Navigation Links
Preventing climate change: The size of the energy challenge
Date:1/7/2013

Washington, D.C. In 2004 a very popular study aimed to address climate change by deploying wedges of different existing energy technologies or approaches. According to the study by Robert Socolow and Stephen Pacala, each wedge would avoid one billion tons of carbon (1 GtC) emissions per year after 50 years. The study showed that, at that time, seven wedges could stabilize carbon dioxide emissions relative to what would happen if things remained "business-as-usual."

A new perspective paper from a group including Carnegie's Ken Caldeira uses the wedge approach to estimate the size of the energy challenge posed by climate change today. It is published January 9 by Environmental Research Letters.

The perspective's authors showed that as a result of increased emissions, merely achieving what was considered "business-as-usual" in 2004 would require the development and deployment of 12 wedges. Stabilizing emissions at current levels would require another 9 wedges. Decreasing emissions to the level needed to prevent climate change would need an additional 10 wedges. Altogether, 31 wedges would be required to stabilize the Earth's climate.

"To solve the climate problem while providing the energy needed for modern industrial society, new energy technologies must be developed and deployed at an enormous and increasing rate," Caldeira said.

His co-authors are Steven Davis and Long Cao, both formerly of Carnegie, now with University of California Irvine and Zhejiang University in China, respectively, as well as Martin Hoffert of New York University.

Truly addressing climate changes means not just stabilizing emissions, but sharply reducing them over the next 50 years, the authors said. This would require more than just improving existing technologies, they added.

"It's not enough to freeze greenhouse gas emissions at current levels. To prevent climate change, we need to stop dumping carbon dioxide into the atmosphere at industrial scale", said Caldeira. "The original study showed that we can solve a large part of the problem with existing technologies, but solving the whole problem requires new technologies deployed at massive scale."

Current technologies and systems cannot provide the equivalent amounts of carbon-free energy needed soon enough or affordably enough to achieve this transformation, the perspective says. Fundamental, disruptive changes to the global energy system are required.

"Most of the greenhouse gas emissions expected this century are expected to come from the developing world in the second half of the century. A central challenge of the first half of this century is to develop the energy technologies that will be needed in the second half of the century," Caldeira said. "Existing technologies just cannot provide the massive amounts of carbon-neutral power needed later this century. Solving the climate problem will be both difficult and necessary."


'/>"/>

Contact: Ken Caldeira
kcaldeira@carnegiescience.edu
650-704-7212
Carnegie Institution
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. Preventing prostate cancer through androgen deprivation may have harmful effects
2. Microscopic packets of stem cell factors could be key to preventing lung disease in babies
3. New study to examine ecological tipping points in hopes of preventing them
4. Limiting TV time -- Effective strategy for preventing weight gain in children
5. Preventing the immune system from going haywire during sepsis
6. Preventing home invasions means fighting side-by-side for coral-dwelling crabs and shrimp
7. As climate warms, bark beetles march on high-elevation forests
8. Pics, shoots and leaves: Ecologists turn digital cameras into climate change tools
9. Geo-engineering against climate change
10. University of Tennessee study predicts extreme climate in Eastern US
11. Boreal bird species of conservation concern affected by climate change
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:6/22/2016)... WASHINGTON , June 22, 2016 On ... highly-anticipated call to industry to share solutions for the ... by U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), explains that ... nationals are departing the United States ... criminals, and to defeat imposters. Logo - ...
(Date:6/20/2016)... Securus Technologies, a leading provider of ... safety, investigation, corrections and monitoring announced that after ... secured the final acceptance by all three (3) ... Systems (MAS) installed. Furthermore, Securus will have contracts ... by October, 2016. MAS distinguishes between legitimate wireless ...
(Date:6/15/2016)... , June 15, 2016 ... report titled "Gesture Recognition Market by Application Market - Global Industry ... - 2024". According to the report, the  global gesture ... in 2015 and is estimated to grow at ... billion by 2024.  Increasing application of ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:6/24/2016)...  Regular discussions on a range of subjects including policies, ... entities said Poloz. Speaking at a lecture to ... he pointed to the country,s inflation target, which is set ... "In certain areas there needs ... economic goals, why not sit down and address strategy together?" ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... ... June 23, 2016 , ... ... announce the launch of their brand, UP4™ Probiotics, into Target stores nationwide. The ... is proud to add Target to its list of well-respected retailers. This list ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... ... June 23, 2016 , ... Charm Sciences, Inc. is ... has received AOAC Research Institute approval 061601. , “This is another AOAC-RI approval ... Bob Salter, Vice President of Regulatory and Industrial Affairs. “The Peel Plate methods ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... ... , ... STACS DNA Inc., the sample tracking software company, today announced that ... joined STACS DNA as a Field Application Specialist. , “I am thrilled that ... of STACS DNA. “In further expanding our capacity as a scientific integrator, Hays brings ...
Breaking Biology Technology: