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Thoughts on Global Energy and Global Warming


Thoughts on Global Energy and Global Warming Tom Fletcher Professor, Associate Chair Chemical Engineering Department Brigham Young University Presented to the BYU ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Thoughts on Global Energy and Global Warming

Thoughts on Global Energy and Global Warming
  • Tom Fletcher
  • Professor, Associate Chair
  • Chemical Engineering Department
  • Brigham Young University
  • Presented to the BYU Management Society
  • Joseph Smith Memorial Building
  • Salt Lake City, UT
  • April 10, 2008

Primary Sources of Energy
  • Fossil
  • Oil
  • Coal
  • Gas
  • Nuclear
  • Fission
  • Fusion
  • Solar
  • Hydropower
  • Biomass
  • Photovoltaic
  • Solar thermal
  • Wind
  • Geothermal

Non Renewables
How much do we consume?
  • Worldwide consumption rate (per second)
  • 37,000 gals of oil
  • 150 tons coal
  • 3.2 Mcf gas
  • Units must have come from a veritable tower of
  • Therms (or BTUs), Quads, MWh, Barrels (bbl),
    Tons, Tcf
  • Lack of uniform units presents a serious
    impediment to meaningful discussion
  • Further confusion caused by the necessity to use
    millions, billions, trillions, and quadrillions
    of whatever

Crane and Kinderman, 2000
Idea Cubic Mile of Oil Equivalent
  • A unit that can be visualized
  • 1 cmo _at_ 1 trillion gallons of oil
  • Also, 1 cmo _at_ current annual worldwide oil
  • 1 cmo is equivalent to
  • 26 Billion (109) bbl oil
  • 6 Billion (109) tons of hard coal
  • 49.5 Trillion (1012) KWh electricity
  • 153 Quadrillion (1015) Btu (Quads)
  • 1 Btu _at_ energy from a burning match

Crane and Kinderman, 2000
Primary Sources of Energy in cmo (2000)
  • Fossil 2.2
  • Oil 1.0
  • Coal .61
  • Gas .57
  • Nuclear .17
  • Fission .17
  • Fusion
  • Solar .21
  • Hydropower .19
  • Biomass .02
  • Photovoltaic
  • Solar thermal lt.005
  • Wind
  • Geothermal .01

Total 2.6
2.2 out of 2.6 cmo or 85 from fossil sources
Crane and Kinderman, 2000
Historic Trend in Energy Use
  • Doubling every 27 years
  • Increases in population and living standards
    drive the exponential increase in energy
  • By 2050, the world will need between 2 and 7
    additional cmos!!!
  • Where will this come from??

Switching to Non-Fossil Energy
  • What do we do?
  • Hydro
  • Nuclear
  • Wind
  • Biomass
  • Photovoltaic

Lets estimate what it would take to get 1 cmo
from any of these sources by 2050
Crane and Kinderman, 2000
Hydroelectric to get 1 CMO
  • Three Gorges Dam is 18.2 GWe
  • 9 times size of Aswan Dam
  • 30 billion (US)
  • 15 years (1994 to 2009)
  • Displaced 1 million people from homes
  • 18.2 GWe is .003 CMO!
  • Need over 300 such dams to get 1 CMO!
  • By 2050, need 1 completed every 2 months

Nuclear to get 1 CMO
  • Diablo Canyon has two reactors of 1100 MW each
  • Operating for 15 years
  • Studies on earthquake survivability
  • One of two operating nuclear plants in CA
  • Provided 1.72 ? 107 MW-hrs of electricity in 2003
  • 0.00039 CMO
  • Need over 2500 such facilities to get 1 CMO!
  • By 2050, need 5 facilities completed every month

Wind to get 1 CMO
  • Denmark is putting 2 MW windmill/turbines into
    the North Sea
  • 64 m high at hub, 74 m rotor diameter(210 ft
    high at hub, 243 ft diameter)
  • 10 turbines provided 89 ? 103 MW-hrs of
    electricity for Copenhagen
  • 2 ? 10-7 CMO per windmill
  • Need over 5 million such facilities to get 1 CMO!
  • By 2050, need over 300 such large windmills
    completed every day!
  • Problems for 2/3 of time wind is not right

Biomass to get 1 CMO
  • Average of 15 tons of biomass per acre per year
    (in U.S.)
  • Average energy content of 7500 Btu/lb
  • Small power plants with low conversion efficiency
  • Extra 75 fossil fuel needed to convert to
    liquid fuels
  • 1.5 ? 10-9 CMO per acre (not including efficiency
    of conversion)
  • Need over 680 million acres to get 1 CMO!
  • 1 million square miles, ora square 1000 miles
    by 1000 miles
  • Impact on food prices (especially meat, wheat,

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Photovoltaic to get 1 CMO
  • Quite expensive to get electricity
  • Not bad for hot water
  • Average 80 kW-hr/m2 of power per year
  • 1.8 ? 10-12 CMO per m2
  • Need over 200,000 square miles of photovoltaics
    to get 1 CMO!
  • A square 450 miles by 450 miles

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This analysis was for 1 CMO by 2050!The world
may need 2-7!We have an enormous task ahead of
usWhat about fossil fuel options?
Coal to get to 1 CMO
  • IPP plant near Delta, UT
  • Two 975 MW facilities
  • Each burns 1 million pounds/hr of coal
  • All converted to DC power and shipped to the LA
    basin, then reconverted to AC power
  • Assume 36 efficiency, 97 uptime
  • 16.6 million MW-hrs of power per year
  • .00103 CMO/yr
  • Need 968 such facilities by 2050 to get 1 CMO!
  • 19 plants per year for 50 years, or
  • 1.6 plants per month

This is why we use fossil energy!
  • Most projections show that the percentage of
    fossil fuel use will stay relatively constant
  • We still have to build a lot of facilities!
  • Rapid building in China
  • Construction prices have risen 25-30
  • Increased renewables will keep pace with
    increased energy use and only increase slightly
    as a percentage of the overall energy use

What Should Be Done?
  • Define goals
  • Cost?
  • Environment?
  • National security?
  • Reduce dependence on unstable/unfriendly
  • Continue expanding renewable energy using
    economic judgment
  • How much extra are people willing to pay for
    fossil fuel alternatives?
  • Make fossil fuel use as clean and efficient as
  • Rise in natural gas costs -- home heating costs
  • Options for cleaner coal IGCC, oxyfiring, CO2
  • Alternate liquid fuels biodiesel, (ethanol),
    coal-to-liquids, biomass-to-liquids
  • Nuclear
  • Projected fuel shortage in 30 years without
    breeder technology
  • Wastes from breeder technology much smaller
  • handling large quantities of plutonium is a
    potential terrorist threat

Thoughts on Global Warming
Global Warming
Sunlight heats earth(visible wavelengths)
Earth radiates heat to space(infrared
Some gases absorbinfrared radiation(H2O, CO2,
Gases heat up andthen tranfer heat to surface
Source Boyle textbook
Plancks Law
Note scale change on y-axis!
Adsorbed by dust, ozone, water vapor in upper
atmosphere (stratosphere) 19
Air backscattering
Cloud Reflection 17
Cloud Absorption in lower atmosphere 4
  • Total Reflected (shortwave) 30
  • Net Heating of Air Surface 47
  • Hydrologic Cycle 23
  • Wind, waves, currents 0.2
  • Photosynthesis 0.02

Note These numbers are hard to balance!
Temperature and CO2 Data
Source Skeptical Environmentalist
Global Warming Models
None of the models show an increase in
temperature in these time periods, even though
CO2 increases substantially!!
Source Skeptical Environmentalist
0.035 (350 ppm)
1(60 rel. hum at 15?C)
Note Wavelength plottedbackwards
Science Problem
  • If CO2 (or any other infrared absorber) causes
    extensive warming, then the atmosphere should
    show increased temperature change before the
  • All theories operate on this scientific principle
  • No major changes have been observed in the
    atmospheric temperature at the correct altitudes!
  • Actually, surface temperatures have dropped
    slightly in 2007-2008!

Are There Any Other Possible Explanations for
Rise in Tearth?
  • Two Biggest Factors
  • Fluctuations in solar activity
  • Large volcanic eruptions
  • Particles in upper atmosphere lower solar
    radiation to earth

Correlation with Sunspot Activity
There is also some evidence that the temperature
increase precedes the CO2 increase
Sunspot Activity AlsoImplicated in
No increase in hurricanefrequency!
Speculations as to the cause of the near-decadal
oscillation of BE hurricanes center on changes in
Atlantic SSTs possibly through changes in
evaporation rates. Specifically, crosscorrelation
analysis points to solar activity as a possible
Fluctuations in North Atlantic Hurricane
Frequency, J. B. ELSNER, A. B. KARA, AND M. A.
OWENS, Department of Meteorology, The Florida
State University, Tallahassee, Florida, Journal
of Climate, 12, 427-437 (1999)
Hot U.S. Temperatures Do Not Correspond to CO2
Bottom Line
  • The global temperature is increasing
  • We have been in a Little Ice Age
  • There seems to be a 1500 year cycle
  • There have been periods when the earth was
  • Greenland was actually farmable
  • No CO2 mechanism was responsible
  • The evidence that CO2 is causing the temperature
    increase leaves lots of room for doubt (in my
  • The media and many politicians have decided that
    CO2 is a problem
  • Many scientists doubt this, but do not get heard
  • No viable sequestration or replacement is
  • No replacement is available on a large scale

Production of C14 during the last 1000 years. The
variation in the C14 production is caused by
changes in solar activity. When solar is high
the production of C14 is low, due to the
shielding effect of the solar wind against
cosmic rays. Note that the axis for the C14
production has been reversed. The Maunder minimum
refers to the period 1645 -- 1715 when very few
sunspots where observed on the sun. In this
period the production of C14 was very high in
agreement with a low solar activity.
What Should We Do?
  • Dont make rash statements or decisions, such as
  • Eliminate dependence on foreign oil
  • Stop using fossil fuel
  • Require 50 of motor fuel from renewable sources
  • Require H2 as a fuel for a specified fraction of
  • Continue to search for economical renewable
  • Criteria for use of renewables
  • Must be economic without subsidies
  • Must not increase use of fossil fuels
  • Should not increase prices of other sectors (like
  • Must not create additional environmental problems
  • Depleted forest area
  • Oxygen-starved area in Gulf of Mexico at mouth of
    Mississippi River
  • Increase use of unconventional oil
  • Oil sands, oil shale, heavy oil
  • Coal conversion to liquid fuels

Thank You
Notes from Prof. (emeritus) Fred Singer
  • Scientific consensus of 2500 scientists (UN
  • Most had no scientific qualifications
  • Many objected to at least some part of report
  • AP reported that only 52 climate scientists
    contributed to Summary for Policymakers
  • Estimates in the American Meterological Society
    are that 50 are skeptical of man-made global
  • All models show global warming due to increased
  • Greenhouse warming in the tropics predicted to be
    greatest (by factor of 3) 6 miles above surface
    in all models
  • Actual observation is decrease in warming over
    the equator
  • Natural causes
  • Solar fluctuations seem to correlate best
  • Most scientific evidence indicates that
    human-caused increases in CO2 level are
    insignificant to climate change