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Short Background on Climate Change and Greenhouse Gases. Dr Ruth Nussbaum ProForest Presentation to the RSPO GHG WG2 meeting in Feb 2010. The Greenhouse Effect. Some energy is radiated into space, the rest is trapped as heat in the atmosphere – GHGs increase the amount of energy trapped.

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Short background on climate change and greenhouse gases

Short Background on Climate Change and Greenhouse Gases

Dr Ruth Nussbaum

ProForest

Presentation to the RSPO GHG WG2 meeting in Feb 2010


The greenhouse effect
The Greenhouse Effect

Some energy is radiated into space, the rest is trapped as heat in the atmosphere – GHGs increase the amount of energy trapped

The earth’s surface is warmed and radiates heat back into the atmosphere

Solar radiation enters the atmosphere

Source: GLECOSYS


Main greenhouse gases
Main Greenhouse Gases

  • Carbon dioxide (CO2)

  • Stays in atmosphere: 1-2 yrs (uncertain)

  • Global warming potential: 1 (all other gases GWP relative to CO2)

  • Methane (CH4)

  • Stays in atmosphere: 12±3 yrs

  • Global warming potential: 23 (IPCC)

    • 1 tonne CH4 = 23 t CO2e

  • Nitrous Oxide (N2O)

  • Stays in atmosphere: 114 yrs

  • Global warming potential: 296 (IPCC)

    • 1 tonne N2O = 296 t CO2e


Converting c to co2e
Converting C to CO2e

  • Carbon converted to CO2-equivalent (CO2e) using molar weights

    • Carbon (C)= 12

    • CO2 = 12+16+16 = 44

    • Conversion factor (CF) = 44/12 = 3.67

    • CO2e = tonnes of C * CF

  • Biomass conversion to CO2e

    • Trees approximately 50% C

    • CO2e = tonnes of biomass * 0.5 * 3.67


Ghg concentrations
GHG Concentrations

Radiative Forcing (W/m2)

Atmospheric Concentration

Source: IPCC 2007


Annual global sources and sinks of ghgs

6.4 Gt

+

1.6 Gt

=

3.1 Gt

4.1

7.7

1.4

+

2.6 Gt

3.0 Gt

2.3 Gt

2.2 Gt

+

Fossil Fuels

Oceans

Atmosphere

Deforestation

Uncertain where this CO2 is going: assumed to be a land sink (e.g. regenerating forest)

Taken up by “land”, with a 0.3 Gt residual unaccounted for

Annual Global Sources and Sinks of GHGs

For 2000-2008

For 1990-2000

Sources

Sinks

These values are in addition to background naturally occurring sources and sinks

Figures taken from Global Carbon Project and are indicative only Gt = giga tonne = 1 billion tonnes



Projected fossil fuel emissions actual vs ipcc scenarios
Projected Fossil Fuel Emissions: Actual vs. IPCC Scenarios

Projection 2009

Emissions: -2.8%

GDP: -1.1%

C intensity: -1.7%

Due to Global Recession

Source: Global Carbon Project [Raupach et al. 2007, PNAS, updated; Le Quéré et al. 2009, Nature Geoscience; International Monetary Fund 2009]


Projected temperature rise
Projected Temperature Rise

2 C is the maximum temperature rise the UNFCCC “recommends”

Our current trajectory is closer to 4 C


Projected changes in precipitation

Increased Asian Monsoon

Projected Changes in Precipitation

Consistent findings across scenarios


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