Lecture 24

Lecture 24 - SIO 40 Life and Climate on Earth Dec. 2, 2009...

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SIO 40 – Life and Climate on Earth Dec. 2, 2009 Lecture 24 – Mitigating global warming, Part II Reducing emissions
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Lecture Outline - Emission sources and trends by sector - Taxing emissions - Energy supply sector - Forestry sector - Agricultural sector - Transport sector - Personal carbon footprints - International agreements.
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Greenhouse gas emissions by gas and by sector, 2004 In order to understand the issues involved in reducing greenhouse gas emissions, it helps to understand where the emissions come from. Greenhouse gas emissions are traced to all sectors of society and the economy (above right). The largest contributor to current global greenhouse gas emissions is the global energy supply sector. Forestry and industry are the next biggest contributors, followed by transport and agriculture. CO 2 from fossil fuel burning and deforestation makes up the bulk of greenhouse gas emissions (above left). Methane and nitrous oxide, which are primarily associated with agriculture, are also significant contributors.
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Greenhouse gas emissions by sector, 1990 vs. 2004 Although the energy supply sector is currently responsible for the largest emissions, emissions from other sectors have been increasing as rapidly if not more so in recent decades. From 1990 to 2004 energy supply emissions increased by roughly a third, while emissions from forestry increased by nearly a half, largely as a consequence of large-scale tropical deforestation. The developed world is currently responsible for the bulk of greenhouse gas emissions worldwide, but emission rates are increasing most rapidly in the developed world. Mitigation measures must take both current trends and historical patterns into account.
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Emissions reduction potential as a function of carbon cost One potential solution to global warming is to translate the social cost of carbon into a carbon cost that is paid by the emitter. A carbon cost is an amount that consumers must pay (eg. as a tax or as part of an emissions permit) for the emission of one metric ton of CO 2 . Taxation provides incentive to reduce consumption, and also an incentive for the development of non-carbon energy sources. The above graph shows that emissions are projected to decrease (ie. carbon savings increase) as the carbon cost increases. However, this is a logarithmic graph – thus each increase in taxation results in only incremental gains in CO 2 savings. Gigatons CO 2 equivalent saved per year CO 2 equivalents express the combined impact of multiple GHGs in terms of an equivalent amount of CO 2 .
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Energy supply sector Per capita consumption continues to be highest in the developed world, but the most rapid growth in energy use is in developing countries like China and India. Efforts to decrease fossil fuel
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Lecture 24 - SIO 40 Life and Climate on Earth Dec. 2, 2009...

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