Zero carbon emissions for major airline -- Do you think this is achievable? If so, how?

Discussion in 'Flight Following' started by pburger, Apr 13, 2021.

  1. write-stuff

    write-stuff En-Route

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    I keep seeing this trendy word, "WOKE". What does it mean?
     
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  2. EdFred

    EdFred Taxi to Parking

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    kowtowing to various cancel groups.
     
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  3. write-stuff

    write-stuff En-Route

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    What is a cancel group? Sorry, this isn't intuitively obvious to me.
     
  4. EdFred

    EdFred Taxi to Parking

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    "we don't like your social/political opinion on subject X, you should be fired/closed down/made a pariah just because we disagree with you"

    If you don't immediately change your opinion to fit the cancel crowd you aren't "woke." If you aren't woke you are worse than the Nazis. And of course it's only if you disagree with a certain side of the sociopolitical spectrum.

    going into it any further puts it into spin zone territory.
     
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  5. write-stuff

    write-stuff En-Route

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    Roger, thanks.
     
  6. SoonerAviator

    SoonerAviator Final Approach

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    Here's link to a blog (and the research he is referring to) which discusses some of it as well. Take it with a HUGE grain of salt as I have a feeling this particular scientist could be selective in what he posts since he has a few written works to peddle. Some of the research he is citing references the Maunder Minimum which has been linked to low temps where it was estimated that solar irradiance decreased by 0.22% during that period from 1645-1710. However, the research itself isn't so much predicting that a drop in temps will occur, just saying that the last time the solar activity was so low points back to a time where global temps temps dropped about 1C for a few decades which could have potential to occur again. Again, no agenda on my part, just interesting points about solar magnetic variation and sun spot activity.

    https://www.scienceunderattack.com/...-could-wipe-out-global-warming-for-decades-62

    https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/23328940.2020.1796243
     
  7. denverpilot

    denverpilot Tied Down PoA Supporter

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    That’s what I do at work too. Anything we won’t be accomplishing I schedule for a date past my retirement. LOL
     
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  8. David Megginson

    David Megginson Cleared for Takeoff

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    :) In that case, I don't think he expected to be dead quite so soon.
     
  9. David Megginson

    David Megginson Cleared for Takeoff

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    If you're just seeing it for the first time now, your contacts are a bit behind the curve. I think it was trendy in white liberal circles (maybe) 10 years ago. It's not as long in the tooth as "politically correct" (anyone who still thinks its funny/clever is about 3 decades late to the party), but still, meh.

    As I understand, originally "woke" in this context was a private word within the Black community the describe the very small minority of White people who weren't 100% clueless about the systemic racism they face, but, predictably, first white feminists then white liberals in general grabbed it as a vague social-media buzzword, just like they (we) take anything else we want and claim it as our own. :(
     
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  10. David Megginson

    David Megginson Cleared for Takeoff

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    I suggest not cherry-picking individual articles, because you can "prove" anything that way. Science is a raucous, ongoing debate, but eventually they reach broad consensus on certain points because of an avalanche of evidence, and human-induced climate change is very much one of those.

    I don't think the same kind of consensus exists for the specific consequences of that climate change — overzealous activists are equally guilty of cherry-picking individual articles or even just a scientist's personal speculations and speaking overconfidently about specific outcomes ("the southern US will be a DESERT!" "London will be UNDERWATER!") as if it's an actual scientific consensus — but it's pretty clear that adding even a degree or two more heat energy to the oceans means charging up the world's biggest battery, and that's going to produce some pretty violent and volatile weather that's hostile to humanity, whatever shape that takes.

    We've also seen actual consequences to date, including the accelerated desertification of the Sahel that's driving tens of thousands of migrants north from that area of Africa towards Europe. Tens of thousands could easily change to tens of millions if inland desertification and coastal flooding intensify, so for the people who don't like immigration and worry about the (relatively tiny) number of migrants trying to get into the U.S. and Europe right now, if we don't do something about climate change soon, you ain't seen nothing yet. :(
     
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  11. Bob Noel

    Bob Noel Touchdown! Greaser!

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  12. dtuuri

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    That's not responsive to my question. Do you dispute the cited lack of connection between increased fossil fuel combustion and atmospheric CO2? If so, why? It makes sense to me on an intuitive level because of the many hours I've spent measuring the big sky. It's really, really big. Much bigger than can be appreciated from the ground. So, you see, I'm a hard sell. I once calculated that it would take a G-5 more than one hundred years of typical corporate flight department utilization (500 hours) to equal the size of one typical cumulus cloud (one billion pounds of water vapor, isn't it?) in CO2 mass. But I could accept being all wrong if somebody can prove it to me.
     
  13. Arrow76R

    Arrow76R Pre-takeoff checklist

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    The easy answer to the zero carbon emission by airlines question is...wait for it...they will go out of business trying and, therefore, stop flying all together. Hence zero carbon footprint... TWA, Eastern, PanAm, and a host of other airlines were ahead of their time!! No carbon footprint for them :)
     
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  14. Cap'n Jack

    Cap'n Jack Final Approach

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    I apologize if I'm not reading your response as you intended, but I don't see it as an XOR. Although we were near the bottom of the solar cycle in 2020 [1], last year ties as one of the hottest on record [2] suggesting reduced solar radiation might not lead to cooler temperatures. Foukal [3] suggests solar dimming during the Maunder minimum does not fully account for the cooler temperatures at that time.

    Who's more likely to be correct? IDK, we have a few solar cycles to find out.

    [1] https://www.nasa.gov/press-release/...-nasa-noaa-scientists-explain-what-that-means
    [2] https://www.nasa.gov/press-release/2020-tied-for-warmest-year-on-record-nasa-analysis-shows
    [3] https://www.researchgate.net/publication/50855835_Dimming_of_the_17th_Century_Sun
     
  15. Cap'n Jack

    Cap'n Jack Final Approach

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    I don't have a good reference, but the mass of the water in a cumulus cloud is estimated at around a million kilograms, 2.2 million pounds, a lot less than a billion. The reference below is one I would use in the absence of better ones.
    https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/why-do-clouds-float-when/
    Using your numbers, I guestimate "your" G5 produces about 112,000 kg water, so you'd get your cumulus cloud in about 9 to 10 years.
     
  16. dtuuri

    dtuuri En-Route

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    Someone appears incorrect, but who?

    "A typical linear dimension of a cumulus cloud is 3–10 km, with updraft velocities of a few meters per second (Rogers and Yau, 1996)."
    Cumulus Clouds - an overview | ScienceDirect Topics

    "Thus, a typical fair weather cumulus cloud weighs about one billion pounds..."
    talite9606.pdf (weather.gov)
     
  17. Cap'n Jack

    Cap'n Jack Final Approach

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    The first reference gives a size, I don't think there's any dispute about that.

    As for the second reference, that seems to be an outlier. The Scientific American article seems on the heavy side, I chose it because it was closer to the value you posted.
    https://www.usgs.gov/special-topic/...ce_center_objects=0#qt-science_center_objects
    https://www.zmescience.com/science/how-much-do-clouds-weigh/

    Thank you for giving a citation.

    EDIT:
    Looking at the talite reference, the density for moist air looks very far off.
    @ 275 °K, that's just above freezing. The link below suggests the density for dry and 100% humid air are rather close:
    https://www.engineeringtoolbox.com/density-air-d_680.html
    The 0.626 kg/m**3 seems to be the density at 100°C

    That suggests he is overestimating the water vapor contribution.
     
    Last edited: Apr 21, 2021
  18. AlleyCat67

    AlleyCat67 Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Sorry, but I'd like to make some corrections....

    (1) the current vegetation carbon sink soaks up about 25% of human fossil fuel emissions. Ocean biological and physical solubility of CO2 takes up another 25%. That still leaves about 50% of emissions that add to the "long term reservoir" in the atmosphere and result in climate warming. As can be seen in the Keeling curve (post 167) there's no evidence that atmospheric CO2 accumulation is slowing down. Land vegetation sinks are becoming slightly more powerful due to longer growing seasons and CO2 fertilization of plants, but it doesn't keep up with human FF emissions.

    (2) the "other effects" on climate change are small potatoes compared to CO2 and CH4 emissions. Land clearing for farms and cities has a small (cooling) effect on planetary albedo. But it's a 5-10% level of offset compared to FF-driven climate warming. Volcanos can certainly inject dust and sulphates into the atmosphere that lead to temporary cooling (e.g. Krakatoa). But that's a short term, occasional phenomenon. Emissions of CO2 from volcanos are a very small flux - about 1% of FF emissions (https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/earthtalks-volcanoes-or-humans/). Over geologic time scales small increases or decreases in volcanic activity due to plate tectonics can have a huge impact of atmospheric CO2 levels. But that's the result of integrating a small flux increase over millions of years. Very different from the FF case, which integrates a large flux increase over a few decades.

    (3) the CO2 decrease in the 1600's may (big question) have been connected to recovery of vegetation due to indigenous depopulation. Of course you're talking about a 5ppm decrease. Since 1850 we've experienced an increase of 140ppm due to fossil fuel burning. Different order of magnitude.

    I find this animation to be useful for looking at the temperature consequences of various climate forcing factors, as calculated by the NASA GISS model:
    https://svs.gsfc.nasa.gov/30615

    BTW, there's nothing very radical in suggesting that human emissions can alter climate. In 1896, Arrhenius did the first calculation to estimate that doubling atmospheric CO2 would lead to a 5 degree global temperature increase, which isn't that far off from current models.
     
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  19. Bell206

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    As are the other "big questions" being asked depending on which side of the fence you sit. Nothing more.
    And a 6 billion increase in population with an increase of 81 million per year (2020). So what happens when you cut out all fossil fuel emissions and the temperature still increases? Then what?
     
  20. AlleyCat67

    AlleyCat67 Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Ok you lost me. Human bodies don't alter atmospheric chemistry or cause warming. If you cut out FF emissions you'd cut out the vast majority of greenhouse gas emissions. You'd have a little bit of natural methane from cows and landfills, and some CO2 from concrete production.
     
  21. Bell206

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    Don't cause global warming? So whats your definition of Anthropogenic global warming?
     
  22. RyanB

    RyanB Administrator Management Council Member PoA Supporter

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    Exactly right and unfortunately, there’s a lot of people who don’t think climate change is a real problem and it’s very troubling.
     
  23. dtuuri

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    Can you explain why Prof Salby is wrong here at the 8 minute mark? To my eyes, it explains what I know intuitively without being obscured by interesting minutia, like tree ring records and such:

     
  24. tspear

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    Ah such a fun literal comment.
    Human's caused the current climate change.
    However, humans do not directly contribute to global warming via a direct biological process such as eating/farting/breathing. Cows do contribute, but on a much more minor scale.
    The number of people in this world contribute to global warming indirectly, by increasing demands for things which due produce an effect on the climate.

    Does that make you feel better?

    Tim
     
  25. AlleyCat67

    AlleyCat67 Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Yes, I'd be happy to. At the 8 minute mark he's describing what's termed the "airborne fraction" - the percent of emitted CO2 that ends up in the atmosphere. That airborne fraction has remained pretty steady over the last several decades, and has led to the hypothesis that plants (and possibly ocean biology) are soaking up more CO2 than they used to (see my longer post #218). But absolute levels of CO2 in the atmosphere are still rising. Again, about 1/2 of the human emissions of CO2 end up in the atmosphere. As emissions grow, the absolute amount of atmospheric CO2 grows also - just at a slower rate than if plants weren't there.

    As far as his misinformation about CO2 and water vapor... First, his graph of atmospheric transmission has nothing to do with climate warming potential. It is certainly true that water vapor is the dominant greenhouse gas on Earth, in terms of increasing temperatures compared to where we'd be with no atmosphere (like Mars). But water vapor doesn't vary on decadal time scales except as a result of atmospheric temperature change. CO2 is a smaller component, but we're talking about doubling its concentration. Here's a link from the American Chemical Society if you want more information: https://www.acs.org/content/acs/en/...cenarratives/its-water-vapor-not-the-co2.html
     
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  26. Bell206

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    I believe I stated this in a previous post.o_O

    Do you feel better now?:rolleyes:
     
  27. Ed Haywood

    Ed Haywood Pre-takeoff checklist

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    That's a pretty intelligent and reasonable comment, and it illustrates the main reason climate change has become such a polarizing issue. While the causes and effects are science, the assessment of impact and our responses are political. The two discussions should be separate, but both sides in the debate insist on mixing them together. One side has dealt with that discrepancy by declaring if you accept the science, you have to accept our political position. The other side has dealt with that demand by questioning the science. In a healthy debate environment, we could listen to the science and have a reasonable cost-v-benefits debate about the impacts and responses.

    Implicit in your example is the assumption that change is always bad. But that assessment overlooks that changes in one area are offset by changes in other areas. The Sahel may become hotter and less habitable, but other areas may become warmer and more habitable. Siberia, Alaska, and Canada, for example. Bad for polar bears, but maybe good for humans. Managing such a migration may or may not be worth the cost, but a true debate would actually balance the cost and probability of success of that migration vs the cost and probability of success of trying to change the weather. Since changing the weather would require political consensus that has thus far eluded us, we may find ourselves forced to adapt to the alternative, so we better start talking about it.

    Coastal flooding is one area particularly susceptible to hyperbole. In the big scheme of humanity, losing a few hundred feet of usable land over 50 or 100 years is not remotely a catastrophe. I live in an area particularly susceptible to such changes. A 2 foot rise in the seas would ruin a lot of nice oceanfront property, but much of that effect would be mitigated in the short term by seawalls, stilts, etc, and in the long term by moving inland. It's not like we have a shortage of land in the interior.
     
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  28. Dan Thomas

    Dan Thomas Final Approach

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    When science gets politicized, people start distrusting it. When money is involved, there's good reason to distrust it.

    There are around five times as many polar bears now as there were in the 1950s.

    Historically, the various forms of temperature/CO2 evidence show that CO2 followed temperature; it did not lead it. Warmer oceans cannot hold as much CO2. They release it and the levels rise. The CO2 rise follows the temperature rise by about 800 years. When people display graphs showing the temp/CO2 correlation, those graphs show timelines of millions of years. They don't show the resolution required to reveal the 800-year differential.
     
  29. Cap'n Jack

    Cap'n Jack Final Approach

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    References, please?

    A questionable reference doesn't support your claim about the polar bears:
    https://www.newscientist.com/articl...en become,population groups around the Arctic.
     
  30. Dan Thomas

    Dan Thomas Final Approach

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    https://fee.org/articles/the-myth-that-the-polar-bear-population-is-declining/

    https://skepticalscience.com/co2-lags-temperature.htm

    "Questionable references" is the epithet usually ascribed to articles we don't like or can't refute. If there was no such evidence there wouldn't be the acrimonious debates we see all the time. If we're honest, we look for the truth.
     
  31. Palmpilot

    Palmpilot Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    I suspect that the largest monetary incentive to distort the science is fossil fuel profits.

    Note that I'm not saying profits are bad, but if we're going to 'follow the money' we need to look at the whole picture. I've seen a lot of allegations that research funding is a corrupting influence, while ignoring other monetary influences.
     
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  32. EdFred

    EdFred Taxi to Parking

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    The largest incentive may not be monetary, or even saving the planet - if 2020 was any indication. Not sayin' but just' sayin'.
     
  33. AlleyCat67

    AlleyCat67 Pre-takeoff checklist

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    My frustration is that the politicization keeps getting fought at the level of the basic science, which isn't really that complex or controversial. It's perfectly possible to acknowledge the fact that fossil fuel emissions are warming the climate (they have to!), but rationally disagree on the policy implications. Bjorn Lomborg is an example of someone who acknowledges the basic science, but disputes that the impact of climate change warrants the economic costs of mitigation. To me that's a more interesting discussion to have (tho not on this forum).
     
  34. Palmpilot

    Palmpilot Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    Amen!
     
  35. PaulS

    PaulS Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Everybody is a scientist now.
     
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  36. Cap'n Jack

    Cap'n Jack Final Approach

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    To me, "questionable references" refer to those that may (or may not be) not be reliable. They may just be things copied from elsewhere on the internet. Please note that I gave that term to the reference I posted. I don't entirely trust it because it doesn't lead to information I trust.

    In my work, I have ideas, and a literature search sometimes leads to references that show why my idea won't work. I don't like that my idea won't work, and something I run supports the literature- I can't refute the reference(s). That doesn't make them questionable references quite the opposite. My ideas then need to change.
    There are sources that masquerade as good references, but anyone can publish in these journals for a fee.
    Here's a list:
    https://predatoryjournals.com/publishers/
    https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s11192-020-03852-4
    I have absolutely no evidence of this happening, but I wouldn't be surprised if various PACs (both sides of a debate) and whatnot published in such journals.
     
  37. Tarheelpilot

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    To answer it honestly would get me banned.
     
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  38. David Megginson

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    Most deniers are in my demographic (white, male, 55+). To be blunt, they know they'll be dead before their kids and grandkids have to face any really serious consequences, so why should they care?

    Their elaborate denial theories are constructed around what they want/need to believe to avoid feeling guilty, because feeling guilty is also unpleasant.
     
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  39. Tarheelpilot

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    There are so many things wrong with what you are saying. I feel bad for you.
     
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  40. dtuuri

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    I can't believe a hypothesis that plants suddenly and coincidentally with a tripling of burned fossil fuel began "soaking up more CO2 than they used to", do you? More likely that ocean biology actually soaks up more CO2 than climate scientists planned for, IMO.

    Rising at the same rate as before the three-fold increase in fossil fuel combustion, according to Prof. Salby, so unchanged and unconnected to fossil fuel, right? Would be explained by underestimating the oceanic CO2 sink, IMO.

    You lost my attention here by accusing the person I find giving a very credible explanation of dispensing "misinformation". Everything after that word isn't worth my time to try to understand. Sorry, but thanks for trying anyway.