carbon sequestration essay

carbon sequestration essay - Scott Pantoskey 4805420 T.A.:...

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Scott Pantoskey 4805420 T.A.: Shishi Liu Section: Wednesday at 6:00 p.m. 3/11/11 Carbon Sequestration Projects I. Introduction (Problem Statement) Over the past few decades, green house gas emissions have augmented at a staggering rate due mainly to anthropogenic activities such as fossil fuel combustion. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, greenhouse gas emissions have increased by 17% since 1990 and there is currently an estimated 33 billion metric tons of carbon dioxide emitted into the atmosphere annually. Due to the severity of the greenhouse gas emissions problem, many professionals are considering the adoption of carbon sequestration. Many experts argue that carbon sequestration is a vital process to mitigate climate change and prevent global warming. Although carbon dioxide injection and storage have the “potential to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 20%”, it is likely to adversely affect water quality as well as damage many environmental aspects of the subsurface (Carbon Capture and Storage: How Green Can Black Be?). Despite carbon injection and storage projects’ ability to alleviate the global warming issue, they ultimately pose too many social, environmental, and economical burdens to be viewed as a solution to the greenhouse gas emissions problem. II. Background (Overview and History of the Problem) In reaction to the recent trend in greenhouse gas emissions, the Kyoto Protocol was implemented in Japan of 1997 and then gradually introduced to the rest of the world. “As of June 2010, 191 countries have signed and ratified the Protocol” and agreed to set their greenhouse gas emissions limit according to their base year (normally 1990). In addition, the Kyoto Protocol
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brought global awareness to the carbon credit system, which is created when an “equivalent to one metric ton of carbon dioxide is prevented from entering the atmosphere”, as well as carbon capture and storage (Carbon Credits Explained). Since 1996, carbon sequestration projects (projects aimed at lowering greenhouse gas emissions through the capture, separation, and storage of atmospheric carbon dioxide in geological formations) have been implemented in all participant countries of the Kyoto Protocol. In 1996, the Sleipner Project was introduced offshore of Norway and it currently “pumps one million tons of carbon dioxide into saline formations” annually (Carbon Dioxide Capture and Storage). The United States was one of the countries that refused to sign the protocol and is now approximately a decade behind the rest in researching solutions to the greenhouse gas emission problem. III. Analysis:
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This note was uploaded on 08/26/2011 for the course ENVIRONMEN 2 taught by Professor Staff during the Spring '11 term at UCSB.

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carbon sequestration essay - Scott Pantoskey 4805420 T.A.:...

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