A Facts Collection

(from magazine and newspaper articles,
augmented by pertinent links to web pages.)

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This FossilFuels, ClimateChange, AtmosphericGases (Facts Collection) Page

! Preliminary !
This is a preliminary page --- a 'starter' page
on which to collect more info --- including
web-site links and web-search links.
The plan is to add more info as
it becomes available in future years.

(Skip the Introduction)

Introduction :

The purpose of this web page is to serve as a place to accumulate information on fossil fuels, climate change, and atmospheric gases --- 'factoids' of various kinds ---- scientific, engineering, political, environmental, social, etc.

In particular, 'numeric factoids' will be collected to try to gather 'quantitative' information as well as 'qualitative' information.

This page attempts to group the 'factoids' into categories that are presented down this web page. See the 'Table of Contents' below for some categories.

In some cases, the 'factoids' could be assigned to two or more of the categories. To avoid duplication, each 'factoid' will be assigned to one of the categories.

The 'factoids' (below) on fossil fuels, climate change, and atmospheric gases come mainly from magazine and newspaper articles. But this information may be augmented by web links (for example, to specific Wikipedia pages) --- as well as web links to web searches on pertinent 'keywords'. For example:

You can modify these keywords to do similar types of searches, for more information on the topics of fossil fuels, climate change, and atmospheric gases (methane, carbon dioxide, etc.).

Searching this page :

The following 'Table of Contents' provides links to sections further down on this page. In case the Table does not provide a good way to find what you are looking for, then ...

If you are looking for some particular information, you can use the text search function of your web browser. For example, if you are looking for information on a topic such as 'coal ash', 'arctic temperatures' or 'gas flares', enter the key-string --- or a shorter string such as 'coal' or 'ash' or 'arctic' or 'tempera' or 'flare' --- in the text search entry field of your web browser --- to find sentences on this web page containing the keyword(s).


(links to sections on this web page, below)

'Fossil fuel' factoids will go here.

For further information on fossil fuel issues, here are some web searches to try (and to modify).

'Climate change' factoids will go here.

For further information on climate change issues, here are some web searches to try (and to modify).

'Atmospheric Gases' factoids go here.

Carbon-Dioxide versus Heat-Generation:

Note that carbon dioxide consitutes a small fraction of one percent of the gases in Earth's atmosphere --- about 4 HUNDRETHS of ONE PERCENT.

This is one reason why some physicists believe that it is misleading that most articles on climate change convey the image that the climate change problem (increasing temperatures in air, ocean, and land) will be solved if carbon-dioxide levels are reduced to pre-1900 levels.

Another reason for skepticism that carbon dioxide is 'the main (and only significant) culprit' is that there are other gases (such as H2O, i.e. humidity in the air) and methane that are even more capable of trapping reflected infrared radiation from Earth.

Another reason for 'carbon dioxide skepticism':
The main two components of Earth's atmosphere (N2 nitrogen and O2 oxygen molecules) serve to hold most of the heat in the air --- due to the simple fact that N2 and O2 constitute over 99% of the colliding molecules in the atmosphere. If the temperature (energy) of the nitrogen and oxygen molecules were the same as pre-1900 temperature levels, then there would be no warming of the atmosphere. By far, most of the heat in the atmosphere is due to the colliding nitrogen and oxygen molecules --- NOT the carbon-dioxide molecules.

Still another reason for 'carbon dioxide skepticism':
If you try to trace down the reason that atmospheric physicists and climatologists keep putting most of the blame for climate change on carbon-dioxide, you will find that it is because of computer simulations ("The climate system is complex and cannot be perfectly simulated by models. Different models represent the various processes in different ways ..."). The models are based on assumptions and the assumptions in their models may not have (sufficiently) captured factors such as the exploding human population.

The exploding world population is accompanied by an explosion in the number of intense heat generating devices in the world, such as automobiles, trucks, ships, planes, coal-and-gas-powered turbines for electricity generation, home-and-building heating systems, metals melting furnaces, manufacturing ovens (for everything from food baking to paint curing to plastic molding to wire extrusion to ...), gas flares from oil fields, and so on.

    We should long for the old horse-and-buggy days. In those days, we could go across town and then put your hand on the horse and find your hand slightly warmed. Go across town in a car and put your hand on an exhaust pipe or an engine manifold --- I dare you.

It is quite likely that if computer simulations were done taking into account the huge number of intense-heat-generating devices, the simulations would probably show that 'heat-generation' (stirring up all those nitrogen and oxygen molecules) is a significant contributor to rising planetary temperature levels --- perhaps more significant than the influence of an increase in a miniscule amount of carbon-dioxide in the atmosphere.

    Note that all these human-made heat generating devices use fossil fuels --- and, in about 200 years, humans (and no other mammals ; we can't blame them) are going to burn through essentially all recoverable fossil fuels that took millions of years to form.

    The Earth's fossil fuels hold solar energy that was captured over millions of years --- and we are burning it up in about 200 years. So, essentially, we are adding one or more suns to the single sun that sheds radiative energy on the Earth each day.

To sum up in a simple phrase, similar to the "It's the economy, stupid" phrase of the 1990's years in U.S. politics:

It's the temperature, stupid
(--- more than the carbon-dioxide).

OR, more specifically, but not as catchy,

It's the fossil-heat-generation, stupid
(--- more than the carbon-dioxide).


It's the contribution-of-ALL-the-molecules, stupid
(--- not just the carbon-dioxide).

    Note that there are some billion-dollar 'carbon sequestration' projects in the U.S.A. --- most of which are using the captured CO2 to help get more oil out of the ground. No doubt the people behind those projects are happy that newpaper articles keep laying most of the blame for temperature increases on the amount of carbon-dioxide in the atmosphere. They get more tax-payer money to fund their 'carbon-capture' projects by selling them as 'green projects'.

    I have a suggestion. Instead of these billion-dollar boondoggles, how about planting lots of trees and shrubbery --- Mother Nature's very efficient carbon sequestration devices.

For more info on this topic, you could try a web search like:

Carbon Dioxide in Natural Gas:

"Natural gas is the cleanest fossil fuel. Development of cost-effective means to separate carbon dioxide during the production process will improve this advantage over other fossil fuels and enable the economic production of gas resources with higher carbon dioxide content that would be too costly to recover using current carbon capture technologies".

Liquid amine-based scrubbers are used now to remove (some) carbon dioxide from natural gas. "Amines are corrosive and hard on equipment. They do capture carbon dioxide, but they need to be heated to about 140 degrees Celsius [284 degrees Fahrenheit] to release it for permanent storage. That's a terrible waste of energy."

    Source: Chemist James Tour in Rice Magazine, Summer 2014.

NOTE: Probably most people do not know that:

  • Natural gas contains carbon dioxide.
  • Too much carbon dioxide in natural gas can make it unusable.
  • It is energy-intensive to remove carbon dioxide from natural gas.

These are facts that the oil-and-gas industry (and the media) do not 'advertise' (make readily and frequently available).

These facts raise questions such as: "Is too much carbon dioxide in natural gas the reason that there are many gas flares (a whole lot of burning of too-costly-to-use oil-well gases) in the U.S.A. and around the world?"

For more info on this topic, you could try a web search like:

For further information on atmospheric gases (and gas emission) issues, here are some web searches to try (and to modify).

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Page was created 2017 Dec 18.

Page was changed 2018 Oct 20. (Added css and javascript to try to handle text-size for smartphones, esp. in portrait orientation.)