How many Olympic sized swimming pools is that?

I came across this short article on the Bloomberg Green website, it was easier just to try and grab the text than a screenshot, and you certainly have to run the gauntlet when you’re trying to read anything on that website I can tell you. I just wanted to make the comment that: Yes we know that the ice caps are thinning and the glaciers are all melting, and this research paper is just more evidence that it’s happening. But there’s bugger all we can do about it now. Who knows perhaps the only place that you’ll be able to find a decent place to ski in the 22nd century is down the slopes of Mount Erebus in Antarctica. The worlds on a roller coaster and we’re well over the top, so let’s get used to the fact that the oceans are going to get a little deeper, and make the most of it and not waste our time trying to stop the inevitable like some modern day King Canute. So we’ve lost over 28 trillion tons of ice since 1994, which surprisingly only equates to a rise of 35 millimeters in global sea levels – wow, who would have thought it – how many Olympic sized swimming pools is that?

Global Ice Melt Matches Worst-Case Climate Scenario, Study Says

The first global ice-loss survey using satellite data showed ice is disappearing faster in Antarctica and Greenland

By Laura Millan Lombrana

Melting on the ice sheets has accelerated so much over the past three decades that it’s now in line with the worst-case climate warming scenarios outlined by scientists.  A total of 28 trillion metric tons of ice was lost between 1994 and 2017, according to a research paper published in The Cryosphere on Monday. The research team led by the in the U.K. was the first to carry out a global survey of global ice loss using satellite data. Ice melt from sheets and glaciers contributes to global warming and indirectly influences sea level rise, which in turn increases the risk of flooding in coastal communities. Earth’s northern and southern poles are warming more than twice as fast as the rest of the planet. In 2020, a year of record heatArctic sea ice extent hovered around the lowest ever for most of the year. The new research, which used information from the European Space Agency’s network of satellites, found that Earth lost 1.3 trillion tons of ice in 2017, accelerating from 0.8 trillion metric tons per year in the 1990s. The ice lost is equivalent to a 100-meter-thick sheet of ice able to cover the whole of the U.K. Another way to think of it is as 28 giant ice cubes —one for every trillion metric tons of ice lost—each taller than Mount Everest and measuring 10 kilometers in width, height and depth, the scientists said.

“The ice sheets are now following the worst-case climate warming scenarios set out by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, although every region we studied lost ice, losses from the Antarctic and Greenland ice sheets have accelerated the most. One of the key roles of Arctic sea ice is to reflect solar radiation back into space, which helps keep the Arctic cool,”

Thomas Slater
University of Leeds

“As the sea ice shrinks, more solar energy is being absorbed by the oceans and atmosphere, causing the Arctic to warm faster than anywhere else on the planet.”

Isobel Lawrence
Leeds’ Centre for Polar Observation and Modelling

The survey, which also analyzed 215,000 mountain glaciers around the planet, concluded that half of the losses were from ice on land, including from mountain glaciers and the Greenland and Antarctic ice sheet. These losses have raised global sea levels by an estimated 35 millimeters. 

Courtesy of Bloomberg Green

China Imports Oil Doctored to Skirt U.S. Sanctions on Venezuela

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 4:18

Hours after taking office, President Joe Biden made good on a campaign promise to cancel the Keystone XL oil pipeline. Later that day his Interior Department mandated that only top agency leaders could approve new drilling permits over the next two months.

Next week, according to people familiar with the plans, Biden will go even further: suspending the sale of oil and gas leases on federal land, where the U.S. gets 10% of its supplies.

The actions sent oil producers’ stocks tumbling and raised blood pressure across the industry.

“In the first couple of days of the new administration, they are taking actions that will harm the economy and cost Americans their jobs,” said Frank Macchiarola, a senior vice president of policy for the American Petroleum Institute. “We’re concerned, and everyone in the country should be concerned.”More fromBiden Should Invoke National Emergency on Climate, Schumer SaysDot-com Era Stock Valuations Bringing Bubble Fear to ESG FundsKomatsu Teams Up With U.S. Firm to Make Battery-Powered DiggersIndia’s Green Energy Goals Boosted by Return of Foreign Backers

The Interior Department’s order, signed late Wednesday, changes procedures for 60 days while the agency’s new leadership gets into place. It requires top brass to sign off on oil leases and permits as well as decisions about hiring, mining operations and environmental reviews.

Read More: Goldman Says Biden’s First Steps Are Bullish for Oil Prices

The industry took it as a bad omen. Officials are worried that technical permitting decisions are being placed in the hands of political appointees, rather than expert regulators in the field. And they’re concerned permits — or simply changes to them — will be delayed for existing drilling operations.

Moreover, many interpreted it as a prelude to broader actions, including the administration’s plan to next week impose a moratorium on all oil, gas and coal leasing across some 700 million acres (2.8 million hectares) of federal land.

This “announcement is intended as a temporary ban on leasing and permitting but is also a precursor to a longer-term ban,” said Kathleen Sgamma, head of the Western Energy Alliance, which has threatened to go to court to battle any such blockade.

While Biden’s campaign promises – and his initial moves to fulfill them – are a threat to some U.S. oil producers, the actions could be a boon for crude prices by restraining supply.

The administration’s early moves mark a dramatic shift from the course under former President Donald Trump, who sought to accelerate drilling permits and open up more places to oil exploration.

And the change in direction is already apparent in early staffing decisions. Under Trump, the top offshore drilling regulator at Interior was Scott Angelle, a longtime oil industry ally and former Louisiana official who pushed for rapid permitting of Gulf of Mexico oil projects after the 2010 Deepwater Horizon disaster.

By contrast, one of Biden’s first hires at the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management that oversees offshore oil leasing and wind farms is Marissa Knodel, a former activist with Friends of the Earth. Knodel was one of about 150 people whose rowdy protest of a bureau auction of oil drilling rights in March 2016 prompted the agency to shift subsequent oil and gas lease sales online.

On the campaign trail, Biden called for phasing out fossil fuels and promised to halt new oil and gas permitting on federal land. Worried oil producers stockpiled leases and drilling permits last year in anticipation of more restrictions under Biden.

Read: Biden Poised to Freeze Oil and Coal Leasing on Federal Land

But the suddenness of this week’s moves still took many in the industry by surprise, prompting frantic phone calls as lobbyists and lawyers sought to plan their next moves. They are strategizing their options, including litigation, and looking at any political levers they can pull to forestall a broader leasing ban.

Senator Dan Sullivan, a Republican from Alaska, said permitting changes threaten operations in his state during the current winter season, when companies such as ConocoPhillips rely on ice roads and ice pads to support drilling and other activity in the National Petroleum Reserve-Alaska.

“If you put a 60-day moratorium on drilling in the NPR-A, guess what? You lose the whole season,” Sullivan said Friday on the Senate floor.

Environmentalists are delighted. They say throttling fossil fuel development on federal land is necessary to pare the greenhouse gas emissions driving climate change. The oil, gas and coal extracted from federal lands and waters is responsible for about 24% of U.S. carbon dioxide emissions, according to a U.S. Geological Survey report.

“Pausing new fossil fuel decisions brings us closer to healthier communities, a healthier climate and healthier wild places,” said Dan Ritzman, director of Sierra Club’s Lands, Waters and Wildlife campaign. “Public lands can and must be part of the climate solution.”

— With assistance by Andres Guerra LuzHave a confidential tip for our reporters?
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