Thoughts from the Edge
Many people feel we are now on the edge of something new. The edge of what is hard to discern but its there. Perhaps something good perhaps bad and probably both. Thoughts from the edge looks back at the path we have taken and considers what lies beyond.
Thursday, February 25, 2010
Before peak oil there was this saying that the stone age did not end because they ran out of stones after peak oil the saying was they did not not start making stone arrow heads again because they never ran out of glass and steel.
This Week In Petroleum => This Week In Propaganda
Watch the forest see the trees
Complex system analysis requires and understanding of the whole without losing sight of the individual components.
A dead man does not use gasoline or food.
No wheels no roads, no roads no armies.
Saturday, February 20, 2010
Checking The Exhaust Pipe For Peak Oil Determining Oil Consumption From Atmospheric C02 Measurements
Next we need a bit more information given we have a simple linear mapping to population if we know overall Coal, Natural Gas and Oil consumption then it makes sense that the relationship of these to C02 must also be linear. Coal, NG and reported Oil production are in terms of million tone of oil equivalents (mtoe) using the BP data and converted into to C02 using their conversion factors.
(Coal + NG + Oil+ ( None fossil emissions)*population)/CO2ppm.
Next lets look at the flux the total amounts where used for a reason since if there was no absorption phenomena the total amount of C02 in the atmosphere equals the amount produced if we have identified all sources the mysterious fit constant hides the complexity of absorption processes. Theoretically the rate of absorption should increase as the production rate increases thus the linearization of the total and the derivative should be parallel.
Whats interesting is that the rate of C02 increase is not keeping up with the input flux. In other words a buffer is absorbing the C02 in proportion to its rate of increase this of course is a classic chemical buffer effect where is long as the buffering agent is in excess it can absorb the inputs. The obvious buffer is the oceans. So AGW is a bit of a myth the problem however is for how long since the response of a buffer is highly non-linear when it reaches saturation. This is not I repeat a paper on AGW its about C02 however this divergence suggests that a buffer of unkown capacity is being saturated and once it is ...
Back to the present lets look at 2008-2009.
Whats most interesting is it seems that perhaps oil was deliberately removed from the market leading up to the price spike in mid 2008. My opinion is since OPEC could not control prices by pumping flat out they chose a different route. Deliberately store oil even as it leads to a spike dampening consumption then flood the market thus it suggests most of the oil that later seemed to flood the market as the economy was crashing was perhaps deliberately stored earlier despite its effect on prices.
Desperate yes but it explains a lot.
I don't want to say to much about global warming however these results are alarming we are living on borrowed time if you will in a number of ways. First and foremost they suggest that global warming i.e acutal temperature increases should be very mild over the time period studied. With the strong increase in unscrubbed coal emissions the short term cooling effect of S02 should domininate. Next there is obviously a very large buffer involved and this is probably the Oceans so they will act to offset C02 emmisions. The problem is these effects work until the do not in both cases highly non-linear thresholds are reached. So the good news is AGW is probably very weak at the moment the bad news is that as the effects making it weak are short term the final effects are far larger than can be anticipated. They are large enough that they cannot be modeled without and excellent model. In short they are off the charts.
The relationship between C02 flux and temperature is and explosive system changing exponentially. The system should change radically in a period measured in years if not months. These spikes are simply not captured in the historical record as we lack the technology to capture them. However the follow on massive extinction events are well documented. Small wonder meteor strikes are picked as a culprit. The problem is this spike phenomena is intrinsic. The trigger for follow on extinctions is short and devastating and built into the system. Thats all I want to say about global warming but I suspect its sufficient.
I found this link that uses a very similar approach and different conclusions.
But it also highlights that the C02 data and claimed consumption either don't match or the planets response is non linear. Regardless of interpretation of the data he also gets the divergence.