Japan and Gas Hydrates-Fire in Ice

In news out this week, it’s clear the new frontline of climate change is deep at the bottom of the ocean.

Deep, in the dark depths of the ocean huge quantities of methane gas are safely stored as ice crystals, held in place by temperature and pressure, and now plans are afoot to bring this gas to the surface. These gas hydrates are crystalline solid deposits that exist naturally on the ocean floor, and contain massive quantities of greenhouse gasses. The US Geologic Survey estimates that the worldwide amounts of carbon bound in gas hydrates is conservatively estimated to total twice the amount of carbon to be found in all known fossil fuels on Earth

In the quest to seek new ways to produce its own fuel, Japan has successfully tapped into underwater deposits of methane hydrate and successfully extracted natural gas. With the world on the verge of reaching the tipping points of runaway climate change going to the bottom of the ocean for fossil fuels is the last place we should look for energy. Japan has many energy challenges but opening up one of the largest sources of stored fossil fuels threatens the planet.

But it’s not just Japan that’s interested.

Last year, I revealed the National government had allocated $3.2 million funding for gas hydrate exploration in New Zealand. There is a massive quantity found in our waters, potentially 20 trillion cubic feet of hydrates.

Mining methane hydrates shows we currently are living in the age of extreme energy, where methane hydrates, fracking, deep sea oil drilling, lignite coal and underground coal gasification are seen as rational responses to increasing conventional energy prices.

A better option than this surely must be investing and developing in clean energy, that builds more jobs, brings more economic benefits and doesn’t fry the planet.

76 thoughts on “Japan and Gas Hydrates-Fire in Ice

  1. Going back to the original topic, one of the possible tipping points to runaway climate warming is the positive feedback from increasing temperatures releasing gas hydrates thus increasing Greenhouse Gas concentrations. If the Japanese are harvesting gas hydrates that are near to thawing out, then this might actually be preferable to tapping other fossil fuels that are currently safely locked away, including coal. In addition, harvesting gas hydrates may be safer than drilling for oil in deep water, as – if I understand the processes correctly – the gas hydrates have to be actively released. Stop the energy input and that stops the gas flow, unlike an oil or gas well.

    I would rather that they were using renewable sources of energy, but Japan would be one of the hardest countries in the world to power completely from renewables. Sooner or later everyone must switch to renewables, but the gas hydrates may be an acceptable short term measure, preferable to deep ocean drilling or coal seam gasification.

    Trevor.

    PS: Gareth may wish to reconsider the phrase “safely stored as ice crystals”.

  2. I don’t claim THE PRESENT warming is natural, I claim ANY WARMING can be natural. Evidence: history.

    It’s up to you to prove man is doing it.

    I already did.

    Which is what is so frustrating here. You appear to have neither read nor acknowledged the 2 references that I provided that show that the CO2 increase is OUR doing. Nor the the connections between CO2 and Warming which are largely argued about only in terms of just exactly how much

    (what’s the sensitivity? That is the only game in town at this point. Lukewarmers have a sliver of credibility and I don’t as a rule call them rude names… they simply have stuff all grasp of the risk-management aspect of the question).

    http://www.nap.edu/catalog.php?record_id=12782

    Note that this is the National Academy of Sciences. It is not a blog entry and it wasn’t done casually.

    What they say on pages 21-22 should be of interest.

    “From a philosophical perspective, science never proves anything—in the manner that mathematics or other formal logical systems prove things…

    … Some scientific conclusions or theories have been so thoroughly examined and tested, and supported by so many independent observations and results, that their likelihood of subsequently being found to be wrong is vanishingly small. Such conclusions and theories are then regarded as settled facts. This is the case for the conclusions that the Earth system is warming and that much of this warming is very likely due to human activities.

    … and… if you don’t claim the current warming is natural, what the hell are you on about saying that warming is? You claim I have to prove it isn’t, which I pretty well showed. Proof is of course, not something that science does any MORE than what I gave you.

    Evidence that a theory is correct is available and growing, evidence that it is not is explained.

    That is “as good as it gets” for a scientific theory. Gravity… Relativity… Evolution… Human Caused Climate Change – or AGW (I try to avoid “ACC”, it is “Accident Compensation Corporation” here) . We understand and refine them.

    Arana… lets cut to the chase.

    Do you want us to “not have to do anything” about climate change?

    or Do you understand that we must?

    Not “would like to”. This is an existential question. We do it or we cease to exist as a civilization.

    The only question that really needs answering is WHAT do we do. How do we prepare and how do we organize ourselves to meet a challenge that we as individuals cannot deal with.

    Which is where the conflict between climate change and libertarian philosophies arises. Yet as I pointed out, a true libertarian doesn’t lie to himself about science to suit his philosophy. He works with us to find ways to minimize the growth of the state in the process of dealing with the problem.

    That is a GOOD thing, because despite my wish to put the state in charge of some things, it DOES have to be restricted. The argument about where the lines need to be drawn is a perfectly reasonable one to have.

    The thing to recognize is that there are people out there who are lying about Climate Change, who are being PAID to lie about it, and who are using the libertarians of the world as “tools”.

    I am not a tool… though I am often enough a fool. The thing is that I am not Green because I am a New York Liberal… I am a Green because there is no other choice at all. There is NOTHING more important than the existential issue.

    Gerrit rabbits on about the way a tax will increase electricity costs, or that people will be upset. He fails to comprehend that it DOES NOT MATTER.

    “ANY political-social-economic consequence that our knowledge and civilization can survive is better than losing that knowledge and civilization” – Me

    …because all of human history is about changing social and economic and political arrangements, evolving and the most ruthless dictatorships still have finite lifespans, even those lasting longer than any living memory. There is no tyranny that can be permanent.

    …but extinction is forever… and the cost of the loss of human civilization… and the loss of memory of this mistake… is ten thousand years of human social development and evolution – and 95% of the current population of humans.

    Risk Management.

    Which is how I come to be here in NZ, and a Green, instead of remaining in Pasadena working at the NASA Jet Propulsion Lab with the best toys on the planet.

  3. When Watts publishes rubbish I am QUITE able to debunk it myself. Watts has never had a valid “debunking” of Mann. Nor is he likely to manage one. Mann’s work goes through peer review before it gets published and what mistakes he has made have been corrected long since.

    I don’t have to rely on others. It isn’t hard and it isn’t worth the trouble.

    You need to go look at the sources of Watt’s stuff too, there isn’t a lot of actual science. Most of the commentary there is wingnut misinterpretation of science.

    I won’t really roll my eyes if you post a link to Watts’ rubbish heap, but he is very proud of the fact that he’ll let just about anything be dropped on it, and so a fair amount of rubbish does find its way there.

    ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    It’s stalled at present whilst c02 continues to rise.

    Arana… I referred to figure 5 of a particular paper, not the surface temperatures as provided by the CRU. You have to LOOK AT THE PAPER I LINKED TO. At which point you will recognize that it is not stalled.

    http://iopscience.iop.org/1748-9326/6/4/044022/fulltext/#erl408263fig5

    Your claim that the planet is not warming is not tenable.

    First of all because of that graph and second of all because of the ocean.

  4. If the temperature trend in that graph remains static while the CO2 rises it is also a disproof, but it takes longer to see. A decline would be unmistakable.

    It’s stalled at present whilst c02 continues to rise.

  5. I see that skepticalScience has again provided a detailed debunking of Rose.

    See, BJ, when you read it, it’s self-evident to you because you already agree with the conclusions.

    This is what I “hear” when you say the above:

    “I see that wattsupwiththat.com has again provided a detailed debunking of Mann”.

    What’s your reaction? You likely scoff at the source and roll your eyes. That’s my reaction when anyone quotes SkepticalScience. Huge salt shaker at the ready because I already know their position and conclusions.

  6. You cannot therefore ignore the rate of change

    Climate change is too broad a brush, surely, because climate change happened before man existed, and will happen long after we’re all gone. Climate change is a natural occurance.

    What you’re really talking about is “global warming caused by man” – a subset.

  7. I don’t claim THE PRESENT warming is natural, I claim ANY WARMING can be natural. Evidence: history.

    It’s up to you to prove man is doing it.

  8. I see that skepticalScience has again provided a detailed debunking of Rose. You can skip this if you like, I hit most of the high points. Interestingly enough however, the DETAIL of his claim, is shown to be false, and he used someone else’s work without permission or attribution.

    His lack of journalistic integrity remains intact. His work makes good fishwrapping and parakeet cage-liner.

    http://www.skepticalscience.com/david-rose-hides-rise-global-warming.html

  9. Arana

    You claim that the warming is natural. You cannot therefore ignore the rate of change. It being an order of magnitude different from any natural rates of change is counterfactual to your hypothesis that the warming is natural.

    The most you can say is that it is, at present, still within the natural limits imposed by the peak and trough of the 11000 year record. That is not sufficient for a claim that it is “natural”.

    Peak and trough being normally separated by some 4000 years. In our case however we went from that trough to the peak in about 150 years. Claiming that the warming is natural in the face of that rate is not tenable.

    Climate changed before man existed. It changed before the industrial revolution. Climate changed naturally.

    Nobody does or did. To assert that anyone did is a lie. You have basically created the implicit claim that science attributes all climate to human CO2, which is bullshit. Do not go there.

    ==================================

    If the temperature trend in that graph remains static while the CO2 rises it is also a disproof, but it takes longer to see. A decline would be unmistakable.

  10. Number 1 is absurd. From Ice-Age to the interglacial maximum is something like 8000 years. The maximum rate of increase in that time is about a tenth of a degree a century. We’re doing over a tenth of a degree a decade now, more than 10 times that rate of change.

    No, BJ. You’re conflating two issues. Rate of change and climate change.
    Take the rate out. I’m not talking about the supposed rate.

    Climate changed before man existed. It changed before the industrial revolution. Climate changed naturally.

    How can anyone deny this?

  11. Photonz – That might be true if there were some science on the denialist side to pick from… there is not. The only science still available is Lukewarmer – optimistic stuff… “sensitivity lower than we thought” stuff… what Arana is promoting is deep denial rubbish.

    I have omitted many “insults” already as there really isn’t much point. Entertaining but not really useful. I don’t really want to pick on him, but his arguments here, such as they are, aren’t going to stand. I can agree to disagree with a Lukewarmer on the science… it is a tenable position scientifically and the issue then becomes Risk Management which is where I part company with the Lukewarmers.

    From his argument structure he is basically picking talking points and faux news articles from someplace and hauling them over here hoping to find one that’ll stick. It doesn’t seem likely that he himself has any real knowledge of the science and I actually feel sort of sorry for him.

    But he backed himself into this buzzsaw and he is NOT listening, reading or even remembering the answers that have been provided to him. I won’t flame him for it but I can’t respect him a lot either… even though he has on other topics, seemed accessible to reason.

  12. @arana

    1) Climate always changes. Naturally. You may recall something called an ice age. Then a thaw. Romans talked about growing grapes in Britain. Natural changes in climate.
    2) There is no evidence to suggest man-made c02 has any significant effect on global warming.

    The reason you can’t make it clearer is because you are spouting nonsense.

    Number 1 is absurd. From Ice-Age to the interglacial maximum is something like 8000 years. The maximum rate of increase in that time is about a tenth of a degree a century. We’re doing over a tenth of a degree a decade now, more than 10 times that rate of change.

    http://klimaatverandering.files.wordpress.com/2013/03/shakun_marcott_hadcrut4_a1b.png

    The difference between natural and our CO2 driven temperature change could scarcely be more stark. One might where this stupidity originates, there is so MUCH of it but then you realize, it is the one thing we idiot humans will actually conserve and recycle… stupid ideas.

    I call them “zombie arguments” they keep coming back and they desperately need brains.

    Your argument number two takes a bit more work because the first part is to show that the CO2 increase really is us (though looking at this I can’t see how any other conclusion is possible).

    Figure 9 in this paper clearly shows the carbon 13 to carbon 12 ratio declining.

    http://www.bgc.mpg.de/service/iso_gas_lab/publications/PG_WB_IJMS.pdf

    The rate is consistent with the CO2 increase shown both there and in the NOAA link above being a result of the burning of previously sequestered prehistoric carbon. It is about as close to being a smoking gun as science of this sort ever gets.

    http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2004/12/how-do-we-know-that-recent-cosub2sub-increases-are-due-to-human-activities-updated/

    There is another way to approach it too
    http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2005/06/how-much-of-the-recent-cosub2sub-increase-is-due-to-human-activities/

    So we know that the CO2 increase is OURS, not some unknown and unknowable natural process that science isn’t aware of.

    We also know that CO2 IS a greenhouse gas. That is well established laboratory science based on well understood physics. Argue with that and you get into challenging not only the physicists but also every single scientist on BOTH sides of the issue. Even your favorites Lindzen and Spencer and Christy … and Curry… would savagely ridicule the notion that it is not. Those latter disagree on the degree of warming to expect but not that there will be warming as a result.

    So the CO2 rose and the temperature also rose. The trend shown in the linked paper remains at 0.15 degrees/decade but could be 0.1 and still be 10 times higher than any previously measured rate of increase.

    Where did it come from if it was not the CO2? You need a theory to explain the facts that turn up. The THEORY that it is the CO2 is well established and has remained dominant despite decades of effort to find a flaw in it. Despite well funded science being done by the “Energy Companies” to find flaws in it.

    The theory, the warming and the increase ARE the link Arana. YOU have to have an alternative theory ready to explain the warming and increasing CO2 being so closely tied together to tell us that the link described in the theory isn’t there.

    Those companies have abandoned science and gone over to funding the merchants of doubt, the professional liars, including CEI and Heartland who attack science in general hoping to keep us all ignorant a bit longer.

    Why would they do that? Well clearly the science doesn’t work for them no matter how much they pay their scientists.

  13. BJ says “Impervious to reason, facts or reality. A true denialist.”

    Sounds like both sides – find and pick the science from the extreme of the side you’re on – and ignore everything else.

    Then add in some name-calling for anyone who doesn’t agree with you.

  14. “Yet Arana has no problems peddling these mutually exclusive concepts in the same comment thread. An epic logic fail, and serves to illustrate that Arana has no clue when it comes to climate science”

    No, I do not. You’re arguing straw mans. You have no clue about my position, as evidenced by your posts, but think that misrepresenting my views an argument makes.

    Meanwhile, you dismiss Curry, who used to agree with you, but has now “gone rogue”. Remind me of your credentials, again? Are you the guy who draws cartoons, or do you just do the colouring in?

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Judith_Curry

    Curry is a professor and Chair of the School of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences at the Georgia Institute of Technology and has held this position since 2002. Curry serves on NASA Advisory Council Earth Science Subcommittee whose mission is to provide advise and recommendations to NASA on issues of program priorities and policy.She is a recent member of the NOAA Climate Working Group and a former member of the National Academies Space Studies Board and Climate Research Group.

  15. What are you on about, Rob.

    1) Climate always changes. Naturally. You may recall something called an ice age. Then a thaw. Romans talked about growing grapes in Britain. Natural changes in climate.
    2) There is no evidence to suggest man-made c02 has any significant effect on global warming.

    Can’t make it any clearer.

  16. @Arana – First you told me it was all natural.”

    Indeed. First he/she makes claims about climate changing all the time, which implies high climate sensitivity – large changes in global temperature in response to rising CO2. And now he/she starts off on the low sensitivity myth – small changes in global temperature in response to rising CO2.

    Clearly these are two contradictory ideas. The Earth is either sensitive to being perturbed or it isn’t. It can’t be both at the same time. Yet Arana has no problems peddling these mutually exclusive concepts in the same comment thread. An epic logic fail, and serves to illustrate that Arana has no clue when it comes to climate science.

    Readers will note that climate science may not have all the answers, but the combined state of knowledge is coherent. It is a framework of expert ideas and observations which are consistent with, and reinforce, each other.

  17. You do tend to paint yourself as an unfashionable martyr, bravely fencing with the Green Taliban.

    I do nothing of the sort. Actually, I’m usually accused of trolling, so it makes a pleasant change.

    It comes down to this, Gregor. No matter what studies or facts I produce, many Green supporters made up their minds on this issue years ago. It’s hard to imagine they would be Green supporters if they were skeptical on this issue.

    Question:

    What would it take for you to conclude dangerous AGW is “more likely” not occurring?

  18. I think Rob’s point still holds true to a degree, Arana.

    You do tend to paint yourself as an unfashionable martyr, bravely fencing with the Green Taliban.

    But you do so anonymously (not that you shouldn’t mind you; plenty do here and it’s a free country), frequently cite material of dubious quality, often utilise lazy logic and concern-troll sarcasm to expound your points and also have a habit of cherry-picking ‘facts’ while omitting context.

    Notwithstanding, your approach is absolutely fair game – being an open blog and discussion forum, not the Inquisition after all – but don’t expect to change peoples POV unless you come armed with good material.

  19. No one knows who you are. You are an anonymous person on the internet who will simply slink away when society at large comes around to accept what climate scientists have been telling them

    If you’d even bothered to read the article before spouting off about how uninformed I am (irony), you’d realise I was quoting Bellamy.

  20. Dr Curry has “jumped the shark”. She went out of her way to defend Rose’s journalistic malpractice. She defends Michaels, and she despises the IPCC. Her integrity is not something I am convinced of any more… but I would love to see her return to her earlier form.

    In other words, she was fine when she was on your team, but now she’s moved on, she isn’t.

  21. The person who knows nothing about education, environmental science or economics but endlessly repeats the vapourings of equally ignorant journalists, assorted discredited nitwits and someone who knew a mother who said “her kid wasn’t doing well at school”.

    Bless. Coming from the guy who thinks prosperity for New Zealand is attained by quantitative easing, and who believes in extremist AGW, I think your opinion is not one I place much value on.

  22. That site is yet another pro-AGW site.All you’re doing is repeating something you already believe in.

    Actually Arana… we are repeating science. Digested to be sure, but it is all basically science. Science which we actually do understand pretty well despite its complexity.

    You persist in a couple of memes that aren’t tenable.

    One is that the scientists are all involved in some sort of collusion to cause the world to accept “world government” or “socialism”. You could NOT organize the scientists to do something like that. Herding cats would be easier. Moreover, scientists come in many political flavors. Many are fairly conservative folks. However, given their treatment, fewer in the USA are now Republicans.

    The SECOND is that this is a sort of contest of ideas in the political sense, where everyone’s opinion is equal, or a courtroom where things are “proven”. It IS a contest of ideas, but in the scientific sense, where a theory stands on its strengths, its predictive power and the absence of a better theory.

    I went over what happened when the Energy companies had their own tame scientists look for holes in AGW. These were scientists who’s PAYCHECKS depended on their coming up with a disproof (falsification is the only sort of proof in science). The energy companies could and still can afford to dwarf the research funding currently dedicated to climate. They failed… and since then those companies have been funding instead, the CEI which is basically the same mob that spearheaded the long lying about the harm of tobacco, Monckton and Watts and Heartland… not SCIENCE, never that. The denial and ridicule of science… because the truth must be suppressed for as long as possible, so their profits can be as large as possible and fuck future generations. They don’t vote.

    You persist in repeating the neo-libertarian orthodoxy and the stupid talking points that they provide on their sites. A REAL libertarian isn’t going to do that. He’d look for ways to manage this with the least risk of government getting out of control, but he’d not deny science.

    Libertarianism depends on the knowledge of every individual being complete. The first step in even attempting that impossible goal, is knowing enough not to lie to yourself.

    Which is why Libertarianism has never lasted very long in any society of actual humans.

  23. David Rose and the Daily Mail? Murdoch and his shills again, and ROSE… Rose is so completely dishonest that if he ever uttered the truth by accident he’d probably die of surprise.

    He has been doing rubbish journalism since the WMD thing in Iraq (in which instance he is probably responsible for thousands of people being killed needlessly) and his work hasn’t improved since. I PERSONALLY caught him misquoting Trenberth when the correct quote was available on each of the first 8000 google hits!

    So where are the problems in this piece?

    The bit about the “world average temperature”, given that 4/5 of the planet is covered with water which has still been increasing in temperature (and the Arctic is melting) That’s the FIRST problem.

    The second problem is that Rose has not bothered to do what we have done several times now for you, which is to examine what the cause of the excursion actually is.

    You keep right on with the same rubbish Arana. I am getting tired of explaining to you.

    If the surface temperature does something different from the model’s predictions (and the MODELS are what give the predictions not directly the theory), then that difference has to be explained.

    Which was done.

    Several Times.

    Several different ways.

    The addition of Solar, ENSO and Volcanic influences as they ACTUALLY occurred rather than as predicted inputs to the model, is all that is required.

    Whitehouse dissected:

    http://tamino.wordpress.com/2012/12/20/fake-skeptic-draws-fake-picture-of-global-temperature/

    The Real Signal:
    http://tamino.wordpress.com/2011/12/06/the-real-global-warming-signal/

    The Escalator: (what you and Rose and others like you do)
    http://www.skepticalscience.com/graphics.php?g=47

    Animated version:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u_0JZRIHFtk

    Just for additional emphasis, the arctic meltdown…
    http://skepticalscience.com//pics/arctic-death-spiral-1979-201302.png

    That’s a really clear picture of a cooling constant warming glass of ice water.

    So far you’ve found nothing new, nothing interesting, nothing that shakes the foundations of climate science and nothing that exhibits the slightest awareness of RISK MANAGEMENT. All we have is the usual talking points from the usual shills. The closest you came to reason was when you flirted with the lukewarmer position. Apparently you’ve given that up… too bad. It was a tenable position.

    What you’re left with is Rose and the stuff that comes out of his southern end when he is heading north.

  24. But for anyone – like myself – who has been vilified for holding such an unfashionable view

    No one knows who you are. You are an anonymous person on the internet who will simply slink away when society at large comes around to accept what climate scientists have been telling them. If someone confronts you, you will simply deny were were ever a climate change denier.

    Your views could hardly be classified as unfashionable either, nonsensical would be a more apt description. Like Judith Curry expecting the Earth to cool long-term in the presence of a global energy imbalance. That is still funny.

  25. “That site is yet another pro-AGW site.All you’re doing is repeating something you already believe in.”

    Yes. Busted. I have confidence in science. It explains much of what we observe around us. On the other hand – how many times have you linked to peer-reviewed scientific literature to support your claims?

    Expertise matters, and I guarantee you agree with this as you go about your daily routines. Who would you go to for heart surgery? A heart surgeon? Or a Proctologist? The guy down the pub who claims to be an expert in heart surgery?

  26. “A quote from Mark Twain: ” . . . people’s beliefs and convictions are in almost every case gotten at second-hand, and without examination, from authorities who have not themselves examined the questions at issue but have taken them at second-hand from other non-examiners, whose opinions about them were not worth a brass farthing.”

    Yes. Very apt, Arana. Described yourself beautifully.

    The person who knows nothing about education, environmental science or economics but endlessly repeats the vapourings of equally ignorant journalists, assorted discredited nitwits and someone who knew a mother who said “her kid wasn’t doing well at school”.

  27. “This graph shows the end of the world isn’t nigh. But for anyone – like myself – who has been vilified for holding such an unfashionable view, possibly the most important thing about it is its source: the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC)”

  28. Climate alarmists: wrong

    tinyurl.com/am8my8w

    “But when the latest official global temperature figures from the Met Office are placed over the predictions, they show how wrong the estimates have been, to the point of falling out of the ‘95 per cent’ band completely. The graph shows in incontrovertible detail how the speed of global warming has been massively overestimated”

  29. Your wild, alarmist claims are about to be downgraded. You’re going to need to revise your position.

    I simply report on what the science says. Trying to reframe the narrative as alarmism will only work for a short time. As drought and flooding intensify the general public will cotton on that climate scientists (the 97%) were correct.

    The fact that global surface temperatures haven’t risen in the last 15 years

    Note what I wrote earlier:

    The Earth has undergone substantial warming in the last 16 years. It is possible, of course, to choose one metric over a short time frame and convince oneself that it isn’t warming, but what would be the point of that?

    Surface air temperatures make up 2-3% of global warming (see my previous comment) and don’t warm in a smooth manner year-upon year. One only has to look at the global surface air temperature records to see that. Global surface air temperatures are largely determined by heat stored in the upper ocean. When this heat is stored in the subsurface layers (La Nina) it is globally cooler-than-average, and when this heat is exchanged to the atmosphere (El Nino) it is globally warmer-than-average.

    We have been in a La Nina-dominant period over the last 6-7 years, but this is unlikely to persist – the climate system typically shifts between La Nina and El Nino-dominant periods.

    And as stated earlier, the Earth has an energy imbalance because we keep adding heat-trapping greenhouse gases to the atmosphere through industrial activity. The earth won’t stop warming until we stop emitting greenhouse gases.

    Lastly; the comment from Judith Curry is priceless. She doesn’t even understand the Enhanced (increased) Greenhouse Effect. I will remember to keep that quote for future reference.

  30. Your words brought a tear to my eye, Rob.

    Meanwhile, I laughed at his sheer pomposity. Seems to be a protege of BJ Chip in that regard.

    The religion of The One True Way…..

  31. I think this post is apt:

    “A quote from Mark Twain: ” . . . people’s beliefs and convictions are in almost every case gotten at second-hand, and without examination, from authorities who have not themselves examined the questions at issue but have taken them at second-hand from other non-examiners, whose opinions about them were not worth a brass farthing.”

  32. That’s why Skeptical Science always links to, and accurately reports on, the peer-reviewed scientific literature.

    That site is yet another pro-AGW site.All you’re doing is repeating something you already believe in.

    I don’t claim to be a scientist. I don’t understand the more esoteric calculations and I’m sure no one here does, either.

    I can, however, spot the rather obvious flaws in their position. Have you read Judith Curry?

    judithcurry.com/2011/10/19/laframboise-on-the-ipcc/

  33. “My intent is not convince people in denial of science, such as yourself. I don’t see how explaining climate science to the wilfully ignorant is a prudent use of time. Rather, my intent is to explain these concepts to other rational people, so that they can educate others. Responding to your repetition of anti-science myths is simply a means to that end.”

    Your words brought a tear to my eye, Rob. The thing you say you are doing, you do so well. Thanks for bothering, it’s mightily appreciated. I’m keeping a file of your explanations alongside those of bjchip’s and season my emails to friends and associates with them where appropriate.

  34. First you told me it was all natural.

    What was all natural?

    I maintain most warming is natural. Some appears to be caused by humans, but that warming appears to be insignificant, and it’s not entirely caused by man-made c02 anyway.

  35. People have repeated their rhetoric, but I don’t regard it as “an explanation”. I’ve read enough, on both sides of the debate, to be able to spot the BS.

    That’s actually science – the stuff you can’t seem to comprehend. And nothing you’ve written or copy/pasted suggests you have any knowledge of the topics under discussion. But hey, I’m used to that from anonymous people on the internet.

    My intent is not convince people in denial of science, such as yourself. I don’t see how explaining climate science to the wilfully ignorant is a prudent use of time. Rather, my intent is to explain these concepts to other rational people, so that they can educate others. Responding to your repetition of anti-science myths is simply a means to that end.

    That’s why Skeptical Science always links to, and accurately reports on, the peer-reviewed scientific literature.

    Have you read the Seager (2011) paper I linked to above?

  36. @Arana

    First you told me it was all natural.

    Now you accept that it is happening but won’t be so bad… I congratulate myself that you have learned something.

    Curry is marginally credible… sometimes.

    http://tamino.wordpress.com/2011/10/30/judith-curry-opens-mouth-inserts-foot/

    Annan said:

    “It’s increasingly difficult to reconcile a high climate sensitivity (say over 4C) with the observational evidence for the planetary energy balance over the industrial era.”

    He’s referring mostly to long tail uncertainty and I agree that the likelihood of anything over 3.5 is pretty small, but the accepted value is closer to 3 degrees than 2 or 4. I have trouble believing it is much less than 2.5.

    It doesn’t matter very much.

    Let us assert that it is instead 2 degrees. Still a Charney sensitivity so the slow feedbacks are still there uncounted but that’s how most of the sensitivities are reported. Apples to apples is good.

    If you think that lets us off the hook you’re wrong.

    It slows the increase a bit… but the increase is still QUITE enough to destroy civilization. Because we aren’t doing anything but this…

    http://www.esrl.noaa.gov/gmd/ccgg/trends/history.html

    … and as long as we are doing that, it pretty much doesn’t make a lot of difference what the sensitivity is as long as it is a positive number greater than 1… which it most assuredly is. No likelihood at all that it is less than 2 actually.

    http://www.skepticalscience.com/climate-sensitivity-advanced.htm

    So Mr Lukewarmer… you tell me (given that we aren’t doing shit to stop ourselves and WILL NOT do anything to stop ourselves until we’ve already been hammered flat)… does it really matter if it is 2 or 3 or 4 degrees sensitivity? The paleo data constraints are still there.

    You want to bet the whole of human civilization that we have a bit more time to act in?

    A good thing if true.. but it does not relieve us of the need to actually act and the uncertainty of the value, which is not apt to be reduced a lot, works AGAINST you. Remember the risk analysis thing I posted (wait on… did I post it here lately?… might have been some other person) Never mind, the link is here…

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mF_anaVcCXg

    I haven’t given you any wild alarmist claims mate. I’ve told you the truth every single time.

    What we are doing with CO2 RISKS our civilization. There is no certainty of outcome, there is a certainty of risk.

    Murphy is the one-true-god. So what can go wrong – will.

  37. This has been explained to you before, but you seem remarkably immune to learning what the actual science has to say on this matter.
    So to reiterate: Warmer atmosphere = heavier downpours and more intense drought.

    People have repeated their rhetoric, but I don’t regard it as “an explanation”. I’ve read enough, on both sides of the debate, to be able to spot the BS.

    However, you appear to have hinted at a counterfactual. If we get less heavy (however that is measured) downpours, and less intense (whatever that means) droughts, then that is a sign you’re wrong.

    Sadly, your vague generalities reveal the depth of your “scientific” position.

    Meanwhile, Piers Forster, Climate Change Professor at Leeds University, said: ‘The fact that global surface temperatures haven’t risen in the last 15 years, combined with good knowledge of the terms changing climate, make the high estimates unlikely.’

    Professor Judith Curry, head of climate science at Georgia Institute of Technology, said: ‘The models are running too hot. The flat trend in global surface temperatures may continue for another decade or two.’

    James Annan, of Frontier Research For Global Change said high estimates for climate sensitivity now look ‘increasingly untenable’, with the true figure likely to be about half of the IPCC prediction in its last report in 2007

    Your wild, alarmist claims are about to be downgraded. You’re going to need to revise your position.

  38. @Arana

    I know of no scientists who have falsified science, or lied, particularly with respect to climate science (which I follow fairly closely), in at least the last 15 years. On either side. None will alter their science to suit their politics. Most have NO politics.

    I know of several conservative organizations and individuals which/who have lied about scientists and the science in the same time frame.

    Monckton, Inhofe, Limbaugh, Ryan…. actually the list is pretty long.

    I explained at length the single effort of the energy companies to find actual science to overturn the warming hypothesis, how much they had available, and spent and how that worked out.

    So I’m asking YOU which scientists you are claiming were caught lying as I know of none. I heard about a scandal with a minor researcher in China about 2 years back… not exactly what you need.

    Some of them might lie on their tax forms… or cheat on their wives… but your implication is deeper than that.

    Scientists are very careful about their professional reputations Arana. Their scientific papers are scrutinized quite heavily.

    The science produced is QUITE reliable.

    Hell… most won’t provide a committal statement about ANYTHING, but that has been changing with climate, as most in that field are beginning to take it personally… they are human beings with kids, not simply scientists, and as nothing continues to be done and the attacks on their integrity and on science in general keep pouring out of the right wing blogosphere they are being pushed into it.

    All immaterial as the people you are listening to are paid to lie

    http://greedylyingbastards.com/

    and will keep pushing until the drought/flood/heat-wave what-have-you have hammered the truth into the brains of the general public.

    At which point you will see the emergence of an actual religion, and no doubt an inquisition as well.

    Good luck with that.

    The topic isn’t an “interesting evolving” topic, It hasn’t actually changed in 10 years, the arguments I am refuting are recycled. Zombie arguments, unkillable by science because they have no science.

  39. Arana – “And it’s not looking good for AGW fans”

    There is simply science and anti-science. There is no scientific debate about global warming, only a political and societal one.

    The Earth has undergone substantial warming in the last 16 years. It is possible, of course, to choose one metric over a short time frame and convince oneself that it isn’t warming, but what would be the point of that?

    For instance; warming of the atmosphere makes up 2-3% of global warming. What about the other 97-98%?:

    Oceans? (93.4%) – warming. Atmosphere? – (2.3%) warming (albeit slightly). Continents? (2.1%) warming. Glaciers and icecaps? (0.9%) – warming. Arctic sea ice? (0.8%)- warming. Greenland ice sheet? (0.2%) – warming. Antarctic ice sheet? (0.2%) – warming. (And yes 0.1% is missing) But the observations all show that global warming continues. As we would expect given the Earth’s energy imbalance can only be restored once we stop adding more heat-trapping greenhouse gases to the atmosphere.

    The Earth’s surface air temperature is largely governed by the heat exchanged from the ocean. An El Nino-dominant period (which is sure to arrive soon) will dump a lot of heat from the ocean into the atmosphere, and the jagged warming pattern we have seen throughout the observational record will continue.

  40. If someone is going to claim “increased drought” as a consequence of AGW, then name the counter-factual.

    It’s not just a claim, it’s a logical consequence of thermodynamics, and one supported by a vast body of scientific literature, and recent observations.

    Increase the temperature of the atmosphere and the moisture holding and redistribution capacity of the atmosphere increases at a rate faster than the warming (the Clausius-Clapeyron relation). This leads to greater absolute variance between wet and dry periods. When moisture is converged in a warmer atmosphere there are greater amounts of rainfall or snow (conditions permitting), and when moisture is diverged it is drier than it would be in a cooler climate.

    Changes in the Earth’s large-scale atmospheric circulation can either enhance or diminish this trend, but virtually all the climate models show that for most of the Earth there is little change. Indeed the most likely place to see this intensification of the global water cycle is the El Nino-Southern Oscillation (ENSO). See Seager (2011).

    This has been explained to you before, but you seem remarkably immune to learning what the actual science has to say on this matter.

    So to reiterate: Warmer atmosphere = heavier downpours and more intense drought.

  41. Do you think the scientists are lying?

    Which scientists?

    A few were caught lying, some are wrong. Many scientists continue to ask interesting questions. It’s an interesting, evolving topic.

  42. Stop conflating AGW with natural climate change.

    Nobody did that Arana. The only one doing that is YOU, attempting to claim that somehow what is happening is “natural” despite having no evidence to back the claim.

  43. What really pisses me off Arana, is that you are implicitly assuming a massive dishonesty on the part of the scientists. So lets ask explicitly…

    Do you think the scientists are lying?

    If so what is their motivation?

  44. “what has happened to make temperatures remain constant requires an explanation”

    Yup. Was provided AT LEAST 5 times now over several threads.

    The GWPF isn’t publishing any peer reviewed science mate. It isn’t a science foundation. It is a right wing advocacy group.

    http://www.desmogblog.com/really-inconvenient-truth-gwpf-debunking-gwpf-briefing-paper-no1

    Run by someone who has an interest in hiding the truth from you:

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/damian-carrington-blog/2012/mar/06/climate-change-sceptic-lawson-coal?newsfeed=true

    Hansen did all the explanation that is necessary.

    http://www.columbia.edu/~jeh1/mailings/2013/20130115_Temperature2012.pdf

    You can’t just claim victory when you are losing in the real world. The fantasyland inhabited by the GWPF and its supporters

    http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php?title=Global_Warming_Policy_Foundation

    …who are afraid to admit to funding the thing.

    You are listening to liars Arana… no science actually backs you up and the real world has been punishing farmers on a global scale.

    As expected, but even sooner than expected.

  45. If someone is going to claim “increased drought” as a consequence of AGW, then name the counter-factual. For example….

    Ahhh…. You want to know how long a region or the whole planet’s droughts might have to continue (or fail to continue) given the warming climate, to prove that more frequent droughts are in fact a consequence of warming. I’m afraid “the counter factual” has only ever been used by one person I’ve ever “met” and while I appreciate the way it abbreviates the logic of the question, it has taken me a while amid the other noise that it isn’t us and it isn’t bad.

    The good news is that I now understand your question, the bad news is that the evidence you want is only going to be clear after I’m long gone.

    The statistical frequency and severity of droughts over time would be the test.

    It is a test only of the models, not of the theory, so it has limited applicability. You need to test a secondary detail of the modelled output.

    Given the amount of noise (as drought has many parents), the time required is longer than the 20-30 years we use as the rough statistical demarcation between noise and climate change.

    It has to be checked against the increasing temperature in all the ocean and surface air measurements.

    Given the fact that the ability of the models to predict regional occurrences poor both in terms of computing power and initial conditions measurements available, there is no prediction of increased regional drought. The global drought statistics are the only ones that can count here.

    Metrics for the severity as well as frequency of drought are required, the effects of population on demand have to be winnowed out.

    So basically we’d need to develop a long term measure of drought and collect it for more than 30 years (I would double that if I wanted to get a significant indication), and then compare that for its statistical correlation – globally – with the temperature increase. The Palmer Drought Severity Index might serve but is not really adequate in its current form. Then if there wasn’t a statistical correlation you would have your “counter factual”.

    The problem of course, is that it is not really relevant to anything.

    The reason there is an expectation of drought as a consequence is that it is something that falls out of the climate models. It is thus a convenient explanation for what may actually be just a temporarily unusual weather pattern rather than a “consequence of AGW”.

    People are always looking for explanations. Yet I and others have been quite careful NOT to attribute any proof value to any drought… it is an expected consequence over the whole planet, not a proof and never a regional indicator. So the “claim” is limited to nothing smaller than the planet itself and no shorter than a minimum of 30 years.

    There is no way to conduct our ill-considered, poorly managed experiment in global climate modification anywhere but on the only planet suitable for humans (that we can reach). If it goes badly, everyone dies. Is the experiment (increasing the CO2 faster and to higher values than our civilization has ever seen) without any consequence?

    The only tools we have for this are scientific theory and modelling. Yet we do have some interest in the answer to that question. So we run models and the models say, among other things “more drought” and “more extremes”.

    So we have drought in the USA and in Australia and in China and now here and we ARE willing to say that this matches what the models said. We aren’t willing to say that this proves anything, it is just a year or so… not significant.

    There is however, the slight problem that there aren’t any models or theories that support the idea that “nothing” will happen. Which is more to the point.

    YOU are making a claim of your own. The position you have staked out is that there isn’t any consequence. What would be your “counter factual” then?

  46. Aren’t you glad the Police don’t behave like so-called skeptics?

    In this case, it’s more like the person who was burgled saw a large van driving off, and assumed that was the thief, on the basis he believed thieves drive large vans.

    Well, sometimes they do.

    But the Police noted that large vans were very popular in this street – as it was occupied by a lot of moving companies.

  47. Lindzen’s argument. Number one on the hit parade and it is at least based on a fact. The climate has changed before. Everyone and his dog agrees on it.… and your point is?

    Stop conflating AGW with natural climate change.

    If someone is going to claim “increased drought” as a consequence of AGW, then name the counter-factual. For example, “if it’s the same/drier/wetter next year, or for the next x years, or past x years, then this is a sign AGW ISN’T changing climate”.

  48. Lindzen’s argument. Number one on the hit parade and it is at least based on a fact. The climate has changed before. Everyone and his dog agrees on it.

    … and your point is?

    Are you saying it can’t be us THIS time because it wasn’t us back then?
    …or it can’t be CO2 this time because it wasn’t CO2 back then?

    The only arguments I can guess from this fact. Which?

    Not that it matters. Both are logically flawed.

    ——————-

    Natural climate change shows our climate responds to energy imbalance.

    We know that the energy imbalance can have a variety of reasons “forcings”, and more than one can be acting at a time. The dominant forcing determines the direction of the imbalance.

    So again… look at the recent history. We WERE trending down into an “Ice Age” – a rather obvious trend and expectable given the records of previous interglacials. We went from that bottom to the top of the range in 150 years, not 1500.

    ==============================

    I just walked into the Sauna and I feel warm.

    It can’t be because I’m in a Sauna because I’ve been warm before and all the times I’ve been warm before were from being outside in the Sun or Exercising or nervousness on a date or…

    Does this make sense to you? I really hope not.

  49. Arana – The reason scientists expect climate to change as a consequence of increased greenhouse gases, is that the climate has always responded in the past. Indeed, carbon dioxide is the Earth’s biggest control knob. See also Skeptical Science’s skeptic argument No.1.

    Imagine if you came home to find someone burgling your home. You manage to catch a good look at the perpetrator before he runs to his car and speeds off. You grab the registration number and phone the Police – notifying them of the stuff pinched from your home. A short time later the Police notify you that they’ve located the car, and nabbed the driver. Later they show you a series of mugshots and you correctly identify the person they apprehended.

    It turns out that the Police are so-called “skeptics”. They released the guy without charge because they figured it couldn’t be him, despite all your property in the car, despite the registration number matching the number you gave them, and despite you identifying the crook by his mugshot. Heck, they even dusted your place and found the guys fingerprints on the inside of the window frame that was jemmied open. There was also a jemmy bar in the boot of his car which matched the indentations on the window frame at the point of entry.

    Their justification for letting him walk? Your house was burgled when it was occupied by a previous tenant and they caught the guy then. Therefore it couldn’t have been the guy you identified, whose car registration you recorded, and whose fingerprints they found, and whom was in possession of your property moments after burglary. It must have been the same guy who burgled the house when it was occupied by the previous tenant!

    Aren’t you glad the Police don’t behave like so-called skeptics?

  50. Nothing like the climate changing right before your very eyes to convince people of reality.

    Climate always changes.

    “The Earth’s climate has changed throughout history. Just in the last 650,000 years there have been seven cycles of glacial advance and retreat, with the abrupt end of the last ice age about 7,000 years ago marking the beginning of the modern climate era — and of human civilization.”

  51. The papers Key released about Solid Energy’s 2010 proposal to transform itself (as reported in ODT today) shows they were considering marine methane hydrates.

  52. @castaway. Politicians should be asked if they understand and accept the scientific consensus on global warming and ocean acidification, BUT they need to be clear about timescales and the urgency and seriousness of problem. I have a letter from Nick Smith saying ‘New Zealand is going to need to make the change over the next fifty years of shifting to a low carbon economy’ and Michael Woodhouse ‘I’m certain that a fossil fuel free society could be several generations away’. They won’t deny climate change, but they will avoid doing anything about it yet.

  53. Oh hell… now he has Brownlee’s face. I really have to not post in the middle of the night… that’s DISGUSTING :-)

  54. It is clear that if we burn all the currently known economically extractable fossil fuels then the world will be rendered unrecognisable and uninhabitable to many organisms. There will be mass floodings, and some populous parts of the planet will be depopulated forcing mass migrations, wars pestilence, famine and other not nice things.

    That means that we have to stop looking for new sources of carbon based fuels.

    I know that the National party know this, but they hope that they can get as much of what is currently in the ground out and get some money for it before the unconsionable becomes too obvious. They hope that when they can’t avoid setting realistic targets, that the more reserves they have to bargain away the less actual pain they will be forced to concede. Our National government is not alone in this. The strategy is being applied all over the world.

    We have to set a limit of the maximum amount of carbon we can possibly burn and allocate that to the various fossil fuel producers based on known reserves and how much they have NOT extracted to date. The rest must remain untouched. New reserves discovered after 1990 (when the world officially recognised the problem) should not be counted. Oil companies and countries that continued to search for fossil fuels in the knowledge of the damage they were doing should get no benefit for it.

    If that exploration money had been spent on renewables instead then we would be a lot further along the path to decarbonisation.

  55. Bjchip – “There is no other industry that gets to dump its waste into our environment for free”

    I don’t consider that to be quite accurate. They don’t dump it for free, they make us pay for it. Collectively, global taxpayers pay fossil fuel companies over half a trillion dollars annually to do this. Politicians call these subsidies, but they are in reality corporate welfare. But that’s only the financial aspect, the ecological debt is far worse.

    I suspect John Key, Gerry Brownlee, and many other politicians have a large personal financial stake in fossil fuels, so don’t expect them changing their tune any time soon.

    Science has an ace up its sleeve though – reality. Many of these farmers affected by the current devastating drought will soon forget once the rains return. But, as I stated on another thread, if the climate moves into an El Nino-dominant period, as it is long overdue to do, then New Zealand may possibly experience a half-decade or so of recurrent drought. Probably interspersed with record rainfall – just to confuse the masses.

    Nothing like the climate changing right before your very eyes to convince people of reality.

  56. Those here who think that using Methane Hydrates from the ocean’s floor is a good thing have to consider the long term consequences of NOT weaning ourselves from digging up and burning stuff that has been buried.

    That IS something we are going to have to do. Burning that gas with carbon capture and storage might be OK… for a while.

    However there can be no leakage. No destabilization of the deposits… or the consequences are a much DIRTIER fuel than even the coal. CH4 is more potent as a greenhouse gas than CO2.

    …and ALL it does is kick the can down the road. For our kids to deal with. They will have FEWER resources at their disposal… more knowledge and better technology but less cheap energy and less solid ground to walk on… and probably less food to eat because we’re fncking the climate of the planet with our subsidy of the carbon power industries.

    There is no other industry that gets to dump its waste into our environment for free. Everyone else pays cash. That industry likes that arrangement and it is paying cash to KEEP it… just a lot less than it costs the rest of us.

    http://www.exposethebastards.com/

    So the thing we are morally obligated to do is act now.

    The thing that is ideologically impossible for this government to even consider is to act now.

    Anyone can see that we need a different government.

  57. @Roman

    “What? You guys need to get with current science.CO2 and Water Vapour create .7 to 1.2 degrees C per 100 years only.
    There is no 3-6 degree rise.”

    There is one study that comes up with that number mate. It has some modeling issues.

    Including an extra decade’s worth of data into the model should not halve their equilibrium climate sensitivity value, because the equilibrium sensitivity of the climate system is a relatively constant number, and in reality has not changed radically over the past decade. This suggests that their model may be overfitting the short-term natural variability.

    http://www.skepticalscience.com/climate-sensitivity-cicero.html

    You need to get with ALL the science, not the lukewarmist optimism of nothing much happening in spite of clear evidence that it is.

    The IPCC Fourth Assessment Report:

    “likely to be in the range 2 to 4.5°C with a best estimate of about 3°C, and is very unlikely to be less than 1.5°C.

    Understanding “very unlikely” in this context as less than a 10% chance of any lower value.

    http://www.pik-potsdam.de/~stefan/Publications/Book_chapters/Rahmstorf_Zedillo_2008.pdf

    More discussion:
    http://www.iac.ethz.ch/people/knuttir/papers/knutti08natgeo.pdf

    Moreover, most of the information we look at reckons only the fast feedbacks. The Charney sensitivity. There are slower/other feedbacks.

    The paleo data

    http://www.nature.com/ngeo/journal/v2/n8/abs/ngeo578.html

    is suggestive of HIGHER sensitivities… what really happened 55 million years ago is not certain, but higher sensitivity has to be considered… on that time scale the SUN was cooler.

    Hansen discusses slow feedbacks a bit here:
    http://pubs.giss.nasa.gov/docs/2008/2008_Hansen_etal.pdf

    In other words, you are “whistling past the graveyard”.

    Also you are ignoring what we are actually doing to the CO2. As in emitting more and faster than any rational estimate of our actions when we first understood the problem existed.

    http://www.esrl.noaa.gov/gmd/ccgg/trends/history.html

    THAT is the fault of people who can accept anything science brings that is profitable but as soon as it is going to cause a problem with their business model the scientists must be lying.

    Fnck ‘em with a fork – sideways.

  58. Arana – IF you hung out here any length of time you’d probably have noticed that we aren’t “religious” about nukes, just don’t need them here in NZ. Japan probably needs them while it builds up its renewables and looks for miracles.

  59. Having discussed Bill English, lets look at another key issue, so to speak. Has anyone asked John Key if he still believes in anthropological climate change? I suspect it is a question he would rather not answer. If he really does believe in climate change, then he also has a blind-spot in his moral compass. Some business people tend to use the phrase “business-is-business” to justify all sorts of morally dubious (though often perfectly legal) actions. I think some questions in parliament are in order asking how John Key can reconcile his views on any number of government policy directions against his stated belief in man made climate change.

    For example, “smashing the MUL”, RONS and the overall overwhelmingly pro-road funding policies, the huge push into opening up as much land as possible for dairy, talk of opening up the west coast national parks to open-cast coal mining, limp-wrist-ed response to over-fishing on the high seas, support of fracking and oil exploration in our territorial land and water are just a few of the actions that are heading NZ at top speed in the opposite direction from developing policies that address climate change. I assume that if he does believe that climate is an issue, if nothing else then for the sake of his family and friends, he’d want to fix it.

    I can’t help but wonder if John Key is a little isolated from his powerful troika of ministers on this issue – English, Joyce and Brownlee. I wonder what Joyce and Brownlee’s views on climate change are? Given that views on climate change are going to be at the core of current and future government policies for governments all around the world, this is well worth asking the question of those key National Party ministers. It will be good to get their views on record.

  60. Japan would probably be ideologically opposed to it but one option for meeting some of their power needs would be to supply them with power via undersea cables from areas with a lower population density. Offshore wind is another option.

    Note that Japan is probably one of the hardest countries to power from renewable resources. All the more reason for us to try harder.

    Trevor.

  61. Gregor – It’s still a major problem. There is an incredibly large reservoir of methane hydrate at the bottom of the ocean. If we could extract that safely, i.e. not destabilize the deposits, then we are still on the road ruin, even if we were to drive a little more slowly (and I’m not convinced we would).

    Yes, I fully accept that moving to more sustainable practices, and energy sources, is not going to be painless. But it will certainly be less painful in the long-term – that’s what the science and observations are making exceedingly clear.

    Sadly, there’s no easy way out of this mess………

  62. Rob – The by products are CO2 and water and trace monoxide, right?
    A lot less CO2 than conventional hydrocarbon as I understand it.

    I’m approaching this from a view of lesser evilism, not immediate CO2 abolition.

  63. Usual trolling from Arana when she or he takes time off from shopping or whatever she/he uses for mental stimulation and helping (China’s) GDP.

    Gregor’s missing a lot. This is about methane from it’s clathrate with water (Google it, Gregor) not methanol or syngas (hydrogen, carbon monoxide and a small amount of carbon dioxide). You should also improve your knowledge of photochemistry. How come you reckon methane from clathrates in NZ’s EEZ will last forever since you say “It could permanently free NZ from offshore fuel dependency”? Do you believe there’s an infinite amount on the seabed?

  64. Gregor W – Yes you are missing something obvious. What do you suppose are the by-products of methane combustion?

    And yes, there is lots and lots of methane hydrate locked up on the ocean floor. Enough to end global civilization as we know it. Indeed, the natural release of methane hydrates, and the CO2-driven warming that accompanied it, are the prime suspects for the geologically-abrupt global warming that occurred during the Paleocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum (PETM) around 55-56 million years ago.

    This is like putting out fire with gasoline.

  65. This is a strange post, Gareth.

    Methane, converted to methanol or syngas, is pretty much ideal as a fuel – cheap(ish) to produce, low CO2 footprint and naturally degradable in sunlight.

    This progress is something that should be heralded, not rubbished. It could permanently free NZ from offshore fuel dependency.

    Am I missing something?

  66. “With the world on the verge of reaching the tipping points of runaway climate change”

    What? You guys need to get with current science.CO2 and Water Vapour create .7 to 1.2 degrees C per 100 years only.
    There is no 3-6 degree rise.

  67. Tidal power. Solar power. Those panels are down to $1 a watt. Reduce consumption. It’s not rocket science anymore.

  68. Nuclear not so bad after all, then.

    Ever been to Japan, Gareth? You might have noticed there isn’t a lot of room to run windmills, not a great deal of river action, and they have a lot of people.

    How do you suggest they power Japan?

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