A coalition of local, regional, and national groups sent a letter to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) today underscoring further scientific evidence that supports their opposition to the proposed Dominion Cove Point LNG export terminal on the Chesapeake Bay. The letter alerts FERC to the latest hurricane forecast from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), revealing that the area will be subject to increasingly strong storms this season. In another report sent to FERC, a panel of 21 scientists commissioned by Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley predicts rising seas of more than 2 feet along the state's shoreline in the next 40 years—and perhaps nearly 6 feet by the end of the century. An additional report on climate adaptation prepared by the IPIECA, a global oil and gas industry association, highlights the growing consensus that industry must address and respond to climate change in planning infrastructure projects.
|Me with a Toadfish, Gas Docks in background|
For each of the years, NOAA’s prediction range is about equal to one standard deviation, which implies a 1/3 chance of being right provided it is near the mean. Thus, if they were going by chance, then they should have had 13 (39/3) correct; instead, they were right 16 times. Unfortunately, because of the small data set, we can only say that they are better than chance at about the 80% level. In addition, they under-predicted 10 times and over-predicted 13 times, so there is a very slight tendency to over-predict.
I would like to propose that if sea level hasn't risen 2 feet in the next 40 years, the scientists who made the prediction be fired. But of course, that can't happen because they're be retired and forgotten (the ones that haven't died of old age).
Of course, the reason the groups oppose the opening of the gas docks for natural gas export (they were originally designed, and used until recently for gas imports) is that they are afraid it will encourage fracking for natural gas in Pennsylvania and other northeast states (it's currently blocked in Maryland and New York).
Fracking will have negligible impacts on sea level rise, which has not been seen to actually rise any faster in response to increased CO2 emissions. A long list of assumptions is necessary to translate CO2 emissions into sea level rise, and to date, those links do not seem to be operating as predicted.
In any event, the natural gas from fracking will produce less net CO2 emissions than producing the same energy from the only other source likely to be able to produce the amounts needed for the world's economy.
|See the effect of CO2? Me neither...|