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Mitigating Climate Change

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Presentation on theme: "Mitigating Climate Change"— Presentation transcript:

1 Mitigating Climate Change
Sources and sinks of atmospheric CO2 Emissions trading Historical and projected CO2 emissions Climate wedges Alternative energy

2 The Global Carbon Cycle
Atmosphere /yr About half the CO2 released by humans is absorbed by oceans and land “Missing” carbon is hard to find among large natural fluxes ~120 ~90 ~120 ~90 8 GtC/yr Ocean 38,000 Land Humans 2000

3 Variable Sinks Half the CO2 “goes away!”
Some years almost all the fossil carbon goes into the atmosphere, some years almost none Interannual variability in sink activity is much greater than in fossil fuel emissions Sink strength is related to El Niño. Why? How?

4 European Climate Exchange Futures Trading: Permits to Emit CO2
European “cap-and-trade” market set up as described in Kyoto Protocol (http://www.europeanclimateexchange.com) 7/18/2008 price €25.76/ton of CO2 emitted 12/ = $149.73/ton of Carbon Supply and demand!

5 Present Value of Carbon Sinks
Terrestrial and marine exchanges currently remove more than 4 GtC per year from the atmosphere This free service provided by the planet constitutes an effective 50% emissions reduction, worth about $600 Billion per year at today’s price on the ECX! Carbon cycle science is currently unable to quantitatively account for The locations at which these sinks operate The mechanisms involved How long the carbon will remain stored How long the sinks will continue to operate Whether there is anything we can do to make them work better or for a longer time

6 Where Has All the Carbon Gone?
Into the oceans Solubility pump (CO2 very soluble in cold water, but rates are limited by slow physical mixing) Biological pump (slow “rain” of organic debris) Into the land CO2 Fertilization (plants eat CO2 … is more better?) Nutrient fertilization (N-deposition and fertilizers) Land-use change (forest regrowth, fire suppression, woody encroachment … but what about Wal-Marts?) Response to changing climate (e.g., Boreal warming)

7 Coupled Carbon-Climate Modeling
“Earth System” Climate Models Atmospheric GCM Ocean GCM with biology and chemistry Land biophysics, biogeochemistry, biogeography Prescribe fossil fuel emissions, rather than CO2 concentration as usually done Integrate model from , predicting both CO2 and climate as they evolve Oceans, plants, and soils exchange CO2 with model atmosphere Climate affects ocean circulation and terrestrial biology, thus feeds back to carbon cycle

8 Carbon-Climate Futures Friedlingstein et al (2006)
Atmosphere Land Ocean 300 ppm! Coupled simulations of climate and the carbon cycle Given nearly identical human emissions, different models project dramatically different futures!

9 Emission Scenarios Each “storyline” used to generate
A1: Globalized, with very rapid economic growth, low population growth, rapid introduction of more efficient technologies. A2: very heterogeneous world, with self-reliance and preservation of local identities. Fertility patterns across regions converge very slowly, resulting in high population growth. Economic development is regionally oriented and per capita economic growth & technology more fragmented, slower than other storylines. B1: convergent world with the same low population growth as in A1, but with rapid changes in economic structures toward a service and information economy, reductions in material intensity, introduction of clean and resource-efficient technologies. The emphasis is on global solutions to economic, social, and environmental sustainability, including improved equity, without additional climate initiatives. B2: local solutions to economic, social, and environmental sustainability. Moderate population growth, intermediate levels of economic development, and less rapid and more diverse technological change than in B1 and A1. Each “storyline” used to generate 10 different scenarios of population, technological & economic development

10 Emission Scenarios vs Reality
Raupach et al PNAS

11 Carbon intensity of the world economy fell steadily for 30 years
Canadell et al. 2007

12 Until 2000! Canadell et al. 2007

13 Dramatic contrast – history versus future
Developing India China Former Soviet Other developed Japan Europe USA CO2 emissions Cumulative Raupach et al. PNAS 2007

14 Dramatic contrast – history versus future
Developing India China Former Soviet Other developed Japan Europe USA CO2 emissions Raupach et al. PNAS 2007

15 Dramatic contrast – history versus future
Developing India China Former Soviet Other developed Japan Europe USA CO2 emissions Raupach et al. PNAS 2007

16 Dramatic contrast – history versus future
Least Developed Developing India China Former Soviet Other developed Japan Europe USA CO2 emissions Raupach et al. PNAS 2007

17 CO2 “Budget” of the Atmosphere
AT606 Fall 2006 4/11/2017 CO2 “Budget” of the Atmosphere 2 = 4 billion tons go out Ocean Land Biosphere (net) Fossil Fuel Burning + 8 800 billion tons carbon billion tons go in ATMOSPHERE billion tons added every year CSU ATS Scott Denning

18 How Far Do We Choose to Go?
AT606 Fall 2006 4/11/2017 How Far Do We Choose to Go? Billions of tons of carbon “Doubled” CO2 Today Pre-Industrial Glacial 800 1200 600 400 billions of tons carbon ATMOSPHERE ( ppm ) (570) (380) (285) (190) Past, Present, and Potential Future Carbon Levels in the Atmosphere CSU ATS Scott Denning

19 AT606 Fall 2006 4/11/2017 Historical Emissions Billions of Tons Carbon Emitted per Year 16 Historical emissions 8 1950 2000 2050 2100 CSU ATS Scott Denning 19

20 The “Stabilization Triangle” Stabilization Triangle
AT606 Fall 2006 4/11/2017 The “Stabilization Triangle” Billions of Tons Carbon Emitted per Year 16 Current path = “ramp” Stabilization Triangle Interim Goal Historical emissions 8 Flat path 1.6 1950 2000 2050 2100 CSU ATS Scott Denning 20

21 Stabilization Triangle
AT606 Fall 2006 4/11/2017 The Stabilization Triangle Billions of Tons Carbon Emitted per Year Easier CO2 target 16 Current path = “ramp” ~850 ppm Stabilization Triangle Interim Goal Historical emissions 8 Flat path Tougher CO2 target ~500 ppm 1.6 1950 2000 2050 2100 CSU ATS Scott Denning 21

22 “Satbilization Wedges”
AT606 Fall 2006 4/11/2017 “Satbilization Wedges” Billions of Tons Carbon Emitted per Year 16 Current path = “ramp” 16 GtC/y Eight “wedges” Goal: In 50 years, same global emissions as today Historical emissions 8 Flat path 1.6 1950 2000 2050 2100 CSU ATS Scott Denning 22

23 AT606 Fall 2006 4/11/2017 What is a “Wedge”? A “wedge” is a strategy to reduce carbon emissions that grows in 50 years from zero to 1.0 GtC/yr. The strategy has already been commercialized at scale somewhere. 1 GtC/yr Total = 25 Gigatons carbon 50 years Cumulatively, a wedge redirects the flow of 25 GtC in its first 50 years. This is 2.5 trillion dollars at $100/tC. A “solution” to the CO2 problem should provide at least one wedge. CSU ATS Scott Denning

24 Fifteen Wedges in 4 Categories
AT606 Fall 2006 4/11/2017 Fifteen Wedges in 4 Categories Energy Efficiency & Conservation (4) 16 GtC/y Fuel Switching (1) Renewable Fuels & Electricity (4) Stabilization Stabilization Triangle Triangle CO2 Capture & Storage (3) 8 GtC/y Forest and Soil Storage (2) 2007 2057 Nuclear Fission (1) CSU ATS Scott Denning 24

25 AT606 Fall 2006 4/11/2017 Photos courtesy of Ford Motor Co., DOE, EPA Efficiency Produce today’s electric capacity with double today’s efficiency Double the fuel efficiency of the world’s cars or halve miles traveled Average coal plant efficiency is 32% today “E,T, H” = can be applied to electric, transport, or heating sectors, $=rough indication of cost (on a scale of $ to $$$) There are about 600 million cars today, with 2 billion projected for 2055 Use best efficiency practices in all residential and commercial buildings E, T, H / $ Replacing all the world’s incandescent bulbs with CFL’s would provide 1/4 of one wedge Sector s affected: E = Electricity, T =Transport, H = Heat Cost based on scale of $ to $$$ CSU ATS Scott Denning

26 AT606 Fall 2006 4/11/2017 Fuel Switching Substitute 1400 natural gas electric plants for an equal number of coal-fired facilities “E,H” = can be applied to electric or heating sectors, $=rough indication of cost (on a scale of $ to $$$) Effort needed for 1 wedge: Build 1400 GW of capacity powered by natural gas instead of coal (60% of current fossil fuel electric capacity) Requires an amount of natural gas equal to that used for all purposes today So a slice is 50 LNG tanker discharges/day by m3/tanker, or one new “Alaska” 4 Bscfd. Detailed Description: NATURAL GAS TURBINES ARE BEING DEVELOPED TO PRODUCE ELECTRICITY IN A SIMPLE, LOW COST ENVIRONMENTALLY FRIENDLY WAY. DOE'S NATIONAL ENERGY TECHNOLOGY LABORATORY (NETL) INITIATED THE ADVANCED TURBINE SYSTEMS (ATS) PROGRAM AND HAS PARTNERED WITH INDUSTRY TO PRODUCE A NEW GENERATION OF HIGH EFFICIENCY GAS TURBINES FOR CENTRAL STATION ELECTRICITY PRODUCTION, USING CLEAN BURNING NATURAL GAS. 700 1-GW baseload coal plants (5400 TWh/y) emit 1 GtC/y. Natural gas: 1 GtC/y = 190 Bscfd Yr 2000 electricity: Coal : TWh/y; Natural gas: 2700 TWh/y. Photo by J.C. Willett (U.S. Geological Survey). A wedge requires an amount of natural gas equal to that used for all purposes today E, H / $ CSU ATS Scott Denning

27 Carbon Capture & Storage
AT606 Fall 2006 4/11/2017 Carbon Capture & Storage Implement CCS at 800 GW coal electric plants or 1600 GW natural gas electric plants or 180 coal synfuels plants or 10 times today’s capacity of hydrogen plants “E,T, H” = can be applied to electric, transport, or heating sectors, $=rough indication of cost (on a scale of $ to $$$) Graphic courtesy of Alberta Geological Survey There are currently three storage projects that each inject 1 million tons of CO2 per year – by 2055 need 3500. E, T, H / $$ CSU ATS Scott Denning

28 Nuclear Electricity E/ $$
AT606 Fall 2006 4/11/2017 Nuclear Electricity Triple the world’s nuclear electricity capacity by 2055 “E” = can be applied to electric sector, $$=rough indication of cost (on a scale of $ to $$$) Plutonium (Pu) production by 2054, if fuel cycles are unchanged: 4000 t Pu (and another 4000 t Pu if current capacity is continued). Compare with ~ 1000 t Pu in all current spent fuel, ~ 100 t Pu in all U.S. weapons. 5 kg ~ Pu critical mass. Graphic courtesy of NRC The rate of installation required for a wedge from electricity is equal to the global rate of nuclear expansion from E/ $$ CSU ATS Scott Denning

29 Wind Electricity E, T, H / $-$$
AT606 Fall 2006 4/11/2017 Wind Electricity Install 1 million 2 MW windmills to replace coal-based electricity, OR Use 2 million windmills to produce hydrogen fuel “E,T, H” = can be applied to electric, transport, or heating sectors, $-$$=rough indication of cost (on a scale of $ to $$$) Photo courtesy of DOE A wedge worth of wind electricity will require increasing current capacity by a factor of 30 E, T, H / $-$$ CSU ATS Scott Denning

30 Photos courtesy of DOE Photovoltaics Program
AT606 Fall 2006 4/11/2017 Solar Electricity Install 20,000 square kilometers for dedicated use by 2054 “E” = can be applied to electric sector, $$$=rough indication of cost (on a scale of $ to $$$) Photos courtesy of DOE Photovoltaics Program A wedge of solar electricity would mean increasing current capacity 700 times E / $$$ CSU ATS Scott Denning

31 Remember Half (4 GtC/yr) of the current emissions (8 GtC/yr) remain in the atmosphere and contribute to greenhouse forcing of downward longwave raditaion Economic growth is on track to at least doubleCO2 emissions to 16 GtC/yr by 2050 Reducing CO2 emissions requires choosing a combination of efficiency, fuel switching, and alternative energy generation (“wedges”) Each “wedge” is feasible given today’s technology, but also expensive


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