Transcript hc43409

Climate Literacy Summation
Inconvenient Truths and
Uncertain Futures
Humanity Blew It
Summary of HC 434: Physics and
Politics of Global Climate Change
An Ecosystem Literally Melts Away
Waveform of Concern
Global Sea Level Rise
Our basic Expectation
Long wavelength
absorption properties of our
atmosphere increase the
surface temperature- Water
vapor is the dominant
effect, followed by CO2
Ice Core data
 Provides compelling qualitative evidence
of the relation between temperature and
 But time resolution is insufficient to truly
show if CO2 is a driver or follower of
temperature change
Hockey Stick Problems
 Role of urbanization may not be
adequately account for
 Average temperature of the Earth may
not be a physically meaningful quantity.
 Reliability of multi-century record is
 Two D representation is most convincing
Data Period: 1976 - 2000
Amplification of Polar Warming
Note the significant slop change at 2005: Methane
Feedback signature?
Potential role of methane is larger than CO2
GWP = 21
Scales with population growth
Released from permafrost
Released from hydrate deposits
Emissions now rising again due to global
wetlands returning from prolonged drought
Competition among anthropogenic
Uncertain Role of Aerosol
 The Physical scattering properties are
crucial to determining total dimming
We know Aerosols are Important
 Volcanic Eruptions provide a natural lab
Feedbacks are huge uncertainty
Solubility of CO2 is decreasing;
Ocean sink now less than before
Ocean PH Rising
Ocean sink capacity no longer
scales with increasing emissions
Future Scenarios
Really, Three Choices
BAU because we can’t learn or don’t know
how to do anything differently  react to
disasters as they come
A1T: Alternative energy technology and
fuels will come in time
B1: Value system change: understand
that wilderness is everywhere and behave
Carbon Trading
Emission space is fixed  bid or contract
on emissions
 Effective trading requires many sources of
 What process determines size of emission
 What is the penalty for exceeding your
emissions cap?
Carbon Market
Is now not behaving according to original
expectations of rapid growth:
In 2009 it is
now much
cheaper to put
Carbon into
than to
capture and
store it
Carbon, Capture and Storage
Without a real market, what’s the
incentive for CCS?
 CCS technologies are not mature and need
to be tested.
 Porosity of sequestration needs to be
tested: only sure reserve is deep ocean
 CCS the most politically sensible pathway
to stabilization
Stabilization and Wedges
1 Wedge = 1 Gigaton of Carbon per year
 This is a global effort
 Again, real carbon market could help
provide various incentives
 And remember, global carbon emissions
are now increasing annually (except for
the 2008 global meltdown correction)
Gaining a Wedge
• Increase fuel economy for 2 billion cars from 30
to 60 mpg
• or, decrease annual miles for 2 billion 30 mpg
cars from 10,000 to 5000
• Efficient buildings: cut carbon emissions in
buildings by 25%
• Increase coal fired electricity efficiency from 40%
to 60% using advanced high temperature
• Commit to building large scale renewable
energy projects at the TerraWatt level.
Unambiguous climate change detection
• The intrinsic difficulty is easily forgotten by
most policy makers
• The more we learn about climate science
the more we understand the importance of
multi-decadal variability in the climate
baseline which clearly impacts regional
Regional Climate Change: Raisins
Along with Malaria
And we Policy Wank our way along
 "The United States is committed to reducing the
greenhouse gas intensity of the American
economy by 18 percent over the 10-year period
from 2002 to 2012. “
Policy oops 
Resource Depletion
Global resource use took a sudden uptick
starting around 2000
The world is currently in the most
unsustainable epoch in history! (until 2008
Global Carbon Intensity is
Which box do we want to be in?
We Are At Peak Oil!!
 85
MBD (but now down to 83
averaged over last 6 months)
 Total accessible reserve = 900 BBL
 Annual use = 365x85= 31 BBL/year
 30 years left – end of story
What to Do?
Subversive videos on You Tube don’t hurt
Drive less; Period. Period. Period.
Better transport pods (100 mpg)
Change Values: nature is not a
consumable; Wilderness is Everywhere;
Global Famine should
everything is sacred
not be a market based
Properly factor in avoidance
costs in
economic modeling of climate change
Make markets have ethical dimensions
What to Do II
Stabilize this so that alternative energy
fiscal baselines can be set and our
collective chain can stop being yanked.
IPCC Scenarios
Once again, three real choices
Remain Market Driven
Hope that technological leaps occur
Adopt the kind of global morality/consciousness
that is needed to reduce personal consumption.
Electricity use scale as (pop. Growth)3.5
Increasing global inequity should no longer be
tolerated. Aren’t all men created equal?
Your generation is inheriting the legacy of
consumption driven greed
20 Million College Students
Have inherited this world
Your Choice Matrix: Give up or Not: