Unformatted text preview: What are some solutions to global climate change? Becca Ryals UC Berkeley, Dept of ESPM [email protected] Global climate change is (one of) the most dangerous environmental problems humans have created. It is also (one of) the most difficult problems. But, there are solutions to avoid, reduce, or adapt to the dangers of global climate change. In the news....
April 2006 April 2008 Gore and UN Panel Win Nobel Prize - BBC 10/21/2007 Millions of Jobs of a Different Collar - NYT 3/28/2008 Polar Bear is Made a Protected Species - NYT 5/19/2008 Drilling for Clean Energy - Washington Post 9/05/2008 Emission rules to boost CA economy - Wash Post 9/17/2008 Stabilization of CO2 with today's technology is possible Science (2004) Stabilization of CO2 with today's technology is possible Science (2004) Mitigation technologies are available now
Efficiency and conservation; fuel switching; renewables (hydropower, solar, wind, bioenergy, geothermal); combined heat and power; nuclear power More fuel efficient vehicles; hybrid vehicles; biofuels; public transportation systems; cycling; walking; city and land-use planning Efficient lighting; appliance efficiency standards; improved insulation; solar heating and cooling; non-fluorinated gases in insulation and appliances There are also technologies to capture and store carbon dioxide from the atmosphere Biological Carbon Sequestration in Vegetation and Soil $ Tropical reforestation
Biochar Soil carbon sequestration in cultivated and grazed lands Carbon Capture & Storage in Geologic Reservoirs (geologic C sequestration) Geoengineering Policies can reduce emissions Examples of Climate Policies International: Kyoto Protocol CDM U.S.: No teeth (focus on intensity) Important legislation in 2007 (Mass v. EPA) Cities, States, and Regions: U.S. Mayors Climate Protection Agreement CA AB32: Global Warming Solutions Act Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative Adapting to climate change
"Any adjustment in natural or human systems in response to actual or expected climatic stimuli or their effects, which moderates harm or exploits beneficial opportunities." -IPCC definition Adaptation is crucial to deal with unavoidable impacts. And in most cases, adaptation will provide local cobenefits. But cannot, by itself, solve the problem. There are limits to what it can achieve. Without early action, costs of adaptation rise rapidly. The most expensive thing we can do is nothing The most expensive thing we can do is nothing What is California doing? How does my research contribute to climate change mitigation? Why is California taking action?
California produces 1.4% of global greenhouse gases, making it the 12th largest source of global warming emissions in the world!
Global climate change poses severe threats to the state: 70-80% loss of Sierra snow pack 14-22 inches of sea level rise 2-6x heat-related deaths in major urban centers 75-85% increase in ozone-formation conditions 55% increase in expected rise of large wildfires 2-2.5x the number of critically dry years California's GHG Reduction Targets (AB 32: Global Warming Solutions Act) 2010: Emissions at 2000 levels, 11% below business as usual. Reduction of 60 million tons. 2020: Emissions at 1990 levels, 28% below business as usual. Reduction of 173 million tons. 2050: Emissions at 80% below 1990 levels. The Ecosystem Carbon Cycle
Carbon Dioxide (CO2) CO2 Decomposition (CO2) Microbes Microbes
Dissolved organic carbon Soil Organic Matter (~50% Carbon) Carbon Sequestration : Carbon Inputs > Carbon Losses
CO2 Dissolved organic carbon Soils have the potential to store large amounts of C, through changes in land management practices Many rangelands locally and globally are degraded and have lost considerable amounts of soil carbon. These soils are good candidates for carbon sequestration. 30% of global land surface *55% of the US land area *Over half of the global land use Conclusion The debate is over. Global climate change is real, happening now, and is caused by human activities. There is no silver bullet. A portfolio of mitigative and adapative solutions are needed, along with global collaboration. We can and must act now! Thank you [email protected] Soil Organic Matter: Many Co-Benefits
- Energy for biological processes - Reservoir of nutrients - Contributes to plant productivity Functions of SOM Physical functions
- Improves structural stability - Increases water retention - Reduces erosion Chemical functions
- Nutrient holding capacity - Buffers changes in pH - Improves fertility Geoengineering & Radical technologies Ocean Iron Fertilization Models - see simulations ...
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