All posts by geoffbeacon

UK Carbon Emissions, GDP and Emissions Intensity


UK Carbon Emissions

Figure 1

Dr Anne Owen and Professor John Barratt calculate the UK’s carbon footprint for the Department of Environment Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) every year. The latest figure is for 2016 : There is a lag because of data collection and modelling issues. They have an interesting article on Carbon Brief, The UK’s carbon footprint is at its lowest level for 20 years . Continue reading UK Carbon Emissions, GDP and Emissions Intensity


Rejected by

It’s not very mature of me but I get irritated when my comments are rejected by moderators, particularly when I have put more than 5mins effort in. So rather than waste the effort I am posting my comment to Myles Allen’s article The Green New Deal: One climate scientist’s view, from the other side of the Atlantic here.

OK, a high carbon price but cars must go.

Continue reading Rejected by

Time is Short for the Carbon Budget

Open Mind

The “carbon budget” is an estimate of how much CO2 we can still emit, but still have a good chance to keep global warming from going over the 1.5°C limit into “dangerous” territory. The budget has recently been revised (upward, thank goodness) to about 420 GtCO2 (420 billion tons of carbon dioxide).

Staying within the 1.5°C limit doesn’t make us “safe” — there are still consequences of climate change, dangerous and costly, and we’re already paying the price despite not having hit 1.5°C yet. But going above 1.5°C takes us into what is best described as: nobody wants to go there.

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Questions for

I watched this a few month ago. Took up the offer of sending in questions.  No answer yet.

Q1: What is a reasonable remaining carbon budget (in CO2e) to keep within 1.5°C (or 2°C)?

On a per capita basis, how does it compare with average world yearly emissions?

How much more than this are average European emissions?

Q2: What’s the current thinking on the radiative forcing index for aircraft emissions?

Is there a Hansen’s Faustian bargain with aircraft emissions because in the first few decades air flights cool the Earth?

CF: Unger Attribution of climate forcing to economic sectors

Q3: Can the global carbon intensity of production be reduced fast enough to save the climate and avoid de-growth?

If GDP needs to be constrained there is full employment, labour productivity must be constrained. This means wages are constrained. How can the incomes of the low poor be supported?

Q4: In reference to BECCS (and more generally), has anyndetailed work been done on the albedo effect of biomass planting?

CF. Bala et al. Combined climate and carbon-cycle effects of large-scale deforestation

e.g. Has there been work to find crops with “good” albedo?

Q5: What do the panel think of solving fuel poverty by taking from the rich to give to the poor?

Has anybody considered that to heat houses requires heating hundreds of cubic metres of space to warm people that occupy a few metres each?

Q6: Would the panel demand high profile governmental campaigns to tell the public the effects of their everyday actions?

Would a more detailed version of How bad are bananas? by Mike Berners-Lee help?

Q7: Is mass car ownership compatible with saving the climate?

Q8: In assessing green house gas emissions what is the appropriate weighting for methane compared to CO2?



“Carbon emissions down nearly two-fifths since 1990.” – or not.


A recent article by Carbon Brief  Analysis: Why the UK’s CO2 emissions have fallen 38% since 1990 has generated headlines:

Energy Voice: Carbon emissions down nearly two-fifths since 1990
Business Green:  UK carbon emissions down 38 per cent since 1990
Engineering and Tech: UK’s carbon emissions dropped by 30 per cent since 1990

Continue reading “Carbon emissions down nearly two-fifths since 1990.” – or not.

Rejected comments

Occasionally I have a comment on another blog rejected. This will be a list of those I want to follow up.

London Economic 11th January 2019

Working people shouldn’t pay price for political failures of Conservative politicians

My comment:

To save the climate degrowth is needed.
(Kaya identity & etc.)

Subsidise the wages of the low paid.

Take from the rich to give to the poor.
(It’s the right thing to do.)

The rich most responsible for greenhouse gas emissions.
(So fine them and give to the poor.)

Question: does London Economic reject

1. Degrowth

2. Labour subsidies

3. Robbing the rich

4. Tax rich polluters

Or did I overdo the links to one of my own blogs?

I’m keen to find out – I rather like London Economic.

Global Warming Comes to Your Town

Open Mind

Like most people, I live on land, not at sea. I even live in the northern hemisphere.

Global warming isn’t the same everywhere. In particular, it’s happening faster on land areas than over the oceans. While the globe as a whole is warming at a rate of around 1.7 to 1.8 °C/century over the last several decades, the land areas alone have been warming up more than 50% faster, at about 2.8 °C/century. And of course, not all land areas are warming at the same rate either. On the whole, the northern hemisphere land is warming faster than southern hemisphere land; here in the north we’re heating up at around 3.2 °C/century (for land areas, I like to use the data from the Berkeley Earth Surface Temperature project).

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Heat Wave 2040

Open Mind

Some things deserve repeating.

One of those things, which happened to come up in conversation recently, is that climate change has its most profound effect on extreme events. Climate change is a change in the probability function (the odds for each possible outcome) of weather, and when you look at probability functions you find that if they change in the way we expect them to, it can increase (or decrease) the chance of extremes by a surprising amount.

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