Monthly Archives: October 2019

Polystyrene oxidized, converted by sunlight to CO2 and water

Collin P. Ward, Cassia, J. Armstrong, Anna N. Walsh, Julia H. Jackson, and Christopher M. Reddy. Sunlight Converts Polystyrene to Carbon Dioxide and Dissolved Organic Carbon. Environ. Sci. Technol. Lett. XXXX, XXX, XXX−XXX DOI: 10.1021/acs.estlett.9b00532 

Numerous international governmental agencies that steer policy assume that polystyrene persists in the environment for millennia. Here, we show that polystyrene is completely photochemically oxidized to carbon dioxide and partially photochemically oxidized to dissolved organic carbon. Lifetimes of complete and partial photochemical oxidation are estimated to occur on centennial and decadal time scales, respectively. These lifetimes are orders of magnitude faster than biological respiration of polystyrene and thus challenge the prevailing assumption that polystyrene persists in the environment for millennia. Additives disproportionately altered the relative susceptibility to complete and partial photochemical oxidation of polystyrene and accelerated breakdown by shifting light absorbance and reactivity to longer wavelengths. Polystyrene photochemical oxidation increased approximately 25% with a 10 °C increase in temperature, indicating that temperature is unlikely to be a primary driver of photochemical oxidation rates. Collectively, sunlight exposure appears to be a governing control of the environmental persistence of polystyrene, and thus, photochemical loss terms need to be included in mass balance studies on the environmental fate of polystyrene. The experimental framework presented herein should be applied to a diverse array of polymers and formulations to establish how general these results are for other plastics in the environment.

Wind energy is an unsustainable energy technology

“Cronies live and die by the government sword,” Bradley said. “Each and every wind project depends on large tax subsidies as well as preferential federal regulations to be built.” click here

“…demands made by Greta Thunberg would put global prosperity at risk and exacerbate world hunger.”

In the interview Vahrenholt, a leading founder of Germany’s modern environmental movement, tells the NDR that following the demands made by Greta Thunberg would put global prosperity at risk and exacerbate world hunger. He says the amazing improvement human society has seen over the last 100 years is thanks to “reliable energy supplies”.

The measured average earth temperature is >1 degree lower than theoretically calculated values

There’s no doubt it’s gotten warmer since 1850, the peak of the Little Ice Age. But it’s clear nobody knows what the globe’s real average temperature is. Figures are being wildly tossed around. If we are to believe the IPCC’s 14.7°C figure, then we are still too cool and there is absolutely no warming crisis. click here

If temperature data does not match the theory, the data is changed to prove the theory

Ocean debris originates from ships, not from land

Peter G. Ryan, Ben J. Dilley, Robert A. Ronconi, and Maëlle Connan. Rapid increase in Asian bottles in the South Atlantic Ocean indicates major debris inputs from ships, PNAS, October 15, 2019, 116(42), 20892-20897; https://doi.org/10.1073/pnas.1909816116

Most plastic debris floating at sea is thought to come from land-based sources, but there is little direct evidence to support this assumption. Since 1984, stranded debris has been recorded along the west coast of Inaccessible Island, a remote, uninhabited island in the central South Atlantic Ocean that has a very high macrodebris load (∼5 kg·m−1). Plastic drink bottles show the fastest growth rate, increasing at 15% per year compared with 7% per year for other debris types. In 2018, we examined 2,580 plastic bottles and other containers (one-third of all debris items) that had accumulated on the coast, and a further 174 bottles that washed ashore during regular monitoring over the course of 72 d (equivalent to 800 bottles·km−1·y−1). The oldest container was a high-density polyethylene canister made in 1971, but most were polyethylene terephthalate drink bottles of recent manufacture. Of the bottles that washed up during our survey, 90% were date-stamped within 2 y of stranding. In the 1980s, two-thirds of bottles derived from South America, carried 3,000 km by the west wind drift. By 2009, Asia had surpassed South America as the major source of bottles, and by 2018, Asian bottles comprised 73% of accumulated and 83% of newly arrived bottles, with most made in China. The rapid growth in Asian debris, mainly from China, coupled with the recent manufacture of these items, indicates that ships are responsible for most of the bottles floating in the central South Atlantic Ocean, in contravention of International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from Ships regulations.

Are historical data-based climate sensitivity estimates more reliable than speculation?

If historical data-based climate sensitivity estimates are unreliable, then how reliable is a critique based on historical data? Seems to me these authors have fallen into their own pit of questionable reliability. The same considerations they raise can (and should) be raised regarding their own work.  Click here for more discussion on this paper.

“We speculate that this could be explained by a deficiency in simulated coupled atmosphere–ocean feedbacks which reinforce the pattern (resembling the Interdecadal Pacific Oscillation in some respects) that causes the low EffCS.” click here