Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

To Control Climate Change, Alternative Energy Technologies Must Be Developed

Date:
March 28, 2003
Source:
University Of Illinois At Urbana-Champaign
Summary:
Uncertainty in the climate sensitivity to growing levels of atmospheric carbon dioxide has been a stumbling block to policy makers addressing the climate change issue. A study published in the March 28 issue of the journal Science, however, concludes that huge reductions in fossil-fuel carbon emissions will be required by the middle of this century -- regardless of the likely climate sensitivity.

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. -- Uncertainty in the climate sensitivity to growing levels of atmospheric carbon dioxide has been a stumbling block to policy makers addressing the climate change issue. A study published in the March 28 issue of the journal Science, however, concludes that huge reductions in fossil-fuel carbon emissions will be required by the middle of this century -- regardless of the likely climate sensitivity.

"To reduce carbon dioxide emissions and avoid dangerous interference with the climate system, we must switch to alternative, carbon-free energy sources," said Atul Jain, a professor of atmospheric sciences at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and a co-author of the study.

Jain and his colleagues -- lead author Ken Caldeira, a senior scientist at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, and Martin Hoffert, a professor of physics at New York University -- found that even if climate sensitivity is in the low end of the accepted range, climate stabilization will require a massive transition to carbon-emission-free energy technologies during this century.

Climate sensitivity is the global mean temperature change that would result from doubling the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. Based on current models, climate sensitivity is thought to lie between 1.5 degrees Celsius and 4.5 degrees Celsius.

In their study, which was funded by the U.S. Department of Energy, the researchers constructed stabilization pathways that led to a 2 degree Celsius warming after the year 2150. For each of the pathways, they calculated the allowable carbon dioxide levels using a globally aggregated Earth system model called the Integrated Science Assessment Model.

If climate sensitivity is at the high end of the range, then by the end of this century nearly all of our power will have to come from non-carbon-dioxide-emitting sources, the researchers found. "We must begin replacing fossil fuels with alternative energy technologies that support economic growth and equity," Jain said. "To achieve stabilization at a 2 degree Celsius warming, we would need to bring the equivalent of a large carbon-emission-free power plant into production somewhere in the world every day for the next 50 years."

The study concludes: "We do not now have non-carbon-dioxide-emitting energy technologies that can be applied today at the required scale. Given the long lead times needed for market penetration of new energy technologies, we need to develop appropriate energy technologies now."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University Of Illinois At Urbana-Champaign. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University Of Illinois At Urbana-Champaign. "To Control Climate Change, Alternative Energy Technologies Must Be Developed." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 28 March 2003. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2003/03/030328073115.htm>.
University Of Illinois At Urbana-Champaign. (2003, March 28). To Control Climate Change, Alternative Energy Technologies Must Be Developed. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 31, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2003/03/030328073115.htm
University Of Illinois At Urbana-Champaign. "To Control Climate Change, Alternative Energy Technologies Must Be Developed." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2003/03/030328073115.htm (accessed July 31, 2014).

Share This




More Earth & Climate News

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Big Waves In Arctic Ocean Threaten Polar Ice

Big Waves In Arctic Ocean Threaten Polar Ice

Newsy (July 30, 2014) Big waves in parts of the Arctic Ocean are unprecedented, mainly because they used to be covered in ice. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Raw: Thousands Flocking to German Crop Circle

Raw: Thousands Flocking to German Crop Circle

AP (July 30, 2014) Thousands of people are trekking to a Bavarian farmer's field to check out a mysterious set of crop circles. (July 30) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Amid Drought, UCLA Sees Only Water

Amid Drought, UCLA Sees Only Water

AP (July 30, 2014) A ruptured 93-year-old water main left the UCLA campus awash in 8 million gallons of water in the middle of California's worst drought in decades. (July 30) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
In Virginia, the Rise of a New Space Coast

In Virginia, the Rise of a New Space Coast

AP (July 30, 2014) Every summer, tourists make the pilgrimage to Chincoteague Island, Va. to see wild ponies cross the Assateague Channel. But, it's the rockets sending to supplies to the International Space Station that are making this a year-round destination. (July 30) Video provided by AP
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