Victor and fellow co-author Tynan, who is associate dean of the UC San Diego Jacobs School of Engineering, are co-directors of the Deep Decarbonization Initiative at UC San Diego, which they launched to tackle the interrelated policy and technology challenges that must be addressed to get to zero global carbon emissions. The new work references a number of analyses, meta-analyses and assessments, including those performed by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, and the International Energy Agency, that have concluded that deployment of a diverse portfolio of clean energy technologies makes a transition to a low-carbon-emission energy system both more feasible and less costly than other pathways.
This discussion is particularly timely because proposals for rapid shifts to all or nearly all renewables are gaining increased attention from policy makers, politicians and the general public. That's why it's important to be as rigorous as possible in laying out a pathway to this goal," Tynan said. This kind of broad energy portfolio is likely to include bioenergy, wind, solar, hydroelectric, nuclear energy and carbon capture, the authors say.
For the PNAS study, the authors identify many technical challenges to moving toward an energy system built solely on wind, solar and hydroelectric power. The authors also argue for deploying new technologies and innovation, such as cutting-edge energy storage and new control systems. With experience, they say, a much greater role for renewable energy may be feasible.
This is deep decarbonization in the real world, cutting global emissions at scale while still meeting the energy needs of a growing, global population," said Victo. Materials provided by University of California - San Diego. Original written by Daniel Kane and Anthony King. Note: Content may be edited for style and length.
Science News. Journal Reference : Christopher T. So far, no one has found an obvious way to turn capturing carbon dioxide into a profitable business. Many of the start-ups at the San Francisco event are trying to use greenhouse gases to produce valuable chemicals like fertilizers and biofuels. But it is significantly cheaper to produce those chemicals with processes that emit rather than eliminate greenhouse gases. Oros said that his fund had not made an investment in the sector and that he did not see a way for the industry to take off without government policy encouraging it.
Klaus Lackner, the director of the Center for Negative Carbon Emissions at Arizona State University, said that for these businesses to succeed it would probably be necessary for governments to create a carbon tax or other subsidies as incentives for new businesses.
A few governments have taken tentative steps in that direction, but nothing close to the scale needed to support real businesses. Lackner said investors should assume that governments would be willing at some point to pay for what these companies were doing. A small number of companies have had success making this argument to investors.
But the investment demonstrated just how difficult it has been for companies in the industry. Everyone who discusses the difficulties these start-ups face points back to the clean-tech boom, when several venture capital firms put billions of dollars into solar energy and other technologies.
While solar power has gained traction, most of the clean-tech funds were viewed as failures. Deepak Dugar, the founder of a start-up that creates carbon-eating microbes, said venture capitalists needed their investments to show returns within a few years. He knew that his company, Visolis, would take longer to develop, so he avoided taking traditional venture capital money, he said.
Dugar has built Visolis with the help of government grants, a program at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and philanthropic investors who are less focused on turning a quick profit.
The fund has received money from Bill Gates and several other billionaires. Activities that are part of the natural carbon cycle, such as breathing, are not counted. A carbon footprint can also encompass emissions of other greenhouse gases, such as methane. Reducing or offsetting greenhouse gas emissions by improving energy efficiency, using renewable energy, and adopting sustainable practices is the best way to reduce one's carbon footprint. Simple things like carpooling, using LED light bulbs, and recycling are just a few of the many ways you can reduce your carbon footprint and fight climate change.
For more easy ways to reduce your carbon footprint click here. Renewable sources of energy come from natural resources, like sunlight, plant matter biomass , geothermal activity, water, and wind, that are not depleted when used or can be regrown, in the case of plant matter. In contrast, nonrenewable sources of energy—like fossil fuels—are finite resources that cannot be easily replenished when consumed. Renewable energy is also a low- or zero-carbon source of energy. And, of course, energy efficiency is a very important "renewable" source of energy: the cleanest form of energy is energy that is not used.
Common sources of renewable energy are solar, wind, geothermal, and hydro power as well as certain forms of biomass. Renewable technologies like wind turbines and solar panels have become increasingly competitive in the energy market as their production costs continue to fall. Increasing world investment in renewable energy technologies has been acknowledged by the overwhelming majority of climate change experts and world leaders to be an essential strategy in addressing global warming. When signing the Paris Climate Agreement in , the United States committed to making further cuts to carbon emissions with the aim of limiting global warming to well below 2 degrees Celsius in the 21st century.
In , President Barack Obama proposed the Clean Power Plan, which would have reduced carbon emissions from existing power plants by at least 32 percent below levels by Substantial gains have already been made, with U. The Trump Administration has rolled back several of the previous administration's climate actions, including the Clean Power Plan.
But states, including California and New York, are moving forward with policies to curb carbon emissions and favor renewable energy and energy efficiency. As of September , 20 states and the District of Columbia have set their own greenhouse gas reduction targets. Energy Information Administration.
Investors and companies across the globe are embracing the shift from fossil fuels to cleaner energy. Large corporations like Google, Amazon, Apple, and Microsoft have all stepped up to show their public support for U. And, Moody's now includes climate risk in its corporate ratings. The UNFCCC brings together members for an annual meeting during which nations share information on emissions, policies, and practices related to global warming and attempt to develop strategies for addressing climate change.
The IPCC consults experts to assess climate change science and presents policy-relevant information outlining how nations can adapt and mitigate the impact and risks of this global threat.
In , the members of the UNFCCC negotiated the Kyoto Protocol, a legally binding agreement that compelled developed nations to reduce greenhouse emissions by The Paris Climate Agreement came into force in October ; countries have ratified it as of April By investing in renewable energy and energy efficiency, people, communities, businesses, and governments can reduce the amount of greenhouse gas emissions reaching the atmosphere and slow global warming. This will help minimize the consequences of climate change in the present and for future generations.
In addition, through adaptation and resiliency efforts, we can and must prepare an infrastructure built to withstand the impacts of global warming, protecting the lives of millions of people currently living in vulnerable areas. Such investments will also greatly reduce the costs of extreme weather events and other disasters. We know what needs to be done, and that's a critical step in the right direction!
Figure 1: Land and ocean temperature index from to , using as the base period. The ultimate climate change FAQ. Climate Change FAQs. Climate Monitoring — Frequently Asked Questions.
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But then what? Steps to mitigating global warming through the greenhouse effect will likely include extracting carbon dioxide from power plant flues and the atmosphere and storing it underground, initially as a dense gas in old mines and depleted oil reservoirs that would eventually turn into solid, stable calcium carbonate through chemical reactions. There are many reasons, of course, why organizations tend not to publicize their problems. No silver bullet there. Private investment.
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