“Some experts think that recycled rare earths from scrap materials and discarded products may eventually be able to meet up to 40 percent of global demand. That could be a boon for the U.S. and other Western nations, since China now dominates the world market for rare earths and can effectively control their supply and price.” Quoted from ScienceLine.org.
“China is the world’s most populous country with a fast-growing economy that has led it to be the largest energy consumer and producer in the world. Rapidly increasing energy demand, especially for liquid fuels, has made China extremely influential in world energy markets.”
China has been unable to replicate the shale gas productivity of the United States even though they are thought to have a much larger shale gas resource. The country does not have the existing infrastructure present in the United States or the technical expertise and specialized equipment.
China Shenhua Energy Company is controlled by the Chinese government and is the second largest coal company in the world. They plan to partner with Energy Corporation of America to drill Marcellus Shale wells in Greene County, Pennsylvania.
“Stretching from Singapore and the Strait of Malacca chokepoint in the southwest to the Strait of Taiwan in the northeast, the South China Sea is one of the most important energy trade routes in the world. Almost a third of global crude oil and over half of global liquefied natural gas passes through the South China Sea each year.” Quoted from the Energy Information Administration article.
A National Geographic article explores the diversity and incredible preservation of China’s Jehol fossils. The animals are thought to have been killed, transported, buried and preserved by ash produced by pyroclastic flows. Some researchers described it as a “Pompeii for animals”.
“China’s robust economic growth and thirst for energy resources in the past decade has driven it to become the top global energy consumer. China has the largest oil and gas production in the Asia-Pacific region and the largest coal production in the world, but the country’s escalating energy demand is increasing its reliance on imports and need to secure more energy supplies.” Quoted from the Energy Information Administration’s country analysis brief.
Bloomberg has an article that summarizes some of the efforts to produce oil and natural gas from shale outside of the United States. Some of these countries lack the equipment and expertise to develop the wells and are forming agreements with experienced companies.
“Japan ranked as the second largest net importer of fossil fuels in the world in 2012, trailing only China. This follows the Fukushima nuclear disaster in 2011, after which Japan suspended operations at all of its nuclear power plants.” Quoted from the Energy Information Administration.
During the 2012-2013 school year the number of international students attending universities in the United States increased by more than 7% over the previous year to over 800,000 students. China, India, South Korea and Saudi Arabia are the four countries sending the most students.
Five years ago the United States was importing 2 million barrels of oil per day. Now it is exporting over a million. Crude oil is shipped by train. Natural gas is displacing coal from power generation. LNG is being exported. Renewable energy generation is growing. All of these changes require people for logistics and transactions.
If all goes according to plans, India will launch a spacecraft to Mars on Tuesday, November 5th. So far there have been 40 attempts to reach Mars by the United States, the Soviet Union, the European Space Agency, Japan and China. Only 23 missions have been successful.
“The United States and Canada are the only major producers of commercially viable natural gas from shale formations in the world, even though about a dozen other countries have conducted exploratory test wells.” Quoted from the Energy Information Administration article.
Four coal-fired power plants in Beijing will be replaced with natural gas units by the end of 2014. The $7.8 billion project will cut 10,000 tons of sulfur dioxide emissions. At the present time, natural gas has a much higher price in China than it does in the United States.
Mount Paektu is a volcano near the border between North Korea and China. About 1000 years ago it produced one of the largest eruptions in human history. The North Korean government recently allowed researchers from Imperial College London and Cambridge University to visit the volcano and collaborate with North Korean scientists.
“This weekend, the most powerful tropical cyclone of 2013 passed between Taiwan and the Philippines, then slammed into the southeastern coast of China on September 22. Dozens of people died in China and the Philippines due to flooding, airborne debris, and collapsed buildings.” Quoted from the NASA Earth Observatory image release.
“USGS scientists are reanalyzing rocks, minerals and associated mine tailing samples – some collected 120 years ago – to assess their rare and critical elements, which could become potential for economic development.” Quoted from the USGS press release.
The Energy Information Administration forecasts that “China’s net oil imports will exceed those of the United States by October 2013 on a monthly basis and by 2014 on an annual basis, making China the largest importer of oil in the world”.
China is believed to have the largest shale gas resource in the world; however, they continue to make large investments in US shale plays. They are looking for profits and just as important – they want access to technology.
Fluorite is an important industrial mineral used in a variety of chemical, ceramic and metallurgical processes. Although the United States has some fluorite deposits, most of the mineral consumed here is imported from China, Mexico, Mongolia and South Africa.
China has more oil and natural gas in shale than the United States but they have produced very little. Instead they are joint venturing with companies working in the United States to learn about the technology.
A magnitude 6.6 earthquake in China killed over 150 people and injured more than 5,000 on Saturday morning. USGS reports that the earthquake is likely to have occurred on the Longmenshan Fault or a tectonically related fault.
The Chinese government believes that their country has about 25 trillion cubic meters of natural gas in shale formations. Although their present production rate is very low, they hope to be producing 60 billion cubic meters per year by 2020.
An article in Scientific American reports that time lapse cameras, placed by a U.S. geologist from the University of Colorado at Boulder to record glacial melting in the Himalayas, were confiscated with the accusation that they were being used to “spy on China”. See some of the videos here.
NASA has a satellite image showing a rare snow-covering of the Taklimakan Desert of western China – normally one of Earth’s hottest deserts.
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