Shale Reservoirs, do they work, will they spread?

By Andy May

Popular accounts of shale oil and gas reservoirs are often riddled with errors and, even when technically correct, often misleading. As a shale petrophysicist, retired from Devon Energy, I thought I would try and explain, in a non-technical way, how these reservoirs work and why they have been so successful. Continue reading

Oscar May in World War I

By Andy May

Note to readers: This post is not about climate change, but about a distant ancestor.

Oscar May was the ninth child of Zachariah and Adelia May, he was born February 21, 1893. He is 15 years younger than my grandfather Ernest H. May, who was the oldest son. He was born on the family farm near Williamstown, Kansas. After high school he became a mail carrier in Kansas City and attended law school at night. He graduated in 1916 and passed the Kansas City bar exam the same year. He continued living in the Kansas City Y.M.C.A. and worked as a lawyer. Continue reading

Caleb May and Bleeding Kansas

By Andy May

Note to reader, this post is not about climate change or science.

Caleb May was born Jan. 19th, 1816 in Madison Co., Kentucky. His father, James May, died in 1830 when Caleb was just fourteen. His two older brothers, David and Isaac married in 1832, leaving him as the main support of a widowed mother with 4 children younger than himself. As a result, he had to work the family farm and only had time for a few months of formal schooling. Although he was mostly self-taught, he was fond of reading and was always current with the politics of the time. Caleb’s older brother, Isaac May, was the great-great grandfather of the author. Continue reading

The Sorrowful Tale of Charley May

By Andy May

Note to readers, this post is not on climate change. It is an essay on the life of a distant and notorious relative of mine.

Charles Floyd May as a young man

Charles Floyd May was hanged April 17, 1903 at 9:43AM for shooting John Robert “Bob” Martin to death with a pistol on December 27, 1900. Charley, as his friends called him, was only 29 years old and had had a troubled past. He was born in Buchanan County Missouri, August 9, 1873. Oddly, Charley’s hanging was only nine days after my grandfather Ernest May, Charley’s cousin, was married to his first wife, Daisy, at the age of 25.

He died well, no tears and not a muscle twitched, his last words were:

“As I am about to meet the mystery of death I want to say to you my friends that I bear no ill will or malice toward any living man. Whatever sins I have committed I hope will be forgiven and that I may meet you all again in immortality. I forgive my enemies as I hope to be forgiven and now declare that the death of John Robert Martin was not intentional on my part and was never for a moment premeditated.”

Continue reading

How constant is the “solar constant?”

The IPCC lowered their estimate of the impact of solar variability on the Earth’s climate from the already low value of 0.12 W/m2 (Watts per square-meter) given in their fourth report (AR4), to a still lower value of 0.05 W/m2 in the 2013 fifth report (AR5), the new value is illustrated in Figure 1. These are long term values, estimated for the 261-year period 1750-2011 and they apply to the “baseline” of the Schwabe ~11-year solar (or sunspot) cycle, which we will simply call the “solar cycle” in this post. The baseline of the solar cycle is the issue since the peaks are known to vary. The Sun’s output (total solar irradiance or “TSI”) is known to vary at all time scales (Kopp 2016), the question is by how much. The magnitude of short-term changes, less than 11 years, in solar output are known relatively accurately, to better than ±0.1 W/m2. But, the magnitude of solar variability over longer periods of time is poorly understood. Yet, small changes in solar output over long periods of time can affect the Earth’s climate in significant ways (Eddy 1976) and (Eddy 2009). Continue reading

The Great Climate Debate Report

By Andy May

After I posted my series on the great climate debate between Dr. William Happer and Dr. David Karoly, hosted by TheBestSchools.org, I received several requests to pull the series together into one pdf. This is now done, and the pdf can be downloaded here.

Since the series was posted, we have found out that Dr. William Happer has joined the White House as a top advisor. Dr. Happer is 79 years old and has confirmed that he began serving on the National Security Council, under National Security Advisor John Bolton on Tuesday, September 4. Congratulations Will! Read the details by Hannah Northey here.

Update:  I’ve created an epub format edition of the report.  It can be downloaded here. Due to restrictions on my website, I had to zip the file.  After downloading, unzip the file and then open the epub file with Internet Explorer, Nook, or some other ebook reader.

The Great Debate Part D – Summary

By Andy May

In Part A of the Great Debate series (see here) we discussed Dr. David Karoly’s and Dr. William Happer’s arguments regarding how unusual recent global warming is and how we know the recent observed increase in CO2 is due to human activities. In Part B we examined their thoughts on the amount of warming caused by greenhouse gas emissions and the accuracy of the calculation. In Part C we discussed the dangers of global warming, the calculation of the vital value of ECS (the equilibrium climate sensitivity to a doubling of CO2), and discuss the need to do something about climate change. In this final part of the series I will summarize the debate and provide my thoughts. Continue reading