Exxon sees little climate change risk to assets

In a new report, Exxon states that there is no probability that all of the fossil fuels in its reserves will not be burned during the next decades. The company is no longer denying Global Warming, but it is convinced that no government will make so drastic changes that there will be no need for buying and burning their fossil fuels. And it is this way it goes, if we let the ones in power have their way. Though the number of direct deniers is dwindling, the world is dominated by people in power, doing nothing more than nodding in agreement about the dangers of Global Warming, but taking no drastic action to change the course.

Where does this leave the rest of us? In an increasingly warmer world.

As you can read, they use the argument that this is to benefit the people striving for better living conditions! No consideration for the millions of people who will be much worse off, due to burning of all these reserves. All of Exxon’s reserves should stay in the ground!

Exxon Mobil Corp, the world’s largest publicly traded oil company, said on Monday that risks related to climate change pose little risk to its oil and gas reserves because the resources will be needed to meet expected growth in energy demand.

Responding to queries from shareholder activists, the company also said it is “confident” that none of its oil and gas reserves will lose value or become “stranded” if governments act to slash carbon emissions.

“We believe producing these assets is essential to meeting growing energy demand worldwide, and in preventing consumers – especially those in the least developed and most vulnerable economies – from themselves becoming stranded in the global pursuit of higher living standards and greater economic opportunity,” Exxon said in a report released in response to call from activist shareholders.

Earlier this month, the Irving, Texas-based company agreed to detail the risks climate change poses to its carbon assets in exchange for the withdrawal of a shareholder proposal on the issue.

The resolution, filed by investors from As You Sow and Arjuna Capital, cited studies suggesting that lower demand or prices for fossil fuels might emerge in coming years as a result of climate change or greater carbon regulation.

Based on its previously published long-term outlook, Exxon expects the world to require 35 percent more energy by 2040 and greenhouse gas emissions are expected to plateau in that period.

While governments could take action that affects Exxon, the company said it is “highly unlikely” that governments would restrict greenhouse gas emissions 80 percent over the next 30 years.

via Exxon sees little climate change risk to assets | Reuters.

Global warming not stopped, will go on for centuries

A new report by the World Meteorological Organisation is one in a series to attempt putting a lid on the denier’s fantasies of Global Warming having stopped. This report is very blunt. It has not stopped, but much of the heat is being stored in the sea, and it will continue and affect our planet for centuries!

There has been no reverse in the trend of global warming and there is still consistent evidence for man-made climate change, the head of the U.N. World Meteorological Organisation (WMO) said on Monday.

A slow-down in the average pace of warming at the planet’s surface this century has been cited by “climate sceptics” as evidence that climate change is not happening at the potentially catastrophic rate predicted by a U.N. panel of scientists.

But U.N. weather agency chief Michel Jarraud said ocean temperatures, in particular, were rising fast, and extreme weather events, forecast by climate scientists, showed climate change was inevitable for the coming centuries.

“There is no standstill in global warming,” Jarraud said as he presented the WMO’s annual review of the world’s climate which concluded that 2013 tied with 2007 as the sixth hottest year since 1850 when recording of annual figures began.

“The warming of our oceans has accelerated, and at lower depths. More than 90 percent of the excess energy trapped by greenhouse gases is stored in the oceans.

“Levels of these greenhouse gases are at a record, meaning that our atmosphere and oceans will continue to warm for centuries to come. The laws of physics are non-negotiable,” Jarraud told a news conference.

The 21-page survey said the global land and sea surface temperature in 2013 was 14.5 degrees Celsius (58.1 Fahrenheit), or 0.50C (0.90F) above the 1961-90 average. It was also 0.03C (0.05F) up on the average for 2001-2010.

via Global warming not stopped, will go on for centuries – WMO | Reuters.

US Navy’s Arctic strategy forecasts ice-free shipping routes

Whom do you trust the most: the climate deniers saying that nothing will change – or an institution like the US Navy who has a direct interest in knowing how things will be in the future?

By 2030, the Arctic’s Northern Sea Route could be ice free and navigable for at least nine weeks each year, with a 10-week ‘shoulder season’, according to projections released today in the US Navy’s Arctic strategy. The Northwest Passage could be open for five weeks, with a six-week shoulder season; and the Bering Strait could be ice free for a whopping 27 weeks a year, with up to 10 weeks of shoulder season.

New shipping lanes are just one potential consequence of the ongoing loss of the Arctic’s blanket of snow and ice, which has accelerated in recent years. The Navy also projects that the region’s waterways will see rising activity from fishing, tourism and oil and gas exploration. 


The Navy’s report notes that the Arctic is home to an estimated 22% of the world’s undiscovered hydrocarbon reserves. With that in mind, the service says that it plans to improve its ability to operate in the Far North, though its new plan avoids specific discussion of the equipment and infrastructure that will require.

via US Navy’s Arctic strategy forecasts ice-free shipping routes : Nature News Blog.

Greenland glacier hits record speed

The deniers are still busy telling us that the warming has stopped – but apparently they forgot to inform this Greenland glacier, now moving 4 times faster than it was in the 1990s:

A river of ice in Greenland has become the fastest-flowing glacier currently known in the world, a study suggests.

In summer, the Jakobshavn Glacier – widely thought to have spawned the iceberg that sank the Titanic – is moving about four times faster than it was in the 1990s.

via BBC News – Greenland glacier hits record speed.

Arctic thaw significantly worsens global warming risk

One of the most scary things related to Global Warming is the danger of some of  the earth system reaching a tipping point. When such a point is reached, the changes accelerate until a new equilibrium is reached. The Arctic area contains several such tipping points – one of them being the polar ice cover. The more of it melts, the more heat is absorbed by the darker ocean, melting more ice – and things then accelerate.

Some scientists now find that the dark water absorb more heat that previously calculated:

MELTING ice is cooking the planet. Shrinking Arctic sea ice means the ocean is absorbing more energy from the sun, and it’s now clear the effect is twice as big as thought – adding significantly to heating from greenhouse gases.

Arctic temperatures have risen 2 °C since the 1970s, leading to a 40 per cent dip in the minimum summer ice coverage in the Arctic Ocean. Open water soaks up more sunlight than ice, so as the ice retreats the ocean absorbs more energy, warming it and causing even more melting.

To measure the effect, Ian Eisenman of the Scripps Institute of Oceanography in La Jolla, California, and colleagues turned to data from NASA’s CERES satellite. They found that the Arctic Ocean’s albedo – the fraction of sunlight it reflects back into space – dropped from 52 per cent in 1979 to 48 per cent in 2011. That may not seem like much, but it means a big rise in energy absorbed – equal to 25 per cent of that trapped by the rise in atmospheric CO2 over the same period (PNAS, DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1318201111).

“That is big – unexpectedly big,” says Eisenman. “Arctic sea ice retreat has been an important player in the global warming that we’ve observed during recent decades.”

via Arctic thaw significantly worsens global warming risk – 19 February 2014 – New Scientist.

Heat extremes increase despite global warming hiatus

A new report from a group of scientists inform us that even though the average global temperatures have increased less during the last years, we are getting more severe heat extremes.As you can see people are dying from this – and you can be sure that it is again the Poor who are affected the most.

(Reuters) – Hot weather extremes have increased around the world in the past 15 years despite a slowdown in the overall pace of global warming, a study showed on Wednesday.

Heat extremes are among the damaging impacts of climate change as they can raise death rates, especially among the elderly, damage food crops and strain everything from water to energy supplies.

“Observational data show a continued increase of hot extremes over land during the so-called global warming hiatus,” scientists in Switzerland, Australia and Canada wrote in the journal Nature Climate Change.

A Russian heatwave in 2010 killed more than 55,000 people and a 2003 European heatwave killed 66,000. Pakistan recorded a temperature of 53.5 degrees Celsius (128 Fahrenheit) in 2010, the highest in Asia since 1942.

The average pace of warming at the planet’s surface has slowed from the 20th century in what scientists link to factors such as absorption of more heat by the oceans, more sun-dimming pollution or volcanic eruptions.

Wednesday’s report found that the area of the world’s land surface with 10, 30 and 50 extreme heat days a year had risen since 1997 from a 1979-2010 average, sometimes more than doubling, with big swings from year to year. Strongest gains were in the Arctic and mid-latitudes.

It was unclear why heat extremes had continued rising despite the hiatus. One possibility was that the oceans had soaked up heat from the atmosphere and slowed overall global warming, even as the land had been exposed to extremes.

via Heat extremes increase despite global warming hiatus: scientists | Reuters.

Cost of natural disasters doubles in China

Look here, how expensive climate related disasters have already become – in this case it is about China paying much more for such expenses in 2013 than in the two previous years.

IT IS a heavy price to pay. China paid out twice as much to mop up after natural disasters in 2013 as it did in either of the previous two years. The rising costs are partly down to climate change.

Earthquakes, floods, droughts, snow storms and other disasters cost China over 420 billion yuan ($69 billion), according to the National Bureau of Statistics of China. The costs in 2011 and 2012 were just 260 billion and 220 billion yuan, respectively. Payouts for five kinds of disaster increased in 2013 compared with 2012.

Climate change has left its calling card in some of those disasters, says Lisa Alexander of the University of New South Wales in Sydney, Australia. Drought is increasing in parts of China, as is severe rainfall that causes flooding and mudslides. “And in tandem with that there’s an increase in extreme heat.”

via Cost of natural disasters doubles in China – environment – 26 February 2014 – New Scientist.

US Navy predicts summer ice free Arctic by 2016

Even though the deniers are busy telling us that no warming is taking place, then ones who need to know, such as the US Navy, expect the Arctic to have ice free summers in 2016.

Is conventional modelling out of pace with speed and abruptness of global warming?

An ongoing US Department of Energy-backed research project led by a US Navy scientist predicts that the Arctic could lose its summer sea ice cover as early as 2016 – 84 years ahead of conventional model projections.

The project, based out of the US Naval Postgraduate School\’s Department of Oceanography, uses complex modelling techniques that make its projections more accurate than others.

A paper by principal investigator Professor Wieslaw Maslowski in the Annual Review of Earth and Planetary Sciences sets out some of the findings so far of the research project:

\”Given the estimated trend and the volume estimate for October–November of 2007 at less than 9,000 km3, one can project that at this rate it would take only 9 more years or until 2016 ± 3 years to reach a nearly ice-free Arctic Ocean in summer. Regardless of high uncertainty associated with such an estimate, it does provide a lower bound of the time range for projections of seasonal sea ice cover.\”

via US Navy predicts summer ice free Arctic by 2016 | Nafeez Ahmed | Environment | theguardian.com.

High US methane emissions blamed on leaks – environment – 25 November 2013 – New Scientist

Yet a blow to the so-called “clean” gas, which we have been told contributed to reduce emissions of greenhouse gases in the US.

This study shows that there has probably not been any such reduction:

Emissions of methane, a powerful greenhouse gas, are 1.5 to 1.7 times higher in the US than current estimates. The findings are the latest in a series of contentious studies attempting to determine the climate impact of the nation’s recent boom in fossil fuel production.

The switch from burning dirty coal to cleaner natural gas should have cut greenhouse gas emissions in the US. But the latest evidence suggests this effect may be outweighed by the amount of gas leaking into the atmosphere during fossil fuel production.

To work out how much methane the US was emitting, Scot Miller of Harvard University and colleagues took a “top-down” approach – measuring how much methane was in the atmosphere and then deducing its source. They did this by using data from research flights that monitor the chemical make-up of the air, as well as taking daily readings of methane concentrations from the tops of 10 telecommunication towers across the country.

“If you are measuring methane at the top of these towers you are really seeing an amassed signal from across a broad region,” says Miller. “You can really get a good sense of emissions nationwide.”

via High US methane emissions blamed on leaks – environment – 25 November 2013 – New Scientist.

Losses from extreme weather rise to $200 billion a year over past decade | Reuters


(Reuters) – Global economic losses caused by extreme weather events have risen to nearly $200 billion a year over the last decade and look set to increase further as climate change worsens, a report by the World Bank showed on Monday.

A United Nations’ panel of scientists has warned that floods, droughts and storms are likely to become more severe over the next century as greenhouse gas emissions warm the world’s climate.

“Economic losses are rising – from $50 billion each year in the 1980s to just under $200 billion each year in the last decade and about three quarters of those losses are a result of extreme weather,” said Rachel Kyte, World Bank Vice President for Sustainable Development.

“While you cannot connect any single weather event to climate change, scientists have warned that extreme weather events will increase in intensity if climate change is left unchecked.”

Reinsurance company Munich Re has estimated total reported losses from disasters were $3.8 trillion from 1980 to 2012, attributing 74 percent of those to extreme weather.

via Losses from extreme weather rise to $200 billion a year over past decade | Reuters.