Oil Crash

Discussions about Peak Oil and Alternative Energy Sources.

Friday, January 06, 2006

LuboŇ° Motl's reference frame: 2005: second or third warmest year#links

LuboŇ° Motl's reference frame: 2005: second or third warmest year#links

Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Questioning the Mauna Loa CO2 Data

The observational data of atmospheric CO2 concentration obtained from the observatory located in Mauna Loa, Hawaii, is tauted as most complete and most authoric data evidence that the global CO2 concentration goes up over the years, therefore provides a support for the Global Warming Theory.

I seriously challenge the validity of that piece of data. But first I am not questioning the hardwork of the researchers or their honesty in recordingh the data faithfully. I do believe their instruments recorded the correct readings. BUT, the interpretation of the data is very questionable.

If you look at the graph, you see a nice general trend that the CO2 concentration is going up, but you also notice a strong seasonable oscillation.

That seasonal oscillation is rather suspicious. The reseachers claim, because of the geological location of the observatory, they are measuring a CO2 concentration FREE from any bias caused by any local effects. Since the global atmosphere gets pretty good mixing at a time scale much shorter than a year, they are measuring the true global average of the CO2 concentration.

Is that so? Are they truely measuring the global average? How can the seasonable oscillation be explained? If it is a true global average, there should be no seasonal oscillation. We know, globally, when the northern hemisphere is winter time, it is summer time in the southern hemisphere. So it should all average out and there should never be such a dramatic seasonable modulation in the curve.

The seasonal modulations clearly must have a local explanation. Are they related to the seasonable plantation and biomass growth? Hardly! The geographical location of Mauna Loa has a pretty low lattitude, and the weather is oceanic, meaning it is virtually the same comfortable temperature good for plantation growth year around. There should not be a very strong seasonal effect. Also, if you look at the Data List, you notice that the CO2 peaks around May and reaches the lowest point around October. Why? You would expect that in late spring, due to strong plantation growth and photo synthesis, lots of CO2 are absorbed and so you should see the lowest concentration of CO2, not highest.

The answer may lie in the tourism. You see more tourists in the spring time leading to May, so all the extra automobile activities releases more CO2 into the local atmosphere. And in the fall and winter, much less tourists. And the gradual build up of CO2 over the years may not be a global effect, but simply a local effect that more and more visitors vist Hawaii each year.

And that certainly bring a question to the legitimacy of regarding the Mauna Loa reading as that reflecting the global trend. You need data from a different location, one that is far away from local human influence, to draw conclusions. Unfortunately I do not see any data other than the Mauna Loa one.

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Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Bubbling Ice Cores from 650000 Years Ago.

Recently the climate pseudoscientists showed us, using Tiny Air Bubbles from Ice Cores accumulated 650000 years ago, that our current atmospheric level of CO2 is 27% percent higher than 650000 years ago!

That's an absolutely ridiculous claim! Those tiny air bubbles in those ice cores measure no more than a few micron in diameter. Let's say it's 10 microns. That provides about 1x10^-15 cubic meter of volume. At regular air pressure and temperature, the number density of air molecules is P/(kT) = 2.7x10^25 per cubic meter. So you expect to find about 2.7x10^10 air molecules. At 380 ppm concentration of CO2, that's about 10 million CO2 molecules.

Are they claiming that those air bubbles are so tightly sealed, that during 650000 year there is absolute no exchange between the CO2 in the bubble, and that of the outside environment, and that there is nothing that gets dis-solved in the ice as well? Yes, solid ice DO dis-solve a small amount of all gases, especially CO2. Also, they have forgotten that the basis of determine the 650000 years ago, is based on the fact that a certain percentage of carbon in the air is freshly minted C14, which decays in time into something else. As the carbon is trapped in one way or another, the C14 decays away over time. So you lose both in the total amount of carbon, as well as in the percentage of C14 out of the total carbon. So it is not surprising at all if you determine a slightly lower level of carbon.

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Friday, October 07, 2005

A case for the 400ppm CO2 limit

If you read my comment on Belitte's blog a while ago, you know that I made a case why burning of fossil fuels will NOT bring the atmospheric CO2 to beyong 400 ppm. It's very simple, we have a limited amount of fossil fuel left. When you calculate how much extra CO2 it may contribute when all the fossil fuel we have left is burned, it actually does not make it up to 400 ppm, from the current level of 375 ppm atmospheric CO2.

Belitte tried to make a bet with me regarding whether human will contribute enough CO2 to raise it to 400 ppm, in 20 years. I did not response. I feel that his level of intelligence is just too low to warrant a response at that point. The amount of usable fossil fuels left on earth, and how much we burn per year, is a definite number. The corresponding CO2 you can generate by burning the fuels, is also a definite number well defined by the calculation. If one believes he can burn one kilogram of fuel and obtain 2 tons of CO2 out of it, he has not learned the basic physics that matter and energy are conserved. Do the calculation. And if the actual observed atmospheric CO2 increase is much more than what you calculated from fossil fuel, than only means the natural carbin cycles play a much bigger role than human consumption of fossil fuel.

I spotted this web page called Burning buried sun shine. I think I can actually use some of the numbers provided, to get a good estimate how much fossil fuel we have left.

According to Jeff Dukes, who explains the formation of fossil fuels from plantation. Only 9% of the carbon in the plantation goes into the coal, and only 1/10750 of the carbon forms the petroleum. So we can assume, out of the original carbon, about 100%-9%, 91%, eventually escape back to the atmosphere, and 9% remain underground. Out of this 9%, only 1/10750 eventually turn into petroleum, and all the rest turn into other forms of carbon within the rocks. So that is a convertion efficiency of 1/10750 divided by 9%, which is 0.109%.

The atmosphere contains 200,000 ppm of O2 (20%) in volume. Prior to origin of life, that was supposed to be 200,000 ppm of CO2 instead. Plantations essentially turn virtually all of the CO2 into O2, and capture the carbon into biomass, and some of it, let's say half, turn into petroleum at 0.109% efficiency.

You can calculate how much carbon there was, in the 20% CO2 atmosphere, using the know atmospheric pressure and the surface area of the earth. You arrive at 4.46x10^17 kg of carbon originally in the atmosphere. Convert half of that to petroleum, at 0.109% efficiency. That's 2.43x10^14 kg of carbon in petroleum.

Further using Dukes's data, one litre of patrol contains 1.1 kg of carbon. 3.785 litres is one gallon. And 42 Gallon is one barrel. So one barrel of oil contains 175 kg of carbon. Using the above figure of 2.43x10^14 kg carbon in petroleum. The total reserve of petroleum is 1.4x10^12 barrel. i.e., 1.4 trillion barrels.

This figure is essentially right. The world had a total ot 1.4 trillion barrel recoverable petroleum. We have burned half and there is only half left, 700 billion barrels. The official figure is actually 1200 billion barrels left but consider that the official number is fishy, 700 billion is a more realistic estimate.

Now, if you burn the 700 billion barrel remaining petroleum, that would generate 122.5 trillion kilogram of carbon in CO2. Should that CO2 all stay in the atmosphere, that would increase the CO2 concentration in the atmosphere by about 55 ppm (in volume). However not all CO2 will stay, some will be re-absorbed by plantations, so the actual increase will be less than 55 ppm.

Let's use some number BeLette used. He claimed that the measured CO2 is increasing 15 ppmv per decade, i.e., 1.5 ppm per year. Let's take that number as correct. We know the world is burning 85 million barrels of oil per day, or 31 billion barrel per year. So each 31 billion barrel of petroleum burned results in 1.5 ppmv increase of CO2. We have 700 billion barrels left, so that gives 33 ppmv at most. Adding 33 ppmv on top of the current 375 ppmv, the final atmospheric CO2 may reach 408 ppmv, so it could be a little bit more than 400 ppmv, but only by a very small amount.

Belitte argued that at 1.5ppmv increase per year, the atmospheric CO2 could easily surpass 400 ppmv in just 20 or 30 years. What he does not realize is that our remaining petroleum underground, if burned at current speed, hardly last us more than 20 years at most!!! And after that we no longer have any oil to burn!!!

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Thursday, September 29, 2005

Oil Crash of 2005

I am creating this blog for discussion of the Peak Oil, the pending crisis and how we can deal with it, and about alternative energy sources.

If you don't know what is Peak Oil, why you need to know it, or why it is relevant to your daily life. I advise you to spend some time studying these following web sites:

www.peakoil.org
www.oilcrisis.org
www.theoildrum.com
www.peakoil.com

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