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 September 2, 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 September 2, 2014).

Share This




More Earth & Climate News

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Raw: Thousands of Fish Dead in Mexico Lake

Raw: Thousands of Fish Dead in Mexico Lake

AP (Sep. 2, 2014) — Over 53 tons of rotting fish have been removed from Lake Cajititlan in western Jalisco state. Authorities say that the thousands of fish did not die of natural causes. (Sep. 2) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Raw: Iceland Volcano Spewing Smoke

Raw: Iceland Volcano Spewing Smoke

AP (Sep. 2, 2014) — The alert warning for the area surrounding Iceland's Bardarbunga volcano was kept at orange on Tuesday, indicating increased unrest with greater potential for an eruption. Smoke is spewing from the volcano, and lava is spouting nearby. (Sept. 2) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
U.N. Says Ebola Travel Restrictions Will Cause Food Shortage

U.N. Says Ebola Travel Restrictions Will Cause Food Shortage

Newsy (Sep. 2, 2014) — The U.N. says the problem is two-fold — quarantine zones and travel restrictions are limiting the movement of both people and food. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Sharks Off the Menu and on the Tourist Trail in Palau

Sharks Off the Menu and on the Tourist Trail in Palau

AFP (Sep. 2, 2014) — Tourists in Palau clamour to dive with sharks thanks to a pioneering conservation initiative -- as the island nation plans to completely ban commercial fishing in its vast ocean territory. 01:15 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