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Tesla is Pwning Markets Traditionally Dominated by ICEs as Manufacturers Desperately Call for More Battery Production

Last year, the world produced more than 1.2 million electrical vehicles. This was nearly 60 percent growth from the previous year when just shy of 800,000 EVs hit the world stage. During 2018, the world is expected to achieve anywhere between 1.6 and 2 million electrical vehicle sales. And by 2020, the number is likely to exceed 3 million. In other words, clean transportation that transitions away from climate change producing fossil fuel burning is a major emerging and rapidly growing global market.

(Tesla is surging ahead in the race to produce clean energy vehicles. But Volkswagen has promised to spend 48 billion on batteries in a bid to catch up. Image source: Inside EVs.)

Today, Tesla presently dominates global clean transport sales. Producing just three models — the S, the X, and the 3 — this new automaker is seriously disrupting a number of traditional segments. During most weeks, Tesla now produces more than 4,000 all electrical vehicles in total. This makes it the largest global EV producer by a long shot at a present pace of more than 200,000 vehicles per year. In the key U.S. market, Tesla appears to have sold between 5,000 and 8,500 vehicles during April alone. And the mass-produced Model 3 is presently making up more than half those sales at between 3,875 and 4,777 according to estimates by InsideEVs and CleanTechnica.

For Tesla, it’s just another milestone on the road to mass vehicle electrification. By summer, the clean energy company expects to be producing around 7,000 electrical vehicles per week in total — with fully 5,000 of that number coming from the Model 3 alone.

What this means is that Tesla is both racing ahead of other automakers in the EV field and that it will also start to dominate markets traditionally ruled by carbon-belching ICE makers. As one example of this trend, the Model 3 is presently the #21 best-selling car in the U.S. — out of all cars sold. By summer, it is likely to be #6. In its segment — small to medium sized premium cars — it is presently crushing the likes of Acura, Infiniti, and Jaguar to take the #5 spot. But with 5,000 per week production on the way, in just a few months it will assuredly take the crown from Mercedes and BMW.

(According to CleanTechnica analysis, Tesla appears likely to dominate the small to mid-size luxury vehicle segment in the U.S. come May to June. Image source: CleanTechnica.)

This from a type of vehicle — electric — that was once thought to be humble and non-competitive. One can practically hear the crack of the world-spanning shot running through the global auto industry at this time. An industry that has been mostly caught flat-footed by a trend that us clean energy advocates have long been predicting.

The reaction by traditional industry has been predictably varied and chaotic. Ford appears to be in full retreat from segments that are now increasingly dominated by high-quality EVs — recently announcing that it will no longer build sedans, but will instead focus on trucks and SUVs. On the other side of the spectrum, a Volkswagen still reeling from the PR disaster that was dieselgate appears to have seen the electric light. That OEM has now pledged to spend 48 billion in battery orders in an effort to beat or at least confront Tesla in the market that it created.

Batteries are the key enabler to mass EV production. Hyundai had a hard lesson in this over past days as the all-electric Ioniq — celebrated for its efficient design — ran into a supply wall. The reason? Hyundai had only planned for 1,200 battery packs per month. But demand for the clean energy vehicle quickly outstripped supply. Hyundai subsequently stretched Ioniq production to 1,800 per month. But, at that point, the automaker was dead in the water on further expansions due to a 2 year lead time for battery contracts. In other words — if you don’t have battery production or suppliers, then you’re out of luck if you want to produce EVs in higher volumes.

(Global lithium battery supply and demand keep running ahead of expectations. By 2021, racing global battery producers are likely to supply 344 GWh of battery production or more. Image source: Bloomberg New Energy Finance.)

Battery manufacturers are thus scrambling to meet a rapidly rising demand. In 2017, global battery production capacity stood at about 100 gigawatt-hours (GWh). And global expansion plans appear to be aiming for around 300 to 350 GWh by 2021. But even this estimate could be low. For Volkwagen’s own recent 48 billion dollar call for EV batteries is likely to generate even more supply chain expansions even as other automakers call for more production.

Returning to Tesla, we would be remiss if we didn’t highlight one of its many key advantages — it owns its battery supply chain. Tesla’s Gigafactory in Reno, through its partner Panasonic, is expected to be able to produce 35 GWh of batteries all by itself over the next year or two. This is enough to support annual Tesla EV production in the range of 400,000 to 500,000. Gigafactory battery capacity is expected to expand to 150 GWh by the early to mid 2020s — which would support two million or more EVs each year.

(Without the Tesla Gigafactory in Reno, U.S. battery production would be dead in the water due to myopic and harmful policies produced by the republican-dominated federal government and various similar state legislatures. Europe, China and Tesla have realized that large scale battery production is necessary for a clean energy future and a related strong response to climate change.)

By contrast, Volkswagen is presently targeting 3 million EVs per year by 2025. In 2018, it is well behind Tesla — unlikely to see sales across all EV models exceeding 100,000 while Tesla is likely to at least double that number. So VW will have to race to catch up. A 48 billion dollar battery buy will be key to achieving this goal. It’s a very aggressive move that will enable the manufacturer to produce millions of EVs in the future. But, at the present time, it is seriously lagging. A situation that doesn’t have much chance of changing until the early 2020s even as Tesla gains both credibility and market share.

At least Volkswagen appears to have seen the proverbial writing on the wall. Transition is, after all, the best option in the face of competition from far more healthy and desirable EVs. For the other laggards in the traditional auto industry — time’s a-wasting.

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56 Comments

  1. Thanks Robert, this is gaining steam even in southern NZ – I read that in Dunedin last year there were 34 EV’s, this years it’s over 260, charging stations are popping up all over too.

    Liked by 4 people

    Reply
    • New Zealand is in an excellent position to go 100 percent EVs due to its relatively small market. Of course, that would take some serious policy work. But EVs have a major advantage on island nations — big and small. Range is less of a consideration and infrastructure builds are easier due to less sprawl.

      Liked by 3 people

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      • Mike Keith

         /  May 9, 2018

        Maybe range is less of a consideration for some smaller islands but New Zealand is about the area of the UK but stretched out. There is no mature long distance public transport so cars are pretty much a requirement (unfortunately) for all travel and it’s a long way between major centres (Auckland to Wellington is probably about a 6 hour drive at best (no stopping). With such a small population, also, it’s easy to drive for hours going only through sparsely populated areas, unless you make a particular effort to route through larger small towns, possibly meaning a longer trip. I remember following the twitter feed of one guy travelling much of the length of the North Island in an electric vehicle and he had to be very aware of where charging points were, sometimes getting quite close to empty in the battery.

        Not saying we shouldn’t be doing all we can to enable the transition but I think it may be much harder than you realise. I also worry about older cars as the battery loses efficiency. Surely the designed range is going to start to dwindle noticeably, at some point. Also, what do you think about the used car market? Would people buy a 10 year old EV thinking that they might have to spend many thousands on a new battery before too long, or live with an increasingly shorter range. Has anybody looked at this? I hope it turns out to be a non-issue but I do wonder about it.

        Liked by 2 people

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        • Kiwi Griff

           /  May 10, 2018

          I live in Kiawaka half way between Auckland and Whangarei .We have a level two charging station in town ‘.
          This allows travel between Auckland and Whangarei even in a 25kwh leaf .
          Most smaller towns already have a charger or will by the end of the year .
          https://charge.net.nz/map/

          The post is about Tesla.
          Tesla already have supercharging along state highway one allowing travel from Auckland to Wellington. Tesla fast charging is presently installed at Hamilton Taupo and Palmerston north. Whangarei and Taihape will be built this year allowing travel to almost any destination in the North island by Tesla cars .
          The same will also be built out for the south island main route this year.

          Nissan offers a refurbish 25kwh leaf battery for $2,850US.
          https://insideevs.com/nissan-introduces-refabricated-batteries-for-older-leaf-in-japan-from-new-4r-plant/
          I have no doupt us ever resourceful kiwis will start our own refurbishment industry .
          Often a pack only needs a few cells replaced to bring it back up to usable range.

          Liked by 3 people

        • Six hour drive? Model 3 would crush that.

          The U.K. is also quite a friendly geography for EVs.

          In any case, from the perspective of someone living in the states, NZ looks quite appealing from the EV perspective.

          Liked by 1 person

        • wili

           /  May 10, 2018

          How about not traveling? Or traveling very little? We all need to re-connect in a deep way with our immediate environments and neighborhoods, and constantly zooming off in all directions distracts us from that at the same time that it directly trashes the planet.

          Liked by 2 people

        • Mike Keith

           /  May 11, 2018

          I can certainly agree with that, Wili. Though it’s great that there is some impetus behind a fleet change to EVs, we really need people to be living simpler lives, and that means much less travel.

          Liked by 1 person

  2. Joy Hughes

     /  May 9, 2018

    I expect stationary storage demand to go up a lot faster. We’ll need new chemistries (sodium ion?)

    Like

    Reply
    • Global stationary storage demand is presently less than 10 percent that coming from EVs. It’ll ramp too.

      There’s a revolution in lithium battery design that’ll enable continued rapid widening of production chains. I’m thinking we could hit 1,000 GWh or more by 2025 looking at present demand and innovation in design trends.

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    • That said, if there is a good testing ground for new battery designs, it’s probably in the stationary storage field.

      Liked by 1 person

      Reply
    • rhymeswithgoalie

       /  May 10, 2018

      I have to think there are battery technologies much more cost-effective than Li+ for slab-based batteries: They don’t have the size and weight constraints that device and vehicle batteries demand.

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    • bill h

       /  May 12, 2018

      Then there are the manifold non-battery storage techniques: compressed air, liquid air, power to gas, etc. These come into their own for longer time scales of the order of 100 hours. There’s an intriguing report on this at https://cleantechnica.com/2018/05/08/why-the-energy-storage-problem-wont-be-a-problem-for-long/

      It appears that erstwhile trump stooge and renewables/AGW theory-hater, Rick Perry, US Energy Secretary, has suddenly become enamoured of these technologies, lauding the support energy storage will give to “domestic energy production”: apparently code for renewables. Anyway, he’s giving the go-ahead for continued funding of such storage technologies.

      Liked by 1 person

      Reply
  3. Apart from other lifestyle changes reducing my GHG footprint, I recently got my first ever plug-in hybrid EV. Apart from enjoying the smoothness, acceleration and quiet operation, I now actively resent when it switches over to gasoline mode. I don’t ever see myself leasing or buying an ICE vehicle again.

    From an engineering, reliability and design point of view they simply aren’t comparable. If starting from a blank sheet today, who in their right mind would ever design a car based around an ICE?

    Liked by 3 people

    Reply
    • Going E 85 in a plug in hybrid is one way to get that gasoline usage as low as possible.

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    • Jim

       /  May 10, 2018

      Magma, you are correct. ICE vehicles seem positively prehistoric with their 12%-20% well to wheel efficiencies and complicated transmissions and pollution control systems. In 25 years or so, people will wonder why we did such stupid stuff.

      Personally, I think all vehicles should have an electric drivetrain, and at a minimum, a small battery to recapture the energy from regenerative braking. As the cost of batteries declines, they could introduce more electric range. And once the cost of batteries drops to an acceptable level those automakers would be ready to switch from a hybrid to a fully electric plugin.

      Liked by 2 people

      Reply
  4. Abel Adamski

     /  May 10, 2018

    from a comment on the Guardian
    The temperature measurements at Cape Morris Jesup, the northernmost point of mainland Greenland, tells that story. In the month of February, since 1981, it has been rare for hourly air temperatures to spike above freezing. In 1997 it happened once. In 2011 it happened five times, and in 2017 it happened seven times. This year, it happened 59 times. https://insideclimatenews.org/news/08052018/arctic-heat-wave-climate-change-sea-ice-loss-amplification-north-pole

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    • kassy

       /  May 10, 2018

      Well with that data that is an easy hockeystick graph.

      So this year runs at 45% days with above freezing and the summer has to start. Some time this winter warm air went all the way around east Greenland and then ended up at the north part. That place used to be good for ice with newer ice being pushed up to the ice at the coast to make thicker ice for next year.

      This winter was extraordinary so lets hope the summer is not.

      Some background trends:
      “The Beaufort Gyre north of Alaska has traditionally acted as a nursery for growing sea ice, but warmer conditions have impeded the gyre’s ability to preserve older ice since the start of the 21st century,” according to the agency.

      Multi-year ice has been cut in half over the last three decades. In 1984, the ice pack made up 61 percent of the Arctic sea ice. “In the ninth week of 2018, multiyear ice comprised 34 percent of the sea ice pack,” NOAA said.

      The National Snow and Ice Data Center recently reported that only 2 percent of the Arctic’s sea ice was at least five years old, the analysis pointed out.

      “That is the lowest percentage of such old ice during wintertime in the satellite record,” the agency said.

      https://www.washingtonexaminer.com/policy/energy/alaskas-iceberg-nursery-failing-noaa-warns

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  5. redskylite

     /  May 10, 2018

    An interesting and alerting article from GEOMAR today : look to the Baltic sea as a model for the future of other oceans.

    The Baltic Sea as a Time Machine
    A small sea as a model region for the global coastal ocean

    09 May 2018 / Kiel. Warming, acidification, eutrophication, and the loss of oxygen – these are just a few examples of major changes being observed or expected for the future in coastal zones of oceans around the world. These processes are occurring in the Baltic Sea at a much faster pace than in other regions.

    https://www.geomar.de/en/news/article/reusch-et-al/

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  6. wili

     /  May 10, 2018

    US cities losing 36 million trees a year, researchers find

    https://www.theguardian.com/cities/2018/may/10/us-cities-losing-millions-of-trees-a-year

    “…Cities in the United States are increasingly seeing concrete in place of greenery as urban areas lose an estimated 36m trees annually, according to a study from the Forest Service.

    Tree cover in urban areas has declined at a rate of around 175,000 acres per year, while impervious cover – such as roads and buildings – has increased significantly across the country. An estimated 40% of new impervious surfaces were in areas where trees used to grow…”

    Liked by 1 person

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    • Mark

       /  May 10, 2018

      “Depave promotes the transformation of over-paved places to overcome the social and environmental impacts of pavement. We engage communities and reconnect urban landscapes to nature through action-oriented projects, education, advocacy and stewardship.
      Objectives of Depave
      Provide information, inspiration, and technical assistance to those wishing to remove concrete and asphalt.
      Educate the public about the benefits of pavement removal.
      Advocate to minimize and/or reduce the amount of impervious pavement in public construction and repair projects.
      Promote responsible and creative reuse and recycling of concrete and asphalt.
      Provide an opportunity for greater connection with the natural world.”

      http://depave.org/about/

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  7. kassy

     /  May 10, 2018

    Lets hope more insurers follow (we still miss 2 of the top 3).

    Allianz stops insuring coal-fired power plants and coal mines

    Munich, Germany-based Allianz Group announced on Friday that it would refuse insurance coverage of coal-fired power plants and coal mines effective immediately, and would aim to get rid of all coal risks in its business by 2040.

    In announcing its “climate protection package” last week, Allianz, ranked as one of the top three insurers on the Forbes Global 2000 list of the world’s most powerful companies, said its new policy was the first step towards the firm’s complete withdrawal from the coal business by 2040, reports Deutsche Welle.
    Additionally, Allianz will also gradually stop investing in companies that fail to reduce their carbon emissions in line with the 2-degree trajectory agreed under the Paris Climate Agreement, and will “immediately” stop investing in energy companies that “put the 2-degree target at risk” by extensively building coal-fired power plants, according to Green Biz.

    more on:

    http://www.digitaljournal.com/news/world/allianz-stops-insuring-coal-fired-power-plants-and-coal-mines/article/521808

    Liked by 1 person

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  8. kassy

     /  May 10, 2018

    Probe after Gorgon releases millions of tonnes of greenhouse gas

    The Gorgon Gas project off WA’s north-west coast has released millions of tonnes of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere instead of injecting it underground as environmental approvals required, because of technical problems with its gas injection system.

    ….

    The minimum requirement was 80 percent, calculated on a five-year rolling average. If the amount fell significantly below 80 per cent Chevron had to report this and take steps to “offset” these emissions.

    Gas has been flowing from Barrow Island for around 18 months – since December 2016.
    Chevron estimated in 2015 that the plant would produce more than 5 million tonnes of carbon dioxide annually.

    But Chevron has advised government regulators that problems with the $2.5 billion injection system meant carbon dioxide would not be reinjected any earlier than the December quarter of 2018.

    https://www.smh.com.au/national/western-australia/probe-after-gorgon-releases-millions-of-tonnes-of-greenhouse-gas-20180510-p4zeis.html

    My rough calculations say 7.5 million tons of CO2 so far but how many trees does Chevron own us then?

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  9. kassy

     /  May 10, 2018

    ‘Valued at zero’: WA coastal dwellers face financial ruin as sea rises

    Engineering consultants have warned residents in the coastal Shire of Gingin that governments could force them out when the sea renders their homes unsafe, and could well decide to provide no compensation for homes rendered worthless or taken by the sea.

    State policy dictates a controversial process of “managed retreat” for already-developed areas at risk of coastal erosion due to sea level rise. This means public infrastructure is gradually dismantled and moved behind hazard lines, and private properties are surrendered to the sea when utilities or access points are lost.

    ….

    Engineering firm Cardno’s draft plan depicts the threats Seabird, Lancelin and Ledge Point communities face, and people’s real prospect of being abandoned to deal with financial ruin.

    The shire, with just 1300-odd ratepayers across those areas, is unlikely to have the tens of millions required to buy back homes or build and maintain protective structures across all three towns.
    And governments are under no legal obligation to buy back land or compensate people if property is lost to the sea; so-called landowners technically own the rights to develop the land, not the land itself, Cardno’s report said.

    Painting a picture

    Seabird, Ledge Point and Lancelin are small towns, with just 10 kilometres of combined coastline represented in the plan, but their position less than 100 kilometres from Perth has made them beloved destinations for West Australians for homes and holidays; the vast majority of the half-million visitors to them and their southern neighbour Guilderton annually are domestic.
    Cardno’s draft predicts shoreline losses of up to 52 metres in Seabird, 34 metres in Ledge Point 82 metres in Lancelin over the next decade.

    more on:
    https://www.smh.com.au/national/western-australia/valued-at-zero-wa-coastal-dwellers-face-financial-ruin-as-sea-rises-20180508-p4ze3z.html

    It’s an erosion issue but read the whole article because it is a good case study. It is people vs the state vs harsh reality (basically no one can or will pay for the measures needed to safe the town and that is ok because it is a luxury we can’t afford).

    Another good point:
    It said groynes and seawalls were also unpredictable and could worsen erosion in other places up and down coastlines.

    We can not safe 1 town at a time. We need comprehensive plans. I really wonder how some of the more denialist US states will cope over time. You can ban certain words in reports but reality does not care about that.

    Liked by 1 person

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  10. Richard Hendricks

     /  May 10, 2018

    I think you mean “Pwning” in your title. But yeah, Tesla is getting stuff done!

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  11. I drive an electric car (a used Nissan Leaf) for all my shorter trips (like up to 70 miles). I would say that if your situation works for a used electric car, (like as a second car for driving to work), and you try one, (like a low cost used Nissan Leaf or others), you won’t want to go back to gas burners.
    BTW, I charge my Leaf from DIY roof top solar, and some wind.
    Read more about the benefits of renewable energy at https://wp.me/p72ZfM-4Z.

    Liked by 2 people

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  12. Kate

     /  May 10, 2018

    Do you mean Pwning? as in the gamer-speak for totally owning/dominating something?

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  13. Matt

     /  May 11, 2018

    http://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-05-11/hobart-weather-record-rains-hit-flash-flooding/9750106
    In my neck of the woods… Hobart Tasmania, we have just experienced the wettest 24hr period in May recorded… previous 24hr record for May was 47mm yesterdays total 129.2mm a staggering 2.75x higher than the previous highest.
    I was watching the storms cells develop of the massively warmed waters of the Tasman Sea, it reminded me more of watching hurricanes develop in your Atlantic than our 40S location!!!

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  14. Abel Adamski

     /  May 11, 2018

    Meanwhile in Trumps NASA
    https://climatecrocks.com/2018/05/10/blinding-me-with-no-science-trump-cancels-carbon-monitoring/#more-52961

    Science:

    You can’t manage what you don’t measure. The adage is especially relevant for climate-warming greenhouse gases, which are crucial to manage—and challenging to measure. In recent years, though, satellite and aircraft instruments have begun monitoring carbon dioxide and methane remotely, and NASA’s Carbon Monitoring System (CMS), a $10-million-a-year research line, has helped stitch together observations of sources and sinks into high-resolution models of the planet’s flows of carbon. Now, President Donald Trump’s administration has quietly killed the CMS, Science has learned.

    The White House has mounted a broad attack on climate science, repeatedly proposing cuts to NASA’s earth science budget, including the CMS, and cancellations of climate missions such as the Orbiting Carbon Observatory 3 (OCO-3). Although Congress fended off the budget and mission cuts, a spending deal signed in March made no mention of the CMS. That allowed the administration’s move to take effect, says Steve Cole, a NASA spokesperson in Washington, D.C. Cole says existing grants will be allowed to finish up, but no new research will be supported.

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  15. redskylite

     /  May 11, 2018

    I lived and worked in this desert country for a good part of my life. It is heartening that they are taking initiatives to survive future challenges:

    Growing up – why the UAE’s first vertical farm could be a regional gamechanger

    When people picture the United Arab Emirates, what likely comes to mind are desert sands, skyscrapers and a blue sea under a shimmering sun. Agriculture does not.

    There are good reasons for this: the federation of seven emirates is hampered by high temperatures, a lack of arable land, salty soil and steep production costs. And that is without accounting for the occasional voracious locust swarm.

    So it is hardly surprising that the UAE imports nearly 90 percent of its food needs, according to the Abu Dhabi Global Environmental Data Initiative, a data research

    http://news.trust.org/item/20180510130013-u3r2i

    Liked by 1 person

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  16. Shawn Redmond

     /  May 11, 2018

    This in all likelihood is a bad sign:
    La Niña conditions no longer existed in the tropical Pacific Ocean, with cool-neutral conditions prevailing in April, said NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center (CPC) in its May 10 monthly advisory. The weak La Niña event that began in August 2017 is now over, something the Australian Bureau of Meteorology concurred with in their April 13 biweekly report. The bureau uses a more stringent threshold than NOAA for defining La Niña: sea-surface temperatures in the Niño3.4 region of the tropical Pacific must be at least 0.8°C below average, vs. the NOAA benchmark of 0.5°C below average.

    Over the past week, sea surface temperatures (SSTs) in the benchmark Niño 3.4 region (in the equatorial Pacific) were about 0.4°C below average, which is outside the 0.5°C to 1.0°C-below-average range that is required to qualify as a weak La Niña. Odds for an El Niño event to form are predicted to increase as we head towards the fall and winter of 2018, with the latest CPC/IRI Probabilistic ENSO Forecast calling for a 38% chance of an El Niño event during the August-September-October peak of the Northern Hemisphere hurricane season. El Niño events typically reduce Atlantic hurricane activity, due to an increase in wind shear over the tropical Atlantic.

    https://www.wunderground.com/cat6/la-nia-gone-severe-weather-late-spring-mode

    Liked by 1 person

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  17. kassy

     /  May 11, 2018

    Below some quotes from a lengthy article about changes in the arctic seas. Well worth reading.

    Alien Waters: Neighboring Seas Are Flowing into a Warming Arctic Ocean

    The “Atlantification” and “Pacification” of the Arctic has begun. As warmer waters stream into an increasingly ice-free Arctic Ocean, new species — from phytoplankton to whales — have the potential to upend this sensitive polar environment.

    As the Arctic heats up faster than any other region on the planet, once-distinct boundaries between the frigid polar ocean and its warmer, neighboring oceans are beginning to blur, opening the gates to southern waters bearing foreign species, from phytoplankton to whales. The “Atlantification” and “Pacification” of the Arctic Ocean are now rapidly advancing. A new paper by University of Washington oceanographer Rebecca Woodgate, for example, finds that the volume of Pacific Ocean water flowing north into the Arctic Ocean through the Bering Strait surged up to 70 percent over the past decade and now equals 50 times the annual flow of the Mississippi River. And over on the Atlantic flank of the Arctic, another recent report concludes that the Arctic Ocean’s cold layering system that blocks Atlantic inflows is breaking down, allowing a deluge of warmer, denser water to flood into the Arctic Basin.

    and this past winter, when sea ice in the Alaskan Arctic formed up to three months late and disappeared at the earliest date on record, “We had bowhead whales in the Chukchi Sea pretty much overwinter —we have never seen that before now,” says Moore, who is co-leader of the Synthesis of Arctic Research project, an international collaboration of polar experts looking at the effects of a changing Pacific Arctic on marine life.

    One of the most striking trends is a rapid poleward spread of phytoplankton, the microalgae at the base of the marine food chain. A new study finds that Emiliania huxleyi, a phytoplankton native to more temperate, Atlantic seas, are blooming 5 degrees latitude, or roughly 350 miles, farther north in the European Arctic today than in 1989.

    The northward spread of Atlantic phytoplankton could have a drastic effect on the Arctic marine ecosystem, says co-author Laurent Oziel, a polar oceanographer at Laval University in Quebec City. In the Arctic, the zooplankton that consume phytoplankton are specialized to store large reservoirs of fat to withstand harsh winter conditions. This makes them especially rich food sources for the fish that eat them, the seals that eat the fish, and on up to the top predators, such as polar bears. But the influx of southern phytoplankton is bringing in new types of zooplankton that are leaner and provide less nutrition for local species, Oziel says.

    https://e360.yale.edu/features/alien-waters-neighboring-seas-are-flowing-into-a-warming-arctic-ocean?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+YaleEnvironment360+%28Yale+Environment+360%29

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  18. Andy_in_SD

     /  May 11, 2018

    Check the smoke coming off the fires in Siberia. Pretty early in the season for this amount of activity.

    http://www.arctic.io/explorer/8/2018-05-10/6-N56.74269-E144.6785

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  19. Robert in New Orleans

     /  May 11, 2018
    Reply
  20. bobinspain

     /  May 11, 2018

    At the risk of being accused of naivety, I’m holding out for this, that some breakthrough technology will happen. I’ve followed this for years and I’m keeping my fingers crossed.
    https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2018/mar/09/nuclear-fusion-on-brink-of-being-realised-say-mit-scientists

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    • kassy

       /  May 11, 2018

      15 years again…there was a joke about that. I have followed this for years too but i think we should just focus on harvesting the free fusion energy from the orb above first. We can do it today and that is a big advantage. It will be cool if/when we manage to do actual fusion but i am not betting they will get it in 15 years.

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    • Andy_in_SD

       /  May 11, 2018

      I’ve followed this as well, as it is fascinating. The most incredible effort I have seen is in Germany. If you look at the diagram, at first look it makes no sense. However, the shape and path of the plasma is such that the forces and flow are constant throughout the entire volume. A traditional tokamak shape has differing flow characteristics at the outer edge from the inner. The convoluted toriodal shape of the stellarator creates a volume where such an imbalance does not occur.

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wendelstein_7-X

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    • bobinspain

       /  May 12, 2018

      I’ve probably watched too much ‘Star Trek’ over the years, but perhaps it’s a good idea to hold on to the dream of some sort of utopian future :-D. And you’re right, Kassy, it does seem to be always ‘just 15 years away’ (+/- 15 years). I agree with you, Andy – the physics is, as Mr.Spock would say ‘fascinating’! 😀

      Liked by 2 people

      Reply
      • bostonblorp

         /  May 13, 2018

        Thing is we don’t really need fusion any more. The promise of “free” energy is basically here when industrial solar can deliver electricity at $0.02 kW/h. The main cost is now distribution and other.

        Even if aliens showed up tomorrow and said “here’s a cube that will deliver up to ten terawatts” it would help but it wouldn’t mean that our dependence on carbon would end immediately. And even with “free” energy we currently don’t have a scalable method to extract gigatons of CO2 out of the atmosphere.

        I don’t mean to be a naysayer, I’d love for a technological “out” from the current crisis. A lot of smart people have been looking hard for that technological salvation and have come up short.

        Liked by 1 person

        Reply
        • kassy

           /  May 13, 2018

          Pretty much that.

          But it is indeed worthwhile to have dreams for the future (i am a bit obsessed by Iain M Banks’ post-scarcity Culture society even if it ruins all kinds of good Space Opera with its logic).

          Like

  21. Shawn Redmond

     /  May 12, 2018

    Check out the water in May!

    http://floodlist.com/news
    11 MAY, 2018 0 COMMENT
    Storms in Tasmania, Australia, have caused severe flash flooding in the capital Hobart and south eastern areas of the state. Australia’s Bureau of Meteorology (BoM) said that 129 mm of…

    11 MAY, 2018 0 COMMENT
    Severe thunderstorms, hail and heavy rain affected parts of Germany yesterday, 10 May, 2018. Flash flooding was reported in Hamburg and areas of Schleswig-Holstein, where emergency services received over 2,000…

    10 MAY, 2018 1 COMMENT
    The flood situation continues in Kenya, with more deaths reported after a dam broke its banks killing at least 38 people. The Patel Dam in Solai, Subukia Sub-County, Nakuru County,…

    10 MAY, 2018 0 COMMENT
    Heavy rain in Ecuador over the last few days has caused flooding in Imbabura Province and floods and landslides in parts of El Oro Province. According to the country’s risk…

    10 MAY, 2018 0 COMMENT
    Civil Defence in Colombia reported that heavy rainfall on 02 and 03 of May generated several emergencies in the department of Meta, especially in the municipalities of El Castillo and…
    Read Full Article

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  22. kassy

     /  May 13, 2018

    Nice interactive map of changes in the last 30 years. (i chose the renewables story but it has fires (at night), deforestation or city growth etc).

    https://earthtime.org/stories/renewables

    Like

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    • cushngtree

       /  May 13, 2018

      Really nice! The global temp anomaly one in the coral reefs story is especially impressive. The timeline is 1850s or so to 2016, and it builds up, builds up….but it’s when it flips back to the beginning, THEN you REALLY see what’s happening in the world
      https://earthtime.org/stories/coral_bleaching

      Like

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  23. kassy

     /  May 13, 2018

    Meanwhile….

    UN puts brave face as climate talks get stuck

    UN talks have been officially suspended as countries failed to resolve differences about implementing the Paris climate agreement.

    The negotiations will resume in Bangkok in September where an extra week’s meeting has now been scheduled .

    Delegates struggled with the complexity of agreeing a rulebook for the Paris climate pact that will come into force in 2020.

    Rows between rich and poor re-emerged over finance and cutting carbon.

    Overall progress at this meeting has been very slow, with some countries such as China looking to re-negotiate aspects of the Paris deal.

    UN climate chief Patricia Espinosa was putting a brave face on the talks.

    “We face, I would say, a satisfactory outcome for this session but we have to be very, very clear that we have a lot of work in the months ahead,” she said.

    “We have to improve the pace of progress in order to be able to achieve a good outcome in Katowice in December,” she said, referring to the end of year Conference of the Parties where the rulebook is due to be completed and agreed.

    China and some other countries, perhaps frustrated by the slow pace, have sought in this Bonn meeting to go back to the position that existed before the 2015 deal, where only developed countries had to undertake to reduce their emissions.

    However, many developing countries were strongly opposed to turning the clock back.

    “Nations always give reasons to veer away from decarbonisation,” the Philippines’ Senator Loren Legarda, who’s attending these talks, told BBC News.

    “But in the end we don’t exist in isolation of each other, and negotiators, leaders of these nations, whether industrialised or developing, small island or least developed, should all realise that we’re in one planet together.”

    http://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-44074352

    It’s a good thing that renewable energy technolgy is making such good strides because these talk people are not going anywhere soon.

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  24. kassy

     /  May 13, 2018

    The timestamp did not survive…song begins at 0:50.

    Like

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  25. New phase of globalization could undermine efforts to reduce CO2 emissions. U. of East Anglia. https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2018/05/180514083942.htm

    The study, involving researchers from the University of East Anglia (UEA) and colleagues in China and the United States, investigated how complex supply chains are distributing energy-intensive industries and their CO2 emissions throughout the global South. It found that trade among developing nations — known as South-South trade — more than doubled between 2004 and 2011.

    Some production activities are relocating from China and India to other developing countries, such as Indonesia, Vietnam and Thailand, particularly for raw materials and intermediate goods production in energy-intensive sectors.

    In turn, the growth of CO2 emissions embodied in Chinese exports has slowed or reversed, while the emissions embodied in exports, such as textiles, from less-developed regions like Vietnam and Bangladesh have surged.

    International trade increased by more than 50% from 2005 to 2015, with approximately 60% of the increase tied to rising exports from developing countries. Yet over the same period, South-South trade grew even faster — more than tripling — to reach 57% of all developing country exports (US$9.3 trillion) in 2014.

    Publishing their findings in Nature Communications, the authors warn this trend may seriously undermine international efforts to reduce global emissions that increasingly rely on rallying voluntary contributions of more, smaller, and less-developed nations.

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  26. Abel Adamski

     /  May 15, 2018

    Lets just all cool down, have a nice long drink of lovely pure water Guaranteed safe by Trump and Pruitt
    https://www.politico.com/story/2018/05/14/emails-white-house-interfered-with-science-study-536950

    White House, EPA headed off chemical pollution study

    The intervention by Scott Pruitt’s aides came after one White House official warned the findings would cause a ‘public relations nightmare.

    Scott Pruitt’s EPA and the White House sought to block publication of a federal health study on a nationwide water-contamination crisis, after one Trump administration aide warned it would cause a “public relations nightmare,” newly disclosed emails reveal.

    The intervention early this year — not previously disclosed — came as HHS’ Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry was preparing to publish its assessment of a class of toxic chemicals that has contaminated water supplies near military bases, chemical plants and other sites from New York to Michigan to West Virginia.

    The study would show that the chemicals endanger human health at a far lower level than EPA has previously called safe, according to the emails.

    “The public, media, and Congressional reaction to these numbers is going to be huge,” one unidentified White House aide said in an email forwarded on Jan. 30 by James Herz, a political appointee who oversees environmental issues at the OMB. The email added: “The impact to EPA and [the Defense Department] is going to be extremely painful. We (DoD and EPA) cannot seem to get ATSDR to realize the potential public relations nightmare this is going to be.”

    More than three months later, the draft study remains unpublished, and the HHS unit says it has no scheduled date to release it for public comment. Critics say the delay shows the Trump administration is placing politics ahead of an urgent public health concern — something they had feared would happen after agency leaders like Pruitt started placing industry advocates in charge of issues like chemical safety.

    Enck, the former EPA official, said she sees one troubling gap in the emails: They make “no mention of the people who are exposed to PFOA or PFOS, there’s no health concern expressed here.”

    Like

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  27. Abel Adamski

     /  May 15, 2018

    Just for fun, sticking with the Tesla theme
    https://www.businessinsider.com.au/tesla-towing-qantas-dreamliner-2018-5
    A Tesla just towed a Qantas Dreamliner
    A Telsa might be currently flying through space on its way to Mars, but in Melbourne today, Elon Musk’s electric vehicle produced another first when it set a Guinness World Record attempt, as the heaviest tow by an electric production passenger vehicle, towing a Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner along the tarmac.

    Testing the torque on a Tesla Model X P100D, which has a road tow rated capacity of 2.5 tonnes, pulled the 130 tonne 787 (that’s basically its unloaded weight with minimal fuel) almost 300 metres to satisfy the folks at the world records book.

    As the airline points out – it’s not the first electric vehicle Qantas has used to tow an aircraft – they’re using EV tugs in Sydney and Canberra as part of the company’s greenhouse reduction program and the airline now has Tesla charging ports at its valet parking in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Adelaide .

    Like

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  28. Andy_in_SD

     /  May 15, 2018

    Snow pack in B.C. is getting hammered due to high temperatures
    ==================================================

    Soaring temperatures and melting mountain snow packs are threatening to swell floodwaters in British Columbia and force the evacuation of thousands more from their homes, emergency officials say.

    Mr. Campbell said temperatures are six degrees above normal in many parts of the province and that snow is melting more quickly at lower elevations. He added that forecasts this week include extremely high temperatures – 10 to 15 degrees above normal for this time of year.

    https://www.theglobeandmail.com/canada/british-columbia/article-warm-weather-threatens-more-flooding-in-bc/

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