Disclaimer. After nearly 40 years managing money for some of the largest life offices and investment managers in the world, I think I have something to offer. These days I'm retired, and I can't by law give you advice. I do make mistakes, but I try hard to do my analysis thoroughly, and to make sure my data are correct. Remember: the unexpected sometimes happens. The expected does too, but all too often it takes longer than you thought it would.

The Goddess of Markets punishes (eventually) greed, folly, laziness and arrogance. No matter how many years you've served Her. Take care. Be humble. And don't blame me.

BTW, clicking on most charts will produce the original-sized, i.e., bigger version.

Monday, March 19, 2018

Lowest winter Arctic ice extent

The chart below is very telling.

Source: Eric Holthaus
Each decade, the annual (winter) max of sea ice has fallen.  The purple line shows the average for 2010-2017,  and as you can see, 2018 is even lower.  In fact, record lows.

Why does this matter?  Well, apart from evidence that global warming is continuing decade by decade, the warming of the arctic makes severe winter storms in the NE USA 2 to 4 tim4es more likely.  This is probably because the polar vortex is weakened, though researchers still need to do more research about that. 

 “Our statistical analysis shows that one is more likely to be struck by lightning, attacked by a shark, and win the Powerball all at the same time than the possibility of severe winter weather in the northeastern US not being related to Arctic temperatures,” Cohen says.

[Read more here]

The evidence that the world is warming and that it is already having serious climate and economic consequences just keeps mounting.  It's not enough to promise zero emissions in 2050.  That's too far away.  Pious protestations of future virtue are not enough.  We must set out a year-by-year target.   For example, we should decide to make electricity generation 100% green in 20 years' time, i.e., by 2038.  To reach that target, every year 5% of generation capacity would need to be converted away from coal or gs to renewables.  To set a year-by-year target makes it more likely that we will achieve our long term target. 

Sunday, March 11, 2018

Arctic sea ice at seasonal record lows


As temperatures at the North Pole approached the melting point at the end of February, Arctic sea ice extent tracked at record low levels for this time of year. Extent was low on both the Atlantic and Pacific sides of the Arctic, with open water areas expanding rapidly in the Bering Sea during the latter half of the month. On the other side of the globe, Antarctic sea ice has reached its minimum extent for the year, the second lowest in the satellite record.

Winter continues to be mild over the Arctic Ocean. Sea ice extent remained at record low daily levels for the month. Arctic sea ice extent for February 2018 averaged 13.95 million square kilometers (5.39 million square miles). This is the lowest monthly average  recorded for February, 1.35 million square kilometers (521,000 square miles) below the 1981 to 2010 average and 160,000 square kilometers (62,000) below the previous record low monthly average in 2017.

[Read more here]

EVs now at 80 MPG

From Green Car Reports:

More good news about electric cars in the U.S.: the emissions associated with the electricity used to charge them have fallen.


Based on the latest data on powerplant emissions from the EPA, an electric car on the road in the U.S. now has average emissions as low as an 80-mpg car.
That figure is sales-weighted, meaning it takes into account where electric cars exist today in the U.S.

But that 80-mpg average translates to emissions 10 percent lower than even last year's average, which was 73 mpg—demonstrating that every time any powerplant gets cleaner, so does every single electric car that plugs into the grid it supplies. 

[Read more here]

The greening of the grid needs to go hand in hand with the electrification of transport.  And that is exactly what's happening.  In principle, switching all electricity generation to renewables and all surface transport to electric would cut emissions by 70% or more (land clearing and  forest burning would remain the biggest source of CO2 after that, followed by cement and iron steel manufacture, and sea and air transport).  It's doable.  And vital.

Thursday, March 8, 2018

Big jump in US EV/PHEV sales

As always, the source of the base data is InsideEVs for EV/PHEV sales and the St Louis Fed for car sales.  I have seasonally adjusted the underlying data, using my variant of the NBER's X-11 program.  InsideEvs is having trouble estimating EV sales because some manufacturers now refuse to split out EV/PHEV sales (presumably because it's too embarrassing), so they haven't yet provided an update for global EV sales (although I now have better data for total global car sales, including data for 2017). So I haven't updated the global charts. 

On a seasonally adjusted basis (there's seasonal strength in November/December and weakness in January/February) US EV/PHEV sales are growing strongly, as is their percentage of total car sales.  The growth slowdown in 2017 while the market waited for the production ramp up the Tesla Model 3 and the new Nissan Leaf is well and truly over.

Trump landfill

A cartoon by Tom Toles of the Washington Post