Tuesday, October 19, 2021

Tag: carbon

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NOAA researchers release study on emissions from BP/Deepwater Horizon controlled burns

The black smoke that rose from the explosion pumped more than 1 million pounds of black carbon During the 2010 BP/Deepwater Horizon Gulf oil spill, an estimated one of every 20 barrels of spilled oil was deliberately burned off to reduce the size of surface oil slicks and minimize impacts of oil on sensitive shoreline ecosystems and marine life. In response to the spill, NOAA quickly redirected its WP-3D research aircraft to survey the atmosphere above the spill site in June. During a flight through one of the black plumes, scientists used sophisticated instrumentation on board, including NOAA's single-particle soot photometer, to characterize individual black carbon particles.The black smoke that rose from the water's surface during the controlled burns pumped more than 1 million pounds of black carbon (soot) pollution into the atmosphere, according to a new study published last week by researchers at NOAA and its Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences (CIRES) in Boulder, Colo.This amount is roughly equal to the total black carbon emissions normally released by all ships that travel the Gulf of Mexico during a 9-week period, scientists noted.Black carbon, whose primary component is often called soot, is known to degrade air quality and ...

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Carbon price for shipping could sail ahead, say Oxfam and WWF

Applying a carbon price of $25 per tonne to shipping or 'bunker' fuel Escalating greenhouse gas emissions from international shipping could be tackled by applying a carbon price of $25 per tonne to shipping or 'bunker' fuel, according to a new report from Oxfam and WWF.The report shows that the EU could broker a deal on a carbon price for shipping fuel at the United Nations' climate change conference in Durban, South Africa later this year.As well as controlling emissions from shipping, the proposal would also raise around $25 billion a year by 2020 to help tackle climate change in developing nations, say the charities. The revenues raised could also be used to compensate developing countries for higher import costs arising from the carbon price.The report, Out of the Bunker - Time for a fair deal on shipping emissions, says the proposal would tackle two of the major issues facing the Durban conference - agreement on future emissions cuts and finance to help developing nations.International shipping is currently responsible for around 3% of total global emissions - more than Germany and twice that of Australia - but has remained resistant to regulation, although the industry did recently agree to some ...

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UK Chamber of Shipping on the fence on GHG policy

London-based body launches 'manuals' on the two main options for market-based measures Underlining its difference of opinion with most other national shipping associations, the UK Chamber of Shipping has urged the international shipping industry to keep the door open on all options to drive a reduction of its carbon emissions. The UK Chamber has welcomed the advances made by the International Maritime Organization to promote the reduction of shipping's carbon emissions through technical efficiencies but in a statement says it believes that it will prove necessary for the industry to go further - through the adoption of economic (or 'market-based') measures to meet governments' expectations and targets. The statement said: "International opinion is divided on the best model for reducing the shipping industry's carbon emissions. Some support the idea of a greenhouse gas (GHG) contribution fund, in which shipping companies would contribute as part of purchases of bunker fuel. Others prefer an Emissions Trading System (ETS), in which shipping companies would buy a shipping allowance or 'emissions unit', which they would then surrender according to their actual carbon emissions." The International Chamber of Shipping's (ICS) director external relations Simon Bennett told that the vast majority of national shipping associations within ...

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Substances affecting polar bear habitat in the Arctic

Black carbon alone contributes at least 30 % You have probably heard about melting Arctic ice and the drastic decrease in glacier size. You may have seen it yourself during a trip to a favorite spot, and mourned the loss of beautiful snow covered views.And while you may be aware that the increase in greenhouse gases is to blame, at least in large part, for our planet's warming, you may not realize that a substance called black carbon is an accomplice, affecting everything from polar bear habitat in the Arctic to glacial fed drinking water in the Himalayas.A recent peer-reviewed study found that "Most of the change in snow and ice cover -- about 90 percent -- is from aerosols. Black carbon alone contributes at least 30 percent of this sum."Black carbon is an aerosol produced during poor combustion of carbon-based fuels (as opposed to carbon dioxide, which is produced in all circumstances), and together with organic carbon is one the major components in soot.Sources include diesel engines in various types of vehicles, furnaces, cook stoves, and forest fires, as well as some industrial processes. Some 25% to 35% of emissions occur in China and India (from combustion of wood, ...

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Surprises from the ocean: marine plankton and ocean pH

Plankton accounts for a very significant flux of carbon from the surface ocean The world's oceans support vast populations of single-celled organisms (phytoplankton) that are responsible, through photosynthesis, for removing about half of the carbon dioxide that is produced by burning fossil fuels - as much as the rainforests and all other terrestrial systems combined.One group of phytoplankton, known as the coccolithophores, are known for their remarkable ability to build chalk (calcium carbonate) scales inside their cells, which are secreted to form a protective armour on the cell surface.On a global scale this calcification process accounts for a very significant flux of carbon from the surface ocean, and hence coccolithophores are an important component of the global carbon cycle, as cells die and the calcium carbonate sinks to form ocean sediments.In an article published in PLoS Biology on 21st June, a team of scientists from the Marine Biological Association and Plymouth Marine Laboratory in the UK and the University of North Carolina Wilmington, USA report the unexpected finding that coccolithophores use a similar mechanism to the one previously characterised in vertebrate cells, to facilitate calcification. They found that this process may be directly affected by the current increasing levels of ...

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