ES research paper revised

ES research paper revised - Pantoskey 1 Scott Pantoskey...

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Pantoskey 1 Scott Pantoskey 4805420 T.A.: Shishi Liu Section: Wednesday at 6:00 p.m. 3/11/11 Carbon Sequestration: Problem or Solution? I. Introduction (Problem Statement) Over the past few decades, greenhouse gas emissions have augmented at a staggering rate mainly due 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%”, they are also 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 in 1997 and then gradually introduced to the rest of the world. “As of June 2010, 191 countries have signed and ratified the Protocol” and have agreed to set their greenhouse gas emissions limit according to their base year (normally 1990). In addition, the
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Pantoskey 2 Kyoto Protocol brought global awareness to carbon capture and storage and the carbon credit system. Under the carbon credit system, a country earns a credit when it prevents one metric ton of carbon dioxide from entering the atmosphere (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 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 as a result, approximately a decade behind the participating counties in researching solutions to the greenhouse gas emission problem. III. Analysis:
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ES research paper revised - Pantoskey 1 Scott Pantoskey...

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