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Global Warming: Its challenges and solutions. Prof. Chan King Ming Associate Professor Dept. of Biochemistry and Environmental Science Program Chinese University email: [email protected] CONTENTS: Carbon Cycle and Greenhouse Effect The Impacts of Global Warming 3. Kyoto Protocol

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Prof. Chan King Ming Associate Professor Dept. of Biochemistry and Environmental Science Program

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Prof chan king ming associate professor dept of biochemistry and environmental science program

Global Warming:

Its challenges and solutions.

Prof. Chan King Ming

Associate Professor

Dept. of Biochemistry and Environmental Science Program

Chinese University

email: [email protected]

KMCHAN


Prof chan king ming associate professor dept of biochemistry and environmental science program

  • CONTENTS:

  • Carbon Cycle and Greenhouse Effect

  • The Impacts of Global Warming

  • 3. Kyoto Protocol

  • 4. What can we do to help?

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Prof chan king ming associate professor dept of biochemistry and environmental science program

1. Carbon Cycle and Greenhouse Effect

http://www.ucar.edu/learn/1_3_1.htm

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Prof chan king ming associate professor dept of biochemistry and environmental science program

1. Carbon Cycle and Greenhouse Effect

Atmospheric CO2

  • Sinks (Carbon Fixation) :

  • Photosynthesis

  • Uptake by ocean

  • Sources:

  • Burning of fossil fuels and organic matters

  • Respiration

Other forms of carbon deposits, e.g. coral, cellulose.

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Prof chan king ming associate professor dept of biochemistry and environmental science program

碳的貯存和轉移

1. Carbon Cycle and Greenhouse Effect

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Prof chan king ming associate professor dept of biochemistry and environmental science program

Major sources of greenhouse gases: burning of fossil fuels, e.g. vehicle and power plant emissions.

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Prof chan king ming associate professor dept of biochemistry and environmental science program

1. Carbon Cycle and Greenhouse Effect

Carbon Dioxide Surge was created by human activities since industrial revolution

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Prof chan king ming associate professor dept of biochemistry and environmental science program

1. Carbon Cycle and Greenhouse Effect

Global Warming =

Rapid Increase of Global Surface Air Temperature

Caused by global carbon dioxide surge.

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Prof chan king ming associate professor dept of biochemistry and environmental science program

4 ℃

– 8 ℃

surge

Increased 0.6 C in 20th century

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Prof chan king ming associate professor dept of biochemistry and environmental science program

1. Carbon Cycle and Greenhouse Effect

Q What contributed to the heat energy absorption in molecules in the atmosphere?

Global Warming Potentials, GWP, stability in atmosphere:

Carbon Dioxide = 1 (?)

Methane = 21 (12 year)

Nitrous Oxide = 310 (120 years)

CFC-11 = 4,600 (45 years)

CFC-12 = 10,600 (100 years)

http://www.eia.doe.gov/oiaf/1605/ggccebro/chapter1.html

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Prof chan king ming associate professor dept of biochemistry and environmental science program

2. The Impacts of global Warming

Arctic perennial sea ice has been diminishing at a rate of 9% per decade. The ice of frozen freshwater on Greenland melts to dilute and lower the salinity of the arctic ocean. This would have significant effects (slower or stop) on the ocean conveyor.

Arctic 1979

Ice from land could raise sea level

Reduced ice from ocean changes currents

Arctic2003

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Prof chan king ming associate professor dept of biochemistry and environmental science program

How would the climate change if the Gulf Stream shut down?

A shut down of the Gulf Stream would suddenly decrease the amount of heat in the North Atlantic, leading to much colder temperatures in Europe and North America.

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Even if not killed

2. The Impacts of global Warming

Even if not killed…

Resting& Migration

  • Reduction of sea ice has impact on populations of marine mammals, they use ice floes for resting, molting and giving birth.

Sardine

Poor Cod

Walrus

Bearded Seal

Anchovy

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Prof chan king ming associate professor dept of biochemistry and environmental science program

2. The Impacts of global Warming

Flowering & Feeding

  • Predators follow their prey

  • Temporal mismatch of prey and predator = “phenological disjunction”

  • non-migratory Great Tit (Parus major) and migratory Pied Flycatcher (Ficedula hypoleuca)

  • Reproductive success ↓ due to changing availability of caterpillar food supplies.

  • Also affected by phenological changes of forest due to climate change and air pollution

71% of UK butterfly species are reported to be declining

Ficedula hypoleuca

Parus major

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Abstract from the 17th global warming conference april 2006

2. The Impacts of global Warming

Abstract from the 17th Global Warming Conference, April, 2006.

  • In 2003, the World Conservation Union's Red List said more than 12,000 species (out of 40,000 assessed) faced some extinction risk, including one bird in eight, 13% of the world's flowering plants, a quarter of all mammals.

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The impacts of global warming

The Impacts of global Warming

  • Reduction of biodiversity:

    • Losing Habitats due to temperature rises

    • Reduction of freshwater supply trapped in mountains

  • Extreme weathers: more storms, floods, droughts…

  • More diseases

    • Endemic diseases increasing health risks

  • Unpredictable climate change

    • Buffering power of planet earth is lowered, leading to unforeseeable climate change

    • leading to fluctuating economy, e.g. Hurricanes in Mexico Bay are threatening oil prices to surge, drought lead to depletion of resources supply, etc………

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2. The Impacts of global Warming


Effects of global warming

Effects of global warming


Abstract from the 17th global warming conference april 20061

Abstract from the 17th Global Warming Conference, April, 2006.

3. Kyoto Protocol

  • .. today‘s atmospheric carbon dioxide levels are the highest in 650,000 years. 

  • Antarctic climate and concentrations of the greenhouse gases carbon dioxide (CO2) and methane (CH4) were tightly coupled.

  • … CO2 seemed to be confined between bounds of about 180 ppmv (parts per million by volume) in glacial periods and 280 ppmv in inter-glacials; …… Today is 380 ppmy and is rising….

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The kyoto protocol 1997

3. Kyoto Protocol

京都協定The Kyoto Protocol, 1997

  • Took effect in February, 2005.Obligates countries to observe target figures for green house gas reduction.

  • Advanced nations should reduce emissions of 6 gases by an average of 6-8% (relative to 1990 levels) over the five year period from 2008 to 2012.

  • Kyoto Mechanisms : Scheme for Trading Green House Gas Emissions Rights and encourage international co-operations to achieve carbon neutral

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History emission trading

History: Emission Trading

Clean Development Mechanism


Prof chan king ming associate professor dept of biochemistry and environmental science program

3. Kyoto Protocol

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Prof chan king ming associate professor dept of biochemistry and environmental science program

World Carbon Dioxide Emissions by Region, 1990-2001(Million Metric Tons Carbon Dioxide)

3. Kyoto Protocol

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Prof chan king ming associate professor dept of biochemistry and environmental science program

3. Kyoto Protocol

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History emission trading1

History: Emission Trading


The global carbon market

The global carbon market


Carbon dioxide emission trading

Carbon dioxide emission trading

  • Since carbon dioxide is the principal greenhouse gas, people speak simply of trading in carbon.

  • Carbon is now tracked and traded like any other commodity. This is known as the "carbon market."

  • Each country and company must set its own targets (set ceiling)


Kyoto mechanisms

Kyoto Mechanisms:

Joint Implementation (JI)

Clean Development Mechanism (CDM)

Emission Trading

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Prof chan king ming associate professor dept of biochemistry and environmental science program

3. Kyoto Protocol

2007 UN Climate Change Conference Result (Kyoto II): Road Map by 2009 for all countries?

Obama VS Bush?

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http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/nature/7120952.stm


Prof chan king ming associate professor dept of biochemistry and environmental science program

The Wedge Game

http://www.princeton.edu/~cmi/resources/CMI_Resources_new_files/CMI_Wedge_Game_Jan_2007.pdf

http://www.princeton.edu/~cmi/resources/stabwedge.htm

http://www.ctenergyeducation.com/images/Wedges_Concept_Game_Materials_July05.pdf

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Wedge strategies

Wedge Strategies:

  • Nuclear energy

  • Renewables (e.g. solar, wind, hydrogen)

  • Biostorage (e.g. forest and soil storage)

  • Efficiency (reduced miles traveled, increased building and electricity efficiency)

  • Conservation (reduced transport)

  • Fossil-Fuel-Based (fuel switching, carbon capture)

http://www.princeton.edu/~cmi/resources/CMI_Resources_new_files/CMI_Wedge_Game_Jan_2007.pdf

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A question for you

A question for you

4. What can you do to help?

Hong Kong is hotter than global trend in recent years!

Why?

Leung et al., 2004. Climate Change in Hong Kong. Hong Kong Observatory Technical Note No.107. HKSAR Government. 41 p.

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Prof chan king ming associate professor dept of biochemistry and environmental science program

http://www.epd.gov.hk/epd/english/environmentinhk/air/data/files/GHG_trend_1990_2005.pdf

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4. What can we do to help?


Prof chan king ming associate professor dept of biochemistry and environmental science program

http://www.epd.gov.hk/epd/english/environmentinhk/air/data/files/GHG_signifacnce_1990_2005.pdf

60% GHG Emission

is from Power Stations

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4. What can we do to help?


Prof chan king ming associate professor dept of biochemistry and environmental science program

4. What can we do to help?

Our Power Plants are using coal or Natural gas as their major fossil fuel to generate electricity!

Gas-fired Plants under construction

Gas-fired Plants planned

CLP Plants in Castle Peak.

Scheme of Control Agreement

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HK Electric Plants in Lamma Island.


Prof chan king ming associate professor dept of biochemistry and environmental science program

Why CO2 is not included?

HKSAR Government’s Targets

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http://www.epd.gov.hk/epd/misc/ehk07/english/air/index.htm#2


Prof chan king ming associate professor dept of biochemistry and environmental science program

4. What can we do to help?

USE RENEWABLE ENERGY AND NUCLEAR POWER

Proposed Wind farm

near Ninepin

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Prof chan king ming associate professor dept of biochemistry and environmental science program

WHAT CAN WEDO TO HELP ??

  • Carbon audit

  • Low carbon Living

  • Conserve rural area, plant more trees.

  • Practice life-style of health and sustainability (LOHAS), e.g. 3R, use MTR, stop using tungsten light-bulbs, save water, etc.

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Summary

Summary

  • Carbon dioxide emission exceeds the normal range and is rising, together with global temperature

  • The impacts are visible, cannot be stopped and the situation is getting worse

  • We are causing global warming and we have to act on saving our planet earth!

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Discussion

Discussion:

  • What’s Carbon neutral? What can we do to achieve Carbon neutral or carbon compensation?

  • Practicing wedge strategies: audit and plan for low carbon living in your school/firm/ organization/and at home!

  • Is carbon tax more useful (fair?) than trading?

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Further readings

Further Readings

Practise Low

Carbon Living

  • Christianson, Gale (1999) Greenhouse: The 200- Year Story of Global Warming. Walker & Company, New York. Penguin Books, 305p.

  • Flannery, Tim (2006) We Are The Weather Makers, The Story Of Global Warming. Text Publishing Co., 272p.

  • Gore, Al (2006) An Inconvenient Truth. Rodale, Inc., New York, NY., 327p.

  • Houghton, John (2004) Global Warming. Third Ed., Cambridge University Press, 351p.

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