Posts Tagged ‘CO2’

Make you Fink on Friday

Wow! New Year went with a bang… all over the world.

It started in New Zealand with the magnificent display from the Sky Tower.

Sky Tower, Auckland, NZ

New Year celebrations crept around the world for a whole 24 hours.

It finally got to Rio de janeiro, then continued on to the US and Pacific.

Copacabana Beach in Rio has the biggest New Year party in the world, more than 2 million people on 6½kms of beach between Leme and the Copacabana Fort.

They were treated to a magnificent aerial display of fireworks. Twenty-four tons of fireworks produced a display over 16 minutes.

How much carbon dioxide was added to the atmosphere with this frivolity?

I have no idea, but considering that fireworks use gunpowder, I’d hazard a guess at lots.

Copacaban Beach - Pretty, but deadly

Copacabana Beach – Pretty, but deadly

But Rio had about nine (I haven’t checked the actual figure) similar or lesser displays around the city from Niteroi to Sepetiba; along with thousands of neighbourhood displays. My own neighbourhood was blowing tons of gunpowder into the air for longer than the Copacabana display.

And the rest of Brazil, all the capital cities had their displays, and undoubtedly minor cities in each of the 26 states and Federal District also had their displays.

Now the amount of carbon dioxide is mounting up.

How much more CO2 did the rest of the world add?

NZ, Sydney, Hong Kong, Japan, all over Europe, Britain, USA and the Americas, totalled, that’s a hell of a lot of gunpowder.

Isn’t it high time that events like this that produce CO2 and other pollutants were banned?

Are we taking this issue too lightly?

Cities that used LED and projected light displays are to be congratulated, even if they used this form for the wrong reasons.

Maybe the rest of the world should follow suit; and go electronic with music instead of the traditional need for BIG BANGS.

Satireday on Eco-Crap

one_square

Is this part of the answer?

Methane hydrate: Dirty fuel or energy saviour?

Methane hydrate, or fire ice, is a highly energy-intensive fuel source

The world is addicted to hydrocarbons, and it’s easy to see why – cheap, plentiful and easy to mine, they represent an abundant energy source to fuel industrial development the world over.

The side-effects, however, are potentially devastating; burning fossil fuels emits the CO2 linked to global warming.

And as reserves of oil, coal and gas are becoming tougher to access, governments are looking ever harder for alternatives, not just to produce energy, but to help achieve the holy grail of all sovereign states – energy independence.

Some have discovered a potential saviour, locked away under deep ocean beds and vast swathes of permafrost. The problem is it’s a hydrocarbon, but unlike any other we know.

Huge reserves

Otherwise known as fire ice, methane hydrate presents as ice crystals with natural methane gas locked inside. They are formed through a combination of low temperatures and high pressure, and are found primarily on the edge of continental shelves where the seabed drops sharply away into the deep ocean floor, as the US Geological Survey map shows.

Methane hydrate deposits

And the deposits of these compounds are enormous. “Estimates suggest that there is about the same amount of carbon in methane hydrates as there is in every other organic carbon store on the planet,” says Chris Rochelle of the British Geological Survey.

In other words, there is more energy in methane hydrates than in all the world’s oil, coal and gas put together.

By lowering the pressure or raising the temperature, the hydrate simply breaks down into water and methane – a lot of methane.

One cubic metre of the compound releases about 160 cubic metres of gas, making it a highly energy-intensive fuel. This, together with abundant reserves and the relatively simple process of releasing the methane, means a number of governments are getting increasingly excited about this massive potential source of energy.

Technical challenges

The problem, however, is accessing the hydrates.

Quite apart from reaching them at the bottom of deep ocean shelves, not to mention operating at low temperatures and extremely high pressure, there is the potentially serious issue of destabilising the seabed, which can lead to submarine landslides.

A greater potential threat is methane escape. Extracting the gas from a localised area of hydrates does not present too many difficulties, but preventing the breakdown of hydrates and subsequent release of methane in surrounding structures is more difficult.

And escaping methane has serious consequences for global warming – recent studies suggest the gas is 30 times more damaging than CO2.

These technical challenges are the reason why, as yet, there is no commercial-scale production of methane hydrate anywhere in the world. But a number of countries are getting close.

‘Enormous potential’

The US, Canada and Japan have all ploughed millions of dollars into research and have carried out a number of test projects, while South Korea, India and China are also looking at developing their reserves.

The US launched a national research and development programme as far back as 1982, and by 1995 had completed its assessment of gas hydrate resources. It has since instigated pilot projects in the Blake Ridge area off the coast of South Carolina, on the Alaska North Slope and offshore in the Gulf of Mexico, with five projects still running.

How methane hydrate is formed

“The department continues to do research and development to better understand this domestic resource… [which we see] as an exciting opportunity with enormous potential,” says Chris Smith of the US Department of Energy.

The US has worked closely with Canada and Japan and there have been a number of successful production tests since 1998, most recently in Alaska in 2012 and, more significantly, in the Nankai Trough off the central coast of Japan in March last year – the first successful offshore extraction of natural gas from methane hydrate.

‘Game changer’

Of all the countries actively researching methane hydrate, Japan has the greatest incentive. As Stephen O’Rourke, of energy consultants Wood Mackenzie, says: “It is the biggest importer of gas in the world and has the highest gas import bill as a result.”

However, he points out that at just $120m (£71m; 87m euros) a year, the Japanese government’s annual budget for research into gas hydrates is relatively low.

The country’s plans to establish commercial production by the end of this decade do, then, seem rather optimistic. But longer-term, the potential is huge.

“Methane hydrate makes perfect sense for Japan and could be a game changer,” says Laszlo Varro of the International Energy Agency (IEA).

Elsewhere, incentives to exploit the gas commercially are, for now, less pressing. The US is in the middle of a shale gas boom, Canada also has abundant shale resources, while Russia has huge natural gas reserves. In fact, Canada has put its research into methane hydrate on hold, and deferred any additional funding.

China and India, with their rampaging demand for energy, are a different story, but they are far behind in their efforts to develop hydrates.

“We have seen some recent progress, but we don’t foresee commercial gas hydrate production before 2030,” says Mr O’Rourke.

Indeed, the IEA has not included gas hydrates in its global energy projections for the next 20 years.

‘Mad Max movie’

But if resources are exploited, as seems likely at some point in the future, the implications for the environment could be widespread.

It is not all bad news – one way to free the methane trapped in ice is pumping in CO2 to replace it, which could provide an answer to the as yet unsolved question of how to store this greenhouse gas safely.

But while methane hydrate may be cleaner than coal or oil, it is still a hydrocarbon, and burning methane creates CO2. Much depends of course on what it displaces, but this will only add to the accumulation of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere.

Methane hydrates are found mainly under ocean seabeds and Arctic permafrost

However, this may be a far better option than the alternative. In fact, we may have no choice.

As global temperatures rise, warming oceans and melting permafrost, the enormous reserves of methane trapped in ice may be released naturally. The consequences could be a catastrophic circular reaction, as warming temperatures release more methane, which in turn raises temperatures further.

“If all the methane gets out, we’re looking at a Mad Max movie,” says Mr Varro.

“Even using conservative estimates of methane [deposits], this could make all the CO2 from fossil fuels look like a joke.

“How long can the gradual warming go on before the methane gets out? Nobody knows, but the longer it goes on, the closer we get to playing Russian roulette.”

Capturing the methane and burning it suddenly looks like rather a good idea. Maybe this particular hydrocarbon addiction could prove beneficial for us all.

 

I Boobed

Yesterday was Monday, need I say more?

The above is a hypothetical question, it doesn’t need an answer.

With PC problems, internet problems, best part of two days with almost no access I got confused and posted today’s post instead of Monday Moaning

😦

So today you get…

cartoon-epa-santa-claus

Make you Fink on Friday

Serious CO2 Emmissions

…and nothing much happened

A lot of hot air!

So many conferences and seminars all about the environment, G8s, Rio+20, etc and who listens.

A lot of talk, talk, talk…

The governments don’t give a shit, they are paying lip service to anything that interrupts their agendas.

What is the governments’ agenda?

To stay in power and fatten their wallets!

Rio+20

For the environment to be saved, we must acknowledge our dependence on nature [REUTERS]

“The future of the planet is on the table as policymakers and environmental advocates gear up for the next major UN conference in Rio de Janeiro, on the 20th anniversary of the 1992 “Earth Summit” in mid-June. Expectations for the Rio+20 meeting are understandably low, given the recent history of climate change meetings in Copenhagen and Durban. The reasons for this failure are also clear: while a “global deal” to reduce global carbon emissions will clearly benefit everyone in the long run, such an agreement appears to fly in the face of countries’ (especially developing countries) short-term economic growth goals.”

Source: Al Jazeera read more, don’t dismiss this simply because of the name.

More:

“Rio+20 could be the trigger. Or it may not. We may have to wait for deeper crises, for a more severe collapse. I hope not. While it is not wise to raise expectations too high, it is also not wise to give up hope. Let us hope for the best.”

I have no faith that Rio+20 will be any different. Simply more CO2 added to the atmosphere.

My view that this conference is being held in one of the most politically corrupt countries in the world, one of the countries with the greatest disregard to deforestation, one of the countries with the scantest aplomb when it comes to displacing people to build a hydroelectric scheme, one of the countries that exports the most illegal timber, one of the countries who ignore the slaughter of native peoples and activists, one of the countries with the slowest justice system; what hope is there?

A pivotal event currently on the books that will set environmental protection back 50 years has been approved by the senate and is awaiting presidential approval or veto. Dilma Rousseff has the power to veto this law, will she?

And they use this as the setting for the concerns of the world…

When will the world wrest control from these psychopaths?

Saturday Satire

Pickles. Delicious, crunchy, succulent, green, great on sandwiches, great by themselves. A treat. Pickles first came about around 4400 years ago in Mesopotamia. The art of pickling was carried out and well known to the Indians, Greeks, and Romans. And, later was taken to the new world by the Jews, who came up with a worldwide sensation with the “kosher” dill pickle.

However, something startling has come to the attention of many eco-crusaders and climate change experts. Pickles, while seemingly green and innocuous…

Read the rest: Pickles Destroying the Environment, not really green

%d bloggers like this: