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Global Warming is Limited by Carbon Availability

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Global Warming is Limited by Carbon Availability presenter: Brian Davies, Physics Dept, WIU For a summary of this presentation with pointers to internet resources ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Global Warming is Limited by Carbon Availability


1
Global Warming is Limited by Carbon Availability
  • presenter Brian Davies, Physics Dept, WIU
  • For a summary of this presentation with pointers
    to internet resources, see my webpage
    http//frontpage.wiu.edu/bmd111/carbon.htm
  • The key analytical work presented here is that of
    Prof. David Rutledge, Chair of the Division of
    Engineering and Applied Science at the California
    Institute of Technology. See http//rutledge.calt
    ech.edu/ for a video and slide presentation.
  • James Hansen and others are also working on
    updating their assumptions about carbon
    availability.
  • Conclusion many of the scenarios in the IPCC
    study assume that carbon emission is much higher
    than possible from known reserves.

2
Atmospheric CO2 has been steadily increasing
during the Anthropocene epoch (NOAA data)
From the Carbon Dioxide Information Analysis
Center http//cdiac.ornl.gov/trends/co2/graphic
s/mlo145e_thrudc04.pdf
3
The trend continues upward, and can be estimated
by calculations, using as an input an estimate
of the emission of carbon dioxide by human
activity. The primary source from human
activity is the combustion of fossil fuels such
as coal, petroleum and its derivative products,
and natural gas.
Where does this line trend in the future?
How much carbon is available to be burned and
how much will end up in the atmosphere?
Reference http//www.esrl.noaa.gov/gmd/ccgg/tren
ds/
4
A goal of the calculations is to estimate this
trend from basic physics.
5
The American Geophysical Union has released a
statement on Human Impacts on Climate which
states that The Earth's climate is now clearly
out of balance and is warming. Many components
of the climate systemincluding the temperatures
of the atmosphere, land and ocean, the extent of
sea ice and mountain glaciers, the sea level, the
distribution of precipitation, and the length of
seasonsare now changing at rates and in patterns
that are not natural and are best explained by
the increased atmospheric abundances of
greenhouse gases and aerosols generated by human
activity during the 20th century. ... If this
2C warming is to be avoided, then our net annual
emissions of CO2 must be reduced by more than 50
percent within this century. With such
projections, there are many sources of scientific
uncertainty, but none are known that could make
the impact of climate change inconsequential.
For the full statement (and it should be
read as an entire statement) see
http//www.agu.org/sci_soc/policy/positions/clima
te_change2008.shtml
6
UN Panel on Climate Change (IPCC)
  • The UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change
    (IPCC) publishes assessment reports that reflect
    the consensus on climate change
  • The 4th report has been released (www.ipcc.ch)
  • Over one thousand authors
  • Over one thousand reviewers
  • Updated measurements
  • Temperature rising 0.013?C per year (1956-2005)
  • JPL satellite measurements indicate that sea
    level rising 3mm per year (1993-2003)

7
The IPCC report envisions 40 different scenarios
with varying assumptions.
Adapted from http//rutledge.caltech.edu
8
One of my major points in this talkWe need to
estimate the actual amount of carbon emissions
that could be emitted by burning known amounts
of hydrocarbons, and not just make simple
assumptions about growth rates.
9
Historical U.S. petroleum production
Alaskan oil
  • Data from the DOEs Energy Information
    Administration (EIA)
  • From http//rutledge.caltech.edu

10
US Crude-Oil Production cumulative plot
29Gb remaining
  • EIA data (1859-2006), and graph by Rutledge
  • Cumulative production assumes an ultimate of
    225Gb production
  • Hubberts larger ultimate was 200 billion barrels
    (the Alaska trend is 19 billion barrels)

11
Growth-Rate Plot for US Crude Oil
Trend line is for normal fit (225 billion
barrels)
  • EIA data (cumulative from 1859, open symbols
    1900-1930, closed symbols 1931-2006)
  • This plot shows annual production divided by
    cumulative production (vertical axis) vs.
    cumulative production (horizontal axis) (also
    known as Hubbert linearization)

12
Now consider world oil production
  • This method (known as Hubbert Linearization in
    some discussions) allows for an estimate of
    ultimate production (the total amount of the
    resource that will eventually be extracted from
    the ground).
  • We will show the global oil production curves,
    then
  • skip the display of world oil production and go
    on to
  • estimate the ultimate quantity of all types of
    hydrocarbon that will be extracted (Oil, natural
    gas, and natural gas liquids, etc., but not
    liquids derived from biomass).

13
Consumption has overtaken discovery, with a 40
year lag in peaks. From a talk by Albert
Bartlett, U. Colorado (retired). The
projections in this graph are outdated, so just
look at the historical data.
14
Growth-Rate Plot for World Hydrocarbons
(from Rutledge)
Trend line for 3Tboe remaining
  • Oil natural gas natural gas liquids like
    propane and butane
  • Data 1965, 1972, 1981, 2006 BP Statistical Review
    (open 1960-1982, closed 1983-2005)
  • The German resources agency BGR gives hydrocarbon
    reserves as 2.7Tboe
  • Expectation of future discoveries and future OPEC
    oil reserve reductions
  • Includes 500Gboe for non-conventional sources
    like Canadian oil sands

15
World Hydrocarbon Production (from Rutledge)
3Tboe remaining
  • Cumulative normal (ultimate production 4.6Tboe)
  • IPCC scenarios assume that 11 to 15Tboe is
    available

16
Coal production
  • Coal resources ALL the coal underground (a huge
    resource)
  • Coal reserves Coal that can be economically
    mined (much less)
  • New data on coal usually results in downgrading
    of the proven reserves.
  • German hard coal reserves were downgraded by 99
    percent from 23 billion tons to 0.183 billion
    tons in 2004.
  • German lignite reserves have been downgraded
    drastically, which is noteworthy because Germany
    is the largest lignite producer world-wide.
  • Poland downgraded its hard coal reserves by 50
    percent compared to 1997.
  • Poland downgraded its lignite and subbituminous
    coal reserves in two steps since 1997 to zero.
  • Some of the IPCC scenarios assumed up to 18 TBoe
    of coal would be mined and burned on a global
    basis, and we will see that estimates of
    actually-recoverable coal reserves may be around
    1.6 TBoe, much lower than assumed by the IPCC
    authors. (Even generous estimates of coal
    production yield a figure of 3.5 TBoe.)

17
British Coal Production (from Rutledge)
  • Data from the US National Bureau of Economic
    Research (1854-1876), the Durham Coal Mining
    Museum (1877-1956), and the British Department of
    Trade and Industry (1957-2006)
  • In the peak production year, 1913, there were
    3,024 mines

18
Cumulative British Coal Production (from Rutledge)
Pre-war fit
Post-war fit
  • Pre-war lms fit (1854-1945, ultimate 25.6Gt, mean
    1920, sd 41 years)
  • Post-war lms fit (1946-2006, ultimate 27.2Gt,
    mean 1927, sd 39 years)

19
Growth-Rate Plot for British Coal (from Rutledge)
  • 1854-2006, 1853 cumulative from William Jevons,
    The Coal Question
  • Already near the trend line in 1854

20
Reserves vs Trends for Remaining Production
Region Reserves Gt Trends Gt
North America 255 135
East Asia 190 70
Australia and New Zealand 79 50
Europe 55 23
Africa 30 10
Former Soviet Union 223 18
South Asia 111 111
Central and South America 20 20
World (at 3.6boe/t) 963 (3.5Tboe) 437 (1.6Tboe)
  • North America includes trends for the East
    (40Gt), the West (25Gt), reserves for Montana
    (68Gt), and trends for Canada and Mexico (2Gt)
  • IPCC scenarios assume 18Tboe is available for
    production

21
Future Fossil-Fuels Production (from Rutledge)
3.0Tboe hydrocarbons remaining
1.6Tboe coal remaining
  • Hydrocarbons cumulative normal (ultimate 4.6Tboe,
    lms fit for mean 2018, sd 35 years)
  • 2005 coal cumulative from the 2005 BGR Energy
    Resources Report (USGS for US)
  • Coal cumulative normal (ultimate 2.6Tboe, lms fit
    for mean 2024, sd 48 years)
  • The standard deviations of 35 and 48 years can be
    compared to time constants for temperature and
    sea level

22
Fossil-Fuel Carbon Emissions (from Rutledge)
Producer-Limited Profile
Super-Kyoto Profile
520Gt remaining
  • Total fossil-fuel carbon is an input for
    climate-change models
  • Carbon coefficients from the EIA oil
    (110kg/boe), gas (79kg/boe), coal (141kg/boe),
    and future hydrocarbons weighted by BGR reserves
    (98kg/boe)
  • The Super-Kyoto Profile is a 50 stretch-out in
    time with the same ultimate production

23
From the work by Rutledge, the main point of this
talk comes in comparing with the IPCC Scenarios
Producer-Limited Profile
  • The Producer-Limited profile has lower emissions
    than any of the 40 IPCC scenarios, which puts
    limits on the eventual temperature rise!
  • Jean Laherrere was the first to point out this
    anomalous situation

24
Conclusion The Producer-Limited profile has
lower emissions than any of the 40 IPCC
scenarios. This means that these scenarios are
probably unrealistic. Carbon availability limits
the eventual temperature rise it may be
significantly lower than the IPCC estimates.
  • Rutledge web site with video and accompanying
    Powerpoint slides http//rutledge.caltech.edu/
  • Dr. Rutledge has also summarized this in a web
    discussion forum http//www.theoildrum.com/node/2
    697
  • CalTech has several related video presentations
    (by Hansen, etc) http//today.caltech.edu/theate
    r/list?subsetscience
  • Ken Deffeyes, Hubberts Peak, in the Malpass
    library
  • William Catton, Overshoot, in the Malpass library
  • http//www.architecture2030.org/home.html

25
Concluding Thoughts from Dr. Rutledge
  • Results
  • Estimate for future hydrocarbon production
    (3Tboe) is consistent with reserves
  • Estimate for future coal production (1.6Tboe) is
    about half of reserves
  • The time constants for fossil-fuel exhaustion are
    of the order of 50 years
  • The time constants for temperature and sea-level
    change are of the order of 1,000 years
  • Implications
  • Since estimate for future fossil-fuel production
    is less than all 40 UN IPCC scenarios, producer
    limitations could provide useful constraints in
    climate modeling
  • A transition to renewable sources of energy is
    likely
  • To lessen the effects of climate change
    associated with future fossil-fuel use, reducing
    ultimate production is more important than
    slowing it down
  • Opportunities
  • One-third of US fossil-fuel reserves are on
    federal lands, so ultimate production could be
    reduced substantially by limits on new leases for
    mining and drilling
  • The US has an outstanding resource in its direct
    sunlight

26
from COAL RESOURCES AND FUTURE PRODUCTION
Background paper prepared by the Energy Watch
GroupMarch 2007 EWG-Series No 1/2007updated
version 10th July 2007
27
From a National Academy of Sciences report, June
2007
US coal-producing regions
28
from COAL RESOURCES AND FUTURE PRODUCTION
Background paper prepared by the Energy Watch
GroupMarch 2007 EWG-Series No 1/2007updated
version 10th July 2007
29
from COAL RESOURCES AND FUTURE PRODUCTION
Background paper prepared by the Energy Watch
GroupMarch 2007 EWG-Series No 1/2007updated
version 10th July 2007
30
from COAL RESOURCES AND FUTURE PRODUCTION
Background paper prepared by the Energy Watch
GroupMarch 2007 EWG-Series No 1/2007updated
version 10th July 2007
31
from COAL RESOURCES AND FUTURE PRODUCTION
Background paper prepared by the Energy Watch
GroupMarch 2007 EWG-Series No 1/2007updated
version 10th July 2007
32
from COAL RESOURCES AND FUTURE PRODUCTION
Background paper prepared by the Energy Watch
GroupMarch 2007 EWG-Series No 1/2007updated
version 10th July 2007
33
CO2 levels on geologic time scales were much
higher than in the paleolithic period (or now)
(present level is about 350 ppm 0.03)
R. Dudley, J. Exper. Biol.,201, 1043, 1998.
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