Famine, economic collapse, a sun that cooks us: What climate change could wreak — sooner than you think.It is, I promise, worse than you think. If your anxiety about global warming is dominated by fears of sea-level rise, you are barely scratching the surface of what terrors are possible, even within the lifetime of a teenager today. And yet the swelling seas — and the cities they will drown — have so dominated the picture of global warming, and so overwhelmed our capacity for climate panic, that they have occluded our perception of other threats, many much closer at hand. Rising oceans are bad, in fact very bad; but fleeing the coastline will not be enough.Indeed, absent a significant adjustment to how billions of humans conduct their lives, parts of the Earth will likely become close to uninhabitable, and other parts horrifically inhospitable, as soon as the end of this century.
Topic 1) emphasises the urgency of energy transition.Topic 2) is the main focus of the document, with the paper by Sgouridis et al, 2016.This identifies the relationship between the remaining fossil fuel emissions cap, the transition time, and the required investment in Renewable Energy (RE) supply plant.Topics 3) and 4) refer to the initial conditions prior to the energy transition.Topic 5) compares the Energy Return on Investments (EROIs) of Renewable Energy (solar and wind power) supply measures with the weighted average value of 20 assumed by Sgouridis et al.Topic 6 is concerned with the global limits of renewable power sources.Where Topics 3) and 4) deal in UK quantities, Topic 6) deals in Global quantities. However, the UK must expect to use only a proportionate share - e.g. equal per capita.Topics 7) and 8) consider energy demand measures as complements of the supply measures assumed by Sgouridis et al. They refer to two papers by Cullen and Allwood et al, 2010 and 2010.Including energy demand measures will greatly ease an energy transition within the constraints, such as 2 C global warming.
'Planning the appropriate renewable energy (RE) installation rate should balance two partially contradictory objectives: substituting fossil fuels fast enough to stave-off the worst consequences of climate change while maintaining a sufficient net energy flow to support the world’s economy. The upfront energy invested in constructing a RE infrastructure subtracts from the net energy available for societal energy needs, a fact typically neglected in energy projections. Modeling feasible energy transition pathways to provide different net energy levels we find that they are critically dependent on the fossil fuel emissions cap and phase-out profile and on the characteristic energy return on energy invested of the RE technologies. The easiest pathway requires installation of RE plants to accelerate from 0.12 TW p yr –1 in 2013 to peak between 7.3 and 11.6 TW p yr –1 in the late 2030s, for an early or a late fossil-fuel phase-out respectively, in order for emissions to stay within the recommended CO 2 budget’.
So the early fossil-fuel phase-out requires the installation of RE plants to accelerate by 7.3/0.12 = 61-fold and the late phase-out by 11.6/0.12 = 97-fold. Further delay would mean that there is no solution.
Christiana Figueres and colleagues set out a six-point plan for turning the tide of the world’s carbon dioxide by 2020.
In the past three years, global emissions of carbon dioxide from the burning of fossil fuels have levelled after rising for decades. This is a sign that policies and investments in climate mitigation are starting to pay off. The United States, China and other nations are replacing coal with natural gas and boosting renewable energy sources. There is almost unanimous international agreement that the risks of abandoning the planet to climate change are too great to ignore.
This presentation was prepared for - but not given at - a conference on Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) in London.The UK Government was then offering the power companies £ 1 billion to build coal- or gas-fired power plants with CCS.
This presentation was made up of three topics: - Data for all cars on the UK market - fuel consumption and CO2 (taxation) - Data from running a Model Year 2000 Toyota Prius - Data comparing Lifecycle CO2 of ICEV on renewable fuel with BEV on renewable electricity
Four of Britain's major unions are big supporters of nuclear power, writes Ian Fairlie - all because of the jobs. Now Labour's shadow energy minister has joined them in backing Hinkley C - even though renewable energy is a far better job-creator than nuclear, and already employs three times more people.
Ice scientists are mostly cheerful and pragmatic. Like many other researchers coolly observing the rapid warming of the world, they share a gallows humour and are cautious about entering the political fray. Not Peter Wadhams. The former director of the Scott Polar Research Institute and professor of ocean physics at Cambridge has spent his scientific life researching the ice world, or the cryosphere, and in just 30 years has seen unimaginable change. When in 1970 he joined the first of what would be more than 50 polar expeditions, the Arctic sea ice covered around 8m sq km at its September minimum. Today, it hovers at around 3.4m, and is declining by 13% a decade. In 30 years Wadhams has seen the Arctic ice thin by 40%, the world change colour at its top and bottom and the ice disappear in front of his eyes.