Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

NYU Study Says Tenfold Increase In Non-Fossil Energy Needed By 2050 To Limit Earth's CO2

Date:
October 30, 1998
Source:
New York University
Summary:
NYU physicist Matin I. Hoffert and a team of researchers have concluded that Earth’s atmospheric CO2 content cannot be stabilized without a tenfold increase in carbon-emission-free power generation over the next 50 years. Hoffert’s team sought to quantify the changes necessary to stabilize atmospheric CO2 content at twice pre-industrial levels (an amount that, according to the United Nation’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, could still have adverse effects on global climate and ecosystems).

Physicist Martin Hoffert Calls For Massive Energy R&D To SlowGlobal Warming While Protecting Economic Viability

NYU physicist Matin I. Hoffert and a team of researchers have concluded that Earth’s atmospheric CO2 content cannot be stabilized without a tenfold increase in carbon-emission-free power generation over the next 50 years. Hoffert’s team sought to quantify the changes necessary to stabilize atmospheric CO2 content at twice pre-industrial levels (an amount that, according to the United Nation’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, could still have adverse effects on global climate and ecosystems).

Hoffert’s team has concluded that it will be necessary to boost carbon-emission-free power generation from 1.5 terawatts today to 15 terawatts in 2050. Equivalent to a 150 percent increase in today’s total energy production, this implies a massive transition in the global energy system.

Hoffert’s team also describes this transition in terms of overall power generation. Today, 85 percent of the world’s 11 terawatts comes from fossil fuels and 15 percent comes from non-fossil fuels. Hoffert’s team found that non-fossil-fuel generation must account for at least 50 percent of the 30 terawatt total in 2050.

Published in the October 29th issue of Nature, Hoffert’s findings are based on an energy consumption scenario developed by the IPCC in 1992. This model expresses carbon dioxide emissions as the product of four variables: (1) CO2 emissions per unit of energy, (2) energy consumption per unit of economic output, (3) economic output per person and (4) total population.

Hoffert said, "Stabilizing CO2 at twice pre-industrial levels without untenable economic disruptions implies a massive shift to carbon-free power, particularly in developing nations. There are no energy systems technologically ready at present to produce the required amount of carbon-free power.

"However, there are renewable, fission and fusion concepts incorporating innovative technological ideas at early research and development stages that could, in principle, provide needed carbon-free power. But without policy incentives to overcome socioeconomic inertia, these could take more than 50 years to penetrate to their market potential.

"The bottom line is that we are going to need an international effort pursued with the same urgency as the Manhattan Project or the Apollo space program. The roles of governments and market entrepreneurs in the eventual deployment of such technologies need to be considered more comprehensively than we have been able to do here. It is our hope that the potential adverse effects of humanity on Earth’s climate will stimulate new industries in the 21st century, as did the Second World War and the Cold War in this century."

Support for this research was provided by the Department of Energy, NASA and the National Science Foundation. Institutions involved in the research included NYU, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, the University of Illinois, Margaree Consultants, the University of Toronto, Stanford University, Tulane University and the National Center for Atmospheric Research.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by New York University. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

New York University. "NYU Study Says Tenfold Increase In Non-Fossil Energy Needed By 2050 To Limit Earth's CO2." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 30 October 1998. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1998/10/981030082447.htm>.
New York University. (1998, October 30). NYU Study Says Tenfold Increase In Non-Fossil Energy Needed By 2050 To Limit Earth's CO2. ScienceDaily. Retrieved August 20, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1998/10/981030082447.htm
New York University. "NYU Study Says Tenfold Increase In Non-Fossil Energy Needed By 2050 To Limit Earth's CO2." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1998/10/981030082447.htm (accessed August 20, 2014).

Share This




More Earth & Climate News

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Unsustainable Elephant Poaching Killed 100K In 3 Years

Unsustainable Elephant Poaching Killed 100K In 3 Years

Newsy (Aug. 20, 2014) Poachers have killed 100,000 elephants between 2010 and 2012, as the booming ivory trade takes its toll on the animals in Africa. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Charter Schools Alter Post-Katrina Landscape

Charter Schools Alter Post-Katrina Landscape

AP (Aug. 20, 2014) Nine years after Hurricane Katrina, charter schools are the new reality of public education in New Orleans. The state of Louisiana took over most of the city's public schools after the killer storm in 2005. (Aug. 20) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Green Power Blooms as Japan Unveils 'hydrangea Solar Cell'

Green Power Blooms as Japan Unveils 'hydrangea Solar Cell'

AFP (Aug. 19, 2014) A solar cell that resembles a flower is offering a new take on green energy in Japan, where one scientist is searching for renewables that look good. Duration: 01:29 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Disquieting Times for Malaysia's 'fish Listeners'

Disquieting Times for Malaysia's 'fish Listeners'

AFP (Aug. 19, 2014) Malaysia's last "fish listeners" -- practitioners of a dying local art of listening underwater to locate their quarry -- try to keep the ancient technique alive in the face of industrial trawling and the depletion of stocks. Duration: 02:29 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins