Oil Demand and Supply Reaches Landmark 100 Million Barrels a Day
Neither demand nor supply shows signs of ceasing to grow any time soon, the Paris-based organization said.
The oil market report is a sobering reminder that the world remains deeply entrenched in fossil fuels, despite clear scientific evidence—including this week's dire climate report from the United Nations' scientific panel—that increasing carbon dioxide emissions could cause catastrophic climate change.
"In fact, production has surged, led by the US shale revolution, and supported by big increases in Brazil, Canada and elsewhere," the IEA said. "There is no peak in sight for demand either. The drivers of demand remain very powerful, with petrochemicals being a major factor."
"It's an extraordinary achievement for the global oil industry to meet the needs of a 100mb/d market, but today we… https://t.co/Mfd0asT2z1— IEA (@IEA)1539335879.0
Last week, the IEA released a study that found that rising living standards, particularly in developing countries, will drive a demand in petrochemicals, not fuels. Petrochemicals, which create products such as plastics, fertilizers and packaging, will account for more than 33 percent of oil demand growth globally by 2030, the study said.
However, with oil prices now above $80 per barrel and oil, gas and coal trading at multi-year highs, the IEA warned in today's market report that "expensive energy is back ... and it poses a threat to economic growth."
The United Nations' climate change report, authored by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, says urgent global action is needed to keep global warming under 1.5°C—a limit that is achievable if we rapidly reduce the use of fossil fuels and transition to increasingly affordable renewable energy.
A January report from the International Renewable Energy Agency—the IEA's renewable energy counterpart—found that renewables have emerged as an increasingly competitive way to meet new power generation needs, and they are expected to be consistently cheaper than fossil fuels in just a few years.
The question is, when will this oil addiction cease? The globe's consumption of 100 million barrels per day is more than twice what it was 50 years ago, Reuters reported last month, adding that demand is rising by up to 1.5 percent a year.
"There is no consensus on when world oil demand will peak but it is clear much depends on how governments respond to global warming," Reuters wrote.
The Link Between Fossil Fuels, Single-Use Plastics and Climate Change https://t.co/dNvbx9e4r9 @PlasticPollutes @GreenNewsDaily— EcoWatch (@EcoWatch)1525383607.0
Sweden's reindeer have a problem. In winter, they feed on lichens buried beneath the snow. But the climate crisis is making this difficult. Warmer temperatures mean moisture sometimes falls as rain instead of snow. When the air refreezes, a layer of ice forms between the reindeer and their meal, forcing them to wander further in search of ideal conditions. And sometimes, this means crossing busy roads.
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By Aaron W Hunter
A chance discovery of a beautifully preserved fossil in the desert landscape of Morocco has solved one of the great mysteries of biology and paleontology: how starfish evolved their arms.
The Pompeii of palaeontology. Aaron Hunter, Author provided<h2></h2><p>Although starfish might appear very robust animals, they are typically made up of lots of hard parts attached by ligaments and soft tissue which, upon death, quickly degrade. This means we rely on places like the Fezouata formations to provide snapshots of their evolution.</p><p>The starfish fossil record is patchy, especially at the critical time when many of these animal groups first appeared. Sorting out how each of the various types of ancient starfish relate to each other is like putting a puzzle together when many of the parts are missing.</p><h2>The Oldest Starfish</h2><p><em><a href="https://www.biorxiv.org/content/10.1101/216101v1.full.pdf" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">Cantabrigiaster</a></em> is the most primitive starfish-like animal to be discovered in the fossil record. It was discovered in 2003, but it has taken over 17 years to work out its true significance.</p><p>What makes <em>Cantabrigiaster</em> unique is that it lacks almost all the characteristics we find in brittle stars and starfish.</p><p>Starfish and brittle stars belong to the family Asterozoa. Their ancestors, the Somasteroids were especially fragile - before <em>Cantabrigiaster</em> we only had a handful of specimens. The celebrated Moroccan paleontologist Mohamed <a href="https://doi.org/10.1016/j.palaeo.2016.06.041" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">Ben Moula</a> and his local team was instrumental in discovering <a href="https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0031018216302334?via%3Dihub" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">these amazing fossils</a> near the town of Zagora, in Morocco.</p><h2>The Breakthrough</h2><p>Our breakthrough moment came when I compared the arms of <em>Cantabrigiaster</em> with those of modern sea lilles, filter feeders with long feathery arms that tend to be attached to the sea floor by a stem or stalk.</p><p>The striking similarity between these modern filter feeders and the ancient starfish led our team from the University of Cambridge and Harvard University to create a new analysis. We applied a biological model to the features of all the current early Asterozoa fossils in existence, along with a sample of their closest relatives.</p>
Cantabrigiaster is the most primitive starfish-like animal to be discovered in the fossil record. Aaron Hunter, Author provided<p>Our results demonstrate <em>Cantabrigiaster</em> is the most primitive of all the Asterozoa, and most likely evolved from ancient animals called crinoids that lived 250 million years before dinosaurs. The five arms of starfish are a relic left over from these ancestors. In the case of <em>Cantabrigiaster</em>, and its starfish descendants, it evolved by flipping upside-down so its arms are face down on the sediment to feed.</p><p>Although we sampled a relatively small numbers of those ancestors, one of the unexpected outcomes was it provided an idea of how they could be related to each other. Paleontologists studying echinoderms are often lost in detail as all the different groups are so radically different from each other, so it is hard to tell which evolved first.</p>
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