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Global Warming Energy Challenges . RecycleWorks Brown Bag Lecture Series County of San Mateo January 31, 2006 . Overview. Greenhouse effect Historic carbon emissions / CO 2 rise Forcing models / temperature predictions Effect of a warming earth (1 degree F) Peak oil / Hubbert’s peak

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global warming energy challenges

Global WarmingEnergy Challenges

RecycleWorks Brown Bag Lecture Series

County of San Mateo

January 31, 2006

  • Greenhouse effect
    • Historic carbon emissions / CO2 rise
    • Forcing models / temperature predictions
  • Effect of a warming earth (1 degree F)
  • Peak oil / Hubbert’s peak
    • Future and current energy challenges
  • Energy equity – and the road ahead
solar energy and earth s heat
Solar Energy and earth’s Heat

global warming the 20 th century
Global Warming - the 20th Century

250 yrs of carbon emissions
250 yrs of Carbon Emissions

It took 125 years to burn the first trillion barrels of oil – we’ll

burn the next trillionin less than 30 years – why should you care?

rising co 2 over 50 years
Rising CO2 over 50 Years

carbon emissions and co 2
Carbon Emissions and CO2
  • Carbon burned => CO2
  • Linear from 1850 to 2000

- ppm CO2 =2.55 e10-4*M tons C + 297 ppm (r2*100=99%)

  • ~ 50% of carbon goes into atmospheric CO2
    • 33% into the oceans
  • Trend is constant over 150 years – is this how the biosphere will react over the next 150 years?

A near perfect correlation that predicts ppm CO2 from total carbon burned

projected energy demand
Projected Energy Demand

future co 2 the next 30 yrs
Future CO2 – the Next 30 Yrs

Based on 2% annual growth in carbon emissions 2000 - 2030

global climate models gcm
Global Climate Models (GCM)
  • Ab Initio modeling
    • From first principles
  • Modeling land and sea temps from 1900 - 2000
  • Complexity and data
    • Climate is a dynamic system – ‘complex’ math
  • GISS study
    • 10 year study over oceans
    • Sea temps ~7,500 ft depth
    • Satellite data for forcing
forcing calculations
Forcing Calculations

Some math is required….

  • Forcing (Watts) = atmospheric forcing factor multiplied by:
  • ln (ppm gas conc. current / ppm gas conc. historic)
  • 2) ATM forcing factor for CO2calculated (est.) to be 5.85 watts
  • 3) For 2005, calculation = 5.85 W * ln (380 ppm / 280 ppm) = ~1.8W
  • 4) For CO2, climate sensitivity = 2/3 degree C per 1 watt of forcing
  • 5) 25 to 50 years for the climate to respond to 60% of this forcing

You can model this in Excel and predict temperatures from ppm [CO2]

earth out of balance
Earth Out of Balance

forcing predicted temperature and climate lag 2000 2100
Forcing, Predicted Temperature, and ClimateLag, 2000 - 2100

0F - Model built assuming ~60% of forcing is felt in ~25 years

the carbon cycle
The Carbon Cycle
  • Why atmospheric CO2 is the last thingon earth humans should have interfered with!
  • We are releasing CO2 at one million times the rate that earthinitially sequestered it at
  • We inserted ourselves in the carbon cycle
  • And are affecting the ‘thermostat of life’
    • Earth uses CO2 to help maintain an optimum temperature for the biosphere, for > 650K years
the thermostat of life
The Thermostat of Life
  • Vostok ice core data show regular and repeating cycles of temps and CO2 over last ~500,000 years
  • Oscillate between 180 and 280 ppm CO2 and 100 C
  • Hypothesis that earth regulates the temperature of the planet through CO2 / greenhouse effect
    • Biosphere maintains a precise level of CO2 for life
  • But the biosphere isn’t really absorbing our CO2
    • Y intercept of cum. carbon burn / CO2 is 297 ppm
vostok co 2 and temperature
Vostok CO2 and Temperature
  • The relationship between CO2 and temperature is nearly perfect (r2*100 = 99)
  • However, the casual relationship is the basis for significant (expert) controversy
  • Why does this occur?
the vostok equilibrium
The Vostok Equilibrium
  • Vostok ‘equilibrium’
  • 100K year cycles
    • earth’s orbital eccentricity
  • Sun heats up the planet
    • Biosphere expands
  • CO2 maintains temp
    • Otherwise earth would be very cold ~ 0 degrees F
    • CO2has not exceeded 280 ppm in the last 500K years and 4 major cycles
crux of the vostok data
Crux of the Vostok Data

Temperature leads biomass CO2, then CO2 maintains temperature

just one degree f
Just One Degree F
  • These examples will show the affect of warming the earth at just one degree F
    • And for less than 50 years!
    • Warming has accelerated in last ~20 years
  • The affect of temperature is cumulative
    • Earth takes decades to centuries to react
  • And we still owe an additional degree F!
long term warming effects
Long Term Warming Effects

Not just increased temperature, but added heat, for a long, long, time!

consequences of warming
Consequences of Warming
  • Thinning of polar ice caps
    • Thawing permafrost / release of methane
  • Slowing of the thermohaline cycle
  • Rising sea level, perhaps quickly
  • Extreme weather events
    • Extended regions of drought
    • Extremes of temperature / duration
    • Extremes of storms and hurricanes

All these are consequences of only one degree F for <50 years!

storms on the move
Storms on the Move

Katrina moving

across Florida

in late August 2005

finds warm water

in the Gulf of Mexico

And grows from a

category 1 to a

category 5 hurricane

in less than 2 days!

the melting north pole
The Melting North Pole

The North Pole is thinning in area ~10% per decade,

and thinning in thickness ~1 meter per decade. At these

rates, it may be an open sea as early as 2030 – 2050.

arctic sea ice thickness
Arctic Sea Ice Thickness

thermohaline cycle
Thermohaline Cycle

NASA schematic view of ocean circulation.  The light colored path shows the general movement of the surface waters and the dark colored path shows the movement of water at depth. The numbers show the position of:  1. The Gulf Stream which transports heat from the tropics to northern Europe. 2. North Atlantic Deep Water formation which results from strong cooling.  3. Antarctic Bottom Water formation due to sea ice production around Antarctica.

calving ice shelf process
Calving Ice Shelf Process

Antarctic holds >80%

of earth’s fresh water

Like the Arctic, it

moderates the climate

  • Calving at the edge of the ice shelf
  • Shelves hold the main ice flows back
  • As they break, ice flows into the sea
  • Melt water fills the ice crevice
  • Water sinks, crevices expand -
  • Fissuring the shelf into pieces
greenland melting
Greenland Melting

retreating glaciers
Retreating Glaciers

sea level expansion
Sea Level Expansion
  • Sea expands from water molecule changing 0.0002 in volume for each 0C
  • Over 5,000 to 7,500 meters, it adds up
  • Thermal expansion is 1 – 2 cm / 10 yrs.
  • But is accelerating to 2.5 cm / decade
  • For every 1 0C, sea expands ~1 meter in height - sea cannot expand ‘down or out’

sea level rise
Sea Level Rise

peak oil after the crash
Peak Oil – ‘After the Crash’

projected energy demand1
Projected Energy Demand

world oil production history
World Oil Production History

oil discovery 3 year average past and projected 1930 2050
Oil Discovery (3 year average - past and projected) 1930-2050

oil production reserves
Oil Production – Reserves

Data from ‘The Inevitable Peaking of World Oil Production’, Hirsch, 2005

energy equity
Energy Equity
  • Burning oil is burning money!
  • Build an energy infrastructure with equity
  • Solar energy is primary, not alternative!
    • $25 billion economy for ‘million solar roofs’
    • Every MW of solar energy creates 24 jobs in manufacturing, and 8 forlocal installers
  • Built in America, by Americans, forAmerica, what could be moreeconomic?

10 key energy challenges
Fuel cells


Solar energy



New power grid

Low power lighting

Insulation materials

Safer nuclear power

CO2 sequestration

10 Key Energy Challenges

Establishing Technical Leadership in a New Energy Economy

An Apollo style program on a Manhattan Project Timeline

building a solar economy
Building a Solar Economy
  • Solar power is a primary, not alternative energy
  • 25% of electricity could be generated by solar in 2025
  • Solar brings true energy independence from carbon
  • It requires a commitment, not just an investment of $s
  • Research in newer thin film technology shows promise

Our Solar Power Future – The US Photovoltaics Industry

Roadmap Through 2030 and beyond – published in 2005

One Million Solar Roofs – ‘California, the Solar State’

a new auto economy
A New Auto Economy?
  • New types of cars
    • Electric cars
    • Hydrogen cars
    • Hydrogen hybrids
  • Transportation is a key area of growing CO2
    • And one area where we can individually make key changes in the CO2 that we each produce
a real hybrid vehicle
A RealHybrid Vehicle

Gas Electric Synergy Drive™ - ‘plug-in hybrids’ coming soon

flexible fuel electric plug in hybrids
Flexible Fuel ElectricPlug-in Hybrids
  • 1 KWhr will power this ‘hybrid’ car about 4 miles
  • Burning natural gas for electricity, will generate about 1 lb. of CO2
  • Compare to 2 pounds of CO2 at 40 mpg (petrol)
  • Recharge car at night, when power rates are low.
  • Put ‘power on the grid’ during the day with solar.

a new electron economy
A New Electron Economy
  • $1 - 2 trillion for solar energy
  • $1 trillion in a new power grid
  • $2.5 trillion in fuel saving cars
    • $1 trillion in new electric motor and batterytechnology for cars and other appliances
  • Energy needs to join the digital age
    • Networked and distributed power sources

Solar power is an ‘edge of network’ asset in a distributed power system

move differently

Range ~8 - 12 miles

Battery packs can be charged locally (~5 hrs)

Emission free vehicle

Solar panels ‘extra’

Projected cost of $2,500 in quantity

Move Differently
zero emission economy
Zero Emission Economy
  • Global population pressure creates a big problem in controlling carbon emissions
  • 8 billion people * 1.25 tons carbon / person
    • 10 G tons of carbon burned per year
    • 50% more than the 6.6 G tons of carbon today
  • The only solution is zero-emission power
    • Nuclear and solar are the long-term options, and significant growth in wind generated power
wind power statistics
Wind Power Statistics
  • Germany has over 14,000 MW installed
  • North Dakota has only 70 MW installed
    • And the same amount of wind as Germany
  • Midwest has excellent wind resources
  • Europe has made this commitment
  • USA is poised to make similar choices
    • GE and Clipper Wind are two key producers
the complexity of the problem
The Complexity of the Problem
  • Several variables
  • Population growth
  • Income rise and development
  • Energy mix (fuel type)
  • Manufacturing vs. service economies
    • China has different challenges than the US
  • Energy driven activities
    • Production, consumption, transportation
global carbon profiles
Global Carbon Profiles

USA 6.0

Canada 4.0

England 2.5

North America

Germany 2.2

Developing World

France 2.0


Mexico 1.0

China 0.6

Africa & India 0.3

Tons of carbon per person in year 2000 => average= 1.1

the population problem
The Population Problem

8 billion people @ 1.25 tons each = 10 G tons of carbon / year

That is 50% more carbon emissions than today!

sense of urgency call to action
Sense of Urgency, call to Action
  • We are at the end of the oil age
    • Need ‘energy equity’ in place soon
  • Solar and wind energy are obvious
    • Deployable now and in quantity
  • Need to look at safer nuclear energy
    • To replace coal and gas, augment solar
    • Create hydrogen for transportation ‘fuel’
  • Time to market is less than 25 years!
from information to choices
From Information to Choices

We can do this, but the clock is running!

where do we want to be
Where Do We Want to Be?
  • Deciding where we want to be
  • Then planning how to get there
  • Choosing our leaders based on energy policy – California is a leader
  • Bottom up leadership – tipping points
  • 2006 is the year for you to be a leader!

Each one of us must be a leader in this technology revolution!

disaster or catastrophe
Disaster or Catastrophe?

Published in : IPCC Third Assessment Report - Synthesis Report Figure number : 9.3

what you can do
What You Can Do
  • Drive less, drive smart
  • Invest in solar energy
  • Conserve on energy use
  • We need to cut CO2 emissions by 80%
  • Be deeply aware of the problem
    • This is the most significant problem facing the planet over the next 50 to 100 years
    • What we do in the next 25 years is critical!
  • Greenhouse effect – carbon cycle
  • Forcing models – temperature lag
  • Effect of warming just one degree
  • Peak oil – declining energy production
  • Energy Equity – and the road ahead
    • Our single biggest challenge
    • Our single biggest opportunity
sustainable silicon valley
Sustainable Silicon Valley

Partnering with businesses, nonprofits, cities and counties to reduce CO2 emissions in San Mateo, Santa Clara, Alameda and Santa Cruz Counties