Effects of Climate Change Fig 1. displays the rise in the sea level over the past 120+ years.
Temperature increase- • Fresh water reservoirs are depleting due to salt water intrusion. • The Greenland ice sheet is melting, causing an influx of freshwater • This fresh water disrupts and weakens the gulf stream. • The Gulf Stream is responsible for keeping the temperature of European countries at a moderate temp. Fig. 2 displays the increase in surface temperature which is resulting in the melting of glacial ice as well as other problems.
U.S dependency on foreign Oil The United States imports nearly 68 % of its oil. If hypothetically there was a loss of this valued energy source, international conflicts would arise. Socially, militarily, and economically our nation would be ruined. This trend of dependency further strengthens our reasons for developing a new source of energy.
Driven by water density differences, the Gulf Stream will weaken due to increased fresh water due to glacial melting into the ocean. Fig. 3 displays the workings of the Gulf Stream.
Wedges Applicable to the U.S • Efficiency- • Transport efficiency • Building efficiency • Electricity production effieciency • Use of biofuels • Fuel switching (coal to natural gas) • Carbon capture and storage- • Electricity • Hydrogen • synfuels
Biofuels- Fig.4 shows the lack of fossil energy used in cellulosic ethanol. Both corn and cellulosic ethanol have higher fossil energy ratios than gas or electricity.
Transportation Efficiency Fig 5 shows the upward trend of millions of barrels of gas per day versus the year.
References: • Fig 1 - http://www.wildwildweather.com/forecastblog/wp-content/uploads/2008/09/700px-recent_sea_level_rise.png • Fig.2- http://geology.com/news/2007/02/climate-change-animation.html • Fig.3 - http://msnbcmedia.msn.com/i/msnbc/Components/Art/WEATHER/070615/AP_GULF_STREAM_CURRENTS.jpg • Fig.4- http://www.ceres.net/AboutUs/Images/AboutUs-Biofuels-Environ-Net-Energy-Graph.jpg • Fig.4 - http://www.theoildrum.com/uploads/12/auto_scenarios.png