Gulf Coast Hurricane Tracker

A single source reference on tropical weather predictions. With a traditional focus on the upper Texas and Louisiana Gulf Coast we've maintained links to track all Atlantic Basin, Caribbean and eastern Pacific storm systems. We are now expanding our view to tropical storms throughout the world intending to be a comprehensive global storm tracking resource.

Friday, July 28, 2006

How panic leads to bad actions

Stop global warming by shooting sulfur into the air???

We did this in the 1960's and 70's -- it's called pollution. It creates acid rain, increases asthma in children and the elderly, makes the skies above our cities look yellow and green and is very BAD!!!!

So now that we've finally cleaned up and continue to clean up the atmosphere, some so-called scientists claim that we should start polluting again just to stop something that is aprt of the natural variation of the planet's climate. I don't know if livescience is a spoof site or not but I sure hope so before the Al Gore's of the world start taking them seriously.

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

North Carolina spared, Beryl gains strength and heads for New England

It looks like the storm will just skirt up the coast. Currently with sustained winds of up to 60 MPH, there is a possibility of Beryl strengthening to a hurricane bit with the cooler temperature water in the North Atlantic new New England I doubt it. At Best I think the far eastern Long Island Coast, Cape Cod and eastern Mass. and the Canadian Maritimes will get a glancing blow but nothing major.

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Tropical Storm Beryl

We now have the second fully developed tropical system of the year, Tropical Storm Beryl. It is located off the North Carolina coast. One model predicts the storm will go ashore around the North Carolina/ Virginia border. All the rest predict it will head out into the Atlantic. We will follow the storm's progress and update the blog as appropriate.

Monday, July 17, 2006

And of course there is the silly solution

What I find funny is that one group seriously argues against a jump day on the grounds that changing the Earth's orbit is immoral.

Some believe it's risky to alter Earth's orbit, while others fear the jump will make the Gregorian calendar obsolete because of the length of Earth's new orbit.

I am surprised that they all don't recognize that the northern hemisphere has a much greater land mass and population than the southern hemisphere and if we all jump at the same time it would result in us staying on a parallel orbit on a lower plane. I would suspect that such a result would increase global warming due to the greater amount of land that would remain in constant sunlight. They really need to get the people in Europe and Asia to do the jumping for the best effect.

Trackback to The Dumb Ox , Woman Honor Thyself

Monday, July 10, 2006

Now this is a proposal that makes sense

Regardless of the debate as to the true cause of global warming - man made or natural, real solutions will only come to fruition if there is an economic driver and benefit involved.

This article discussed a real proposal in which CO2 is sequestered in a permanent repository and then used as needed in an existing application. This takes CO2 out of the atmosphere ( which I really do not think will matter in any way) and makes it available for use where CO2 is currently being used anyway. Any opportunity to use an existing available supply to improve a process or reduce cost is a good opportunity and it is projects like this that should be supported. The fact is that this has an economic driver and addresses a real issue - improving the oil drilling efficiency. If some people believe that removing the CO2 from the atmosphere will make a difference in global warming, that is fine. What a proposal lie this does not do is impose an impractical solution on a non-controllable issue but rather addresses a real time problem and provides some additional benefits. (From Engineer Live! a process engineering e-magazine from Europe)

Shell and Statoil join forces in carbon sequestration

Shell and Statoil have announced a joint project to store up to 2.5m tonnes of carbon dioxide underground every year for use in enhanced oil recovery. At the same time, a new report from the International Energy Agency looks at what is needed over the next 30–50 years to make carbon sequestration a worldwide reality.

Shell and Statoil have signed an agreement to work towards developing the world’s largest project using carbon dioxide (CO2) for enhanced oil recovery (EOR) offshore. The concept involves capturing CO2 from power generation and utilising it to enhance oil recovery, resulting in increased energy production with lower CO2 impact.

The project, which could eventually cost up to 1.2b Euro, consists of a gas-fired power plant and
methanol production facility at Tjeldbergodden in mid-Norway, providing CO2 to the Draugen and Heidrun offshore oil and gas fields. Power from the plant will also be provided to the offshore fields, enabling near zero CO2 and nitrogen oxide emissions from these installations. The various elements of the project will be phased in between 2010 and 2012.

Establishing this CO2 value chain is technologically and commercially challenging and according to the companies will depend on substantial government funding and involvement. The project will also rely on the involvement of industrial stakeholders and electricity users in the region.

The project is in line with international and national climate aspirations and responds to the important challenges of increasing energy supplies and addressing the related CO2 emissions and will contribute to long-term power balance in mid-Norway. At the same time it secures stable power delivery to industry producing vital hydrocarbons for Europe. The project could
potentially store approximately 2–2.5m tonnes of CO2 annually in two different fields.

“This is an important milestone for Shell towards our vision for greener fossil fuels with part of the CO2 captured and sequestrated underground,” noted ceo Jeroen van der Veer.
“Our aim is to establish a broad partnership in order to realise this ground-breaking project. This CO2 project responds to vital future challenges facing society, the environment and the industry,” said Statoil ceo Helge Lund.
Since 2004, his company has played a key role on the technical committee of a 17-nation group working to compile a list of technology projects which can help to reduce CO2 emissions.

The Carbon Sequestration Leadership Forum (CSLF) maintains that improving energy efficiency and using renewable energy are not enough to fulfil the Kyoto protocol. Capturing and storing CO2 could be required in addition, according to the group – which includes Norway among its members. The other participants are the USA, Canada, Brazil, Mexico, Colombia, South Africa, India, China, Japan, Australia, Russia, Germany, France, Italy, the UK and the European
Commission. In addition to coordinating member efforts to develop carbon sequestration technology, the CSLF is seeking to harmonise national regulations on this issue.

A 30-50 year plan
Meanwhile, the International Energy Agency (IEA) has published a 252-page study entitled Prospects for CO2 capture and storage. The study sheds light on the economic potential for CO2 capture and storage (CCS) over the next 30–50 years using the energy technology perspectives (ETP) model, a quantitative optimisation model developed by the IEA. It assesses the prospects for CCS technologies based on the energy resources, regional and sectoral shifts in global energy demands and modification in energy technology portfolios. It compares CCS with other emission mitigation options and identifies key issues and uncertainties that should be considered in relation to CCS and its use as a CO2 emission mitigation tool.

In terms of the challenges ahead and priorities for action, the study focuses on nine points.

Firstly, a five-fold increase in funding for research, design and development (RD&D) on CCS will be needed to prepare the necessary technologies for full-scale commercial introduction within 10–15 years.

Secondly, in terms of capture technologies, the IEA says that RD&D efforts should focus on innovative capture technologies with high efficiencies and low cost. Special attention should be given to the integration of CCS into new power plant designs. At least several more projects are needed to demonstrate CO2 capture on a commercial scale. Finding sufficient funds for
such projects will, says the IEA, be a significant challenge and some investors might wish to proceed immediately to commercialisation.

The study’s third point is that a new generation of highly efficient coal-fired power plants is
being developed and introduced, but that it will take them decades to conquer the market. This means that only synchronous development of a new generation of plants and CCS technologies will lead to CCS market introduction within 10–15 years. This also means that work should continue on all capture options such as CCS with steam cycles, including oxy-fuelling, and CCS for gasification cycles.

The fourth point concerns storage. Sufficient proof of storage permanence is essential for any credible CCS strategy and for public awareness and acceptance. As a first step, RD&D should focus on CO2 projects that enhance fossil fuel production and on those which advance knowledge on sub-sea underground storage, and aquifer storage in locations with low population density. Stakeholder processes for reviewing, commenting and addressing concerns should be built into all pilot projects. Procedures for independently verifying and monitoring storage and related activities should also be established.

Fifthly, to facilitate the acceptance of CCS by the general public, industry decision makers, and policy makers, it will be necessary to make available and broadly disseminate the results of RD&D projects.

The IEA’s sixth point is that given the controversial nature of oceanic storage, CO2 storage efforts should primarily focus on underground options, both offshore and onshore.

The next point is that further investment in CCS, including demonstration projects, is hindered in some countries by uncertainties over the lack of appropriate legal and regulatory frameworks. Countries should create an enabling legal and regulatory environment for national CO2 storage projects. In the interests of time, and given the diversity of institutional set-ups and regulations between countries, working at the national level using existing frameworks may be the best short-term option.

Penultimately, the IEA says that contracting parties to international instruments should be proactive in clarifying the legal status of CO2 storage in the marine environment, taking into consideration their objectives to stabilise CO2 in the atmosphere.

Finally, in addition to the acceleration of RD&D funding, countries should create a level playing field for CCS alongside other climate change mitigation technologies. This includes ensuring that various climate change mitigation instruments, including market-oriented trading schemes, are
adapted to include CCS.

It will be interesting to see if the environmentalists can support this type of project when the results address something that they champion (reduction of CO2) AND simultaneaously something they oppose (improved productivity in oil drilling). I'm sure that this will never be reported in the MSM (except maybe in a business section).

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Using "Global Warming" as an excuse to raise more taxes

Here it is starting. The first article I read on this topic was that France was instituting a tax on CO2 emission from airlines of 1 to 40 euros depending on the class of service and whether the flight was domestic or international. OK this is pointless but it is such a small amount comapred to the cost of a ticket that it is not worth worrying about.

This article - a couple of days later - from the UK indicates that the UK is doing the same thign but its fee of up to 40 UK pounds sterling is much higher than the french tax.

I refer all readers to the link on the real causes of Global Warming on http:/// especially to the limited effect that CO2 actually causes and that taxing emissions will really do nothing.

Add to that the fact that the leading proponent for such a tax is a group "The GreenSkies Alliance" that opposes the growth of the airlines industry immediately raises questions of a conflict. It seems to me that their intent is not primarily saving the environment but more in line with using the environment as a means to punish an industry that they oppose. This is a clear conflict of interest.

The Gulf Stream's effect on Europe's climate

This is a very interesting essay on the effect of the Gulf Stream on Northern Europe's environment. Sometime last fall, a number of articles were published describing how the North Atlantic Conveyor was slowing down and how the loss of the Gulf Stream would plunge Europe into an Ice Age. The premise was that the addition of copious amounts of fresh water from the melting Greenland ice cap would dilute the Gulf Stream resulting in a shutdown of the circulation and that such a shutdown would eliminate the temperate winters that England and northern Europe experience.

The author here explains that a more likely cause for the tempered European climate is due to wind, not water. He compares the climate in Europe to the climate in the US Pacific Northwest. Both places have fairly mild winters and temperate climates yet the circulation in the Pacific does not compare to the flow of the Gulf Stream. As a matter of fact, the Pacific Ocean along the US west coat is known for being very cold year round. The circulation of the Pacific can be shown to actually bring its heat all the way up to Siberia yet Eastern Russia is extremely cold. The explanation of winds and the climate regulating mechanism really explains a lot.

Trackbacked to The Dumb Ox

Monday, July 03, 2006

Another commentary on the so-called consensus regarding Global Warming

Richard S. Lindzen is the Alfred P. Sloan Professor of Atmospheric Science at MIT.

In his article he describes why the so-called consensus between climate scientists is nothing more than a farce. Our understanding of the causes of global warming is so incomplete that to claim indescrimately that we are 1. headed for catastrophe and 2. causing the problem in the first place is nothing more than misguided fear mongering.

2010 Atlantic Hurricanes (courtesy of

NOAA Gulf of Mexico Radar (courtesy of

NOAA West Atlantic & Caribbean Radar (courtesy of

NOAA East Atlantic Radar (courtesy of