Fire Earth

Earth is fighting to stay alive. Mass dieoffs, triggered by anthropogenic assault and fallout of planetary defense systems offsetting the impact, could begin anytime!

Posts Tagged ‘greenhouse gas’

FIRE-EARTH Alert: Surge in Methane Emissions

Posted by feww on December 12, 2016

  • CJ Members

FIRE-EARTH Alert: Methane Emissions Rising Rapidly

  • Methane concentrations in the atmosphere are increasing by 10 or more parts per billion annually (ppb/yr), up from less than 0.5 ppb/yr in early 2000s, say researchers at Global Carbon Project.
  • Details of the Alert are available from FIRE-EARTH PULSARS.

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“Every breath you take and every move you make… “

Posted by feww on May 7, 2015

“Every breath you take and every move you make; every bond you break, every step you take, I’ll be watching you”

CO2 levels reach new global monthly record of 400ppm

Yet another greenhouse gas benchmark has been reached globally.

Global atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2) concentrations have reached a new monthly record of 400 parts per million (ppm), the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) announced.

“We first reported 400 ppm when all of our Arctic sites reached that value in the spring of 2012. In 2013 the record at NOAA’s Mauna Loa Observatory first crossed the 400 ppm threshold. Reaching 400 parts per million as a global average is a significant milestone,” said the lead scientist of NOAA’s Global Greenhouse Gas Reference Network.

CO2 has risen about 120 parts per million since preindustrial times, with about 50 percent of the increase occurring since 1980.

On April 3, FIRE-EARTH forecast that the weekly average atmospheric CO2 at Mauna Loa could hit 400ppm by May 2013.

Last 5 days of preliminary daily average CO2

May 06 – 404.34
May 05 – 404.13
May 04 – Unavailable
May 03 – 403.63
May 02 – 403.59

Up-to-date weekly average CO2 at Mauna Loa

Week beginning on April 26, 2015:     403.78 ppm
Weekly value from 1 year ago:     401.73 ppm
Weekly value from 10 years ago:     382.52 ppm
Last updated: May 7, 2015

Recent Monthly Average Mauna Loa CO2

April 2015:     403.26 ppm
April 2014:     401.29 ppm
Last updated: May 5, 2015

Recent Global CO2

March 2015:     400.83 ppm
March 2014:     398.10 ppm
Last updated: May 5, 2015

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The March Hares and Rising CO2 at Mauna Loa

Posted by feww on April 17, 2014

Trends in Atmospheric CO2: Sky Is the Limit!

Up-to-date weekly average CO2 at Mauna Loa [Last updated: April 17, 2014]
Week beginning on April 6, 2014: 401.25 ppm
Weekly value from 1 year ago: 397.67 ppm
Weekly value from 10 years ago: 380.52 ppm

Recent Global CO2 [Last updated: April 8, 2014]
February 2014:     398.06 ppm
February 2013:     395.61 ppm

Recent Monthly Average Mauna Loa CO2
March 2014: 399.65 ppm
March 2013: 397.31 ppm

Last 5 days of preliminary daily average CO2
April 16 – 401.24
April 15 – 402.02
April 14 – 402.16
April 13 – 401.71
April 12 – 401.09


co2 at mauna loa

The graph shows recent monthly mean carbon dioxide measured at Mauna Loa Observatory, Hawaii. The last four complete years of the Mauna Loa CO2 record plus the current year are shown. Data are reported as a dry air mole fraction defined as the number of molecules of carbon dioxide divided by the number of all molecules in air, including CO2 itself, after water vapor has been removed. The mole fraction is expressed as parts per million (ppm). Example: 0.000400 is expressed as 400 ppm.

In the above figure, the dashed red line with diamond symbols represents the monthly mean values, centered on the middle of each month. The black line with the square symbols represents the same, after correction for the average seasonal cycle. The latter is determined as a moving average of SEVEN adjacent seasonal cycles centered on the month to be corrected, except for the first and last THREE and one-half years of the record, where the seasonal cycle has been averaged over the first and last SEVEN years, respectively.

The last year of data are still preliminary, pending recalibration of reference gases and other quality control checks. The Mauna Loa data are being obtained at an altitude of 3400 m in the northern subtropics, and may not be the same as the globally averaged CO2 concentration at the surface. Source: ESRL/NOAA



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Fracking Methane Emissions Hugely Underestimated by EPA: Study

Posted by feww on April 17, 2014


Methane emissions 1,000 higher than EPA estimates

Using an airborne laboratory for atmospheric research, researchers identified and quantified large sources of methane emissions over southwestern Pennsylvania in June 2012. They discovered that emissions rates were up to 1,000 times higher than those estimated by the EPA during the same time period.

“We identified a significant regional flux of methane over a large area of shale gas wells in southwestern Pennsylvania in the Marcellus formation and further identified several pads with high methane emissions,” said the study others. “These shale gas pads were identified as in the drilling process, a preproduction stage not previously associated with high methane emissions.”

The original sampling area (OSA) encompasses all of Green County, PA, most of Washington County, PA, and parts of Fayette County, PA, Marshall County, WV, and Ohio County, WV, for a total area of 2,844 km², the authors reported.

The authors identified 57,673 wells (see gray dots in below diagram) across the counties of interest.

“It is particularly noteworthy that large emissions were measured for wells in the drilling phase, in some cases 100 to 1,000 times greater than the inventory estimates,” said one of the report authors. “This indicates that there are processes occurring—e.g. emissions from coal seams during the drilling process—that are not captured in the inventory development process. This is another example pointing to the idea that a large fraction of the total emissions is coming from a small fraction of shale gas production components that are in an anomalous condition.”

The comparative impact of methane on climate change is more than 20 times greater than carbon dioxide over a 100-year period, according to EPA.

Toward a better understanding and quantification of methane emissions from shale gas development

Dana R. Caulton, doi: 10.1073/pnas.131654611


We identified a significant regional flux of methane over a large area of shale gas wells in southwestern Pennsylvania in the Marcellus formation and further identified several pads with high methane emissions. These shale gas pads were identified as in the drilling process, a preproduction stage not previously associated with high methane emissions. This work emphasizes the need for top-down identification and component level and event driven measurements of methane leaks to properly inventory the combined methane emissions of natural gas extraction and combustion to better define the impacts of our nation’s increasing reliance on natural gas to meet our energy needs.

ch4 ppm
Regional enhancement of methane at ∼240 m above ground level (AGL) on the morning of June 21. The dashed orange box represents the original sampling area (OSA), and the gray dots show well locations. Credit: Caulton et al.


The identification and quantification of methane emissions from natural gas production has become increasingly important owing to the increase in the natural gas component of the energy sector. An instrumented aircraft platform was used to identify large sources of methane and quantify emission rates in southwestern PA in June 2012. A large regional flux, 2.0–14 g CH4 s−1 km−2, was quantified for a ∼2,800-km2 area, which did not differ statistically from a bottom-up inventory, 2.3–4.6 g CH4 s−1 km−2. Large emissions averaging 34 g CH4/s per well were observed from seven well pads determined to be in the drilling phase, 2 to 3 orders of magnitude greater than US Environmental Protection Agency estimates for this operational phase. The emissions from these well pads, representing ∼1% of the total number of wells, account for 4–30% of the observed regional flux. More work is needed to determine all of the sources of methane emissions from natural gas production, to ascertain why these emissions occur and to evaluate their climate and atmospheric chemistry impacts.

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Climate Change Finals – CO2: 392 Human Chances: 0

Posted by feww on February 13, 2009

Congratulations! Your atmospheric levels of CO2 are at a million-year high!

Atmospheric Carbon Dioxide Levels Rise to New Heights

1. The concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere rose to an 800,000 year high of 392 ppm, a rise of about 3 ppm in 12 months, said Kim Holmen, research director at the Norwegian Polar Institute.

2. Holmen told Reuters the measurements were taken by a Stockholm University team on the Arctic archipelago of Svalbard, northern Norway.

3. “Carbon dioxide concentrations are likely to have risen further in 2009, he said. They usually peak just before the start of spring in the northern hemisphere, where most of the world’s industry, cities and vegetation are concentrated.” Reuters reported.

4. The precision of analysis of the Law Dome ice core air samples [and other data] show that levels of carbon dioxide are the highest in at least 800,000 years, and up by about 41 percent since the Industrial Revolution [278 ppm.]

5. The CO2 rise is caused by “mainly fossil fuel burning and to some extent land use change, where you have forests being replaced by agricultural land,” Holmen said.

6. Although the latest data is from December 2008, Holmen said, the trend from the winter numbers are obvious.

7. Mauna Loa CO2 monthly mean data: January 2009: 386.92 ppm

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Posted in fossil fuel burning, Industrial Revolution, land use change, Law Dome ice core, Mauna Loa CO2 | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

3 million acres of spruce killed in Alaska in 15 years

Posted by feww on August 20, 2008

“Beetles take no prisoners, It’s a Mafia-style execution!”

~ Ed Berg, ecologist for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

Alaska has experienced an average warming of 3 degrees Celsius (5.4 °F) and about 4.5 °C (8°F) in the inner regions in winter months since the 1960s, the largest regional warming of anywhere in the U.S., according to records.

The warmer temperature means Alaska’s peat bogs, which are nearly 14,000 years old, are drying up. Ed Berg, an ecologist for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, has discovered that shrubs and other plants have been rooting in areas of peat big normally too soggy for woody plants to grow during the last three decades.

Black Spruce taiga, Copper River, Alaska. (Credit: NOAA)

“We’ve got mounds of evidence that an extremely powerful and unprecedented climate-driven change is underway,” said a forest ecologist at the University of Alaska in Fairbanks. “It’s not that this might happen, these changes are underway and there are more changes coming.”

In Alaska, 35 percent forest, global warming is causing irreversible changes including droughts, forest fires, and infestations of tree-killing insects like spruce beetles and spruce budworm moths. In the last 15 years, the spruce beetles, which thrive in warmer climates, have destroyed a total of about 3 million acres (1.21 million hectares) of spruce forest in south-central Alaska.

Adult female spruce bark beetle

Western Spruce Budworm caterpillar, sixth (final) instar (stage of development). Spruce budworms and relatives are serious pests of conifers. (Credit: David G. Fellini and Jerald E. Dewey, Forest Service of the United States Department of Agriculture.

The Alaskan landscape is covered with dead spruce trees after a major outbreak of spruce bark bettles in the arctic region in this file image. REUTERS/handout

The Spruce Beetle in Alaska Forests. (Credit:The University of Alaska Fairbanks Cooperative Extension Service)

As the areas of beetle-infested forest grow, more land is clear-cut and land speculation frenzy grows.

Wetlands are a natural defense mechanism retarding forest fires. The warmer weather and drier forest therefore could lead to more forest fires.

Drying or burning peat bogs, which comprise 50-60 percent carbon, would release additional carbon dioxide, the principal greenhouse gas, to the atmosphere.

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Posted in Climate Change, energy, environment, food, Global Warming, health, politics, Tourism | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments »