My pleasure. In the paper Figs. 9 and 10 give trajectories for CO2, and Fig. 12 tracks the resulting temperatures.
Again, for comparison, here is Hansen's summary in the Ecologist interview:
"JH: Well, if we would reduce emissions a few percent each year, which economists say you could easily do if you had a rising price on carbon, then the maximum temperature rise would be 1.5 degrees [Celsius]. It is already a little more than 1 degree and it might still go up for a few decades but it would peak at about 1.5 and then begin to go down.
We would also, in addition to reducing emissions a few percent a year, need to store more carbon in the soil and biosphere. But that is possible and has other advantages..."
Post by Roger Clifton on Jan 1, 2018 12:42:25 GMT 9.5
The paper, Hanson et al, "Young people's burden..." starts off with a thorough introduction to climate change due to our emissions of CO2 and other gases. They explain that the atmosphere is full, exceeding the preferred 350 ppm and in danger of nasty runaway consequences. To me that implies that we should urgently eliminate all extraction of fossil carbon and get our power from somewhere else. However they seem to pussy foot around the idea of eradicating the fossil carbon extraction industries. Instead, the authors go to some lengths to study the feasibility of other solutions, but effectively show they are a waste of time while we continue to emit. You would think that their conclusion should be a call to arms for the young to take to the streets, requiring governments everywhere to take immediate action to close down the mines and wellheads. Nope. It seems that the young are doomed.
The authors do spend a lot of time discussing what amounts to an excuse for action, called "negative emissions". The idea is that the world reduces but continues converting fossil carbon into emissions and power, while expending some of that power to suck the emissions back down again and entomb them somewhere, somehow. The authors cost the extraction of CO2 from the air as expensive but possible, but they are unable to point out anywhere to put it all. So much for disposal! An end to their line of argument, but this should not be the end of their reasoning. As an alternative to dumping the waste, logically they should then ask, "how could we recycle the stuff?", but they don't. Most obviously, the captured carbon could be re-energised and returned to the economy as fossil-free alternatives to coal, oil and gas. Now _that_ is a proposal worth costing.
Post by Roger Clifton on Jan 2, 2018 19:30:47 GMT 9.5
Huon, putting quotation marks around that text does not reassure us that that is what Dr Hansen meant. Consider that you are quoting the text from "The Ecologist", a vehemently antinuclear organisation that would rather have our descendants fry in hell on earth than let newfangled power sources replace coal, oil and gas. Its rendition is suspect.
To find out what Dr Hansen and his followers believe, the paper you connected us to has far more authority than a er, romantic organisation with about as much concern to protect the greenhouse as Greenpeace, LOL!
It promises a plan that provides 100% renewable energy for all purposes worldwide by the year 2050, and 80% by 2030. The plan excludes nuclear because the author "feels" that it is too expensive and that the IPCC warns against unspecified dangers of nuclear energy. (It doesn't!)
My opinion is that Fig. 12 is solid; and that the Ecologist quotation, though it presents the same material simply and in a optimistic light, is also true. But Fig. 12 (or Fig. 2 in the link I gave above) is the critical issue.
Post by Roger Clifton on Jan 4, 2018 20:39:35 GMT 9.5
Okay Huon, here goes…. The interview says that if the rate of emissions were reduced by a few percent per year, a maximum temperature effect of 1.5 kelvin could be achieved. That contradicts the consensus of the experts at the Paris climate meeting of December 2015, that the target of 1.5 kelvin was already past, unless our political leaders could get magical help from the fairy godmother to vanish CO2 from the atmosphere.
Then the interview then goes on to assert that temperatures would decline after that peak effect. This is hopelessly optimistic. The same hopeful belief is asserted in the declining curves in Figure 11 of the paper, on the basis of a "well tested" model being extrapolated too far into the future. We simply do not know yet how many more positive feedbacks are in the pipeline.
Quote from the interview ends with an admission that emissions reductions would not be enough. It seems that CO2 would have to be extracted from the atmosphere and put somewhere. (Not in the soil, the gas would promptly escape again.) But the admission allows the reader to gather that extractions (a.k.a. capture) would save us from having to cut back too much, (such as the gas backup for wind turbines).
Figure 12 A of the paper is faulty in that it over-optimistically describes a declining equilibrium temperature, as if ensured by Santa Claus. Unlike the current business-as-usual has done for the last 60 years, the maximum rate of emissions (red line) fails to accelerate with the passage of time. In Figure 12 B, the rate of extractions is not quoted as a rate (i.e., per annum), but as a one-off quantity. On the contrary, the rate of extractions would have to continue, matching any residual ongoing fossil emissions from errant nations.
The text supporting the figures fails to describe a realistic extraction process. In a blatant failure, they do not describe a destination for the stuff, because there is no such destination. An extraction of 240 PgC (associated with the 3% per annum reductions) would amount to 880 Pg (Gt) of CO2. Even as a liquid, that is about 880 km³, which can be put nowhere on or in the earth, and even if it could, could not be kept there for the required 10,000 years. Negative emissions is nonsense.
Post by Roger Clifton on Jan 5, 2018 8:13:41 GMT 9.5
The Conclusions section of the paper is missing. The Discussion reads as though Conclusions follow, but it appears to have been removed for some reason unstated. I think an echo of the missing Conclusions appears briefly in the final sentence of the abstract, which warns that negative missions are impractical and that the youngsters are doomed.
I read an implication that the couch potatoes are going to cop a thrashing unless they get off their arses and challenge the authorities. Perhaps the committee of interests that wrote the paper thought that a Conclusion in that vein would be too subversive.
Post by Roger Clifton on Jan 5, 2018 11:23:01 GMT 9.5
Yes, Huon, it is easier to read. As a "Conclusions" addendum, it is authored by Hansen alone, not "et al". Reappearing, that final sentence reads, "If rapid emission reductions do not begin soon, the burden placed on young people to extract CO2 emitted by prior generations may become implausibly difficult and costly."
So all that chatter about "negative emissions" always was pointless. Unwilling to go nuclear, the couch potatoes are gonna get hotter and watch it get worse. No doubt their own children will rage at them for inaction when they could have acted.
You have given me an idea, RC. Why not focus on the simple but authoritative document, Hansen's summary, and make things easier for everyone concerned? Anyway, it's what I'll try to do, with an occasional reference to the main paper.
Post by Roger Clifton on Jan 7, 2018 9:09:51 GMT 9.5
Yes, I think it would be easier still for casual readers if they could read the assertion right there on the Forum page itself, in your own words. That is, that they would read an assertion that begins, "I believe that…". Then with only a minute or two at their disposal, they are more likely to find time to respond with a simple belief of their own.
Referring casual visitors to either of the two papers is giving them homework that I think most people refuse to do. There is also an appearance of gospel-bashing in that we are being invited to believe without giving us any personal reason to do so. However, if you speak to us, we speak to you.
Post by David B. Benson on Jan 8, 2018 5:34:49 GMT 9.5
As mentioned previously several times in several places, it is known how to remove the "negative emissions". The carbon dioxide makes trees and the trees are converted to biochar, almost pure carbon. The biochar is compressed into artificial anthracite and buried underground.
I make no claims regarding the cost, only the feasibility.
Post by Roger Clifton on Jan 8, 2018 13:05:28 GMT 9.5
"Artificial anthracite" sounds like a material of useful quality. I am quite sure that you would be unable to find anywhere to bury the implied ~880 km³ of high quality coal, where unscrupulous humans could not divert or dig it up again for fuel. Why not harness such re-use? Displaced fossil coal would be left buried, buried as remote from greedy hands as any expensive storage for the synthetic equivalent that displaced it.
It strikes me that it would not be a much further step beyond anthracite to convert it to graphite instead. As graphite anodes for the electrolysis of metals such as iron and aluminium, the recycled carbon would compete head-on with the coal-oil-gas that we would be trying to eradicate at the same time. Or at least, should be.
Post by Roger Clifton on Jan 9, 2018 13:02:38 GMT 9.5
Considering the vast amount of money that emitting industries stand to gain by cheating on reductions requirements, I find it prudent to firstly consider any claim to permanent storage (CCS) as a sure sign of criminal intent, with all claims suspect. We cannot afford to be tricked into condoning a crime against the commons on this scale.
Although the paper that Huon quotes looks respectable at first glance, it is in fact prepared by a CCS-dedicated organisation, "Global CCS Institute", and its meagre list of references quotes similar CCS organisations instead of actual scientific studies.
In particular, their method for assessing long-term reservoir capacity is simplistic, credible only to those with a vested interest in believing. "The majority of regional assessments used ... a simple static volumetric calculation of the total pore space, followed by determining how much of the pore space can be physically accessed by CO2". There is no assessment of feasibility of injection, long-term integrity of the seal, or resistance of the reservoir matrix to long-term contact with a corrosive acid. Hardly permanent. But if the stuff stays down there long enough for the accountants to claim "negative emissions" against their usual emissions for the illusion of a reduced net emission, then perhaps that's all they need.
The punchline is in the summary. "The published storage resources are vastly greater than those required for CCS to meet future emission reduction targets." In other words, their stakeholders have every intention of continuing to emit as much as they want.
Post by Roger Clifton on Jan 11, 2018 12:36:19 GMT 9.5
John Morgan's article, "Zero emission synfuel from seawater", that Huon referred us to, concludes by saying, "Maybe its time to stop talking about carbon capture and storage, and start talking about carbon capture and synfuel."
By converting all captured CO2 into synfuel, the fantasy of storage would never be put to the (disastrous) test. If synfuel could be made cheaper (given copious cheap nuclear electricity) than the current manufacture of turbine and diesel fuel etc, extraction of coal-oil-gas would die in the marketplace. Net emissions would be zero, as required by the COP 21 meeting.
John Morgan estimated costs as somewhere between US$0.82 per litre and $1.78, before efficiencies are applied.
Here's my quick take. Synfuel from seawater will help decarbonize society, but, being carbon neutral, it can't draw down atmospheric CO2 levels. Drawdown to reach Morgan's target of 350 ppm requires CO2 capture from the atmosphere, in this case via seawater, and then permanent storage. No storage, no drawdown.
So Morgan's final sentence means something like this: Forget old-style CCS, carbon capture and storage from smokestacks, and consider the new CCS, carbon capture from seawater, used for synfuels and CO2 disposal.
Post by Roger Clifton on Jan 13, 2018 16:18:17 GMT 9.5
We need to be blunt. Imagine that you are once again in a pub surrounded by good-meaning people who are largely in denial about the ongoing, creeping death of fossil-based society. In between bouts of drunken bellowing of the familiar excuses, you are able to shout short replies. Such as...
Nope, we're gonna die. We're gonna die unless we do something drastic. We must eradicate carbon extraction, not reduce it. Once it's up there, it's up there for good. There is far, far too much of it for storage.
Well okay there is CCS, but it's Carbon Capture and Synfuel. It means no more new carbon. We just recycle what's already there. The catch? We have to go 100% nuclear, worldwide. Okay, you would rather die than go nuclear. Then you're gonna die all the sooner and the kiddies too. How are the survivors going to judge our cowardice? Yes you are. Drink up pal. My my, look at the weather, it's getting worse... again.
Post by Roger Clifton on Jan 15, 2018 8:34:38 GMT 9.5
Yes, that's the spirit. We only get a few seconds of opportunity to blurt out a few words - one of your lines. When four people are talking at once, we tend to forget that the other ten are thinking. With a bit of luck, they might actually be listening as well.
Post by Roger Clifton on Jan 19, 2018 9:12:51 GMT 9.5
Again, I am being asked to understand what someone we dont know, meant in a context we are not party to. Maybe he is being deliberately confusing. Because he uses the word "emissions" in more than one way in the same breath, we shouldn't trust that he is talking science. Maybe he is a politician, reassuring his paymasters, we don't know. I would rather read your own opinion, when we can clarify what you mean, agree on the bits that matter, and get somewhere. "Accumulated emissions" in our environment is the reason we have already become hotter. They are not going to decrease, no matter what superstitious antics we get up to. It's up there for good and that's bad. We cant do anything about that.
The "rate of emissions" is the reason the ultimate warming is getting endlessly worse. We can do something about that, but we must go the whole hog. Temperatures will still continue to get worse and worse if we have any rate of emissions at all. We must zeroise the rate of emissions. Where renewables require fossil backup, we must replace the renewables along with their fossil backup if we are to get to zero.
I appreciate your revised comment--it's more pointed and easier to respond to. But I do miss the reference to wind turbines as "prayer wheels".
Ralph Keeling is an atmospheric scientist (see Wikipedia). He is the son of Charles Keeling who did groundbreaking work on measuring CO2 levels in the atmosphere (the Keeling Curve). As far as I can tell, there is no inconsistency in Keeling's terminology: "emissions" means current emissions, and "levels" means accumulated emissions.
We may disagree on the importance and durability of natural sinks, and on the feasibility of CO2 drawdown by humans. But we agree on the most pressing point: Humans must stop emitting as quickly as possible.
Post by Roger Clifton on Jan 26, 2018 11:41:28 GMT 9.5
Thanks, DBB, for the link to "Fighting Climate Change? We're Not Even Landing a Punch". It is good to read a bit of plain talking about the disasters ahead. Having found the courage to speak the plain truth, the author could have gone a further step to propose more forceful solutions.
"As mitigation by an individual country will benefit all, nations will be tempted to take a free ride on the efforts of others." Yes, the logic is obvious, but it is no excuse for pessimism. The free market solution is to make recycled carbon fuel cheaper than fuel based on extracted fossil carbon. Even the most recalcitrant of nations would find its company accountants choosing the cheaper option.
An international carbon tax is not in the "too hard" category. "Countries in the club, committed to reducing carbon emissions, would impose a tariff on imports from nonmembers to encourage them to join." Yes, it's called a carbon tariff, a necessity when applying a carbon tax on all carbon that appears in an economy. In fact the carbon tariff that he proposes for a coalition-of-the-willing has been an agreed clause in the WTO rules for some years.
Neither is nuclear electricity in the "too hard" category. At least, not in those nations that that have to import their coal, oil or gas. Even so, the USA is the home of SMRs. The British are considering SMRs as their solution for decarbonising. China and India are moving ahead with nuclear expansion so fast that we only need ask if they are moving fast enough.
In a new paper, Barry Brook and three co-authors examine our energy future:
Silver Buckshot or Bullet: Is a Future "Energy Mix" Necessary? www.mdpi.com/2071-1050/10/2/302 (Apologies if the link doesn't work--perhaps some of you can find a better one.)
From the abstract: "We argue that a completely decarbonized, energy-rich and sustainable future could be achieved with a dominant deployment of next-generation nuclear fission and associated technologies for synthesizing liquid fuels and recycling waste. By contrast, non-dispachable energy sources like wind and solar energy are arguably superfluous, other than for niche applications, and run the risk of diverting resources away from viable and holistic solutions."
The paper is a good counterpoint to the idea of 100% renewables.