Which energy source uses the most minerals?

Here is an excerpt from my Briefed by Data post Minerals for renewables:

A few things stand out. The first is the amount of minerals utilized for offshore wind, which is 50% more than for the next category, onshore wind. The second factor is the importance of copper in all energy sources. Figure 2 shows the copper price from FRED. Prior to 2004, the price remained below 3,000 per metric ton, and it has climbed around four to five times since then.

The post includes links to the IEA data plus other graphs. If you aren’t getting the Briefed by Data newsletter in your inbox then consider subscribing when you read the post.

How should we measure energy subsidies?

In my post of the same name on Briefed by Data I make the case that normalizing energy subsidies by BTU in the same year is misleading. If you do so you get the graph here and can make statements like solar gets 300x more subsidies than nuclear per BTU.

In fact, solar subsidies per BTU are higher than for every other energy source, including wind (solar is 4.4 times higher) and oil and gas (solar is 135 times higher). This metric has three flaws, in my opinion.

Read the three reasons I give. The post includes links to the EIA data.

How hot was August 2023?

From my post of the same name on Briefed by Data. Figure 1 shows that the August 2023 anomaly was a record for August by a half degree Fahrenheit, or about a 30% increase over the previous record in 2016. Here is what NOAA has to say about August 2023:

The August global surface temperature was 1.25°C (2.25°F) above the 20th-century average of 15.6°C (60.1°F), making it the warmest August on record. This marked the first time an August temperature exceeded 1.0°C (1.8°F) above the long-term average. August 2023 was 0.29°C (0.52°F) warmer than the previous August record from 2016, but the anomaly was 0.10°C (0.18°F) lower than the all-time highest monthly temperature anomaly on record (March 2016). However, the August 2023 temperature anomaly was the third-highest anomaly of any month on record.

Links to the data are in the post, plus two other graphs.

Who emits the most CO2?

Energy-related CO2 emissions per capita by income decile in selected countries and regions, 2021, from the IEA.

In my post over at Briefed by Data, CO2 emissions are an inequality problem, I report on an IEA article about how much those with higher incomes emit more energy-related CO2.

To put it another way, if the top 10% decreased their CO2 emissions to the level of the next 10%, they would save 30t per person, which is just 2t less than what the lowest 50% currently emits. What should we expect the rest of the population to do if the wealthy aren’t going to make significant lifestyle changes?

Read other articles like this at Briefed by Data.

How does an increasing mean impact maximum temperatures?

In my recent Briefed by Data post How rising mean temperatures affect maximums I use a simple simulation to help understand climate change and the impact increasing mean temperatures have on maximum temperatures. For example,

We expect a roughly 50% increase in summers with temperatures over 100°F over the first 50 years of the rising temperature scenario, followed by a 5-fold rise during the next 50 years. One important thing to note is that, compared to no change, the slow rise in temperature won’t be felt as much in the first 50 years. In the scenario of rising temperatures, even the difference between the first 50 and the second 50 is tripled. In essence, nothing is noticeably bad until it is.

Read more over at Substack and consider subscribing to my newsletter Briefed by Data.

How hot was July 2023?

I did a full summary of July on Briefed by Data and here is a  highlights from the post.

First, Figure 1 represents the July historical temperature anomaly. It was certainly a record-setting year for July, on the order of 0.75 °F above the previous record anomaly. It should be noted that ENSO status will not be formally determined for some months. How does this compare to all months?

July’s anomaly was not even a top 10 for a month (see Figure 2 in the post) but it was a warmest month on record, but this is an artifact of July being the warmest month of the year in general. Read more here which includes links to the data.

Why can’t we just stop oil?


We don’t use oil for just gasoline and one of the key uses of a barrel of oil is the binding agent for asphalt, which electric cars also desire. From my We Can’t Just Stop Oil post on Briefed by Data:

Oil is refined by heating it, and different types of oil are boiled off at different temperatures. Figure 3 displays this. The issue is that one of the first products to boil out is gasoline, and the last is asphalt. You can’t just take a barrel of crude oil and say, “I just want asphalt.” Consider it like this: if you want any of the items in Figure 3’s list, you also get everything above them.

There are some bio substitutes such as vegetable oil, but the bottom line is getting rid of oil isn’t that simple. Read more at We Can’t Just Stop Oil and consider subscribing to Briefed by Data.

What is the male vs female grip strength difference?

Grip strength is one of the factors measured in the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES). Grip strength, which is formally tested by gripping a dynamometer, is also a proxy measurement for upper body and total strength. The median summed (right plus left hand) female grip strength is 64% of the median summed male grip strength. Measures of central tendency do not tell the whole story, and we can see from the distribution that relatively few females exceed the male median. In fact, just 17 of the 2,515 females, or less than 0.1%, have a summed grip strength greater than the median summed grip strength of males. Read more about this on my substack Briefed by Data,
Female vs Male Grip Strength, where I include links to the data and two other graphs.

See Briefed by Data for other articles.

How hot was June 2023?

From NOAA’s June 2023 Global Climate Report:

June 2023 set a record as the warmest June for the globe in NOAA’s 174-year record. The June global surface temperature was 1.05°C (1.89°F) above the 20th-century average of 15.5°C (59.9°F). This marked the first time a June temperature exceeded 1°C above the long-term average.

By definition we don’t officially know if June 2023 was an El Niño month (hence the black bar in the graph) but it was emerging and likely will be one. More about June 2023 on my Briefed by Data site.