back to article NASA is sniffing jet fuel over Germany

NASA has started sniffing jet fuel as part of joint experiment with the German Aerospace Center (Deutsches Zentrum für Luft-und Raumfahrt, DLR). The experiment sees DLR fly an Airbus A320 burning newfangled jet fuels. NASA follows along its Armstrong flying lab, a Douglas DC-8. Aviation enthusiasts among The Register’s …

  1. Pen-y-gors Silver badge

    Biofuels?

    Biofuels in principle better than fossil fuels - yep.

    Biofuels grown using otherwise useless land, or from algae etc - good.

    Biofuels grown on land which could/should be growing food - very very bad, no matter how cheap it is.

    1. Voland's right hand Silver badge

      Re: Biofuels?

      Biofuels grown on land which could/should be growing food - very very bad, no matter how cheap it is.

      Due to improvements in the agricultural productivity per m^2, if Europe uses all of its agricultural land for food it will overproduce by ~ 200% or more. So, presently it has some choices:

      1. Keep paying stupid money under CAP for food which is exported UNDER cost elsewhere in the world. It is surplus for European market.

      2. Continue with CAP and other drivers to make more of the land fallow or periodically fallow.

      3. Grow foodstuffs for biofuel. Sure land "could be/should be/was" used for growing food. If the farmer grows it now it will go into the compost or we will try to export it to strangle indigenous agriculture elsewhere.

      Option 3 is already in full swing. If you drive around Europe as much as I do you would have definitely noticed the endless fields of sunflowers in the south. I see nothing wrong with diversifying option 3 with a couple of more crops exactly because the land is already in "could be/should be/was" used for growing food state. In fact, it has been in that state for hundreds of years, so it is not the usual case of habitat destruction greenies protest about.

      1. MiguelC Silver badge

        Re: Voland's hand

        The improvements in the agricultural productivity you refer are due to extensive use of intensive agriculture that quickly lead to land exhaustion and are a major factor of desertification, not to mention the large amounts of pesticides that are commonly used in those areas.

        The current improvement in productivity may lead to lesser productivity in the future (just as overfishing - potentiated by technological advances - conducts to marine depletion).

    2. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      Re: Biofuels?

      "Biofuels grown on land which could/should be growing food - very very bad, no matter how cheap it is."

      And clearing rainforest to grow biofuels - even worse.

      1. Eddy Ito Silver badge

        Re: Biofuels?

        I imagine in the fairly near future we won't need to clear anything as high efficiency LEDs in appropriate wavelength makes indoor farming more practical. It would be interesting to see how something like the Sears Willis Tower with over 100 acres of floor space compares with an equal size farm on energy and water usage. I figure things that need pollination may be the biggest hurdle but I don't see why an indoor apiary wouldn't work.

        1. Aitor 1

          Re: Biofuels?

          Vertical farmins is many many times more productive and cheap, and uses very little resources as in water fertilizers, etc.

          It does use energy .. mainly electricity... but in some cases it is already cheaper to use it.

  2. FlamingDeath Bronze badge

    Biofuels, probably won't end well

    I don't claim to be an expert in this area but I take an interest, I hear this term used "peak oil" which is to say that eventually, all the oil underground will run out, it's not a case of if but when.

    Now we have biofuels, which is essentially growing food and turning it into fuel.

    The problem I can see is where industry which needs fuel, will be in direct competition with people who need food, and the prices will reflect that supply and demand dynamic.

    I don't think this will end well, especially when you throw in the whole automation monstrosity (BTW, I'm all for automation, but in our current socioeconomic value system, are you nuts?)

    1. Dodgy Geezer Silver badge

      Re: Biofuels, probably won't end well

      ..I hear this term used "peak oil" which is to say that eventually, all the oil underground will run out, it's not a case of if but when.....

      Not going to happen. There's a LOT of hydrocarbons in our Solar System...

      1. FlamingDeath Bronze badge

        Re: Biofuels, probably won't end well

        But would we want the additional carbon in our atmosphere?

        Probably not

        I'm all for space mining and everything space faring related, but things have to be well thought out, actions have consequences

        1. Dodgy Geezer Silver badge

          Re: Biofuels, probably won't end well

          ..But would we want the additional carbon in our atmosphere?..

          We don't really care - it won't affect us. The 'science' behind the 'dangers of CO2' was never true, and has collapsed. The only people pushing the hypothesis now are activists and those making money out of it.

          But CO2 is plant food, and plants stop growing when it drops below 200 ppm. They REALLY need it to be 400ppm, ideally much higher. However, even burning lots of hydrocarbons isn't going to raise it that much - unfortunately...

          1. strum Silver badge

            Re: Biofuels, probably won't end well

            >The 'science' behind the 'dangers of CO2' was never true, and has collapsed.

            False. The only people claiming this are gullible alt-righters.

      2. Mooseman Bronze badge

        Re: Biofuels, probably won't end well

        "Not going to happen. There's a LOT of hydrocarbons in our Solar System..."

        How are you going to

        A ) get to it

        and

        B ) get it back?

        1. BoldMan

          Re: Biofuels, probably won't end well

          'Peak Oil' isn't even close - there are huge untapped oilfileds in existence but they are expensive to develop. If the price goes up enough or recovery technology improves, these fields become economically viable and will be developed. We won't be running out of oil for a while yet!

          If you don't understand the difference between reserves and resources, you need to read this: http://energyeducation.ca/encyclopedia/Reserve_vs_resource Just because an oil company says it has 20 years worth of reserve doesn't mean the oil will run out in 20 years time!

          1. Voland's right hand Silver badge

            Re: Biofuels, probably won't end well

            Peak Oil' isn't even close - there are huge untapped oilfileds in existence

            Concur - I own some land on top of one. It is not viable unless price per barrel of crude passes the 120 mark.

            There are plenty of places like this around continental Europe where it is either too deep or the type of oil is "heavy" or with too much "interesting" metal impurities which throw a spanner into the works of the normal refinement processes.

            In addition to that, Russia still operates the old Soviet Union policy of: "For every field opened for exploration, set one of equal size aside". There is also the Arctic and maybe, one day the Antarctic (though the discoveries there so far are mostly coal, not oil).

            The only Peak oil likely to happen any time soon is "Peak Arab Oil" and frankly, that is a very very very good thing. There will be less money floating around to finance nutters.

        2. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

          Re: Biofuels, probably won't end well

          B ) get it back?

          Railguns. The answer is *always* railguns.

          Honking big ones that can push packages out at .1c After all, it won't be a problem if we miss catching one or two will it?

          Oh. Oh well, there was nothing useful in Washington DC anyway. Or Essex. And the nice big holes left after the capsule hit has given us a nice start on mining the Earth's mantle, so it's all good!

          1. kain preacher Silver badge

            Re: Biofuels, probably won't end well

            Baw I want my 100 exa watt laser

      3. phuzz Silver badge
        Facepalm

        Re: Biofuels, probably won't end well

        Just because something is a hydrocarbon, doesn't mean it's of much use as a fuel.

        Ethanol? Quite good as a fuel (assuming you've built an engine and fuel system to use it). Bitumen on the other hand is basically only useful for roads, you'd be better off burning mummies.

        Even moving from leaded to unleaded petrol required a massive shift across entire industries, and that's just for a change in additives.

        1. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

          Re: Biofuels, probably won't end well

          you'd be better off burning mummies

          And daddies? Equal Rites y'know!

    2. LucreLout Silver badge

      Re: Biofuels, probably won't end well

      @FlamingDeath

      This may seem like a small point, but your definition of Peak Oil, is wrong. It is not "which is to say that eventually, all the oil underground will run out, it's not a case of if but when" but is in fact the point in time when oil output reaches its maximum possible pace, after which oil extraction rates must decline.

      Its important to understand the difference because what it means to not have hit peak oil yet, is that we still have vast quantities of oil available. Peak Oil, for most of my life, has been considered to be imminent, with oil supplys predicted to be exhausted in around 50 years. It was 50 years 30 years ago.

      Now, with the advent of shale oil, fracking etc, we have so much oil economically recoverable that Peak Oil is now hundreds of years away if it's coming at all.

      However, I would love to see further research into bio fuels, simply because you never truly know when you might need it, and because extending the limits mankinds knowledge is rarely a bad thing. We know we can drive cars and trucks etc on bio fuel, but have historically been unable to do so with planes, large ones anyway.

      BTW, I'm all for automation, but in our current socioeconomic value system, are you nuts?

      In which socioeconomic system would you prefer to automate? Capitalism is a simple game, easy to understand, and historically has led to gains for all. There are no other socioeconomic systems that have been shown to work as well anywhere else in the world, ever. Socialism and Communism have failed everywhere they've been tried, and rule by dictator only truly works if you get to be the big cahuna.

      Increased automation is an inevitability for several reasons - technological progress, falling cost of hardware, and the increased cost of labour at the bottom end (minimum wage). Pay someone nearly £10 per hour to input customers orders into a computer, or have the customer do it themselves, for free. It's a bit of a nobrainer.

      Fortunately there is a lot of other work that is really rather harder to automate - maid service in hotels, residential cleaning, gardening etc. New jobs will emerge, such as automated till screen cleaner person..... obviously, that'll one day be automated too. But its not like it would have been a skill that took long to learn, thus the person will simply move onto the next not yet automated role.

      Higher skill roles will emerge such as writing the software, designing the hardware, repairing the system. Progress has always destroyed some jobs and created others. It's always going to be that way, under any economic system we create.

      1. strum Silver badge

        Re: Biofuels, probably won't end well

        >Now, with the advent of shale oil, fracking etc, we have so much oil economically recoverable that Peak Oil is now hundreds of years away if it's coming at all.

        Fracking etc. are evidence that peak oil is already happening. It was always cited, going back fifty years, that peak oil would induce unorthodox extraction methods and extreme locations.

        1. LucreLout Silver badge

          Re: Biofuels, probably won't end well

          Fracking etc. are evidence that peak oil is already happening.

          No, they're evidence of competition, which is what you want in a capitalist economy. OPEC has massively cut production, not because they can't extract more (required for peak oil) but because there's so much oil on the market the price has tumbled.

    3. Aitor 1

      Re: Biofuels, probably won't end well

      That was already an issue. I dont see the problem.

    4. strum Silver badge

      Re: Biofuels, probably won't end well

      >I don't claim to be an expert in this area but I take an interest, I hear this term used "peak oil" which is to say that eventually, all the oil underground will run out, it's not a case of if but when.

      That is not what 'peak oil' means.

      'Peak oil' happens when we cannot produce more oil this year, than we did last year. It may plateau for several years, while demand keeps on rising. That is 'peak oil'.

  3. Dodgy Geezer Silver badge

    Market distortion

    Biofuels cheaper than kerosine due to more efficient extraction and refining - good.

    Biofuels cheaper than kerosine due to political taxes on fossil fuels - very bad. Market distortion for activist reasons is never good.

    How long will it be before we get hydrocarbons from Titan? If the market operates properly this is the sort of thing it might provide...

    1. Mooseman Bronze badge

      Re: Market distortion

      "How long will it be before we get hydrocarbons from Titan? If the market operates properly this is the sort of thing it might provide..."

      100 years, 150?

      We'll have run dry here long before then. Taxing fossil fuels is a good idea if it limits consumption as IT'S A FINITE RESOLURCE

      1. LucreLout Silver badge

        Re: Market distortion

        100 years, 150?

        We'll have run dry here long before then

        But we won't - we may, may, have hit peak oil in 150 years, but we'll still be using it and we'll still have lots left. We have about 200 years of coal under our feet and that is capable or nearly capable of being made into oil. We're not going to run out of oil, in much the same way the stone age didn't run out of stones.

        Transport and power generation uses lots of oil, but transport is increasingly being electrified. Provided we keep Elon Musk safe at his desk, we've a very good chance of sticking to our plan to eliminate new combustion engines from 2040. A solar roof linked to a power wall, powering your home and car.

        Industrial energy demands can readily be met by existing nuclear power technology which also provides a natural break point for oil consumption. Running dry, in oil terms, simply won't happen. It just isn't a real world concern.

        1. Nial

          Re: Market distortion

          "We have about 200 years of coal under our feet and that is capable or nearly capable of being made into oil"

          The Chinese were synthesising oil from coal before the oil price crash, it might not be cost effective now.

        2. iron Silver badge

          Re: Market distortion

          "A solar roof linked to a power wall, powering your home and car."

          Viable in California but in Scotland... not so much. Sure I'd be able to drive to work in the summer but not in the winter months.

          1. LucreLout Silver badge

            Re: Market distortion

            @iron

            Viable in California but in Scotland... not so much. Sure I'd be able to drive to work in the summer but not in the winter months.

            With todays technology, sure. However I'm not convinced we even need a one size fits all solution. It'd be nice, but Scotland has plenty of wind and tidal energy that can boost the solar yield, or simply go nuclear for top ups.

            Musk's roof tiles and power wall look to me to be a no brainer for fitting to all homes, over time. And I don't believe the whole man made global warming thing; I just dislike inefficiency. If all that'll be on the roof is tiles, why not have tiles that generate power? And who knows what another decade or two of R&D is going to produce.

            Scotland has about 1/10th of the population of California, so its less of a problem if the Scots need a nuclear or fossil top up in winter. Local small scale incineration for heat works well in Scandinavia, so that could help out too.

            As the world gradually migrates that way, because it is already, the requirement for oil use will level off and then peak. We're literally never going to run out of the stuff. We possibly won't even drain the existing fields already in use.

            That said, I still prefer when research is done to when it isn't, so I still quite like the bio aviation fuel idea. Not least because batteries don't look like powering a 777 any time soon, so using less mastodon and more crops will help slow the pace we use oil. While I don't think it'll ever run out, I'd prefer to use something replaceable rather than something finite; it's just how my head is wired.

            1. Hans Neeson-Bumpsadese Silver badge

              Re: Market distortion

              A lot of the alternative energy stuff is based on renewable energy being used to charge rechargable batteries. As these become more prevalent, are we going to hit peak lilthium before we hit peak oil?

              1. Chrissy

                Re: Market distortion

                re peak lithium:

                No... for 2 reasons:

                1: It doesn't get "burnt" and used up.... Lithium batteries are recyclable back to pure Li for re-feeding back into battery production... maybe not 100% recovery on current - expensive - methods, but only because it is still so cheap as mined ores no-one has bothered to develop a cheap industrial process to achieve as close to 100% recovery as possible.

                2: There's loads of it around:

                http://www.mining.com/web/lithium-supply-demand-story/

                https://www.bloomberg.com/graphics/2017-lithium-battery-future/

                .... the problem, as often with these new technologies - and sometimes with oil as well - is lack of mining and /or refinery capacity as these take years to plan and build, naturally lagging behind supply and demand fluctations.

            2. Mooseman Bronze badge

              Re: Market distortion@lucrelout

              I admire your boundless confidence that we will never run out of a finite resource. I haven't yet seen any actual facts that support your belief that the magic oil fairy has made the whole of the inside of the planet an oil reserve though. Stone age people didn't run out of stones, this is true - bear in mind the whole planet is made of stone though.

              1. LucreLout Silver badge

                Re: Market distortion@lucrelout

                Stone age people didn't run out of stones, this is true - bear in mind the whole planet is made of stone though.

                Did the iron age run out of iron? The dark ages run out of dark? The oil age won't end because we run out of oil; it will end because we switch to a better alternative, which is exactly how ALL other fuel types were substituted.

                I admire your boundless confidence that we will never run out of a finite resource.

                You're mistaking reasoning for confidence.

                I haven't yet seen any actual facts that support your belief that the magic oil fairy has made the whole of the inside of the planet an oil reserve though.

                Well, you probably won't, because its just a lie you've made up either because you don't understand how the world works, or because you're on some kind of environmentalist crusade and immunised against facts.

                Economically recoverable oil at todays prices has increased in volume so far that peak oil as a prospect is all but finished. Peak oil might happen one day, but nobody alive today is going to be alive when that day comes, nor will your grandchildren be. We're certainly not going to run out of oil for at least 200 years, and given that half of oil produced is used for transport, and that by 2040 Europe will have banned new combustion engines, we're less than 100 years away from the rest of the world effectively stopping using it too.

                So, before we get to peak oil, we'll have halved demand, thus pushing peak oil back another hundred or so years.

                Lets then look at the other half of demand - most of that is for power generation - heat & leccy. Well, nuclear is an off the shelf ready swap out for that today. Renewables have gone from near zero to almost credible in 50 years. 50 more years and they'll have closed out almost all demand for oil burnt to generate power.

                SolarCity's year one cost on their roof is 2x normal tiles. Year one. By year 20 or 30 they'll cost almost no more to have than normal roof tiles, after which your home will generate most or all of its own power.

                So now we're down to using less than 5% of todays oil consumption for harder to remove uses.

                And then there's the function of time. New oil continues being created in the same way as previous oil was, and on a long enough timeline, will be created quicker than we're going to be using it.

                Peak oil, where we use it quicker than we can extract it, is extremely unlikely to happen. Running dry, as in out of oil, is NEVER going to happen. It's an ill thought out scare story and nothing more.

            3. strum Silver badge

              Re: Market distortion

              >And I don't believe the whole man made global warming thing;

              Facts don't require your belief.

              1. LucreLout Silver badge

                Re: Market distortion

                Facts don't require your belief.

                I agree. However, man made global warming is a theory, not a fact. You're derailing the thread at this point, in order to give your "religion" a little air time.

                Arguments about efficiency I can agree with. Arguments about future proofing supply, again, perfectly valid. Arguments that man made climate change is a fact are simply utter bullshit at this point; MMGW remains a theory, that you believe it does not establish it as fact.

                1. terrythetech

                  Re: Market distortion

                  Gravity is just a theory - why don't you just float away (apols to Tim Minchin)

                2. JimC Silver badge

                  Re: MMGW remains a theory

                  But rapid climate change inducing massive human consequences is a historical fact.

                  One of the most disturbing things about the activist/environmentalist driven agenda instead of a science driven agenda is that its completely shut out any serious investigation about what we do to resolve things if, as is more than likely, the greenie stuff, for one reason or another, fails to avoid significant climate change, man made or otherwise.

              2. Stu Mac

                Re: Market distortion

                Dinosaur!

          2. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

            Re: Market distortion

            "A solar roof linked to a power wall, powering your home and car."

            Viable in California but in Scotland... not so much

            Anyone else remember the idea that Hinda had a couple of years back? Have a hydrogen cracker & storage unit attached to the house, powered by solar panels? Excess electricity would be diverted to the home and the hydrogen could be used to fuel the vast range of hydrogen-powered cars available or burnt to help power the house when sunlight is absent (ie any time other than the height of the British summer)

            Sounds like a good idea to me.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: Market distortion

              "Anyone else remember the idea that Hinda had a couple of years back? Have a hydrogen cracker & storage unit attached to the house, powered by solar panels? Excess electricity would be diverted to the home and the hydrogen could be used to fuel the vast range of hydrogen-powered cars available or burnt to help power the house when sunlight is absent (ie any time other than the height of the British summer)

              Sounds like a good idea to me."

              Sounds like a really bad idea to me.

              1. Hydrogen is a slippery little molecule, flammable and explosive when mixed with oxygen. 96% of hydrogen production is done from fossil fuels with large amounts of carbon dioxide released by the process.

              2. Nuclear power plants are best suited to base load power production - you don't build them to operate part-time. A modern reactor should be able to achieve a load factor on the order of .95, if not better (equivalent to producing full power 95% of the time). Fill in the demand variation with other sources, like gas turbines, or hydro-electric power. During low demand periods, pump water into reservoirs for use during high demand periods - a very efficient and clean method of storage. Both of these methods produce power whenever needed, unlike solar or wind generators.

              3. There are very few hydrogen powered vehicles, and there are significant issues to be resolved before putting them into general production and use.

              Solutions should be based on technologies that may be feasible in the near term.

              1. Stu Mac

                Re: Market distortion

                I'm sure Honda, Toyota, BMW and Hyundai are gutted....

                Battery cars are like the Emperor with no clothes and a niche for funny little people who commute short distances to work every day and have nothing else in their awful lives.

                The future is more likely to be hydrogen or a synthetically produced hydrocarbon with a carbon neutral cycle.

          3. Chemical Bob
            Boffin

            Re: Market distortion

            "Sure I'd be able to drive to work in the summer but not in the winter months."

            Then you get to stay inside where its warm...

        3. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

          Re: Market distortion

          100 years, 150?

          We'll have run dry here long before then

          But we won't

          I remember (sometime back in the mists of the late '70's) our primary school was taken to a 'musical' about how all the oil was going to run out in "20 years or less" and we had to Do Something.

          How times have (not) changed.

          (I can't remember the name of the musical. All I can remember was there seemed to be a lot of green plantlike costumes on stage and the fact that the music was somewhat boring.. I was only 8 or 9 at the time..)

        4. Stu Mac

          Re: Market distortion

          You are correct in something.

          Stop burning fossil fuels for power production and we probably have enough forever.

      2. Joe Montana

        Re: Market distortion

        Taxing fossil fuels only causes hardship for those who have no alternative...

        Provide usable alternatives and people will use them without being coerced.

    2. Potemkine! Silver badge

      Re: Market distortion

      Biofuels cheaper than kerosine due to political taxes on fossil fuels - very bad. Market distortion for activist reasons is never good.

      BS. Because "Market"' doesn't take into account the long-term consequences of using fossil fuels, as the millions of deaths worldwide each year caused by pollution.

      1. Stu Mac

        Re: Market distortion

        Obviously nowhere near enough since over population is the greatest of all challenges.

    3. Rattus Rattus

      Re: Market distortion

      Markets are not always the best distribution mechanism.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Market distortion

        Markets are not a 'distribution mechanism', they are the most efficient and reliable resource allocation mechanism.

        1. Rattus Rattus

          Re: Market distortion

          For completely optional resources they are. For necessities they are not.

    4. Stu Mac

      Re: Market distortion

      I reckon the Titaniums are going to object to this sort of thing.

  4. FlamingDeath Bronze badge

    contrails / chemtrails

    Whatever your thoughts on the subject, it is undeniable that these jet exhaust trails do linger about for much longer than they used to, and you can definitely see cloud fronts sweep in parallel to the exhaust trail later on.

    As I've grown up in the 80s, I've heard alot about global warming, the causes and the worry of it.

    I recently discovered that previous to this there was talk of a mini ice age and the need to avert it.

    So, is this planet being geoengineered?

    Do I just think about things waaaaaaay too much?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: contrails / chemtrails

      Do I just think about things waaaaaaay too much?

      Yes!

    2. This post has been deleted by its author

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: contrails / chemtrails

        What about Operation Popeye?

        Don't get me wrong, not for a minute do I believe in chemtrails but it does show that it is possible.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: contrails / chemtrails @FlamingDeath

      I grew up in the 1960s and '70s. There was definite thinking that the world was headed into another ice-age.

      But it's interesting. In terms of geological ages, it is thought by most earth scientists that we are exiting from an ice-age. As a result, the Earth should be getting warmer anyway. The real debate (which actually appears to be decided) is whether and by how much human activity is accelerating this rise, and the answer is that we are, and probably by a significant amount.

      The problem most lay-people have is that they think that the Earth's climate should be unchanging if we did nothing. Unfortunately, most people only think in terms of their own lifetime, and even climate historians only have direct measurements for a couple of hundred years at most (the rest is proxy data).

      Global climate changes naturally over tens of thousands of years (the proxy data shows this throughout all of the record), although specific single events (like the rapid release of fresh water from the North American ice sheet or significant asteroid strikes) have made identifiable climate effects over very short spaces of time.

      One of the possibly ironic predictions being made is that northern Europe could get a lot colder if the global climate gets warmer as a result of the North Atlantic Drift turning off!

      But back on topic, creating a balanced stable cycle of bio fuel->carbon-dioxide+water->bio fuel can only be a good thing, although you also have to think about balancing the Earths absorbed energy vs. its radiated energy.

      1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

        Re: contrails / chemtrails @FlamingDeath

        "The problem most lay-people have is that they think that the Earth's climate should be unchanging if we did nothing."

        And we then have two types of not-quite so lay people. Those who think we should do nothing so it won't change and those who think it isn't changing whatever we do. Both are doomed to disappointment: the climate will change irrespective of whatever we do and sea levels relative to land (which I think underlies a lot of concerns) will also change, not necessarily the same way in different places.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: contrails / chemtrails @Doctor Syntax

          I worded that sentence poorly. It did not convey the meaning that I wanted to express.

          What I meant was "... they think that if humans did not exist, Earths climate would not change", i.e. they believe all climate change is caused by humans.

      2. arctic_haze Silver badge

        Re: contrails / chemtrails @FlamingDeath

        Funny thing but I covered this in a lecture I had just yesterday. I showed the students the infamous 1975 Newsweek article, explained it was based on the NASA report which was five years late in data (they ended in 1970 and only for the Northern Hemisphere). I told them we had no satellite data and practically no circulation models at the time.

        Finally I told them that this is what comes from using statistics only, without understanding the underlying processes. I showed them a paper by Wlally Broecker, the oceanographer, in Science from the same 1975. This is what Broecker wrote in the abstract of his paper:

        "By analogy with similar events in the past, the natural climatic cooling which, since 1940, has more than compensated for the carbon dioxide effect, will soon bottom out. Once this happens, the exponential rise in the atmospheric carbon dioxide content will tend to become a significant factor and by early in the next century will have driven the mean planetary temperature beyond the limits experienced during the last 1000 years."

        Do I need to add that he was 100% right and the reason for that is that he understood the physics of greenhouse gases?

      3. strum Silver badge

        Re: contrails / chemtrails @FlamingDeath

        >There was definite thinking that the world was headed into another ice-age.

        Hardly any. The majority of papers published in the 60's & 70's (that made any prediction at all) predicted warming. This 'they predicted an ice age' story is a lie.

        > it is thought by most earth scientists that we are exiting from an ice-age

        No it isn't. In astronomical terms, we should be getting cooler. We aren't.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: contrails / chemtrails @strum

          I'm not sure whether I could find the (paper) articles now, but what I was reading was from New Scientist and Scientific American around the mid 1970s. Whilst some of this may have been papers that had not yet been subject to peer review, I believe that they would have to have had a degree of credibility to have been published in the first place.

          At the time, these were serious science journals. I'm not sure whether you could say the same nowadays.

          "In astronomical terms". You're referring to a Maunder Minimum, which is cyclical. These have been unreliable in the past, and tend to just colour the change for a few years anyway, not actually changing the trend.

          But you've missed the point of what I was saying. I was not denying anthropogenic warming, just pointing out that many people have difficulty believing what they're being told.

        2. oldfartuk

          Re: contrails / chemtrails @FlamingDeath

          I woudl ofc like to point out here that both NASA and the University of East Anglia, the two main sources of global temperature data, have both been caught out fddling or 'adjusting' /cherry picking the data, or even just plain making it up, and UEA has in fact been caught out three times cheating. So any claim the world is warming needs some better proof than this. Real science, not tobacco company style paid for proof adjusted so that it produces whatever result you desire. And you also need to address the 43,000 scientists worldwide who are similarly unconvicned.

          1. Adrian Midgley 1

            Re: contrails / chemtrails @FlamingDeath

            No, they have not.

      4. Adrian Midgley 1

        Re: contrails / chemtrails @FlamingDeath

        No, there was not definite thinking.

    4. Adrian Midgley 1

      Re: contrails / chemtrails

      And not very accurately.

  5. Alister Silver badge

    “fuel blends that contain 30 to 50 percent Hydro-processed Esters and Fatty Acids”

    Chip Fat! they're burning old Chip Fat!

    The DC 8 crew will be hungry as hell following that round the skies...

    1. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

      Just think if they could improve the environmental impact of aviation at the same time as improving the quality of the in-flight catering. Fry ups for every meal!

      Would you like freshly cooked chips from our engine sir?

      Plus if things go wrong, at least you can have some nice fried goose and chips for your last meal, from the flock you hit on takeoff.

    2. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

      "The DC 8 crew will be hungry as hell following that round the skies..."

      No, they won't. I drive into Grimsby every now then (someone has to!) and the smell of frying stuff in fats/oils isn't nice when the smell is cold. You need to be up close to the source where it's still a warm smell to appreciate it.

      1. Alister Silver badge

        Late reply, I know, but if it's coming out of the back of a jet turbine, it's going to be fairly warm, isn't it?

  6. Prst. V.Jeltz Silver badge

    "annual passenger numbers predicted to double"

    whys that then? cant people just work out where they want to be?

  7. SkippyBing Silver badge

    DC-8

    Or Diesel-8 as it was commonly referred to. Check out pictures of the early turobjet powered examples to see why. Fortunately NASAs now has some nice turbofans which are a lot more efficient and clean burning.

  8. Sgt_Oddball Silver badge
    Alien

    So basically..

    They're busy trying out hippy fuels to get really high?

  9. Chrissy

    Surprised....

    Quick envelope calculation:

    Current global aviation-specific fuel use:

    100,000,000 ish barrels/day = 36,500,000,000 bpy

    https://blogs.sas.com/content/sastraining/2016/02/15/worldwide-jet-fuel-consumption/

    7 barrels of oil per metric ton, so 36,500,000,000 / 7 = 5,214,285,714 metric tons annually, or 5 billion

    "In 2016, biofuel production amounted to approximately 82 billion metric tons of oil equivalent worldwide"

    https://www.statista.com/statistics/274163/global-biofuel-production-in-oil-equivalent/

    I had no idea biofuels had grown so much....

    So assuming my maths is ok and disregarding details such as differences in calorific values between dino-fuel ver biofuels, transitioning the global non-rail transport fleets to smaller wheeled to electric, and trucking and aviation to biofuels, could actually work!!

    1. Prst. V.Jeltz Silver badge

      Re: Surprised....

      and how much land would we have to devote to it?

      1. Chrissy

        Re: Surprised....

        errrr.... the statement is:

        "

        "In 2016, biofuel production amounted to approximately 82 billion metric tons of oil equivalent worldwide"

        "

        ... past tense.... i.e. its ALREADY hit that output on land that is CURRENTLY devoted to it, and has been for at least 1+ years if you assume an accounting date of Jan 2017 + another 3-6months for the crops to have grown to become available to be counted in 2016's figures.

  10. drewsup

    call me crazy, but...

    Why are they not just testing this on a run up stand, just saying, seems a silly waste to have an aircraft flying, with another whole aircraft behind you ti sniff your tailpipe, when you could just have one engine on a test stand!

    1. Hero Protagonist

      Re: call me crazy, but...

      I thought about that too. My assumption is that engine performance/emissions may be markedly different in flight at altitude than on a stand at ground level.

      1. Tim99 Silver badge
        Boffin

        Re: call me crazy, but...

        Yes, but on the ground you don't get to do cool experiments in an aeroplane (and the products of combustion and particle sizes will probably be different).

    2. SkippyBing Silver badge

      Re: call me crazy, but...

      I'd imagine because the atmosphere is different at 36000' vs sea level. It's a lot colder for starters, so unless you want to put a run up stand on Mount Everest it wouldn't be that representative.

    3. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

      Re: call me crazy, but...

      "Why are they not just testing this on a run up stand, just saying, seems a silly waste to have an aircraft flying, with another whole aircraft behind you ti sniff your tailpipe, when you could just have one engine on a test stand!"

      Yeah, Volkwagon tried that....

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    more flying?

    I'm surprised they think people flying will double. I've stopped flying unless absolutely required due to: no leg room, I mean I'm very tall and cannot sit with my knees in front of me these days because they moved the seats together to much. I had marks on my shins from the last flight. The new seats are also to short, my shoulders are where the head rest is, so no neck support, and shoulders shoved forward. and that security issue where they steal from luggage. F flying, I'll drive or take a buss or boat, train. Flying is the worst way to travel if you're tall. <end rant>

    1. Korev Silver badge

      Re: more flying?

      I have a similar, but rarer problem, my shoulders are too wide for many airline seats meaning that I'll often be pushed into the aisle (rather than impinging into my neighbour's space) which means I get bumped by the trollies and people walking past.

    2. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

      Re: more flying?

      "I'm surprised they think people flying will double."

      Asian economies are still growing and people are still moving from the agricultural work to the cities. In essence, there is an industrial revolution going on in many parts of the world and the number of people involved is way higher than the European/American industrial revolution. In other words, many, many people are in a position to be able to afford to fly and go on holiday to exotic sounding, far away places like Skegness,

    3. LucreLout Silver badge

      Re: more flying?

      @AC

      I'm surprised they think people flying will double.

      My flying in the past 6 months has more than doubled. 2 x trips to Sweden to visit the inlaws, and 3 x business trips to America which also required a number of internal flights. Obviously, I'd have prefered to stay home, but both sets of management wanted their wishes catering for.

      As the cost of flying has come down over the past 15 years, I'd imagine more and more people now have to fly - its cheaper to send people on busines trips, so businesses will leverage that.

      Out of my group of friends, we've all married people from abroad, which results in an uptick in flights required as we visit the inlaws and they visit us; this is irreversible demand that would only abate a little as the older generations die out - the younger relatives will still be jumping on planes to visit each other for another 50 years.

      Of course, aviation will not be this centuries bugbear; low orbit space flight will dwarf other forms of transport in terms of emissions within the century.

  12. x 7

    Biofuels = Deforestation

  13. JJKing Silver badge
    Coat

    The real reason for biofuels.

    Oh poor silly ones. They want to use biofuel so they can make invisible chemtrails and hide the mind altering conspiracy from the unwashed masses. Semple!

    Mine's the one with the tinfoil hat in the pocket.

    1. Tim99 Silver badge
      Black Helicopters

      Re: The real reason for biofuels.

      Mine's the one with the tinfoil hat in the pocket. You do know that it should be on your head at all times, because they can get you when you take it off? Unless the one in your pocket is a spare, just in case someone takes the one you are wearing? You can't be too careful!

  14. oldfartuk

    Ahh the DC-8 , marvellous aircraft, the Ford Escort of aviation. Cheap to build, cheap to fix. Based on the old DC-3, which flew thru WW2. and some still flying today.

    1. Alister Silver badge

      Not sure where you get "based on the DC3" from, it's got nothing in common with the DC3 apart from the manufacturer.

      The DC8 fuselage is 50% wider than the DC3, and the wings bear no resemblance, being 30o swept back on the DC8.

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