July 25 News: Worldwide Coal Use, Carbon Pollution Projected To Increase 50 Percent By 2040


Though renewable energy use is projected to double by 2040, EIA’s International Energy Outlook 2013 shows that without new policies that cut fossil fuel use, coal consumption will increase 50 percent by 2040. [Today In Energy]

EIA’s recently released International Energy Outlook 2013 (IEO2013) projects that world energy consumption will grow by 56% between 2010 and 2040, from 524 quadrillion British thermal units (Btu) to 820 quadrillion Btu. Most of this growth will come from non-OECD (non-Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development) countries, where demand is driven by strong economic growth.

Renewable energy and nuclear power are the world’s fastest-growing energy sources, each increasing 2.5% per year. However, fossil fuels continue to supply nearly 80% of world energy use through 2040. Natural gas is the fastest-growing fossil fuel, as global supplies of tight gas, shale gas, and coalbed methane increase.

The industrial sector continues to account for the largest share of delivered energy consumption and is projected to consume more than half of global delivered energy in 2040. Based on current policies and regulations governing fossil fuel use, global energy-related carbon dioxide emissions are projected to rise to 45 billion metric tons in 2040, a 46% increase from 2010. Economic growth in developing nations, fueled by a continued reliance on fossil fuels, accounts for most of the emissions increases.

The EIA report also projects worldwide energy-related carbon emissions to jump from over 31 billion metric tons in 2010 to 45.5 billion in 2040. [Climate Central]

The blown out natural gas well in the Gulf is unlikely to come under control soon, as the owner of the rig believes the best way to gain control is to drill a relief well. [AP]

Russia will be shipping natural gas directly to China across the melting Arctic. [New York Times]

Regular people sign form letters for public comment periods all the time, but Bloomberg notes that GOP members of congress wrote letters to the State Department supporting the Keystone pipeline that were based on text from lobbyists’ that advocate for the pipeline. [Bloomberg]

China will spend $275 billion to address the problem of air pollution over the next five years, ChinaDaily reported Thursday. [AP]

A bipartisan Senate bill would shield Arkansas residents affected by March’s ExxonMobil pipeline spill from being taxed on disaster compensation they receive from the company. [The Hill]

There are ten major wildfires, covering 35,000 acres, currently burning the state of Idaho. [KTVB]

Heat and drought are drastically lowering reservoir water levels in Northern Nevada, impacting water quality, hurting fish and limiting boating. [Reno-Gazette Journal]

Eighty percent of young voters support President Obama’s climate action plan, and three-quarters of them think that people who deny the science of climate change “ignorant, out of touch, or crazy.” [Guardian]

Persistent drought, wildfires and record temperatures may ruin tourism in Santa Fe, New Mexico. [Albuquerque Journal]

Yesterday, dozens of protesters outside Google’s Mountain View headquarters told Google employees to not be “evil” by raising money for Senator Jim Inhofe, who denies the science of climate change. [KCBS]

Drought in Russia will again reduce the amount of grain produced by the country, after last year’s drought dropped production by 25 percent. [Bloomberg]

Vice President Biden, in India: “Of course India’s first priority is and must be lifting its citizens out of poverty … but unless we can develop a sustainable path on a low-carbon path, the consequences of climate change will seriously undermine the development and growth, as well as harm the very health of the people of India.” [The Hill]

George Shultz, a Republican and Secretary of State under Ronald Regan, is urging action on climate change. [Scientific American]

The Interior Department has banned mining on some areas of federal lands that have the best solar power potential, signaling that renewable energy is becoming a tangible priority for the custodians of public lands. [CleanTechnica]

The Senate Armed Services Committee will take a look at the work the Navy has done to cut its dependence on fossil fuels at a hearing today. [Wall Street Journal]

Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley is releasing his administration’s ambitious new climate mitigation plan today, which, among other things, will require more energy to come from renewable sources by 2020. [Baltimore Sun ]

A closer look at the potential offshore wind area off the coast of Virginia that will soon be up for sale via the Interior Department. [CleanTechnica]


62 Responses to July 25 News: Worldwide Coal Use, Carbon Pollution Projected To Increase 50 Percent By 2040

  1. Paul Magnus says:

    “We are already in a 2C world in terms of the heating potential of carbon dioxide that we have already put into the atmosphere. The heating will reach 2C before 2050 and will then go on to 3-4C globally by the end of the century.” Prof Wadhams, Cambridge

  2. Solar Jim says:

    This title uses rather meaningless jargon from the past century. Instead of “carbon pollution” (whatever that might mean in the public mind) may I suggest using a description of the actual substance: “carbonic acid gas.”

    Otherwise, the news seems to indicate some futility since the planet is about to show us what it can do when contaminated by a couple trillion tons of this prehistoric stuff (which humanity is moving from the lithosphere into the ecosphere via ignition).

  3. BobbyL says:

    I think these numbers from the EIA help clarify the big picture. Although the data aren’t broken down by specific country one can assume that most of the projected increase in coal use would occur in China and India, countries that have been reported to be proposing about 900 of the approximately 1,200 new coal plants being proposed worldwide. Obama needs to make it clear to China and India that they need to change course soon and convince them that the US is committed to cutting emissions.

  4. Mark E says:

    AWESOME! That poll in the Guardian has made my day!

    “To me young people come first, they have the courage where we fail,

    “And if I can but shed some light as they carry us through the gale!


    Sweet Honey in the Rock performs

  5. Paul Magnus says:

    at last some real perspective out in the open

    “On climate change, either we take real action, or millions will die,” Senate candidate Rush Holt told voters

  6. Paul Magnus says:

    “They have no proof of such a ridiculous statement,” Lonegan said. He then posed the question to the other Democratic Senate candidates, asking if they also believe Holt’s “radical, irresponsible and silly statements.”

    His response just goes to show that this should have been the tack taken in alerting people about GW.

  7. Lou Grinzo says:

    Check the xls files in the EIA posting. The data does include some country-level detail, including the US, China, and India.

    The projections show US coal consumption being pretty much flat but big increases for China and India.

  8. Lou Grinzo says:

    Exactly. Force the GOP and all deniers to be as public and loud as possible in their professed stance re: climate change. Don’t let them resort to dog whistle politics and pandering to their extremist followers; make them shout it from the rooftops. That can only lead to bad things for the deniers in elections.

  9. rollin says:

    Carbonic acid gas does not exist, carbonic acid only exists in solution.

  10. Spike says:

    Scientists investigate means of using soil bacterium to manufacture biofuel from CO2:

  11. Sasparilla says:

    A sobering interview with Prof Wadhams, good link Paul.

  12. Spike says:

    Another positive feedback mechanism from the tropics this time.

    “Climate warming is what we know with certainty will happen under climate change in the tropics,,” said Josep G. Canadell, executive director of the Global Carbon Project in Canberra, Australia, and co-author on the paper. This implies that the release of carbon dioxide from the tropical ecosystems will very likely be accelerated with future warming.

  13. prokaryotes says:

    Troubled wind farms in state up for sale

    With the state electricity utility Tangedco (Tamil Nadu Generation and Distribution Corporation) not providing transmission lines for windmills, companies are finding it unviable to run them.

  14. prokaryotes says:

    Report: Midwest and Plains see dramatic increases in wind energy production
    KC federal reserve bank reports development surge in part due to state policies

  15. Colorado Bob says:

    Warm is the new normal, say Atlantic oceanographers
    The average temperature of the Atlantic Ocean is up 4 degrees compared to last year, according to Dalhousie University oceanographers.

    The trend is being traced from the Florida coast up to Newfoundland, affecting native flora and fauna and causing concern among fishermen.

    Fisherman Mark Debaie said he’s never seen water this warm so early in the year.

    “It was 70.2 degrees there yesterday. A lot warmer than it should be,” he said.

  16. prokaryotes says:

    Gujarat government announces new Wind Energy Policy AHMEDABAD: Gujarat government on Thursday approved Wind Energy Policy to expedite and encourage development of wind power generation activities in the state, said a top minister. The 25-year policy will exempt the power producers from electricity duty and allow captive use, seeks to utilize 1,600 km of state coastline and waste patches of barren land for the generation of wind power. The state plans to have its 10% of its total installed capacity from renewable sources.

    “The new policy is expected be an added fillip to the activities concerning wind energy installations in the state,” said Saurabh Patel, Minister of Energy and Petrochemicals. The existing Wind Energy Policy has came to an end in March 2013. The installed capacity of wind power in the state rose from 150 MW in 2001 to 3,147 MW in 2013. The installed capacity in the country stands at 19,000 MW.

  17. prokaryotes says:

    Scientists discover what’s killing the bees and it’s worse than you thought

  18. Timothy Hughbanks says:

    Yes, and then in a concentration about 1/600th of the concentration of dissolved CO₂ molecules.

  19. prokaryotes says:

    Siberia heat wave (including permafrost melt and following methane release) continues…

  20. prokaryotes says:

    It currently appears that Dorian will be a potential threat to the Bahama Islands, Bermuda, and the U.S. East Coast next week.

  21. prokaryotes says:

    ‘Rivers’ in air could boost flooding

    Winter floods could intensify in Britain, according to new research into powerful weather systems called “atmospheric rivers”.

    Only identified about 20 years ago, atmospheric rivers are intense bands of moisture that flow through the air.

    Known to be responsible for heavy rainfall, they have been blamed for severe flooding in California and the UK.

    The new study suggests that warmer conditions could create more rivers – and make them more severe.

  22. catman306 says:

    Since Superman may have taken the day off, let me the first to suggest that our global economy/civilization may not make it 2040. There are several factors which appeared linear that are now trending toward exponential. Multiple exponential factors, when added together point straight up, even without the passage of much time.

    The question is no longer what will happen, we know what’s going to happen, we just don’t know when. Probably sooner.

  23. prokaryotes says:

    + all these different eco-system responses are reinforcing each other. It’s like a domino chain and has a lot to do with thresholds.

    Though there are non linear responses as well, like the permafrost melt today from the ongoing Siberia heat wave, or the exceptional record wildfire season in the subarctic regions of Alaska this season.

  24. prokaryotes says:

    Subarctic wildfire frequency is higher now than it has been at any other point in the last 10,000 years, new records show.

    The records, obtained from charcoal in the Yukon Flats of Alaska, have revealed the history of wildfire activity in the region known as the subarctic, the area just south of the Arctic Circle, from North America to Scandinavia and Siberia, where boreal forests dominate and winters are long and dark.

  25. prokaryotes says:

    All-Time Heat Records Broken in . . . Alaska?!

    A massive dome of high pressure, sometimes referred to as a “heat dome,” has set up shop over Alaska, bringing all-time record temperatures just a few weeks after parts of the state had a record cold start to spring. In some cases, towns in Alaska were warmer on Monday and Tuesday than most locations in the lower 48 states.

  26. prokaryotes says:

    From the comments by Robert:

    We’re having some methane feedback in the Arctic and it’s a part of polar amplification. That said, it is important to note that this feedback is not a runaway feedback at this time. In total, we’re probably seeing about a 10-15 megaton methane emission from the Arctic each year (comparing to a 40 megaton global emission, including humans). The Arctic emission could double or even triple over the coming years and decades. And this is a pretty serious amplifying feedback. To get a runaway, though, we’d need about 500 MT to 1 GT annual average emission. And we’re not seeing that yet (hope to never see it).

    NASA’s CARVE study will likely provide more detail. But my opinion is that the methane feedback and other global responses to human emissions will be enough to at least double the human forcing over long periods of time (perhaps more than double, as the human forcing is so fast). So it’s certainly trouble worth keeping an eye on.

    Loss of albedo and related greenhouse gas feedback in the Arctic is having the predicted amplifying effect. In addition, we’re in a period when the ocean gyres and atmospheric circulation are transferring more heat to the Arctic. This phase should last for another 5, 10, or 15 years. When it switches back, overall atmospheric warming will intensify and polar amplification may slow down a little.

    So in answer to your question, we’re already seeing the first impacts of increased polar methane release. But these are the early, outlier events. And, yes, the extra methane does have a local warming effect on the Arctic environment.

  27. prokaryotes says:

    This summer has seen a great number of extraordinary effects from human caused climate change. These include massive heat dome high pressure systems setting off record droughts, fires and heat waves, Arctic temperatures rocketing into the 80s and 90s, Europe and Canada suffering some of their worst flooding events in history and a crazy US weather system moving backwards against the prevailing weather pattern for more than 3,000 miles. Add to these record events a substantial melting of ice in the Arctic’s most central regions, and you end up with rather strong proofs that our greenhouse gas emissions have permanently altered the word’s weather.

  28. Merrelyn Emery says:

    This is a pleasant change. Even the most dogmatic denier is going to waver when they are exposed as a small minority who cannot produce evidence for their position or explain reality, ME

  29. prokaryotes says:

    Reuters Climate Change Coverage Declined Significantly After “Skeptic” Editor Joined
    New Analysis Backs Whistleblower’s Claims

  30. prokaryotes says:

    What Can Medieval Irish Chronicles Tell us About Climate Change?

    In a paper published by Environmental Research Letters, a team of U.S. and Irish researchers use the Irish Annals — documents of recorded events written by scribes in Irish monasteries from the fifth to the 17th centuries — as a dataset for the occurence of rare weather events. Specifically, the authors are interested in evidence for the theory that atmospheric ash from volcanic eruptions was responsible for known climate anomalies from the period — in particular the so-called “little ice age.”

  31. prokaryotes says:

    Food, farming, and climate change: A look into Feed the Future in Senegal

    How is US development assistance influencing local capacity for climate change adaptation?

  32. Merrelyn Emery says:

    The IEA continues to use linear projections based on the past when the price of coal has dropped due to reduced demand, China and India are rushing into renewables, fracking is being held up by community protests etc etc. Any vested interests showing through here? ME

  33. prokaryotes says:

    By giving a platform to climate change sceptics, the BBC is misleading the public

    The corporation is sacrificing accuracy by being impartial between facts and fictions.

  34. prokaryotes says:

    Video: Climate Change Is Creating Cannibal Lobsters

  35. prokaryotes says:

    How 50 States, and 186 Countries, Rank For Climate Change

    Design your own infographics about the rise of climate change with the new Climate Data Explorer.

  36. prokaryotes says:

    On July 21-23, a large methane emission in which numerous sources caused atmospheric spikes to greater than 1950 parts per billion flared over a wide region of Arctic Russia and the Kara Sea. This event was so massive that an area of about 500 x 500 miles was nearly completely filled with these higher readings even as a much broader region, stretching about 2,000 miles in length and about 800 miles at its widest, experienced scores of large pulses. You can see a visual representation of these emissions in yellow on the image above, provided by Methane Tracker which compiles data provided by NASA’s Aqua Satellite.

  37. Vic says:

    Say hello to N-fix.

    There appears to have been a major breakthrough in food production. The non-GM technology allows virtually all of the world’s crop species to automatically obtain up to 60% of their nitrogen requirements from air as opposed to fertilisers. Proof of concept has been demonstrated, patents are in place, licencing agreements are being made and commercial availabilty is expected within 2-3 years.

    If their claims are true we could see reduced transportation of fertilisers by sea, road and rail. We could see a reduction in NOx super greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. We could see a reduction in algal blooms and oceanic dead zones. We could see a roughly 5% global reduction in natural gas usage. We could see increased profits for farmers leading to a reduction in global food prices.

  38. David B. Benson says:

    Yikes! Please repost this wherever you can.

  39. Will Fox says:

    John Boehner Lies And Won’t Tell America About His Personal Investment in Keystone XL

  40. Mulga Mumblebrain says:

    There are always young fogies, like the senile delinquents that they will later become. And age certainly wearies many, and they turn nasty as the years roll by. Where do you imagine that most of the old farts come from? From brave, new, youngsters who sold out along the way. In any case the vast majority have no say in our destiny, and the tiny coterie who do are chosen for psychological and ideological correctness by the Rightists who control every facet of our lives.

  41. Mulga Mumblebrain says:

    The general toxification of the planet by the chemical industry is another ecological crisis of deadly significance. Not just bees but other insects, many vital pollinators, are being devastated by unconstrained use of these toxins, and every dangerous effect is routinely and cynically denied by the industry, its PR hacks and Rightwing disinformationists in the MSM. And, of course, there is no chance whatsoever that the chemical industry behemoths will cease poisoning the planet, because the financial interests that control them and demand ever growing profits, will not allow it.

  42. Mulga Mumblebrain says:

    And still the powers that be refuse to act, and the Right denies everything, while ratcheting up the hatred against environmentalism. Either they are totally insane, or they want the Collapse to happen.

  43. Mulga Mumblebrain says:

    Presidential material.