GLOBAL WARMING PREDICTION
The U.N. Panel on Climate Change’s prediction is that we have past the likelihood of keeping global warming below 2 degrees C.
Fossil Fuel Warning
Climate scientists beg governments to leave buried natural resources in the ground.
The research project started with the U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s calculation that in order to have at least a 40 percent chance of keeping global warming below 2 degrees C, somewhere between 900 and 1,200 giga tons of carbon dioxide can be dumped in the atmosphere.
Vast underground reserves of oil, gas and coal should be classified as off limits if the world stands any chance of averting dangerous climate change, a major study of global fossil-fuel deposits has found.
Scientists calculated that a third of global oil reserves, half of gas reserves and more than 80 per cent of coal reserves should remain in the ground as “unburnable” to avoid exceeding the 2C “safe” threshold for global warming.
The scale of the problem facing the climate negotiations in Paris later this year is writ large in the study by Christophe McGlade and Paul Ekins of University College London who have identified the critical fossils fuels and their locations that need to remain untouched and unexploited.
China, Russia and the United States will have to leave their huge deposits of coal – the dirtiest of the three main fossil fuels – underground, while the Middle East will need to agree to keep much of its wealth-creating oil and gas reserves where they are.
Similarly, Canada will have to relinquish its ambitions of producing oil from tar sands and the Arctic nations, mainly Russia, will have to agree that exploiting oil and gas in this environmentally sensitive region would be incompatible with a global climate agreement.
“Burning all the reserves would exceed the range of the carbon budget by about three times burning all the fossil fuel resources would probably exceed it by about 10 to 11 times,” Dr McGlade said.
“If we want to reach 2C in the most cost effective way, over 80 per cent of current coal reserves, half of gas reserves and a third of oil reserves globally need to be classified as unburnable, that is to stay in the ground and not be used before 2050 if we want to stay below 2C,” he said.
The greater global attention to climate policy also means that fossil fuel companies are becoming increasingly risky for investors in terms of the delivery of long-term returns
Canada holds the world’s single largest share of unburnable oil because most of that reserve comes in the form of tar sands, a mix of bitumen and sand that requires burning natural gas to transform it into usable petroleum products. “Eighty-five percent of its reserve base of 50 billion barrels has to remain in the ground,” McGlade said.
Regional Distribution of Reserves Unburnable before 2050 to stay below 2 degrees C even with CCS
|China & India||9||25%||2.9||63%||180||66%|
|C & S America||58||39%||4.8||53%||8||51%|
Currently, the world is on pace for as much as 5 degrees C of global warming, or the equivalent of burning an extra roughly 300 billion metric tons of coal and 220 billion barrels of oil, including some of the reserves likely to be discovered in the rapidly melting arctic.
To avoid burning all that fossil fuel the ISR computer model suggests building more nuclear power plants, switching to rooftop solar power and burning biofuels while capturing and storing the resulting carbon to help draw down atmospheric CO2 concentrations. These concentrations have already touched 400 parts per million, the highest levels seen in at least 800,000 years.
Deaths per TWh
The World Health Organization has published information on the Deaths per TWh (2008):
- Coal (electricity, heat, cooking –world average) 100 (26% of world energy, 50% of electricity)
- Coal electricity – world average 60 (26% of world energy, 50% of electricity)
- Coal (electricity, heat, cooking)– China 170 ( 4 billion tons of coal burned by China each year makes it a grim place to live.)
- Coal – USA 15
- Oil 36 (36% of world energy)
- Hydro 0.10 (2.2% of world energy)
Solar and Wind Energy Solutions won’t cut it!
This Study on Climate Change neglected to mention an important solution: Small Hydro and the Innovative HUG.
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