<![CDATA[GEOLOGY WITH JEFF SIMPSON - GEONEWS]]>Wed, 21 Sep 2022 22:52:58 -0700Weebly<![CDATA[The Hydrogen Stream: World’s largest electrolyzer to be deployed in Norway]]>Mon, 19 Sep 2022 18:22:00 GMThttp://softpath.org/geonews/the-hydrogen-stream-worlds-largest-electrolyzer-to-be-deployed-in-norway
​HydrogenPro has announced that the world's largest electrolyzer has arrived at its test facility in Herøya, Norway. The electrolyzer will be assembled and installed in the coming weeks, with the validation process to be initiated when possible. The electrolyzer shipment left Tianjin, China, in July. The electrolyzer will have an output of 1,100 Nm3/hour of hydrogen at normal current density. “This equals 100 kg of pure hydrogen per hour, which will set a new standard for the industry,” said HydrogenPro. The electrolyzer has a diameter of 2 meters. - PV Magazine
<![CDATA[150M-year-old vomit found in Utah offers 'rare glimpse' into prehistoric ecosystems]]>Mon, 19 Sep 2022 18:19:48 GMThttp://softpath.org/geonews/150m-year-old-vomit-found-in-utah-offers-rare-glimpse-into-prehistoric-ecosystems
A recently discovered fossil in southeast Utah appears to show the type of prey that predators feasted on back in the age of dinosaurs and when the region wasn't quite the desert it is today. Utah paleontologists discovered a pile of amphibian bones that they say appear to have been puked out by some sort of predator. This prehistoric vomit is believed to be 150 million years old, according to paleontologists with the Utah Geological Survey, Utah Division of State Parks and the Flying Heritage & Combat Armor Museum in Washington. - KSL
<![CDATA[California becomes first state to eliminate subsidies for gas line extensions amid electrification push]]>Mon, 19 Sep 2022 18:16:57 GMThttp://softpath.org/geonews/california-becomes-first-state-to-eliminate-subsidies-for-gas-line-extensions-amid-electrification-pushThe California Public Utilities Commission on Thursday unanimously voted to entirely eliminate ratepayer subsidies for the extension of new gas lines beginning in July, amid a statewide push to decarbonize the building sector.  Current subsidies for gas line extensions are “a vestige of the past,” dating back to an era when the state wanted to promote the expansion of the gas system — but that policy no longer makes sense in light of California’s greenhouse gas emission reduction goals, CPUC Commissioner Clifford Rechtschaffen said at the agency’s voting meeting.- Utility Dive]]><![CDATA[Federal report boosts plan to remove 4 dams on Calif river]]>Mon, 19 Sep 2022 18:09:40 GMThttp://softpath.org/geonews/federal-report-boosts-plan-to-remove-4-dams-on-calif-river4737493Federal regulators on Friday issued a final environmental impact statement that supports the demolition of four massive dams on Northern California’s Klamath River to save imperiled migratory salmon. The staff's recommendation, which largely echoes an earlier draft opinion, tees up a vote on the roughly $500 million project by the five-member Federal Energy Regulatory Commission later this year. The removal of the four hydroelectric dams on the lower Klamath River — one in southern Oregon and three in California — would be the largest dam demolition project in U.S. history. - ABC News]]><![CDATA[A Post-Impact Deep Freeze for Dinosaurs]]>Mon, 19 Sep 2022 18:05:39 GMThttp://softpath.org/geonews/a-post-impact-deep-freeze-for-dinosaursNew research supports the hypothesis that dinosaurs were done in by climate change after an asteroid impact kicked up a massive plume of sulfur gases that circled the globe for several decades. - EOS]]><![CDATA[Five of Asia’s biggest economies are forecast to see dramatic solar growth]]>Mon, 19 Sep 2022 18:03:35 GMThttp://softpath.org/geonews/five-of-asias-biggest-economies-are-forecast-to-see-dramatic-solar-growthFive of Asia’s biggest economies are expected to see exponential growth of solar, positioning the region to become a global hub of solar power, according to independent energy think tank Ember.
Ember analyzed existing national power sector development plans across China, Japan, Indonesia, India, and the Philippines. It found that solar capacity is expected to grow an average of 22% annually across the five economies. Of the five, the fastest solar capacity growth rates are expected in Indonesia – 41.81% – and the Philippines – 34.64%: - Electrek]]>
<![CDATA[Batteries helped (mostly) as California’s grid endured record demand]]>Mon, 19 Sep 2022 18:01:52 GMThttp://softpath.org/geonews/batteries-helped-mostly-as-californias-grid-endured-record-demandAs a power crunch precipitated by an extended heat wave eased, the California Solar and Storage Association (CALSSA) said that the state had more than 80,000 customer-sited batteries connected to the electric grid capable of providing 900 MW of solar power. It said that while not all the batteries were set to discharge during the peak hours of 4pm-9pm on September 6, an estimated 76% were, capable of providing up to 684 MW of power at any given moment. The trade group said that 50% of these batteries’ aggregate power was put into use during peak hours. - Renewable Energy World]]><![CDATA[No September on record in the West has seen a heat wave like this]]>Mon, 19 Sep 2022 17:59:58 GMThttp://softpath.org/geonews/no-september-on-record-in-the-west-has-seen-a-heat-wave-like-thisThe heat wave that’s been gripping California and other parts of the West for 10 days and counting is the most severe ever recorded in September, weather experts have said – confirming what California’s governor is calling the “hottest & longest on record” for the month. The data supporting the assertion is overwhelming. Records began falling on Aug. 30 when Seattle and Portland set calendar day records of 90 and 100. And it’s not yet over – while the region’s heat wave peaked on Tuesday, among California’s hottest days ever observed, it’s expected to continue until Saturday, ending after a total of 12 days. In just the past week, nearly 1,000 heat records have been broken, including more than 270 monthly records. Some places, like Salt Lake City, Sacramento, California, and Reno, Nevada, have broken their September records multiple times and by large margins.  - Spokane Spokesman Review ]]><![CDATA[World on brink of five ‘disastrous’ climate tipping points, study finds]]>Mon, 19 Sep 2022 17:58:01 GMThttp://softpath.org/geonews/world-on-brink-of-five-disastrous-climate-tipping-points-study-finds
The climate crisis has driven the world to the brink of multiple “disastrous” tipping points, according to a major study. It shows five dangerous tipping points may already have been passed due to the 1.1C of global heating caused by humanity to date. These include the collapse of Greenland’s ice cap, eventually producing a huge sea level rise, the collapse of a key current in the north Atlantic, disrupting rain upon which billions of people depend for food, and an abrupt melting of carbon-rich permafrost. At 1.5C of heating, the minimum rise now expected, four of the five tipping points move from being possible to likely, the analysis said. Also at 1.5C, an additional five tipping points become possible, including changes to vast northern forests and the loss of almost all mountain glaciers. - Guardian
<![CDATA[Simpler Presentations of Climate Change]]>Mon, 19 Sep 2022 17:48:36 GMThttp://softpath.org/geonews/simpler-presentations-of-climate-change
In a recent article in Eos, Andrei Lapenis retells the story of Mikhail Budyko’s 1972 predictions about global temperature and sea ice extent [Budyko, 1972]. Lapenis notes that those predictions have proven to be remarkably accurate. This is a good example of effective, long-term predictions of climate change that are based on simple physical mechanisms that are relatively easy to explain. There are many other examples that go back more than a century. These simpler formulations don’t attempt to capture the spatial or temporal detail of the full models, but their success at predicting the overall influence of rising carbon dioxide (CO2) on global temperatures makes them a still-relevant, albeit mostly overlooked, resource in climate communication and even climate prediction.- EOS
<![CDATA[Criticism intensifies after big oil admits ‘gaslighting’ public over green aims]]>Mon, 19 Sep 2022 17:46:40 GMThttp://softpath.org/geonews/criticism-intensifies-after-big-oil-admits-gaslighting-public-over-green-aims
Criticism in the US of the oil industry’s obfuscation over the climate crisis is intensifying after internal documents showed companies attempted to distance themselves from agreed climate goals, admitted “gaslighting” the public over purported efforts to go green, and even wished critical activists be infested by bedbugs. The communications were unveiled as part of a congressional hearing held in Washington DC, where an investigation into the role of fossil fuels in driving the climate crisis produced documents obtained from the oil giants ExxonMobil, Chevron, Shell and BP. - Guardian
<![CDATA[This artificial island will power 3 million European households]]>Mon, 19 Sep 2022 17:43:12 GMThttp://softpath.org/geonews/this-artificial-island-will-power-3-million-european-householdsDenmark, the nation that built the world’s first offshore wind farm, has agreed to an ambitious plan for another global first – an energy island in the North Sea which could eventually be capable of supplying energy to a history-making 10 million homes. The move will create a critical boost to the world’s offshore wind capacity. - WE Forum]]><![CDATA[Months of Gravity Changes Preceded the Tōhoku Earthquake]]>Mon, 19 Sep 2022 17:41:02 GMThttp://softpath.org/geonews/months-of-gravity-changes-preceded-the-tohoku-earthquake
Earthquakes caused by subducting tectonic plates can be highly destructive events. The 2011 Tōhoku earthquake caused immense damage to population centers in eastern Japan. Constant monitoring of faulted regions with seismographs and space geodesy measurements can indicate when land deformations are occurring in shallow or surficial systems, giving researchers a hand with hazard mitigation work. But for subduction zones, much of the deformation occurs deep within Earth, making it difficult to detect on the surface. - EOS
<![CDATA[International report on 2021 climate: record  greenhouse gases, ocean heat, sea level]]>Mon, 19 Sep 2022 17:38:48 GMThttp://softpath.org/geonews/international-report-on-2021-climate-record-greenhouse-gases-ocean-heat-sea-level
Greenhouse gas concentrations, global sea levels and ocean heat content reached record highs in 2021, according to the 32nd annual State of the Climate report. - NASA
<![CDATA[The Dilbit Disaster: Inside The Biggest Oil Spill You’ve Never Heard Of, Part 1]]>Fri, 02 Sep 2022 05:02:01 GMThttp://softpath.org/geonews/the-dilbit-disaster-inside-the-biggest-oil-spill-youve-never-heard-of-part-1
An acrid stench had already enveloped John LaForge’s five-bedroom house when he opened the door just after 6 a.m. on July 26, 2010. By the time the building contractor hurried the few feet to the refuge of his Dodge Ram pickup, his throat was stinging and his head was throbbing. LaForge was at work excavating a basement when his wife called a couple of hours later. The odor had become even more sickening, Lorraine told him. And a fire truck was parked in front of their house, where Talmadge Creek rippled toward the Kalamazoo River. LaForge headed home. By the time he arrived, the stink was so intense that he could barely keep his breakfast down. Something else was wrong, too. - Inside Climate News
<![CDATA[Sea creature that inspired mermaid tales declared extinct in China]]>Fri, 02 Sep 2022 04:59:27 GMThttp://softpath.org/geonews/sea-creature-that-inspired-mermaid-tales-declared-extinct-in-china
The dugong, a gentle marine mammal that has frequented China’s southern waters for hundreds of years, has become functionally extinct in the country, a new study said on Wednesday. Research by the Zoological Society of London (ZSL) and the Chinese Academy of Sciences said fishing, ship strikes and human-caused habitat loss have seen the number of dugongs in Chinese waters decrease rapidly from the 1970s onwards. - NBC News
<![CDATA[Scientists are stumped why quakes keep hitting this small South Carolina town]]>Fri, 02 Sep 2022 04:58:01 GMThttp://softpath.org/geonews/scientists-are-stumped-why-quakes-keep-hitting-this-small-south-carolina-townDavid Horne remembers exactly where he was when the first earthquake hit his town of Elgin, S.C., on Dec. 27, 2021.

He was relaxing on his front porch, while his wife was inside caring for their young grandson. Suddenly, Horne felt the ground shake and heard a noise like thunder boom across the sky. "And as soon as it happened, I got out of my chair and I went and told her, 'That was an earthquake. That was a 3-point-plus,'" he said. Horne used to live in Alaska, where earthquakes are more common, but his wife, Whitney Horne — a lifelong South Carolinian — said she wasn't sure what had happened. "Because I'd never experienced an earthquake," she said. "We're in South Carolina! You don't have earthquakes that you feel in South Carolina." - NPR]]>
<![CDATA[Federal study: New climate law to slice carbon pollution 40%]]>Fri, 02 Sep 2022 04:53:32 GMThttp://softpath.org/geonews/federal-study-new-climate-law-to-slice-carbon-pollution-40]]><![CDATA[Path to recovery of ozone layer passes a significant milestone]]>Fri, 02 Sep 2022 01:12:15 GMThttp://softpath.org/geonews/path-to-recovery-of-ozone-layer-passes-a-significant-milestoneAn annual analysis of air samples collected at remote sites around the globe that is tracking a continued decline in the atmospheric concentration of ozone-depleting substances shows the threat to the ozone layer receding below a significant milestone in 2022, NOAA scientists have announced.  In early 2022, the overall concentration of ozone-depleting substances in the mid-latitude stratosphere had fallen just over 50 percent back to  levels observed in 1980, before ozone depletion was significant. This slow but steady progress over the past three decades was achieved by international compliance with controls on production and trade of ozone-depleting substances in the Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer.  - NASA]]><![CDATA[Solar Power Is Bailing Texas Out This Summer]]>Fri, 02 Sep 2022 01:09:59 GMThttp://softpath.org/geonews/solar-power-is-bailing-texas-out-this-summer
On Monday the good people of Texas, many still suffering from lingering trauma as a result of the February 2021 failure of the state’s power grid, braced for bad news. The Electric Reliability Council of Texas, the much-maligned entity that manages Texas’s famously independent grid, warned that the situation was dire because of “a projected reserve capacity shortage with no market solution available.” If things got worse, rolling blackouts might be needed. Not great!  Fortunately, the worst didn’t happen. There are a few reasons why. To reduce demand, many Texans turned up the thermostat by a few degrees to help save power, and ERCOT’s emergency response program paid some large energy customers to scale back usage during peak times. And significantly, solar power, which has been the star of the Texas grid so far during this interminable summer, continued to set records for energy production. If your air conditioner has been steadily running all summer long, you can thank the mighty power of the sun. - Texas Monthly
<![CDATA[Earthjustice Is Suing EPA Over Coal Ash Dumps, Which Leak Toxins Into Groundwater]]>Fri, 02 Sep 2022 01:07:47 GMThttp://softpath.org/geonews/earthjustice-is-suing-epa-over-coal-ash-dumps-which-leak-toxins-into-groundwater- Inside Climate News]]><![CDATA[Federal report boosts plan to remove 4 dams on Calif river]]>Fri, 02 Sep 2022 00:51:56 GMThttp://softpath.org/geonews/federal-report-boosts-plan-to-remove-4-dams-on-calif-riverFederal regulators on Friday issued a final environmental impact statement that supports the demolition of four massive dams on Northern California’s Klamath River to save imperiled migratory salmon. The staff's recommendation, which largely echoes an earlier draft opinion, tees up a vote on the roughly $500 million project by the five-member Federal Energy Regulatory Commission later this year. The removal of the four hydroelectric dams on the lower Klamath River — one in southern Oregon and three in California — would be the largest dam demolition project in U.S. history. The aging dams near the Oregon-California border were built before current environmental regulations and essentially cut the 253-mile-long (407-kilometer-long) river in half for migrating salmon. Migratory salmon have been hit hard by warming waters and low river flows caused by severe drought and competition for water with agricultural interests. - ABC News]]><![CDATA[It’s Happened Before: Paleoclimate Study Shows Warming Oceans Could Lead to a Spike in Seabed Methane Emissions]]>Fri, 02 Sep 2022 00:48:43 GMThttp://softpath.org/geonews/its-happened-before-paleoclimate-study-shows-warming-oceans-could-lead-to-a-spike-in-seabed-methane-emissionsThe slowdown of a key ocean current could release methane that is frozen in layers of organic seabed sediments along some of the world’s coastlines, a new study shows. Cold temperatures and high pressure on sea floors currently sequester about one-sixth of the world’s methane, a potent but short-lived greenhouse gas, in an ice-like form called methane hydrate, or clathrates. Sudden thawing of those clathrates could result in a surge of methane emissions that would spike the planet’s fever. The new research, published today in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, shows that some of the shallower layers in the Atlantic Ocean could be more vulnerable than previously thought to warming that could release that methane, and that such events have happened in the distant past. - Inside Climate News]]><![CDATA[Climate change led to dinosaurs' demise. Now, drought reveals more of their tracks]]>Fri, 02 Sep 2022 00:46:52 GMThttp://softpath.org/geonews/climate-change-led-to-dinosaurs-demise-now-drought-reveals-more-of-their-tracks
It's not often you find a bright side to drought, but in Texas, the heat and lack of rain have uncovered dinosaur tracks from 113 million years ago. The tracks were unveiled at Dinosaur Valley State Park in Glen Rose, Texas — about an hour's drive from Fort Worth. The park is known for its dinosaur tracks, but these newer ones are usually covered with water from the Paluxy River and aren't visible. "Due to the excessive drought conditions this past summer, the river dried up completely in most locations, allowing for more tracks to be uncovered here in the park," the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department said in a statement. "Under normal river conditions, these newer tracks are under water and are commonly filled in with sediment, making them buried and not as visible." - NPR
<![CDATA[Transforming skyscrapers into gravity batteries]]>Fri, 02 Sep 2022 00:43:45 GMThttp://softpath.org/geonews/transforming-skyscrapers-into-gravity-batteriesGravitational accumulation is no longer a novelty. Since 2012, the so-called “gravity batteries” have made their official debut in the world of energy storage. And today more than one company has demonstrated its potential thanks to full-scale projects that exploit mineral wells, quarries or mountains. But researchers at the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA) in Vienna, Austria, want to take technology to another level. Or, better, in another environment: that densely urbanized metropolis. In a new study published in the journal Energy, scientists proposed to transform skyscrapers into gigantic gravity battery. How? Through their Lift Energy Storage System, a system that would exploit lift systems and empty apartments to store energy in very high buildings. The idea is to accumulate energy by lifting containers of wet sand or other high-density materials. Basically, the LEST would benefit from any downtime of the lift, moving the sand from the bottom of the building upwards, in case of an excess of electricity production on the grid. And from top to bottom to release energy when electricity demand rises. - SEN]]>