Daily Archives March 11, 2016


The annual mean absorbed solar radiation (ASR) and outgoing long-wave radiation (OLR) are shown in Fig. 3. Most of the atmosphere is relatively transpar­ent to solar radiation, with the most notable exception being clouds. At the surface, snow and ice have a high albedo and consequently absorb little incoming radiation. Therefore, the main departures in the ASR from what would be expected simply from the sun-earth geometry are the signatures of persistent clouds...

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Effects of Clouds

Clouds also absorb and emit thermal radiation and have a blanketing effect similar to that of greenhouse gases. However, clouds are also bright reflectors of solar radiation and thus also act to cool the surface. Although on average there is strong cancellation between the two opposing effects of short-wave and long-wave cloud heating, the net global effect of clouds in our current climate, as determined by space-based measurements, is a small cooling of the surface. A key issue is how clouds will change as climate changes. This issue is complicated by the fact that clouds are also strongly influenced by particulate pollution, which tends to make more smaller cloud droplets, and thus makes clouds brighter and more reflective of solar radiation...

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Mirroring an important international trend, Saudi and other Middle East producers will find competi­tion for growing Asian markets from Russia, which in the aftermath of the September 11 attacks has made clear its intentions to increase oil and gas production with an eye to enhancing exports to the West and Northeast Asia.

Russian firms have been able to marshal capital on their own to revive the Russian oil industry, and Russian oil production rose by more than 640,000 barrels/day from September 2000 to September 2001. The following year, Russian production rose nearly 600,000 barrels/day, from 6.95 million barrels/day in December 2001 to 7.55 million barrels/day in August 2002. Russian production continued to rise to 8.385 million barrels/day by September 2003...

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World oil demand is expected to rise at a rate of roughly 1.5 to 2.0% per annum over the next two decades, from about 76.4 million barrels/day in 2001






to 89 million barrels/day in 2010 and 104 million barrels/day by 2020, according to WEO 2002. During this same period, Asian demand is antici­pated to increase from 28 to 35% of total world demand. Asia’s oil consumption, at more than 19 million barrels/day, already exceeds that of the United States. Currently, only approximately 40% of Asia’s oil supplies are produced inside the region.

By 2010, total Asian oil consumption could reach 25 million to 30 million barrels/day, of which 18 million to 24 million barrels/day will have to be imported from outside the region. Asian oil demand averaged 21...

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Much ink has been spilled chronicling the world’s rising dependence on Middle East oil. According to WEO 2001, more than 60% of the world’s remain­ing conventional oil reserves are concentrated in the Middle East. A quarter of these reserves sit in Saudi Arabia alone. The Middle East is currently supplying more than one-third of world oil demand (Fig. 3).

This percentage could rise significantly in the future, depending on policies in consumer countries and on the pace of development of new resources and technologies. The IEA forecasts that the Middle East share of world oil supply will rise to more than 40% by 2020 under its World Energy Outlook 2000 (WEO 2000) reference case. The U. S...

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Geopolitics of Energy


Rice University

Houston, Texas, United States

1. Introduction

2. The Stubborn Reality of the Middle East

3. World Demand Trends

4. Enter Russia

5. The Importance of U. S. Growth to Oil Producers

6. OPEC Capacity Expansion

7. Consumer Country Power in a Deregulated Setting

8. Consumer Country Strategies


Anthropologic Belonging to the scientific study of the origin, behavior, and physical, social, and cultural development of humans.

biomass Plant material, vegetation, or agricultural waste used as a fuel or an energy source.

carbon intensive Having a high content of carbon, a primary element that when burned produces carbon dioxide, which in great amounts can produce changes to the global climate.

externality An intended or unintended cost resulting from a government...

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The Greenhouse Effect

Some of the infrared radiation leaving the atmo­sphere originates near the earth’s surface and is transmitted relatively unimpeded through the atmo­sphere; this is the radiation from areas where there are no clouds and which is present in the part of the spectrum known as the atmospheric ‘‘window’’ (Fig. 2). The bulk of the radiation, however, is intercepted and reemitted both up and down. The emissions to space occur either from the tops of clouds at different atmospheric levels (which are almost always colder than the surface) or by gases present in the atmosphere that absorb and emit infrared radiation. Most of the atmosphere consists of nitrogen and oxygen (99% of dry air), which are transparent to infrared radiation...

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Energy in the Developing World

Faster than other professions, geography is predis­posed to grasp differences between the developed and the developing world—differences that are particularly apparent in considerations of energy. The developed world relies on fossil fuels, whereas the developing world relies on renewables. The developed world searches for energy to maintain a high standard of living, whereas the developing world must sell its resources to stave off poverty. The developed world worries about the environ­mental impacts of energy supply, whereas the developing world worries about having any energy supply at all...

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