A Few Notes on the Fourth National Climate Assessment (NCA4)

August 16, 2017

The current draft of the report can be found here:

Fourth National Climate Assessment (NCA4), Fifth-Order Draft (5OD) 

After a cursory review of the document, a few items are worth noting.

Representative Concentration Pathways (RCPs)

A third difference between the RCPs and previous scenarios is that while none of the SRES scenarios included a scenario with explicit policies and measures to limit climate forcing, all of the three lower RCP scenarios (2.6, 4.5, and 6.0) are climate-policy scenarios. At the higher end of the range, the RCP8.5 scenario corresponds to a future where carbon and methane emissions continue to rise as a result of fossil fuel use, albeit with significant declines in emission growth rates over the second half of the century (Figure 4.1), significant reduction in aerosols, and modest improvements in energy intensity and technology (Riahi et al. 2011). Atmospheric carbon dioxide levels for RCP8.5 are similar to those of the SRES A1fi scenario: they rise from current-day levels of 400 up to 936 parts per million (ppm). CO2 16 -equivalent levels (including emissions of other non-CO2 17 greenhouse gases, aerosols, and other substances that affect climate) reach more than 1200 ppm by 2100, and global temperature is projected to increase by 5.4°–9.9°F (3°–5.5°C) by 2100 relative to the 1986–2005 average. RCP8.5 reflects the upper range of the open literature on emissions, but is not intended to serve as an upper limit on possible emissions nor as a business-as-usual or reference scenario for the other three scenarios.

Page 190

First the good news:

“RCP8.5… is not intended to serve as… a business-as-usual or reference scenario.”

That said, a text search of the document returned the following:

Representative Concentration Pathways
Scenario Occurrences
RCP2.6, RCP 2.6 17
RCP4.5, RCP 4.5 32
RCP8.5, RCP 8.5 75

One might think that the business-as-usual or reference scenario might be the most commonly referenced scenario.  However, RCP 8.5 is referenced more than all the other scenarios combined.  While RCP 6.0, “a mitigation scenario, meaning it includes explicit steps to combat greenhouse gas emissions (in this case, through a carbon tax)” which most closely matches “business-as-usual,” is only referenced once.

A Sampling of Key Findings

3. Detection and Attribution of Climate Change

Key Findings

1. The likely range of the human contribution to the global mean temperature increase over the period 1951–2010 is 1.1° to 1.4°F (0.6° to 0.8°C), and the central estimate of the observed warming of 1.2°F (0.65°C) lies within this range (high confidence). This translates to a likely human contribution of 93%–123% of the observed 1951–2010 change. It is extremely likely that more than half of the global mean temperature increase since 1951 was caused by human influence on climate (high confidence). The likely contributions of natural forcing and internal variability to global temperature change over that period are minor (high confidence).

Page 160

Over the past 2,000 years, the average temperature of the Northern Hemisphere has exceeded natural variability (defined as two standard deviations from the pre-1865 mean) three times: 1) the peak of the Medieval Warm Period 2) the nadir of the Little Ice Age and 3) since 1998.  Human activities clearly were not the cause of the first two deviations.  70% of the warming since the early 1600’s clearly falls within the range of natural variability.

ljungqvist

Figure 2. Temperature reconstruction (Ljungqvist, 2010), northern hemisphere instrumental temperature (HadCRUT4) and Law Dome CO2 (MacFarling Meure et al., 2006). Temperatures are 30-yr averages to reflect changing climatology. (The Good, the Bad and the Null Hypothesis)

On a climatology basis, the modern warming only exceeds Common Era pre-industrial natural variability by a maximum of 0.216° C

Nature 3 Man 1

Figure 3. The modern warming only exceeds Common Era pre-industrial natural variability by a maximum of 0.216° C.  So, it is highly unlikely that the “range of the human contribution to the global mean temperature increase over the period 1951–2010 is 1.1° to 1.4°F (0.6° to 0.8°C).”

 

6. Temperature Changes in the United States

KEY FINDINGS

1. Average annual temperature over the contiguous United States has increased by 1.2°F (0.7°C) for the period 1986–2016 relative to 1901–1960 and by 1.8°F (1.0°C) based on a linear regression for the period 1895–2016 (very high confidence). Surface and satellite data are consistent in their depiction of rapid warming since 1979 (high confidence). Paleo-temperature evidence shows that recent decades are the warmest of the past 1,500 years (medium confidence).

Page 267

“Medium confidence” is equivalent to a Scientific Wild-Ass Guess (SWAG).

NCA_10

Figure 4. NCA4 Confidence levels, page 10.

The lame-stream media took “suggestive evidence, limited consistency, models incomplete, methods emerging, competing schools of thought and turned it into a statement of fact:

Just as troubling were draft findings destined for the quadrennial National Climate Assessment. Scientists from 13 federal agencies found that a rapid rise in temperatures since the 1980s in the United States represents the warmest period in 1,500 years.

USA Today

A “medium confidence” Mannian Hockey Stick became: “Scientists from 13 federal agencies found that a rapid rise in temperatures since the 1980s in the United States represents the warmest period in 1,500 years.”

They based this assertion on one hockey-stick climate reconstruction, Mann et al., 2008.

NCA_09

Figure 5.  NCA4 Figure 1.8  Mann et al., 2008.  Even with this Hockey Stick, the modern warming only exceeded pre-industrial natural variability by 0.5° F (0.3° C).  At least they had the decency to clearly identify where they spliced in the instrumental data.

NCA_09b

Figure 6.  Same image as above.  When the uncertainty range of the proxy data is honored, it cannot be stated that the rate of recent warming is unprecedented.

12. Sea Level Rise

KEY FINDINGS

1. Global mean sea level (GMSL) has risen by about 7–8 inches (about 16–21 cm) since 1900, with about 3 of those inches (about 7 cm) occurring since 1993 (very high confidence). Human-caused climate change has made a substantial contribution to GMSL rise since 1900 (high confidence), contributing to a rate of rise that is greater than during any preceding century in at least 2,800 years (medium confidence).

2. Relative to the year 2000, GMSL is very likely to rise by 0.3–0.6 feet (9–18 cm) by 2030, 0.5–1.2 feet (15–38 cm) by 2050, and 1 to 4 feet (30–130 cm) by 2100 (very high confidence in lower bounds; medium confidence in upper bounds for 2030 and 2050; low confidence in upper bounds for 2100). Future emissions pathways have little effect on projected GMSL rise in the first half of the century, but significantly affect projections for the second half of the century (high confidence). Emerging science regarding Antarctic ice sheet stability suggests that, for high emission scenarios, a GMSL rise exceeding 8 feet (2.4 m) by 2100 is physically possible, although the probability of such an extreme outcome cannot currently be assessed. Regardless of emissions pathway, it is extremely likely that GMSL rise will continue beyond 2100 (high confidence).

Page 493

“Global mean sea level (GMSL) has risen by about 7–8 inches (about 16–21 cm) since 1900, with about 3 of those inches (about 7 cm) occurring since 1993 (very high confidence)”… And?

Sea level has been rising at a secular rate of about 1.9 mm/yr since the end of neoglaciation (~1860 AD).

j14_01

Figure 7. Sea Level Reconstruction (Jevrejeva et al., 2014), More Fun With Sea Level

About 3 inches of sea level rise has occurred since 1993.  About 4 inches of sea level rise occurred from 1930-1950.  There was very little sea level rise from 1951-1992.

j14_01b

Figure 8. Same as above with multi-decadal fluctuations highlighted.

“Human-caused climate change has made a substantial contribution to GMSL rise since 1900 (high confidence)”… Based on what???

“Contributing to a rate of rise that is greater than during any preceding century in at least 2,800 years (medium confidence)”… Another SWAG based on another hockey stick (Kopp et al., 2016).

NCA_11

Figure 9.  NCA4 Figure ES.8a,  page 27.  Sea level reconstruction (Kopp et al., 2016).  A 12-in (30 cm) ruler has been overlaid on the image for scale.  This hockey stick splice tide gauge data onto low frequency proxy data.  Even with the resolution discrepancy,  modern sea level is only 2.5 inches higher than pre-industrial natural variability – during neoglaciation.  When uncertainty is honored, the rate of instrumental era sea level rise is not significantly different than pre-industrial time.

 

“Relative to the year 2000, GMSL is very likely to rise by 0.3–0.6 feet (9–18 cm) by 2030, 0.5–1.2 feet (15–38 cm) by 2050, and 1 to 4 feet (30–130 cm) by 2100 (very high confidence in lower bounds; medium confidence in upper bounds for 2030 and 2050; low confidence in upper bounds for 2100).”

At least they get this one somewhat correct.

“Relative to the year 2000, GMSL is very likely to rise by… 1 to 4 feet (30–130 cm) by 2100 (very high confidence in lower bounds…  low confidence in upper bounds for 2100)”

Sea level is very likely to rise a bit less than 1 foot over the remainder of this century.

sl4_zps22bee1aa

Figure 10. Sea level is very likely to rise by an additional 7-11 inches over the remainder of this century. 3 additional feet of sea level rise wold require an acceleration to a rate twice that of the Holocene Transgression. Oh say can you see modern sea level rise from a geological perspective?

Figure ES.8b is simply bat schist crazy.

NCA_12

Figure 11. NCA4 Figure ES.8b with Figure 11 overlaid.  Red is RCP 8.5.  The blue curve, an intermediate RCP, would necessitate >20 mm/yr of SLR in the late 21st century. 

And, of course, the lame-stream media turns this into…

The report, by more than 450 scientists from 60 nations, also found that greenhouse gases in the atmosphere and global sea levels are at their highest levels on record.

USA Today

It all depends on when you start the record.

sl6_zps417bba83

Figure 12. Oh say can you see modern sea level rise from a geological perspective?

Life in the Adjustocene

Yesterday, I authored a post about NCA3’s model projections. I noted that the observations had falsified their models…

nca_031

Figure 13. NCA3 models run hot… as always.

Well, it appears that NCA4 will address this issue by adjusting the observations to match the models…

nca_071

Figure 14. NCA Figure ES.3, page 70 compared to NCA3.

They adjusted the observations to match the model in the current draft report.

webp-net-gifmaker-21

Figure 15. Livin’ la vida Adjustocene!

NCA4 shows the observations tracking the model-mean prior to the 2016  El Niño and then spiking above the mean during it.  Nick Stokes provided the following image in one of his very astute comments:

cmip5

Figure 16. Observations spiking to the CMIP5 mean during (Comment by Nick Stokes). Note: I am not implying that Nick Stokes agrees with anything I’ve ever posted or endorsing anything.  I am simply crediting him with providing this image.

Conclusions

NCA4 paints a picture of the climate basically behaving within the bounds of Late Holocene natural variability, accompanied with lots of rhetoric about being certain that humans have caused at least half of whatever happens since 1950…

“Same as it ever was”…

Null Hypothesis

August 15, 2017

From The Good, the Bad and the Null Hypothesis

Since it is impossible to run a controlled experiment on Earth’s climate (there is no control planet), the only way to “test” the CAGW hypothesis is through models.  If the CAGW hypothesis is valid, the models should demonstrate predictive skill.  The models have utterly failed:

cmip5-90-models-global-tsfc-vs-obs-thru-2013-1024x921

Figure 14. “95% of Climate Models Agree: The Observations Must be Wrong.” http://www.drroyspencer.com/2014/02/95-of-climate-models-agree-the-observations-must-be-wrong/

christy_dec81

Figure 15. “Climate models versus climate reality.” Michaels & Knappenberger. https://judithcurry.com/2015/12/17/climate-models-versus-climate-reality/

The models have failed because they result in a climate sensitivity that is 2-3 times that supported by observations:

slide51

Figure 15. Equilibrium climate sensitivity: Reality vs. Models. https://judithcurry.com/2015/12/17/climate-models-versus-climate-reality/

From Hansen et al. 1988 through every IPCC assessment report, the observed temperatures have consistently tracked the strong mitigation scenarios in which the rise in atmospheric CO2 has been slowed and/or halted.

Apart from the strong El Niño events of 1998 and 2015-16, GISTEMP has tracked Scenario C, in which CO2 levels stopped rising in 2000, holding at 368 ppm.

Hansen_1

Figure 16. Hansen’s 1988 model and GISTEMP.

The utter failure of this model is most apparent on the more climate-relevant 5-yr running mean:

Hansen_5

Figure 17. Hansen’s 1988 model and GISTEMP, 5-yr running mean.

This is from IPCC’s First Assessment Report:

AR1_01

Figure 18.  IPCC First Assessment Report (FAR).  Model vs. HadCRUT4.

HadCRUT4 has tracked below Scenario D.

AR1_02

Figure 19. IPCC FAR scenarios.

This is from the IPCC’s Third Assessment Report (TAR):

TAR_01

Figure 20. IPCC TAR model vs. HadCRUT4.

HadCRUT4 has tracked the strong mitigation scenarios, despite a general lack of mitigation.

The climate models have never demonstrated any predictive skill.

And the models aren’t getting better. Even when they start the model run in 2006, the observed temperatures consistently track at or below the low end 5-95% range.  Observed temperatures only approach the model mean (P50) in 2006, 2015 and 2016.

fig-nearterm_all_update_2017-1024x5091

Figure 21.  Climate Lab Book. Comparing CMIP5 & observations.

The ensemble consists of 138 model runs using a range of representative concentration pathways (RCP), from a worst case scenario RCP 8.5, often referred to as “business as usual,” to varying grades of mitigation scenarios (RCP 2.6, 4.5 and 6.0).

fig-nearterm_all_update_2017-panela-1-1024x525

Figure 22. Figure 21 with individual model runs displayed.

SOURCE

When we drill wells, we run probability distributions to estimate the oil and gas reserves we will add if the well is successful.  The model inputs consist of a range of estimates of reservoir thickness, area and petrophysical characteristics.  The model output consists of a probability distribution from P10 to P90.

  • P10 = Maximum Case.  There is a 10% probability that the well will produce at least this much oil and/or gas.
  • P50 = Mean Case.  There is a 50% probability that the well will produce at least this much oil and/or gas.  Probable reserves are >P50.
  • P90 = Minimum Case.  There is a 90% probability that the well will produce at least this much oil and/or gas.  Proved reserves are P90.

Over time, a drilling program should track near P50.  If your drilling results track close to P10 or P90, your model input is seriously flawed.

If the CMIP5 model ensemble had predictive skill, the observations should track around P50, half the runs should predict more warming and half less than is actually observed. During the predictive run of the model, HadCRUT4.5 has not *tracked* anywhere near P50…

cmip5_2

Figure 23. Figure 21 zoomed in on model run period with probability distributions annotated.

I “eyeballed” the instrumental observations to estimate a probability distribution of predictive run of the model.

Prediction Run Approximate Distribution

2006 P60 (60% of the models predicted a warmer temperature)
2007 P75
2008 P95
2009 P80
2010 P70
2011-2013 >P95
2014 P90
2015-2016 P55

Note that during the 1998-99 El Niño, the observations spiked above P05 (less than 5% of the models predicted this). During the 2015-16 El Niño, HadCRUT only spiked to P55.  El Niño events are not P50 conditions. Strong El Niño and La Niña events should spike toward the P05 and P95 boundaries.

The temperature observations are clearly tracking much closer to strong mitigation scenarios rather than RCP 8.5, the bogus “business as usual” scenario.

The red hachured trapezoid indicates that HadCRUT4.5 will continue to track between less than P100 and P50. This is indicative of a miserable failure of the models and a pretty good clue that the models need be adjusted downward.

In any other field of science CAGW would be a long-discarded falsified hypothesis.

National Climate Assessment = Epic Failure

August 15, 2017

NCA_04NCA_05NCA_01NCA_02NCA_03

August 9, 2017

LCOE22Coal_Exports3

Arguing with an idiot

August 1, 2017

Too fracking funny…

Our Model:

We operate a unique model. We use our customers’ energy bills to fund the building of new sources of Green Energy. We like to refer to this as turning ‘Bills into Mills’ – energy bills into windmills. We’re a not-for-dividend company – our profits go back into our mission.

With no shareholders to answer to we’re free to dedicate ourselves to the task of building new sources of Green Energy. And that’s what we do, on average spending more per customer each year on new sources of Green Energy than any other energy company in Britain – bar none. And we share the benefits of our work through our ecobonds – giving people the chance to share the financial benefits of the Green Energy revolution.

https://www.ecotricity.co.uk/about-ecotricity

Ecotricity is a green scam. When you charge up your PEV at one of their charging stations, you’re just getting electricity from the grid… From whatever mix of sources is delivering to the grid. They then “invest” their profits into windmills and other greenschist.

The insignificance of France, the UK and renewables in China and India

July 26, 2017

Screenshot_20170806-052515Screenshot_20170802-174955Screenshot_20170731-220707.pngScreenshot_20170731-190548MTOE_CHMTOE_INMTOE_UK_FR

Break-even

July 26, 2017

http://www.visualcapitalist.com/countries-suffering-low-oil-prices/

http://www.worldoil.com/news/2017/2/28/rystad-examines-what-to-expect-from-us-shale-break-even-prices-in-2017

image_c545fd8b-1e66-4cba-bdaa-86b8ae804c2320170726_040054

Pescadero Basin Hydrocarbons

July 25, 2017

Occasionally I will read an article and it will take me on “an unexpected journey.”  I ran across this very interesting article on Real Clear Science today:

July 24, 2017

New study challenges prevailing theory about how deep-sea vents are colonized

An article just published in the Proceedings of the Royal Society B describes two remarkably different hydrothermal vent fields discovered in the southern Gulf of California. Despite being relatively close together, these vents host very different animal communities. This finding contradicts a common scientific assumption that neighboring vents will share similar animal communities. Instead, the new paper suggests that local geology and the chemistry of the vent fluids are important factors affecting vent communities.

[…]

Though neighbors, the Alarcón Rise and Pescadero Basin vent fields are geologically very different. The seafloor along the Alarcón Rise is covered in young, fresh lava, and the fluids spewing out of the vents are very hot (up to 360 degrees Celsius) and rich in metal sulfides that form dark, crumbly chimneys known as “black smokers.” Animals at the Alarcón Rise are similar to locations further south (almost 300 kilometers) on the East Pacific Rise.

In Pescadero Basin, however, hydrothermal-vent fluids pass through thick layers of seafloor mud. As the hot hydrothermal fluid flows through this mud, it “cooks” organic material, forming methane (natural gas) and oil-like hydrocarbons. The Pescadero Basin vents contain very little sulfide, and the superheated fluids produce giant, light-colored, carbonate chimneys streaked with dark, oily hydrocarbons.

[…]

MBARI

However, I quickly lost interest in the biological aspects of the article when I read this bit:

In Pescadero Basin, however, hydrothermal-vent fluids pass through thick layers of seafloor mud. As the hot hydrothermal fluid flows through this mud, it “cooks” organic material, forming methane (natural gas) and oil-like hydrocarbons. The Pescadero Basin vents contain very little sulfide, and the superheated fluids produce giant, light-colored, carbonate chimneys streaked with dark, oily hydrocarbons.

Could this be actual evidence of “abiotic” or “abiogenic” oil?

No.  Of course it isn’t.  If anything this might just be a “nail in the coffin” for abiotic oil.

The “oil-like hydrocarbons” were associated with hydrothermal-vent fluids which “pass through thick layers of seafloor mud”  in the Pescadero Basin.

Just 75 km to the south, the seafloor of the Alarcón Rise is covered with layers of relatively fresh lava flows and very little sediment.  The Alarcón Rise hydrothermal vents are run of the mill black smokers, with no evidence of “hydrothermal oil.”

 

goc-vent-map-450

This map shows the major known hydrothermal vent sites in and around the Gulf of California. Even though the Pescadero Basin and Alarcón Rise are relatively close, they host very different animal communities. Base map: Google Earth

Here’s an older article about the initial discovery of the Pescadero Basin hydrothermal vents:

June 2, 2015

MBARI researchers discover deepest known high-temperature hydrothermal vents in Pacific Ocean

In spring 2015, MBARI researchers discovered a large, previously unknown field of hydrothermal vents in the Gulf of California, about 150 kilometers (100 miles) east of La Paz, Mexico. Lying more than 3,800 meters (12,500 feet) below the surface, the Pescadero Basin vents are the deepest high-temperature hydrothermal vents ever observed in or around the Pacific Ocean. They are also the only vents in the Pacific known to emit superheated fluids rich in both carbonate minerals and hydrocarbons. The vents have been colonized by dense communities of tubeworms and other animals unlike any other known vent communities in the in the eastern Pacific.
[…]

Reflecting on the discovery, Clague commented, “Before the AUV survey of Pescadero Basin, all we knew was that this area was really deep and filled with sediment. I was hoping to find a few outcrops of lava on the seafloor. But we got lucky. The vent field was right on the edge of our survey area, along a fault at the western edge of the basin.”

[…]

The AUV and ROV dives showed that the new field extends for at least 400 meters (one quarter mile) along this fault. Within this area the researchers found at least three active hydrothermal chimneys up to 12 meters (40 feet) tall, as well as dozens of low mounds that are most likely collapsed chimneys.

After his ROV dive, Clague noted, “This site was not at all what I was expecting.” For one thing, the fragments of chimneys that the ROV brought back to the surface were quite different from those collected at other vents in the area. The Pescadero chimneys consisted entirely of light-colored carbonate minerals instead of the dark sulfide minerals that are abundant in hydrothermal chimneys elsewhere in the Gulf.

The Pescadero Basin is only the second place in the world where carbonate chimneys (instead of ones made primarily of sulfides) have been found in the deep sea. The other known location is the “Lost City” vent field in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean, at a spot on the Mid-Atlantic Ridge.

The geologists also noticed that their rock samples smelled like diesel. They hypothesize that hot hydrothermal fluids migrating upward through the thick sediments of the Pescadero Basin “cook” organic matter in the sediment, converting it into petroleum-like hydrocarbons—a process that has been observed at several other vents in the Pacific. Hydrocarbons may provide nutrition for the unusual microbes that thrive at these vents.

[…]

MBARI

This is a map of total sediment thickness for most of the world’s oceans from NOAA:

sedthickv2

Whittaker, Joanne, Alexey Goncharov, Simon Williams, R. Dietmar Müller, German Leitchenkov (2013) Global sediment thickness dataset updated for the Australian-Antarctic Southern Ocean, Geochemistry, Geophysics, Geosystems. DOI: 10.1002/ggge.20181

I enlarged the area comparable to the MBARI map and posted the four vent systems on it.  Note that the basins with thick sediments exhibit evidence of petroleum-like substances associated with hydrothermal vents.  The vents associated with the sediment-deprived rises do not.

Hydrothermal oil

Petroleum-like substances have been associated with hydrothermal vents in basins with thick organic-rich sediments. However nearby hydrothermal vents with little to no sediment cover (rises) do not exhibit evidence of “hydrothermal oil.”

Furthermore, the “hydrothermal oil” of the Guaymas Basin is extremely young…

Nature 342, 65 – 69 (02 November 1989); doi:10.1038/342065a0

Hydrothermal oil of Guaymas Basin and implications for petroleum formation mechanisms

BORYS M. DIDYK* & BERND R. T. SIMONEIT†

*Refineria de Petroleo Concon, Casilla 242, Concon, Chile
†Petroleum Research Group, College of Oceanography, Oregon State University, Corvallis, Oregon 97331, USA

PETROLEUM-LIKE hydrocarbons have been detected in thermally altered Recent sediments of Guaymas Basin1–5 and petroleum-like hydrocarbon impregnations were found in hydrothermal mounds on the sea floor and associated with hydrothermal vent emissions5–9. Here we report the evaluation of such a hydrothermal oil, which we find to be similar to conventionally exploited crude oils. Its young geological age (< 5,000 yr, 14C) 10 indicates that a significant fraction of the organic carbon in the oil has completed the transformation from biomass to migrating oil in less than 5,000 years, thus limiting the oil generation, explusion and migration processes to a geologically short timescale. We estimate the generation potential of such hydrothermal oil and discuss its implications to our understanding of the petroleum generation, expulsion and migration mechanisms.

https://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v342/n6245/abs/342065a0.html

Oil formed in the mantle would be just a bit older than 5,000 years.  The Lost City hydrothermal vent on the Mid-Atlantic Ridge and the Pescadero Basin are the only two known places where carbonate (rather than sulfide) chimneys have been found.  Lost City is also possibly an example of the Fischer-Tropsch process is at work…

 

Deep-ocean vents are a source of oil and gas

Hydrocarbons bubble up from the mid-Atlantic’s Lost City.

Rachel Courtland

Undersea thermal vents can yield unexpected bounty: natural gas and the building blocks of oil products. In a new analysis of Lost City, a hydrothermal field in the mid-Atlantic, researchers have found that these organic molecules are being created through inorganic processes, rather than the more typical decomposition of once-living material.

Most of the planet’s oil and natural gas deposits were created when decomposing biological matter is ‘cooked’ in high temperatures underground. But non-biological hydrocarbons have also been found deep inside the Earth, where chemical processes create the molecules from inorganic sources such as rock.

[…]

Among other measurements, the team analysed the amount of carbon-13 in methane, which contains one carbon atom, and in hydrocarbons containing two, three, and four carbon atoms. As the number of carbon atoms rose, the concentration of carbon-13 fell — the opposite trend to that seen in biologically derived hydrocarbons.

Instead, the pattern of isotopes suggest that a chemical process called the Fischer-Tropsch process is at work in Lost City, creating bigger and bigger hydrocarbons in the hydrogen-rich environment. Although the concentrations were too low to detect without a filter, small amounts of larger hydrocarbons such as kerosene and octane may also be produced.

The team also found that the methane in Lost City contained no carbon-14, suggesting the carbon source for the hydrocarbons comes from within the mantle, far away from organisms that might have had contact with the global carbon cycle at the surface.

[…]

Nature

Setting aside the fact that “the building blocks of oil products” are not the same thing as oil; in much the same manner that a 2×4 is not the same thing as a house… The carbon in the Lost City hydrocarbons is either so old that carbon-14 is undetectable or it has never “had contact with the global carbon cycle at the surface.”

 

 

https://walrus.wr.usgs.gov/reports/reprints/KK_AAPGB74.pdf

http://oceanexplorer.noaa.gov/explorations/05lostcity/background/chimney/chimney.html

http://www.lostcity.washington.edu/files/kelley.2005bsm.pdf

http://www.lostcity.washington.edu/files/kelley.2007.pdf

http://www.nature.com/news/2008/080131/full/news.2008.542.html#B1

 

Methane hydrate economics

July 24, 2017

Japan cheers world-first gas from methane hydrates

News Wires

12 March 2013

Japan has achieved the world’s first gas extraction from offshore methane hydrate deposits, said energy explorer Japan Oil, Gas and Metals National Corp (JOGMEC), who is targeting commercial production within six years.
A Reuters report on Tuesday stated that since 2001, several hundred million dollars have been invested in developing technology to tap methane hydrate reserves, estimated to equate to about 11 years of gas consumption, off Japan’s coast.

State-run JOGMEC said the gas was tapped from deposits of methane hydrate, a frozen gas known as “flammable ice”, near Japan’s central coast.

Japan imports almost all of its energy needs and is the world’s top importer of liquefied natural gas. The lure of domestic gas resources has intensified following the Fukushima nuclear crisis two years ago, which triggered a shake-up of the country’s energy sector.

According to Reuters, Japan’s trade ministry said the production tests would continue for about two weeks, followed by analysis on how much gas was produced.

[…]

Upstream Online

Based on this economic analysis, methane hydrate production would be uneconomic…

42-174 JPY/m^3 works out to about $12-$45/mcf… Equivalent to oil prices of $71 to $269/boe.

Ft Denison

July 20, 2017

goreCoal_Exports2Coal_Exports1Coal_Exports3coal-quarterly_imports_exportsslide12680-140