* IPCC estimates that global model pathways limiting global warming to 1.5°C are projected to involve the annual average investment needs in the energy system of around 2.4 trillion USD2010 between 2016 and 2035 representing about 2.5% of the world GDP. $48 trillion of investment.
* Carbon emissions would have to be cut by 45% of 2010 level by 2030 – compared with a 20% cut under the 2C pathway – and come down to zero by 2050, compared with 2075 for 2C.
World PPP GDP is doubling from 2007 to 2020 and the emissions increase by about 20% at the same time. World emissions are already over 10% higher than the level in 2010. The IPCC report is calling for halving current emissions by 2030. This would be about one-third of the current trend.
IPCC indicates the need to generate more emission free energy. But despite the urgency of massively cutting emissions, the IPCC still attacks nuclear energy. The report is conflicted as parts written by some researchers includes growing nuclear power as part of the energy mix.
* India, Asia and the rest of the world are still growing their economies and generating more emissions
* IPCC asserts that climate change will be harder on the poor of the world but the poor of the world are lifting themselves out of poverty by using more energy
* nuclear waste never hurts anyone, while seven million die prematurely each year from air pollution. Nuclear energy has caused very few deaths and is a very important part of enabling reduction in fossil fuels.
Two major scientific papers published by Harvard University professors found that “the transition to wind or solar power in the U.S. would require five to 20 times more land than previously thought, and, if such large-scale wind farms were built, would warm average surface temperatures over the continental U.S. by 0.24 degrees Celsius.”
To estimate the impacts of wind power, Keith and Miller established a baseline for the 2012‒2014 U.S. climate using a standard weather-forecasting model. Then, they covered one-third of the continental U.S. with enough wind turbines to meet present-day U.S. electricity demand. The researchers found this scenario would warm the surface temperature of the continental U.S. by 0.24 degrees Celsius, with the largest changes occurring at night when surface temperatures increased by up to 1.5 degrees. This warming is the result of wind turbines actively mixing the atmosphere near the ground and aloft while simultaneously extracting from the atmosphere’s motion. This research supports more than 10 other studies that observed warming near operational U.S. wind farms. The warming effect of wind turbines in the continental U.S. was actually larger than the effect of reduced emissions for the first century of its operation.
The average power density for wind farms — meaning the rate of energy generation divided by the encompassing area of the wind plant — was up to 100 times lower than estimates by some leading energy experts. For solar energy, the average power density (measured in watts per meter squared) is 10 times higher than wind power, but also much lower than estimates by leading energy experts.
Solar farms (like California’s Ivanpah) require up to 5,000 times more land per unit of energy than nuclear plants (like California’s Diablo Canyon
Below GDP PPP is in billions and Emission are in millions of tons per year Year GDP PPP Emissions GDP % E growth 2007 78000 30079 2008 82630 30382 5.94% 1.01% 2009 83420 29714 0.96% -2.20% 2010 89000 31072 6.69% 4.57% 2011 95100 31971 6.85% 2.89% 2012 100000 32318 5.15% 1.09% 2013 105600 32887 5.60% 1.76% 2014 111000 33018 5.11% 0.40% 2015 115600 33444 4.14% 1.29% 2016 120800 33875 4.50% 1.29% 2017 126900 34313 5.05% 1.29% 2018f 134679 34755 6.13% 1.29% 2019f 142928 35204 6.12% 1.29% 2020f 151500 35658 6.00% 1.29% 2021f 160100 36118 5.68% 1.29% 2022f 168786 36584 5.43% 1.29% 2023f 177993 37056 5.45% 1.29% 2024f 187783 37534 5.50% 1.29% 2025f 198111 38018 5.50% 1.29% 2026f 209007 38509 5.50% 1.29% 2027f 220502 39006 5.50% 1.29% 2028f 232630 39509 5.50% 1.29% 2029f 245424 40019 5.50% 1.29% 2030f 258923 40535 5.50% 1.29%
* California and Germany have added the highest proportion of solar and wind and have seen their electricity prices rise a lot
* Britain is pushing ahead with gas fracking, Norway with oil exploration in the Arctic, and the German government wants to tear down Hambach forest to dig for coal.
They forecast that if global emissions continue at the current rate, then the world will reach 1.5 degrees by as early as 2040.
This means we have roughly 10 to 14 years to avoid a scenario we thought we had decades to prevent.
The report highlights a number of climate change impacts that could be avoided by limiting global warming to 1.5°C compared to 2°C, or more. For instance, by 2100, global sea level rise would be 10 cm lower with global warming of 1.5°C compared with 2°C. The likelihood of an Arctic Ocean free of sea ice in summer would be once per century with global warming of 1.5°C, compared with at least once per decade with 2°C.
Coral reefs would decline by 70-90 percent with global warming of 1.5°C, whereas virtually all (over 99 percent) would be lost with 2°C.
And if we hold warming to 1.5 degrees instead of 2 degrees, the report suggests global sea level rise will be a whole 10 centimeters lower – potentially stopping what the report describes as a “disproportionately rapid evacuation” of people from the tropics.
The report finds that limiting global warming to 1.5°C would require “rapid and far-reaching” transitions in land, energy, industry, buildings, transport, and cities. Global net human-caused emissions of carbon dioxide (CO2) would need to fall by about 45 percent from 2010 levels by 2030, reaching ‘net zero’ around 2050. This means that any remaining emissions would need to be balanced by removing CO2 from the air.
“Limiting warming to 1.5°C is possible within the laws of chemistry and physics but doing so would require unprecedented changes,” said Jim Skea, Co-Chair of IPCC Working Group III.
Allowing the global temperature to temporarily exceed or ‘overshoot’ 1.5°C would mean a greater reliance on techniques that remove CO2 from the air to return global temperature to below 1.5°C by 2100. The effectiveness of such techniques are unproven at large scale and some may carry significant risks for sustainable development, the report notes.
Geoengineering during the overshoot and Massive ocean farming is the realistic way
Geoengineering can be done for a less than a few billion dollars per year. The cost has been estimated at about $5 to $8 billion per year. Not only is SRM relatively inexpensive, but we already have the technological pieces that assembled properly would inject the skies with particles that reflect sunlight back into space. For instance, a fleet of modified Boeing 747s could deliver the necessary payload. Advocates of geoengineering are not too concerned about developing the technology to effect SRM.
Among methods expected to have extensive potential impacts on the climate, the expectation applies mainly to the use of stratospheric aerosols (SAs), but is also attributed to a lesser degree to the use of space mirrors. Much debate about GE concentrates on aerosols, partly because of the existence of a partial analogue (volcanic eruptions, especially at Mount Pinatubo) but also because of the idea that the cost of aerosol deployment will be extremely low by comparison with climate mitigation technologies. One estimate reported by the Royal Society (2009) suggests that SAs might be around 1,000 times cheaper than average mitigation costs.
2017, research from an international team of atmospheric scientists published by Geophysical Research Letters investigates for the first time the possibility of using a “cocktail” of geoengineering tools to reduce changes in both temperature and precipitation caused by atmospheric greenhouse gases.
Iron fertilization of the ocean could be used to remove one trillion tons of CO2 from the atmosphere.
100 tons of iron were placed into the ocean off of Canada in 2012 with 100 tons of iron.
In the fall of 2013, 226 million pink salmon were caught. They stopped at 226 million because there was no longer any capacity to accept more fish. All of the fish handling facilities were filled. Reports from villages and communities indicate that half a billion pink salmon came back. This was ten times the predicted 50 million and a record.
The background level of iron in the open ocean is only 3 parts per trillion. Iron dust in dirt fall from the deserts can boost the level of iron to 100 parts per trillion.
Before the ice age, the Earth became dry and dusty. Restoring the ocean to a pre-ice age level would store 1 trillion tons of CO2 which is about all of the emissions that humans have put into the air. However, the pace of emissions has not slowed down. If it started slowing down the world might emit another 3 trillion tons from now to 2100 but if the emissions continued to increase then the world might emit another 6 trillion tons of CO2 by 2100. Storing 1 trillion tons by 2100 would lower temperature by about 1 degree. Storing 1 trillion tons of CO2 is about 20 years worth of emissions.
If we restore the oceans we will have ten to fifty times as many fish as today.
It would be easy to get the iron into the ocean. As noted by Goatguy when Nextbigfuture blogged about the iron fertilization 5 years ago, iron could be released from simple barges towed on the back of commercial ships (container ships, cruise ships, oil ships, fishing ships, etc…).
Massive kelp farms in the ocean can be like forests on land and agriculture on land
Usually the graphs showing temperature stabilization show the fairy tale of massive and immediate emissions drops to zero. They also show negative emissions in the future.
The negative emissions can start being scaled in parallel with to adopting cleaner energy and technology.
These methods will be faster to scale then complicated and industrial intensive carbon capture at coal and natural gas plants and factories and creating massive national and global pipelines to move the captured gas into underground storage.
Expand Commercial Kelp Growth by 100 times
There is a proposal to use about 9% of the oceans surface for massive kelp farms. The Ocean surface area is about 36 billion hectares. This would offset all CO2 production and provide 0.5 kg of fish and sea vegetables per person per day for 10 billion people as an “incidental” by-product. 9% of the world’s oceans would be equivalent to about four and a half times the area of Australia.
In 2016, seaweed farms produce more than 25 million metric tonnes annually. The global value of the crop, US$6.4 billion (2014), exceeds that of the world’s lemons and limes.
A 2016 report from the World Bank estimates that the annual global seaweed production could reach 500 million dry tons by 2050 if the market is able to increase its harvest 14% per year. Hitting that 500 million mark would boost the world’s food supply by 10% from the current level, create 50 million direct jobs. The Ocean forest plan would accelerate growth of seaweed farming to 25-50% per year growth and reach about 20-60 billion tons per year of production. The world currently produces about 4 billion tons per year of agricultural product.
Ocean Afforestation (aka Ocean Macroalgal Afforestation (OMA)), has the potential to reduce atmospheric carbon dioxide concentrations through expanding natural populations of macroalgae, which absorb carbon dioxide, then are harvested to produce biomethane and biocarbon dioxide via anaerobic digestion. The plant nutrients remaining after digestion are recycled to expand the algal forest and increase fish populations.
Ocean Afforestation research suggests 12 billion tons per year of biomethane could be produced while storing 19 billion tons of CO2 per year directly from biogas production and 34 billion tons per year from carbon capture. These rates are based on macro-algae forests covering 9% of the world’s ocean surface, which could produce sufficient biomethane to replace all of today’s needs in fossil fuel energy, while removing 53 billion tons of CO2 per year from the atmosphere. This amount of biomass could also increase sustainable fish production to potentially provide 200 kg/yr/person for 10 billion people.
Brian Wang is a Futurist Thought Leader and a popular Science blogger with 1 million readers per month. His blog Nextbigfuture.com is ranked #1 Science News Blog. It covers many disruptive technology and trends including Space, Robotics, Artificial Intelligence, Medicine, Anti-aging Biotechnology, and Nanotechnology.
Known for identifying cutting edge technologies, he is currently a Co-Founder of a startup and fundraiser for high potential early-stage companies. He is the Head of Research for Allocations for deep technology investments and an Angel Investor at Space Angels.
A frequent speaker at corporations, he has been a TEDx speaker, a Singularity University speaker and guest at numerous interviews for radio and podcasts. He is open to public speaking and advising engagements.