Saturday, July 23, 2022

More Hydrogen Less Methane about the Same HO

 Recently a bunch of wanna be paid attentiontos have made a grab for the majic ring by selling their view that the global warming effect of hydrogen is gonna be major. As usual such rumors spread like lightning on Twitter and the like.

Uncle Eli is here to tell you that this is finger on the scale stuff. The kick off was "Global modelling studies of hydrogen and its isotopomers using STOCHEM-CRI: Likely radiative forcing consequences of a future hydrogen economy", Richard G. Derwent, David S. Stevenson, Steven R. Utembe, Michael E. Jenkin, Anwar H. Khan, Dudley E. Shallcross  International Journal of Hydrogen Energy Volume 45, 18 March 2020, Pages 9211-922

It goes like this, Derwent, et al. modelled the effect of injecting a pulse of 1.67 Tg of H2 into the atmosphere and find that it has a global warming potential of 5 on a 100 year basis. Their model shows that this is because the H2 reacts with HO radicals which are thus not available to react with methane, CH4, so the concentration of methane,  an important greenhouse gas will be higher. There is also a secondary effect where ozone, O3, is produced.

The TL:DR or as the bunnies call it today, a Tweet, is that 

H2 is introduced to take the place of  CH4 so  to make an honest calculation of what happens in a hydrogen economy, (finger off the scale) you not only have to pulse H emissions but also decrease CH4 emissions by a similar amount.

The simplified kinetics of HO in the atmosphere is an equilibrium between HO and HO2. HO is very reactive and once formed finds something, anything that is not totally oxidized like CO2, to react with. It only lasts for a second or so. HO2 is much less reactive, but still lasts for maybe ten times as long. There is a constant interchange between them and regeneration by other reactions.

Murray et al. have a nice schematic of HO atmospheric chemistry in the supplement to a PNAS article, which Eli will borrow with a couple of additions, adding the H2 reaction with OH and the termination reaction for HO2 by recombination

Sc is the reaction of HO with CO, which accounts for 40-50% of HO reactions in the atmosphere, methane accounts for about 15%, the rest being ozone and other hydrocarbons but on a rough basis Sc is the reaction of HO with any carbon containing molecule except the totally oxidized CO2 

SN and LN are the source and loss of NO and NO2  respectively. NO conversion of HO2  to HO is what maintains the equilibrium between them

The basic reactions are

CH4  + HO → CH3 + H2

Followed by a series of reactions which eventually lead to 

the reaction of CO and HO
CO + HO + O2 → CO2 + HO2  [R4]

For H2 oxidation

HO + H2  → H2O + H 
followed rapidly by
H + O2 + M → HO+ M

where M is anything that does not react, in the case of the atmosphere nitrogen mostly. It represents a pressure effect which confines the reactants.  These two reactions are often put together 

HO + H2 +  O2 → H2O + HO2  [RH]

In the troposphere, conversion of HO2  to HO is driven by reaction by nitric oxide

HO2 + NO → HO + NO2       [R5] 

and NO is regenerated by photodissociation, which also yields ozone. This reaction occurs whether independent of whether the was formed by oxidation of H2 or CH4 .

NO2 + hν  + O2 → NO + O3           [R6] 

These chains are terminated by

HO2  + HO2 → H2O2 + O2                  [R8] 
NO2 + HO + M−→ HNO+ M          [R9] 

Looking at the scheme for atmospheric oxidation of methane HO is consumed in many of them and only regenerated from the reaction of NO and HO2.  The reactions scheme for H2 is much simpler with only one HO radical consumed per oxidized  H2 molecule. So on the whole, per molecule, less HO reacts away.

Monday, July 18, 2022

Empathy and denialism

Anyone still here?

Anyway, Brian here - been off, doing stuff. Like everyone else on the planet, tracking what's happening with covid. One thing I think I may have picked up from the doctors and medical professionals trying to get people to get vaccinated is that empathy is the best approach. I'm thinking of doctors like Dr. Monica Gandhi with backgrounds in HIV harm reduction, before she switched to covid. Empathy, as opposed to pointing and laughing, is something I could consider doing in response to climate denialists.

One response to this is that when it comes to the small number of paid denialists and the larger number that are deeply psychologically invested in their side's tribal victory, nothing will work. So why not point and laugh instead, and maybe shake a few fence-sitters down to the rational side?

I think empathy can also bring those fence-sitters down on our side. At least that's what the doctors think.

Eli a long time ago said something to the effect of differentiating between those who merely visit the well of denialism and those that have drunk deep. I suppose that's kind of similar except for reserving the verbal knives in a few cases for those deserving few. 

 Anyway, something to think about, and a happy to summer to all. May the climate denialists at least go get their covid vaxx and boosters.

Sunday, May 29, 2022

Give a Man a Solar Lamp

So how many times have you heard the cheap bastards proclaim

Give a man a fish and he will eat for a day. Teach a man how to fish and you feed him for a lifetime.
Of course they do neither, but they belittle those who help daily.

Talking about getting useful power to the really poor and isolated people in the world, it occurred to Eli that
Give a man a kerosine lantern and he needs to go out and buy more fuel forever. Give him a solar lamp and he has light for a lifetime

Eli Rabett's Simple Plan to Relieve the Burdens of Student Loans

 Student loans are forever with us, many never are able to pay them off. Recognizing that this sad situation is a result of shifting the expense of education from the public purse (yeah it used to cost only a few buck to go to some pretty good places like the UCs, William and Mary, etc and even the privates were a lot less expensive) to the students' pocketbooks. Especially viscious is the cost of professional education, law,  medical schools, and grad school if there are no grants around to support Research Assistantships.

So comes Joe Biden with a plan to foregive $10K of student debt.Well one good thing that the Bidens have already done is to turbocharge the Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) program after the Trump, deVos disaster years. Eli's social media feed is full of former students who now see $0 on their balance. As one of them wrote

After 20 years of federal service and multiple tries at getting into the program I was finally approved and have a $0 balance. It feels absolutely amazing to be free of student loan debt.

To qualify you have to 

be employed by a U.S. federal, state, local, or tribal government or not-for-profit organization (federal service includes U.S. military service);

work full-time for that agency or organization;

have Direct Loans (or consolidate other federal student loans into a Direct Loan);

repay your loans under an income-driven repayment plan*; and

make 120 qualifying payments.

 and meet these requirements before the Republicans get back in and tank the program again.

But it looks like Biden is going to also foregive $10K of student load debt per person. That will zero out loans for the third of borrowers who have a debt of $10K and more than halve the burden for the 20% with debt between $10K and $20K.

But what about those with substantial debt. Well Eli has a plan. 

First, inflation is going to help with a bunch of that. 

Second, how about dropping the interest rate on Federally held loans by a couple of percentage points and allowing those with private loans to refinance.

Remember, Eli's simple plans are always best

Tuesday, April 05, 2022

Dr Valerie Masson-Delmotte on the WGIII report Part 2 Know your nomenclature

Thomas Kuhn wrote that scientists could discuss their understanding because they agreed on the meaning of terms. This goes back centuries to Lavoisier who, while creating chemical nomenclature pointed out that science consisted of 

The impossibility of separating the nomenclature of a science from the science itself, is owing to this, that every branch of physical science must consist of three things; the series of facts which are the objects of the science, the ideas which represent these facts, and the words by which these ideas are expressed. Like three impressions of the same seal, the word ought to produce the idea, and the idea to be a picture of the fact. And, as ideas are preserved and communicated by means of words, it necessarily follows that we cannot improve the language of any science without at the same time improving the science itself; neither can we, on the other hand, improve a science, without improving the language or nomenclature which belongs to it. However certain the facts of any science may be, and, however just the ideas we may have formed of these facts, we can only communicate false impressions to others, while we want words by which these may be properly expressed.

Those who have been here to Rabett Run (and gone, Eli accepts the blame)  know that denial of science is rooted in distortions of definitions. 

Dr. Masson Delmotte start her analysis of WGIII Annex I of the report, by looking at some of the terms in the glossary, to establish what is being discussed. There are many more, and anybody looking at the WGIII AR6 would do well to look for them before engaging on any topic

 Dr Valérie Masson-Delmotte Profile picture

The glossaries of the #IPCC @IPCC_CH reports are valuable resources, which provide precise definitions of the terms used.

For group III (attenuation), the glossary is here:

Some new features!
By the way, what is #climate change mitigation These are human interventions aimed at reducing greenhouse gas emissions or enhancing their sinks. 

New term, "avoid, shift, improve": avoid, shift, improve
Reducing greenhouse gas emissions by avoiding the use of an emissions-producing service entirely, shifting to the lowest-emission mode of providing the service, and/or improving the technologies and systems for providing the service in ways that reduce emissions.
Carbon footprint 
Measure of the exclusive total amount of emissions of carbon dioxide (CO2) that is directly and indirectly caused by an activity or is accumulated over the lifecycle stages of a product' (Wiedmann and Minx 2008). 
Household carbon footprint The carbon footprint of an individual household, inclusive of the direct and indirect carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions associated with home energy use, transportation, food provision, and consumption of other goods and services associated with household expenditures.
Circular economy:
Circular economy A system characterized by minimal inputs and operational losses of materials and energy through intense reduction, reuse, recycling and recovery activities. 
Ten strategies for circularity: refuse, rethink, reduce, reuse, repair, recondition, remanufacture, reuse, recycle, recover. 
Climate finance:
There is no agreed definition of climate finance. The term 'climate finance' is applied to the financial resources devoted to addressing climate change by all public and private actors from global to local scales, including international financial flows to developing countries to assist them in addressing  climate change. Climate finance aims to reduce net greenhouse gas emissions and/or to enhance adaptation and increase resilience to the impacts of current and projected climate change. Finance can come from private and public sources, channelled by various intermediaries, and is delivered by a range of instruments, including grants, concessional and non-concessional debt, and internal budget reallocations.
Cost-effectiveness analysis:
A form of economic evaluation that compares the cost of different mitigation strategies developed to achieve a specific objective, e.g. emissions reduction target, global temperature stabilization target. 
Decent standard of living:
A set of material conditions essential to human well-being, including nutrition, housing, essential services, medical care, transport, information, education and public space. 
Decoupling (in relation to climate change) is where economic growth is no longer strongly associated with another relevant indicator such as greenhouse gas emissions. Relative decoupling is where both grow but the other indicators grow more slowly than the economy. Absolute decoupling is where there is economic growth but there is a decline in the other indicator. 
Disciplinary approaches use the term in different ways. In economics, demand by a consumer is willingness and ability to purchase in a market place. However, the motivation for purchase may vary and can include economic utility, welfare, Decent standard of living (DSL), or for the good/services. 
Demand- and supply-side measures:
Demand-side measures Policies and programmes for influencing the demand for goods and/or services. In the energy sector, demand-side mitigation measures aim at reducing the amount of greenhouse gas emissions emitted per unit of energy service used. 
Supply-side measures Policies and programmes for influencing how a certain demand for goods and/or services is met. In the energy sector, supply-side mitigation measures aim at reducing the amount of greenhouse gas emissions emitted per unit of energy service produced.
Energy access:
Access to clean, reliable and economical energy services for cooking, heating, lighting or communications, and for production purposes 
Energy poverty:
Lack of sufficient choice for access to adequate, affordable, reliable, high quality, safe and environmentally friendly energy services to support economic and human development. 

Fuel poverty:

 Situation in which a household is unable to ensure a certain level of consumption of domestic energy services (in particular for heating) or suffers disproportionate costs to meet these needs. 
Fugitive emissions from oil and gas systems:
The release of greenhouse gases that occur during the exploration, processing and delivery of fossil fuels to the point of final use. This excludes greenhouse gas emissions from fuel combustion for the production of useful heat or power. It encompasses venting, flaring, and leaks. 
Just transitions:
A set of principles, processes and practices that aim to ensure that no people, workers, places, sectors, countries or regions are left behind in the transition from a high-carbon to a low-carbon economy. It stresses the need for targeted and proactive measures from governments, agencies, and authorities to ensure that any negative social, environmental or economic impacts of economy-wide transitions are minimised, whilst benefits are maximised for those disproportionally affected. Key principles of just transitions include: respect and dignity for vulnerable groups; fairness in energy access and use, social dialogue and democratic consultation with relevant stakeholders; the creation of decent jobs; social protection; and rights at work. Just transitions could include fairness in energy, land use and climate planning and decision-making processes; economic diversification based on low-carbon investments; realistic training/retraining programs that lead to decent work; gender specific policies that promote equitable outcomes; the fostering of international cooperation and coordinated multilateral actions; and the eradication of poverty. Lastly, just transitions may embody the redressing of past harms and perceived injustices. (ILO 2015; UNFCCC 2016) 
Leapfrogging, "technological leapfrogging":
Ability of developing countries to skip several stages of technological development and move directly to cutting-edge clean technologies. 
Materials substitution
Replacement of one material (including an energy carrier used as a feedstock) by another, due to scarcity, price, technological change, or because of lower environmental impacts or greenhouse gas emissions.

 Offset: climate policy compensation

The reduction, avoidance or removal of a unit of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by one entity, purchased by another entity to counterbalance a unit of GHG emissions by that other entity. Offsets are commonly subject to rules and environmental integrity criteria intended to ensure that offsets achieve their stated mitigation outcome. Relevant criteria include, but are not limited to, the avoidance of double counting and leakage, use of appropriate baselines, additionality, and permanence or measures to address impermanence. See also Greenhouse gas emission metric and Carbon neutrality

Organic farming 

An agricultural production system that aims to utilise natural processes and cycles to limit off-farm and notably synthetic inputs, while also aiming to enhance agroecosystems and society. Organic farming is often legally defined and governed by standards, typically guided by principles outlined by the International Federation of Organic Agriculture Movements (IFOAM - Organics International). (IFOAM-Organics International 2014
Prosumer: Consumer-producer
Consumer who also produces energy and injects it into the system, making it an active agent in the system and in the energy market. 
Rebound effect:
Phenomena whereby the reduction in energy consumption or emissions (relative to a baseline) associated with the implementation of mitigation measures in a jurisdiction is offset to some degree through induced changes in consumption, production, and prices within the same jurisdiction. The rebound effect is most typically ascribed to technological energy efficiency improvements
Regenerative Agriculture:
A universally agreed definition of this relatively new farming approach has yet to be established, but regenerative agriculture broadly refers to the implementation of varying combinations of agricultural management practices, to ensure the continued restoration and enhancement of soil health, biodiversity and ecosystem functioning, in conjunction with profitable agricultural production.
Renewable Energy:
Any form of energy that is replenished through natural processes at a rate equal to or greater than its rate of use. 

Dr. Valérie Masson-Delmotte on the WG III report Part I


Valérie Masson-Delmotte has been tweeting long threads on the WG reports. 

Here Eli has unrolled them and provides an English translation 

Bonjour! Après avoir un peu récupéré de l'intense session d'approbation du résumé pour décideurs du rapport du groupe III du #GIEC, je voudrais partager quelques réflexions.  

D'abord, sur le contexte de ce rapport.

Good morning!

Having recovered a little from the intense endorsement session of the Summary for Policymakers of the #IPCC Panel III Report , I would like to share a few thoughts.

First, on the context of this report.
It is a report prepared for 3 years by 278 scientists from 65 different countries.
Here is the list of the authors of the report, with a variety of affiliations (most from the academic sector, a few from private companies and NGOs):
For each scientist, you can also easily access their list of publications in scientific journals, for example via
This makes it possible to differentiate a personality who expresses an opinion from a scientific work (peer-review) 
We note an increase in the participation of women scientists in the evaluation of group 3 (18.5% of women among the authors of the 5th report, now 29%). 
I also recommend reading box 5.3 in chapter 5 which highlights the importance of women's empowerment for climate action #feminism - this dimension is mentioned in the summary for decision-makers, Besides. 
So, 278 main authors, 354 contributors, who review the factual elements of more than 18,000 scientific, technical, socio-economic publications, in 17 chapters - more than 3000 pages, fully available here: wg3/
and distill a technical summary of 140 pages, and a summary for decision makers of approximately 60 pages.
Several successive versions have been prepared, taking into account proofreading by the scientific community and government experts. In this case, more than 59,000 comments have been taken considered. This step is critical for rigor, completeness, objectivity. 
This review process is at the center of all #PeerReview scientific work and IPCC reports are the most reviewed scientific documents: a scientific publication has usually 2-4 reviewers, here there are hundreds of reviewers for each chapter. 
The summary for decision-makers is also the subject of specific proofreading, in addition, by the governments (42 countries contributed to this), and of an approval, word by word, figure by figure, by the representatives of all the countries. 
This process, on the one hand, aims to ensure that this summary clearly and in a balanced way reflects the main conclusions of the in-depth evaluation. Each finding is traceable to the corresponding chapter, and to the review of publications therein. 
It should also be specified that the IPCC does not carry out new research, but, by reviewing the knowledge available in scientific publications (here for group 3 for publications accepted before October 11, 2021), 
It participates in the maturation of the state of knowledge, including by formalizing the systematic way of evaluating different options for action, their potential, cost, limits, their benefits and undesirable effects, with regard for example to the Sustainable Development Goals .

The IPCC reports do not make recommendations (neutral), but describe, for example, the necessary conditions in relation to such and such an objective (for example, limiting warming to below 2°C or 1.5°C, the objectives of the Paris climate agreement. 
Approval of summaries for policy makers by representatives of all countries is done on the basis of the full report, and with the scientific authors of the report who "hold the pen" (they always have the last word on proposed reformulations etc.). 
It is a very particular process where representatives of countries express themselves, each with their own specificities concerning the risks linked to climate change and concerning the responsibilities and levers for action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. 
At the end of this process, the summary for decision-makers therefore constitutes a common base of knowledge, recognized by all the countries of the world. 
This therefore makes it possible to separate the scientific facts (the reports of the #IPCC @IPCC_CH ) from the political processes of climate negotiations @UNFCCC 
The approval of the #IPCC Cluster 3 report was the longest and most intensive I have observed, compared to the 5th round of assessment (2013) for cluster 1, and, for the 6th round of evaluation (2015-2022), for the 3 special reports and the reports of groups 1 -2 
This reflects the extreme attention paid to greenhouse gas emissions and the means to reduce them as quickly as possible, in the fairest way possible, everywhere in the world. 
So this approval session lasted 13 days (for 2 weeks), in complicated virtual mode across the different time zones, contributing to the extraordinary workload put on the hundreds of participants (report authors, representatives of the different countries).
The last session started on Saturday April 2 at 7 a.m. (Paris time) and ended on Sunday April 3 at 10 p.m., a marathon of almost 40 hours. 
I think we will have to rethink the way of doing this so as to respect a minimum of international standards in terms of labor law, right to rest, to avoid repeating such an atrocious situation, especially for support teams #burnout 
I also think that these approval sessions should be public - either broadcast in real time (in my opinion this would be best #Bingewatching ) or archived and then made public afterwards. 
Every citizen of every country seems to me to have the right to know what is said by the representatives of his country in the context of the approval of reports summarizing the state of knowledge vis-à-vis climate change #transparency 
In the end, for the IPCC Group III report, this approval process led to the summary for policymakers being extended by approximately 36% (from the full report). 
I end this "preamble" by emphasizing that this report is based on a wealth of new knowledge on the options and public policies for reducing greenhouse gas emissions. 
The evaluation methodologies take into account economic efficiency, but also ethical and equity issues, processes allowing the construction of large-scale transitions including technological and social aspects, and institutional and governance frameworks enabling the efficient and rapid deployment of solutions. 
I also underline a much more complete integration of the work between the different working groups. 
For example, the use of emulators (simplified climate models consistent with the climate response assessed in Group 1) to translate a given trajectory of greenhouse gas emissions into implications for the evolution of global warming. 
Or the use of a common framework on the assessment of risks related to climate change, which depend on both climatic hazards, response measures, and exposure and vulnerability to them 
Taking into account the multiple dimensions of sustainable development is also cross-cutting for groups 2 and 3 to assess how to influence development trajectories towards sustainability, taking into account issues of equity. 
Groups 2 and 3 analyze both the levers of action, the conditions conducive to their rapid and fair deployment, but also the obstacles. 
Thus, the technical summary of Group 3 highlights the blockages stemming from entrenched power relations, dominated by vested interests that control and profit from existing technologies, and governance structures that continue to reproduce unsustainable patterns of production and consumption. 
The Group III report highlights the challenges of building a #justtransition :  based on a set of principles, processes and practices to ensure that no person, worker, territory, sector, country or region is left behind in the shift from a high-carbon to a low-carbon economy carbon 
This incorporates respect and dignity for vulnerable groups, decent job creation, social protection, labor rights, equity in energy access and use, social dialogue and democratic deliberations. stakeholders. 
This implicitly incorporates the dimensions of well-being, equity and justice, and proactive and targeted measures to minimize negative impacts (social, environmental, economic) by building an economy-wide transition. 
This report also includes an entire chapter (the 5th) dedicated to the social dimension of the transition to a low and then zero-carbon economy, therefore focusing on "demand" and all the institutional issues to facilitate access to good living. low carbon. 
Here I finish this "preamble" and I will then (later!) share a summary of the key points of the report, in French, thank you for reading and your patience!