, land and atmosphere by human fossil fuel burning (Figure 11). The total human induced global warming is equivalent to 4 Hiroshima atomic bombs detonating every second (Nuccitelli et al. 2012).

Humanity has signed its death warrant and our final extinction will be carried out by Mother Earth within the next 30 to 40 years unless we immediately take extremely drastic action to entirely curb our carbon dioxide pollution, eliminate large quantities of methane from the subsea Arctic Ocean, seawater and atmosphere (down to ca 750 ppm) and revert completely to renewable energy.

The rate of water transport of the Gulf Stream off the industrialized United States, south of New Foundland at 55° (Sverdrup et al. 1942) to 150 Sverdrups by 2013 (Wales, 2013). This is a 95 Sverdrup increase in transport over 71 years, at a rate of 1.338 Sverdrups/year equivalent to 1.85 x ten to power 14 watts/year using the conservative factor derived in figure 13.85 x ten to power 7 to covert Sverdrups to energy transport in watts/year. Previous analysis of earthquake activity, Arctic ice cap melt back data and the mean atmospheric methane content of the atmosphere indicate that the Arctic methane hydrate (clathrate) gun began to fire continuously in 2007 and the world is now far advanced into runaway global warming which will increase the mean temperature of the atmosphere by 8 degrees C by the mid 21st century (2050 - 2052)(Light 2013). This will lead to total deglaciation and a major extinction event. (Light 2013). The critical transport in 2007 off the Gulf Stream offshore the indutrialized United States, directly south of New Foundland at 55° west longitude is 42 Sverdrups which precipitated the start of the continuous firing of the methane hydrate (clathrate) gun and runaway global warming.

The Gulf Stream transport rate started the methane hydrate (clathrate) gun firing in the Arctic in 2007 when its energy/year exceeded 10 million times the amount of energy/year necessary to dissociate subsea Arctic methane hydrates. Therefore the United States and Canada must sharply reduce their airborne pollution from fossil fuel extraction and use, to cut back the Gulf Stream transport rate to less than 142 Sverdrups south of New Foundland at 55° west longitude. Here the Gulf Stream transport rate should be reduced to below 130 Sverdrups or even 100 Sverdrups to make sure that the methane hydrate (clathrate) gun completely terminates firing in the subsea Arctic. Unless this is done immediately humanity will be facing complete extinction in a methane induced firestorm by the middle of this century.

Our Only Hope for Survival

Light (2013) clearly showed the required massive reduction in global warming fossil fuel burning emissions that the United States and Canada must undertake immediately, if there is any faint hope of stopping the runaway global warming that is now underway (since 2007). The power, prestige and massive economy of the United States has been built on cheap and abundant fossil fuels and Canada is now trying to do the same. The present end of the financial crisis and recovery of the U.S. economy will take us down the same fossil fuel driven road to catastrophe that the U.S. has followed before. Unless the United States, Canada reduce their extreme carbon footprints (per unit population) (Figures 29 and 30), they will end up being found guilty of ecocide and genocide as the number of countries destroyed by the catastrophic weather systems continues to increase.

The United States and Canada with their expanding economies and their growing frenetic extraction of fossil fuels, using the most environmentally destructive methods possible (fracking and shale oil) as well as the population's total addiction to inefficient gas transport is leading our planet into suicide. We are like maniacal lemmings leaping to their deaths over a global warming cliff. What a final and futile legacy it will be for the leader of the free world to be remembered only in the log of some passing alien ship recording the loss of the Earth’s atmosphere and hydrosphere after 2080 due to human greed and absolute energy ineptitude.

The U.S. Government and Canada must ban all environmentally destructive methods of fossil fuel extraction such as fracking, extracting shale oil and coal and widespread construction of the now found to be faulty hydrocarbon pipeline systems. All Federal Government subsidies to fossil fuel corporations, for fossil fuel discovery and extraction must be immediately eliminated and the money spent solely on renewable energy development which will provide many jobs to the unemployed. All long and short range (high consumption) fossil fuel transport must be electrified and where the range is too large, electrical trains must be used instead of trucks for transport. All the major work for this conversion and railway construction can provide a new and growing set of jobs for the unemployed. Nuclear power stations must continue to be used and should be converted to the safe thorium energy system until the transition is complete.

The U.S. has to put itself on a war footing, recall its entire military forces and set them to work on the massive change over to renewable energy that the country needs to undertake, if it wishes to survive the fast approaching catastrophe. The enemy now is Mother Nature who has infinite power at her disposal and intends to take no prisoners in this very short, absolutely brutal, 30 to 40 year war she has begun. I cannot emphasise more, how serious humanity’s predicament is and what we should try to do to prevent our certain final destruction and extinction in the next 30 to 40 years if we continue down the present path we are following .

Monitoring the Effects of a Reduction in Atmospheric Pollution from the United States and Canada

In conjuction with the massive cut back in pollution emissions by the United States and Canada, the United States must set up a project through the Woods Hole and Rutgers universities to continuously monitor the Gulf Stream flow rate offshore the industrialized United States south of New Foundland at 55° the critical transport rate of 142 Sverdrups. As already shown, the critical transport in 2007 off the Gulf Stream of 142 Sverdrups precipitated the start of the continuous firing of the methane hydrate (clathrate) gun and runaway global warming. As the United States and Canada sharply reduce their airborne pollution from fossil fuel extraction and use, it will cut back the Gulf Stream transport rate to less than 142 Sverdrups south of New Foundland at 55° west longitude. Here the Gulf Stream transport rate should be reduced to below 130 Sverdrups or even 100 Sverdrups to make sure that the methane hydrate (clathrate) gun completely terminates firing in the subsea Arctic and humanity has some breathing space to give it time to completely revert to renewable energy. The Gulf Stream transport rate monitoring work of the Woods Hole and Rutgers universities will be of vital significance in humanities last ditch attempt at surviving the fast approaching extinction event.


ACS 2013. Thermal Energy in the Ocean. ACS Climate Science toolkit/Oceans, Ice and Rocks.

Balmaseda M.A., Trenberth K.E., Källén E., 2013. Distinctive climate signals in reanalysis of global ocean heat content. Geophysical Research Letters, Vol. 40, Issue 9, 1754 - 1759.

Bryden, H.L., 1979. Poleward heat flux and conversion of available potential energy in Drake Passage. J. Marine Res., 37, 1 - 22.

Bunker A.F. 1976. Computations of Surface Energy Flux and Annual Air-Sea Interaction Cycles of the North Atlantic Ocean. Mon. Wea. Rev. 104, 1122 - 1139.

Bunker A.F. 1988. Surface Energy Fluxes in the South Atlantic Ocean. Mon. Wea. Rev. 116, 809 - 829.

Bunker A.F., and Worthington V., 1976. Energy Exchange Charts of the North Atlantic Ocean. Bull. Amer. Meteor. Soc. 57, 670 - 678.

Carana, S. 2011a. Runaway Warming 2011. Geo-engineering blog

Carana, S. 2011b. Runaway global warming 2011. Knol

Carana, S. 2011g. Runaway Global Warming. In: Climate Change the Next Generation.

Carana, S. 2012. Striking increase of methane in the Arctic. In: Arctic News

Carana S., 2012. Record levels of greenhouse gases in the Arctic. Arctic News. Wednesday, May 2, 2012.

Carana S., 2012. The accumulating impact of methane releases in the Arctic and how much time there is left to act.

Carana S., 2012. How much time is there left to act? Abrupt release of 1 Gt of methane.

Carana S., 2013. Quantifying Arctic Methane.

Carana S., 2013. Methane - hydrates.

Carana S., 2013. Methane up to 2241 ppb at 742 mb on January 23, 2013. In: Carana S., 2013, Dramatic increase in methane in the Arctic in January 2013.

Carana S., 2013. Global warming, accelerated warming in the Arctic and runaway global warming. - How much will temperatures rise?.

Carana S., 2011b. Light, M.P.R. and Carana, S. 2011c. Knol - A unit of Knowledge - Methane linked to seismic activity in the Arctic.

CDL, 2013. The Oceans, their Physics, Chemistry and General Biology. UC Press E-Books Collection, 1982 - 2004. University of California Press. California Digital Library (CDL).

Church J.A., White N.J., Konikow L.F., Domingues C.M., Cogley G., Rignot E., Gregory J.M., van den Broeke M.R., Monagham A.J., Velicogna I., 2011. Revisiting the Earth's sea - level and energy budgets from 1961 to 2008. Geophysical Research Letters. Vol. 40, Issue 15, 4066. Article first published online 8 Aug. 2013.

Cook J. 2013. 4 Hiroshima bombs worth of heat per second. In: Skeptical Science.

Csanady G.T., 2001. Air - Sea Interactions. Laws and Mechanisms. Cambridge University Press. 239 pp.

Gapminder, 2012. Yearly Human Carbon Dioxide Emissions

Häkkinen S., and Cavalieri D.J., 1989. A study of oceanic surface heat fluxes in the Greenland, Norwegian and Barents Seas. J. Geophys. Res. 94, 6145 - 6157.

Hyperphysics, 2013. Heat of Fusion, Heat of Vaporization.

Krümmel D.O., 1891. Die Nordatlantische Sargasso Sea. Map. Scale 1:31300.000. Gotha: Justus Perthes.

Levitus et al. 2012. Global Ocean Heat Content. NOAA/NESDIS/NODS Ocean Climate Laboratory. Updated from Levitus et al. 2012. Global Oceanic Heat and Salt Content. In: NOAA National Oceanographic Data Center (NODS), United States Department of Commerce.

Lide R., and Frederickse H.P.R., 1995. CRC Handbook of Chemistry and Physics. 75th Edition. 1-1 to 1-33.

Light M.P.R., 2012. Global extinction within one human lifetime as a result of a spreading atmospheric Arctic methane heatwave and surface firestorm. Arctic-News.

Light M.P.R., 2013. The Non - Disclosed Extreme Arctic Methane Threat. The 2013 Australian above average temperatures set a record of 0.22oC higher than the 12 month period prior to 2013 and confirm a mid - 21st century atmospheric methane - induced global deglaciation and major extinction event.

Light M.P.R. 2011a. Use of beamed interfering radio frequency transmissions to decompose Arctic atmospheric methane clouds. Edited by Sam Carana.

Light M.P.R. 2011c. Stratospheric methane global warming veil. Edited by Sam Carana. In: Arctic News.

Light M.P.R., 2012a. Global exctinction within one human lifetime as a result of a spreading atmospheric methane heatwave and surface firestorm. Edited by Sam Carana. In Arctic News.

Light M.P.R., 2012b. How much time is there left to act, before methane hydrate releases will lead to human extinction? Edited by Sam Carana. In: Geo-Engineering.

Light M.P.R. 2012c. Angels Proposal - A Proposal for the Prevention of Arctic Methane Induced Catastrophic Global Climate Change by Extraction of Methane from beneath the Permafrost/Arctic Methane Hydrates and its Storage and Sale as a Subsidized "Green Gas" Energy Source. LGS. 49 pp. In: Arctic News.

Light M.P.R. and Carana, S., 2011. Methane linked to seismic activity in the Arctic. Edited by Sam Carana. In: Arctic News.

Light M.P.R. and Solana C., 2002a. Arctic methane hydrates - Mapping a potential greenhouse gas hazard. Abstract and Poster, EGS, Nice.

Light, M.P.R. and Solana, C. , 2002b- Arctic Methane Hydrates: A Potential Greenhouse Gas Hazard

Murphy D.M., Solomon S., Portmann R.W., Rosenlof K.H., Forster P.M., Wong T., 2009. An obervationally based energy balance for the Earth since 1950. Journal of Geophysical Research: Atmospheres (1984 - 2012), Vol. 114, Issue D17, 16 September 2009.

Nuccitelli D., Way R., Painting R., Church J., Cook J., 2012. Comment on "ocean heat content and Earth's radiation imbalance.II Realtion to climate shifts". Physics Letters A. Vol. 376, Issue 45, 1 October 2012, 3466 - 3468.

Rutgers, 2013a. Atlantic Ocean Gyre Map.

Rutgers, 2013b. South Atlantic Gyre. I-Cool. International Coalition of Ocean Observing Laboratories.

Shakova N., 2013. A thawing ocean floor pours methane into the atmosphere and it's only getting worse. PRI. Science. Tech and Environment.

Sverdrup, Johnson and Fleming, 1942. In; introduction to Physical Oceanography. 11/chapter11_04.htm

Wales J., 2013.
- Wikipedia; Gulf Stream.
- Wikipedia; Methane.
- Wikipedia; South Atlantic Gyre
- Wikipedia; West Spitsbergen Current
- Wikipedia; Sverdrup

Weatheronline, 2013.

Friday, January 11, 2013

President Obama, here's a climate plan!

President Obama, now is the time to act on climate change! Climate change won't wait. There are encouraging signs indicating that a summit is being organized, to be hosted at the White House, to launch a comprehensive climate action plan with broad-based and bipartisan support.

What plan? Well, here's a climate plan!

The first line of action of most climate plans is to cut emissions. Two types of feebates, working separately, yet complimentary, can cut emissions most effectively and can be implemented locally in a budget-neutral way, without requiring complicated international agreements:
  1. energy feebates (pictured above) in sectors such as electricity, heating and transport, and 
  2. feebates in sectors such as agriculture, land use, waste management and construction (pictured below).
Pictured on the left are feebates that impose fees on sales of Portland cement, nitrogen fertilizers and livestock products. This will make further cuts in emissions.

The revenues are then used to fund rebates on clean construction and on soil supplements containing biochar and olive sand, which will remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and store it in buildings, soil, river banks, roads and pavement.

Working seperately, yet complimentary, energy feebates and feebates in agriculture and other sectors can dramatically bring down carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere and oceans; as a result, atmospheric carbon dioxide could be brought back to pre-industral levels of around 280ppm by the end of the century.

For further discussion, also see Towards a Sustainable Economy
Thus, these two feebates will be effective on two lines of action, i.e. on cutting emissions and on reducing carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere and oceans.

Even with these measures, temperatures will keep rising for some time, as excess ocean heat will get transferred to the atmosphere over the years and as aerosols (particularly sulfur) fall away that are currently emitted when fuel is burned and thus mask the full wrath of global warming.

Continued warming comes with numerous feedbacks. Combined, these feedbacks threaten to trigger runaway global warming, i.e. warming that will cause mass death, destruction and extinction.

How to avoid mass-scale death, destruction and extinction
This means that, in addition to the first two lines of action, further lines of action will be necessary, i.e. Solar radiation management, and Methane management and further action. Further action includes regulatory measures such as ending commercial flights over the Arctic and support for pyrolysis to avoid burning of biomass. The image below pictures several methods of Arctic methane management that should get high priority, given the threat of hydrate destabilization in the Arctic.
Arctic Methane Management

Fees imposed on commercial flights could fund solar radiation management, while the feebates described above will also be most effective in further lines of action, i.e. in Arctic methane management and further action.