Monday, August 27, 2007

Great Balls Of Dry Ice: Deniers At Play

Overheard in the Climate Change Skeptics Cafe:

Myron Ebel, Director of Energy & Global Warming Policy at the Competitive Enterprise Institute, is bitching about carbon sequestration. It's expensive, it doesn't work that well, and etc. etc. However, Richard S. Courtney, Senior Material Scientist for British Coal (actually he's a PR guy) steps in and sets old Myron straight. It doesn't have to work; it just has to be, so the skeptical community can say they're for something:

Firstly, the value of carbon sequestration is political: n.b. it is not technological or economic.

There is opposition to power generation systems that emit CO2 as waste (this is similar to opposition to nuclear power systems that emit radioactive waste). A response to the opposition is neeeded until the AGW scare is ended.
And claims of carbon sequestration (cs) provide that needed response although eveybody knows cs would be too expensive for it to be used.
Skeptics know its all crap, in other words, but have to pretend otherwise for political purposes. I think people have always suspected this of them, but its good to hear it from the horses mouth.
However, good old Richard has his own scheme, his own technique for carbon sequestration that is both cheap and effective and can be put in place until such time as this whole global warming nonsense blows over:

Yes, but there is an alternative i.e. [to storing pressurized carbon dioxide underground].
1. Freeze the CO2 to 'dry ice' (i.e. solid CO2).
2. Drop the solid CO2 from a ship over deep ocean.
3. The solid will sink to the bottom and melt to liquid CO2 (yes, liquid at that pressure).
4. The rate of dissolving of CO2 will be very slow thus delaying any possible problem for millenia and giving plenty of time to find a solution to any possible problem.


There can be few legal or political obstacles to a lake of liquid CO2 at the bottom of e.g. the Marianas Trench

To which Douglas Hoyt, senior scientist at Raytheon (retired), objects:

Won't the dry ice just float on the water and boil away?

Now, I was going to dismiss all this as being entirely for giggles, until I realized that I couldn't myself remember from my highschool days whether dry ice floats in water. As the scientific videos available at this site demonstrate, it sinks.

I also did not realize that the notion of dumping big hunks of dry ice directly into the ocean has already (and often) been proposed as a means of sequestering CO2. It has even been suggested that the dry ice pellets be formed in the shape of a "torpedo" so they might conveniently bury themselves nose-first in the ocean floor. Here is probably the most thorough survey of the promises and short-comings of deep ocean sequestration (one shortcoming: all sea life near your CO2 "lake" dies).

But Doug is right about the dry ice "boiling away" at a rapid pace. How much of the ice-pellets mass would you lose on the way down? Not only that, Andre Bijkerk (who I know nothing about) notes another possible issue with the approach:
But there may be complications, dry ice is -70C or so, so when it is dropped overboard it would freeze the water around it, which may attach to the solid CO2. In temperature above solidus of CO2, it is continuing to evaporate/sublimate underneath the attached ice, producing gas bubbles in the ice,

The conglomerate of heavy dry CO2 ice with normal water ice and captured CO2 bubbles could decrease it's density to less than the water and re-emerge again.

This in fact does occur when you are using dry ice to turn your Halloween punch into a "witches brew":

...when the dry ice is almost gone, a layer of water will freeze around it. This chunk will float to the top. Inside the regular ice is still a piece of dry ice. This must be removed. NEVER injest dry ice, even when it is coated with regular ice. This can cause frostbite inside your stomach!

So you might wind up with big balls of dry ice floating around in the middle of the ocean, out gassing like crazy.

Assuming that these problems can be overcome, there is still the cost in emissions of shipping our frozen CO2 to the dump site. And here, I would like to make my own humble contribution. I suggest employing a giant roman war engine to bodily hurl our ice pellets to their resting place. And I would call this war engine a Carbopult(TM).


Anonymous said...

In case you don't know, Myron has a special friend.

IMHO some additional noise should be made about this, as admissions of this sort are seldom seen from the likes of Courtney. Maybe cut and past the whole exchange and forward it to suitable Large Bloggers?

Ti-Guy said...

Why don't we get these scienticians to revive the Space Elevator and have the dry ice put into low orbit?

bigcitylib said...

That question is for Steve, by the way.

Anonymous said...

Humm, I am not so sure about it sinking in the ocean. I seem to recall from playing with it with the kids in the lab at work that it is pretty close to neutral - and that is fresh water (warm fresh as well since we were using it to drive a toy boat).

Of course if this was to work, you would need the technology to inject it at a great depth because if it was too close to the surface the water temperature would sublimate it. More to the point, as it was boiling off, the bubbles could stick to the surface of the dry ice and be enough to cause it to rise (until it reached the surface where the bubbles pop and it sinks again). I think it would be a beautiful sight, all these large chunks of dry ice bobbing up and down in the ocean. Of course shipping might not like the idea of icebergs that rise from the depths of the ocean but I am probably just being silly now ;-)

John Cross

Anonymous said...

Why bother messing with all that plant food

Kind of interesting. France has had the third worst summer in recorded history, only 1954 and 1977 were more miserable. Most of the nation has been much wetter and considerably cooler than historical averages.

It's official: France's rainy, grey and generally cold summer has been the worst for the past 30 years, the weather service said Friday, but tourist arrivals were the highest in five years. July and August were wet across two-thirds of the country while the Mediterranean region was too dry, said Frederic Nathan, meteorologist at Meteo France. "Yes we can say that it was a rotten summer," said Nathan. But the summers of 1954 and 1977 were worse, he added..

..Rainfall in northwestern France reached record levels, with cities like Le Havre registering 21 days of rain in July, beating the previous record of 16 in 1980. In the northern city of Caen in Normandy, the weather service registered 592 hours of sunshine from May 1st to August 21, well below the average of 809 hours. Temperatures on the Atlantic coast have been on average two or three degrees Celsius below seasonal averages, said Jean-Marc Le Gallic from Meteo France.

Britain has also had a miserably wet and cold summer. Interesting, no?

Anonymous said...

...No amount of playing with it seems to help.

Jay said...

"Why bother messing with all that plant food"

I see still some idiots cling to this claim. How ridiculous. Yes it is food but so is everything on this planet that occurs naturally. Something or other eats, drinks, or needs it for some reason. Its called evolving to be suited to the environment you are in. Life built itself out of what was available.

But lets look at your assertion. The same can be said for most anything, even the ones you actually know something about. You need iron for your blood. Go eat a lot of it and see where that gets you. You also need oxygen, go breath pure oxygen for a bit and see where it gets you. Its like poison where you have a lethal dose and an amount that causes no harm.

What a doorknob. Your absolute ignorance on this subject matter is quite alarming. How far did you get in school anyways? Colouring in Kindergarten? Old fool.

Ti-Guy said...

Ding dong is just a script running on one of the AEI's computers.

Oldschool said...

The postulated global warming simply cannot be caused by man-made CO2. You have to distinguish between global warming, an occurrence that has demonstrably happened over and over again in earth’s history, something that the climate experts are debating, and the politically loaded anthropogenic part. Just ask some of the 800 “authors” of the IPPC report to produce just one reference, you would discover that there is not one paper in the peer reviewed heat transfer or thermodynamic literature that shows the causal relationship between the presumably observed and, especially, forecasted global warming and the increased CO2 at the 300 parts per million levels. Correlation does not prove causation. That’s what I thought until now. I am even willing to accept that global warming can cause enhanced CO2 in the atmosphere by reducing the solubility of the gas in the oceans. But the other way around is what is at issue. By the way ExxonMobil in a well publicized move a few years ago gave $100 million to Stanford University to study global warming issues. Much of that money went to environmentalist type projects. First, oil companies should love the rhetoric of global warming. They would be watching with glee. If the public is conditioned to believe in alternatives such as wind at $200 per barrel of oil equivalent or solar at $1,000, if taxes are supposed to force conservation while the public uses more and more energy, guess what gift is handed to those that manage oil and gas. The reason we use those energy sources is not because of some ideological propensity. They are the easiest and cheapest to use. The profits margins of oil companies will soar in a preposterously legislated remedy-global-warming future. Environmentalist silliness will strengthen the presumed devils all the while preventing the market to develop into real technologies and alternatives. Solar and wind will never do that. Second, while slogans and magazine articles lament what they consider to be a looming catastrophe, other than saying oil, gas and coal are bad for you, they are not really suggesting what else can be done because if they did they would quickly find the insurmountable costs. Unless committing economic suicide is what’s in their mind. If the recent virtual economy hiccup can cause the problem that it did, imagine what a forced energy supply disruption will mean for the world. Sequestering just the expected incremental CO2 between today’s levels and 2030 will require 1.7 million wells at a cost of over $7 trillion. Alternative energy sources will cost more. I am sure that all this nonsense will be swept away by the economy and reality. There is no need to worry. Oil and gas will be the dominant sources of energy for another 50 years, at least.

Jay said...

Blah blah blah. Your inability to understand pretty much anything does not make you correct because you think you are.

You are still trying to hammer away talking points that have been disproven over and over again.

Do yourself and everyone hear a massive favour and compare your delusional rantings to information found at before spouting of on anyones blog.

It'll save everyone from having to roll their eyes at such ignorance and might actually make you look like you still have something in your head.

Oldschool said...

Jay . . . why don't you just post all "your" scientific evidence for "anthropogenic" global warming . . . or do you even know what that means???
I means GW caused by man's activities on the planet!!! . . . so now go find the evidence . . . you would be the first!!!
You can "believe" anything you want . . . but don't critize others who don't want to join your "church".
I am still waiting for the "Scientific Proof"!!!

Ti-Guy said...

You can't understand science, Unschooled, so it won't matter what evidence is supplied to you.

How much does Exxon pay you anyway and how can I get in on the action? I'd be a much more effective paid shill, since I can write coherently and understand science. I could lie more convincingly about it

Oldschool said...

Why is it that you guys screem "Denier" but never present any evidence for your conversion to the church of ALGOAR???
I wait and wait for you to present the facts . ..surely you can get just a couple. All of the worlds scientists agree with you . . . right!!! So where's your stuff??

Here's a somewhat educated guy that seems to agree with me . . .

Claude Allegre a French geophysicist, a member of both the French and the National -- United States National Academy of Scientists. This is a quote: "The cause of warming" -- this is a guy that marched up and down the street 10 years ago saying manmade gases are going to bring the world to an end. He now says that after studying the science, the new science: "The cause of warming is unknown. The proponents of manmade catastrophic global warming are being motivated by money."

The current global warming is the governments fault.
When the scientists were screaming about global cooling, the government forced Detroit to build SUV's and used evil methods to get buyers to rush to the dealers and purchase them.
The government also forced air conditioner manufacturers to make products that leaked freon. Aerosol manufactureres were required to use propelant containing CFC's.
Along the way, they were able to throw untold profits to the oil companies who provided fuel for the SUV's, made large campaign donations to politicians and paid sinfull bonuses to their directors.
It's too bad the government wasn't around during all the ice ages. They could have ended them much earlier.
The government saved the world from global cooling and the scientists are still not satisfied. What do they want now, more global cooling?

bigcitylib said...


Same old names, same old games. Allegre hasn't done any science for years; he's basically a politician these days. He also thinks the Kilimangero glacier has retreated during the last 100 years due to "Geological uplift"--mountain making, essentially--a process that takes millions of years.

Anonymous said...

Hey oldschool, I gave you evidence that humans emit much more CO2 than volcanoes do, and you never responded. How come you haven't admitted you were wrong?

Rick said...

name calling doesn't help your arguments. It weakens them.

Anonymous said...

Hey Old school

"The thermodynamic or heat transfer lit."

The relevant field is called "radiative transfer" or "spectroscopy". Your point (even if it is true..depends what journals you would include in the category of thermodynamic or heat transfer) is like saying there is no paper in the optics literature showing a link between overeating and gaining fat.

Ti-Guy said...

Why was oldschool fairly literate and coherent at 3:03 and then completely retarded at 3:41?

Different people sharing the same account, obviously. That deserves a bitch-slapping, oldschool.

Anonymous said...

In no way excusing it, want to make sure you understand that this type of rhetoric game and sophistry is used by your side as well. To me, what matters is truth. Not Pravda.

bigcitylib said...

Examples, TCO?

Oldschool said...

"The thermodynamic or heat transfer lit." . . . is it theory . . . where is this happening . . . we have warmed up a tiny fraction of a degree globally since the 1970's.

Myths of GW - by real scientists!!

A 221-Year Temperature History of the Southwest Coast of Greenland Reference
Vinther, B.M., Andersen, K.K., Jones, P.D., Briffa, K.R. and Cappelen, J. 2006. Extending Greenland temperature records into the late eighteenth century. Journal of Geophysical Research 111: 10.1029/2005JD006810.

What was done
Combining early observational records from 13 locations along the southern and western coasts of Greenland, the authors extended the overall temperature history of the region - which stretches from approximately 60 to 73°N latitude - all the way back to AD 1784, adding temperatures for 74 complete winters and 52 complete summers to what was previously available to the public.

What was learned
In the words of the authors, "two distinct cold periods, following the 1809 'unidentified' volcanic eruption and the eruption of Tambora in 1815, [made] the 1810s the coldest decade on record." The warmest period, however, was not the last quarter century, when climate alarmists claim the earth experienced a warming that was unprecedented over the past two millennia. Rather, as Vinther et al. report, "the warmest year in the extended Greenland temperature record [was] 1941, while the 1930s and 1940s [were] the warmest decades." In fact, their newly-lengthened record reveals there has been no net warming of the region over the last 75 years!

What it means
With approximately half the study region located above the Arctic Circle (where CO2-induced global warming is suggested by climate models to be most evident and earliest expressed), one would expect to see southwestern coastal Greenland's air temperature responding vigorously to the 75-ppm increase in the atmosphere's CO2 concentration that has occurred since 1930, even if the models were only half-way correct. However, there has been no net change in air temperature there in response to the 25% increase in the air's CO2 content experienced over that period. And this is the region the world's climate alarmists refer to as a climatological canary in a coal mine??? If it is, real-world data suggest that the greenhouse effect of CO2 has been hugely overestimated.

Imagine that . . . volcanoes changing the weather. Remember back in the early 90's when Mt Pinatubo in the Phillipines errupted and cooled the planet for a couple of years??

When oceans warm the emit more CO2 . . . when they cool they absorb CO2 . . . question is "what warmed the oceans?" it could not have been the CO2 cause it had not been released!!!

bigcitylib said...

Jesus, Oldschool, you've been posting here for months now and all you can come up with is material from Timothy "Cue" Ball and his discredited astroturf oil-bought brothers at Friends of Science. Are you trying to convince ME of this stuff, or just hoping you can confuse some poor naif that cruises by by accident?

Oldschool said...

A little update on CO2 by Dr. Peter Jonker . . .

Let's talk a little bit about CO2, that villain gas. Actually, CO2 is a pretty sorry global warming gas. If it were a good one, we would be using it in all kinds of heat exchange equipment all over the world today. Ever wonder why we don't? I'll tell you: because it's one hell of a lousy candidate for the transfer of heat. Anyone who has studied thermodynamics even one semester knows this. Unfortunately, the sociologists, Chinese herbal medicine folks, landscape architects, surgeons, and the like, who make up the Clinton/Gore team of global warming "experts" haven't a clue about this branch of science. And I'm not making this up: these are in fact some of the "experts" on which the Administration relies. It's a pretty sorry state of affairs as far as I am concerned. Where are the skeptics among the journalists? Where is their outrage at this hoax being perpetrated? Why are all of them falling for this global warming nonsense hook, line and sinker?

Back to science. If you want a substance that does a great job in heat transfer applications, water is your answer, that same substance that's so plentiful in our atmosphere and on our planet (and that same substance about which we have been told by 46% of those poor gullible souls interviewed by the Idaho highschool student that it should be banned, because "dihydrogenmonoxide" does all kinds of nasty things (reported in PE Today a few weeks ago)).

For the record, CO2 levels in the atmosphere have historically changed without human input or intervention. Moreover, rises in temperature have historically preceded increases in carbon dioxide, not the other way around. I'd say that pokes two more rather large holes in the whole theory that CO2 is to blame.

Guess what growers do: they inject CO2 into their greenhouses because the stuff promotes plant growth. We need more CO2, not less, because it not only promotes growth, but also helps plants resist drought and disease. Let's not forget that, while all this BS is being flung around about global warming, not a single person has died from it, while millions have starved to death. More CO2 and better crop growth might have saved many of these poor souls. Am I the only one who sees something terribly wrong with this picture? Again, where is the outrage? At the very least shouldn't journalists be raising a bunch of questions? I guess when the state of California rebuffs the offer by three Nobel laureates and their team to, free of charge, put together new standards for science curricula for public education in the state, I shouldn't be too surprised. Frankly, it makes me sick.

I mentioned earlier that manmade CO2 is only a small fraction of the total CO2 present in the atmosphere. Precisely how much I'm not sure. Dr. Dixie Lee Ray, former head of the Atomic Energy Commission, former Governor of the State of Washington, and one of the straightest shooters that ever served the US in an official capacity, says it's seven billion tons per year, versus nature that puts out 200 billion tons per year. In my calculations that led to the 0.2% figure I used above, I assumed 10% as the manmade contribution. Dr. Ray's figures show it's more like 3.5% (which would make my case even stronger!). In addition, as she indicates, the CO2 that's bound in limestone worldwide is thousands of times higher than what's in the atmosphere, and she concludes by saying "the earth exudes carbon dioxide". I ask again, how much are we going to accomplish by cutting out all manmade CO2? One really does not have to be a rocket scientist to conclude doing so would be foolish, futile and farfetched.

Incidentally, in my role as an appointed member of EPA's Clean Air Act Advisory Committee, I hear all kinds of things from EPA staff, including the announcement two weeks ago that EPA is also going to focus its global warming efforts on SF6, a gas they say has a very high global warming effect. I find this fascinating, yet disheartening. SF6 may have this capability, but why be concerned about it at all? The concentration of that gas in the atmosphere is so small and its occurrence so rare, that we can hardly find it, even when we look for it. We use this gas in tracer studies to help us determine the fate of emissions in the atmosphere precisely BECAUSE it is so rare! When you pick it up on your instruments, you KNOW it has been deliberately emitted. How completely idiotic to be concerned about it as a global warming actor. It goes to show, again, that it is politics, not science, that drives the global warming agenda.

Lastly, there is something seriously wrong with the whole CO2 balance in the atmosphere: a whole bunch of the stuff cannot be accounted for! What's going on here? Could it be that all the dihydrogenmonoxide that covers the planet Earth is absorbing more than we had thought? Or maybe plants are tying up more of it in their cells. Personally I think that, as with most natural systems, there's an equilibrium at work here: the more CO2 is produced, the more plants grow, thus the more CO2 is removed from the atmosphere via photosynthesis. Some recent work seems to bear this out. Bottom line on CO2: what we know about the role of CO2 in weather and climate is pretty lousy; by no means enough to base the expenditure of trillions of dollars on.

In closing, let me quote a few passages from a statement signed by 55 of the world's most respected atmospheric scientists, in their "statement of principle", issued before the Rio UN Conference on global warming in 1992: "highly uncertain scientific theories", "unsupported assumption that catastrophic global warming follows from the burning of fossil fuels and requires immediate action", "there is no consensus about the cause of the slight warming observed during the past century", "the majority of scientific participants in the survey agreed that the theoretical climate models used to predict a future warming cannot be relied upon and are not validated by the existing climate record", and "we are disturbed that activists, anxious to stop energy and economic growth, are pushing ahead with drastic policies without taking notice of recent changes in the underlying science. We fear that the rush to impose global regulations will have catastrophic impacts on the world economy, on jobs, standards of living, and health care, with the most severe consequences falling upon developing countries and the poor". [If you haven't seen this before, blame some of your journalistic compadres who apparently don't believe in balanced reporting and systematically cut out the reporting of any voice against global warming. I guess "if it bleeds, it leads" is still how the press operates.]

With regard to the last quote, remember that poverty is the most significant predictor of premature death. Do we take trillions of dollars that could be spent on issues such as poverty, to waste on a theoretical event that has not killed anyone and is unlikely to do so in the future, based on a virtual total lack of data? I know what my answer is. What's yours?

Dr. Peter Jonker is employed by Southern California Gas and is a member of EPA's Clean Air Act Advisory Committee.

Ultimate global warming challenge If you think it's a no-brainer that humans are causing catastrophic global warming, here's your opportunity to earn an easy US $100,000!


First person to prove it, wins it! For the challenge and contest rules see

Oldschool said...

But Lib . . . you come up with nothin . . . just old lines from al's movie . . . no facts not even a lousey computer model . . . you folks need to do your homework, but guess they don't have that at school anymore either.

Anonymous said...


Don't you see any?

How about Katrina whining?

bigcitylib said...


No I don't. Lay it on me man.

goatchurch said...

The actual plan is about a process which involves injecting CO2 into depleted oil reservoirs to force the last hard-to-get oil out.

The oil companies then had this amazing idea to call it "carbon sequestration" and get our taxes to pay for it.

This should be laughed at rather than taken seriously.

On the matter of dry ice, please refer to the laws of thermodynamics. Energy is obtained by heat transfer towards a more chaotic state. It is likely that more energy would be required to freeze the exhaust gasses than was gained from burning the fuel.

Anonymous said...

BCL: I think it's a common behaviour. Common failing to use rhetoric and sophistry to advance one's ends. I would not assume your side is pure. Just look at htat dude (can't remember the name) who talked about PR versus science. Crap can't remember name. But it gets cited all the time. Or even look at the common cause of boosting peak oil theory and AGW. If you want to influence an action, that's fine. But if you want to analyze a situation, then the more oil peaks, the less AGW can be driven. (You might cite the switch to coal, but if that occurs so easily, then if that happens so seamlessly for AGW, it's a point against peak oil (ready substitutes).

This is going to read rambly, I think.

Hits publish your comment...

Anonymous said...

Making a bruhaha about each individual freak storm, heat wave, etc. is sophistry by AGW side. They now that the weather is highly variable normally, so that it is a crap argument to look at some individual pattern as any indication of AGW. But it sure plays better than dry stuff about radiative forcings.

Anonymous said...

Any way, just keep your eyes open on your own them like a hawk.

Anonymous said...

hey, I don't believe you Anthro GW guys and I bust my butt with no A/C, slowing to 100 kph and pushing a rotary lawnmower.
But what do I know?
I'm not the one you need to try to convince.
Try convincing those who fly past me at 130 kph in SUV's.
There are plenty and I bet most of us in the right lane don't believe in anthro GW as well. We jes' wanna save some dough.
Most people talk a good game but won't give up the things the anthro GW'armers say we have to get rid of.
Government can't mandate it either. Mugabe is trying and the Soviets tried to mandate human behaviour.
Can you not accept yet that it doesn't work?
If GW is real it jes' means life will change for many humans...just the same as it has changed for many years.
We in the west think we can bend the facts of nature to make it great for everyone. Just wonder they are at the front of the GW bandwagon.

Anonymous said...

Sorry, bcl, but I didn't come back to look at the thread for a couple of days. I would suggest Gristmill and Deltoid in particular, and hope it gets picked up from there. Probably you would need to be able to provide the whole text verbatim, though.

Anonymous said...

Steve Bloom, please take it to our secret coordination listserv.

Anonymous said...

I give two to one odds that "Oldschool" is a Larouchite.

Anonymous said...

I like the idea of the space elevator, though I don't think the low orbit idea is a very good one. We certainly don't want it re-entering the atmosphere.

Another idea (from Robert Heinlein?) is to use a giant rail gun to shoot the dry ice off into space at escape velocity.

Alternatively, we could store all the dry ice at George Bush's ranch (or under his couch where he keeps his WMD).

Unknown said...

...Andre Bijkerk (who I know nothing about)...

Try google that works

I live here: