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• IPCC: Change in climate over time, whether due to natural variability or as a result of human activity. • • Different from UNFCCC: change of climate that is attributed directly or indirectly to human activity that alters the composition of the global atmosphere and that is in addition to natural
• Throughout time, the earth's climate has always been changing
– produced ice ages
• Hence, climate variations have been noted in the past
– what physical processes create natural fluctuations in the earth's climate?
• Is there an anthropogenic influence on climate change?????
– is so, what will its effect be???
• how do we measure climate change in the past? • how are we predicting climate change in the future?
Determining Past Climate Change - Ocean Floor Sediments
• Scientists have employed many methods to piece together the past climatic record • One such method is to look at sediments on the ocean floor • Research vessels produce sediment profiles from the bottom of the ocean • the sediment contains calcium carbonate shells from organisms that have lived near the earth's surface in the past • the type of calcium carbonate shell can tell you something about temperature since some live only within narrow temperature ranges.
Determining Past Climate Change Oxygen Isotopes
• normal oxygen contains 8 protons, 8 neutrons (O16) • a small fraction (one in a thousand) of oxygen atoms contain 8 protons, 10 neutrons (O18)
– this is an isotope of oxygen and is heavier than O16
• O16 will evaporate more readily than O18 since it is lighter • Hence, during a warm period, the relative amount of O18 will increase in the ocean waters since more of the O16 is evaporating • Hence, looking at the ratio of O16 to O18 in the past can give clues about global temperatures. • Ice cores from glaciers can also give you similar information
Determining Past Climate Change Dendrochronology
• one ring per year • distance between tree rings can tell you something about temperature and moisture fluctuations related to climatic variability • Other data offering clues about our past climate: • lake-bottom sediment and soil deposits • pollen in deep ice caves, soil deposits, and sea sediments • geologic evidence in ancient coal beds, sand dunes, and fossils • documents concerning droughts, floods, and crop yields • Knowledge on past climate is still incomplete....., but what do we know from the aforementioned data sources?????
Climate through the Ages - Long-Term Temperature Record
• throughout much of earth's history - global climate was 8°C-15°C warmer than today’s climate
– polar regions ice free
• warm climate was periodically interrupted by periods of glaciation
– 700 million years ago (mya) – 300 mya – more recently, the Pleistocene epoch, or simply the Ice Age occurred 2 mya
• More recently, North American glaciers reached maximum thickness 18,000-22,000 years ago --> • Land connecting Asia and N. America along the Bering Sea was exposed since a great deal of the water was locked up in glaciers
Climate through the Ages - Long-Term Temperature Record, Cont.
• 14,000 y.a.,, glaciers started to retreat as temps rose • 11,000 y.a., temps suddenly fell - referred to as YoungerDryas • The dramatic temperature drop might have been related to a change in the thermohaline circulation • Younger-Dryas lasted about 1000 years, then avg temps increased, glaciers retreated. • 6,000-5,000 y.a., climate was about 1°C warmer than normal
Climate through the Ages - The last 1000 Years
• Notice that for most of the last 1000 years, the climate has been cooler than normal. • The period from about 1550 - 1850 is referred to as the Little Ice Age.
since late 1800's, we've been in a warming trend avg temp has increased by about 1°C the eight hottest years of this century have occurred since 1979 The data suggest a warming trend of 0.30.6°C over the last 100 years. So, is the recent warming due to anthroprogenic causes enhanced greenhouse effect due to increasing CO2 concentrations in the atmosphere or is it due to natural fluctuations in climate?????
Climate through the Ages - Recent Trends
Scientists are now quite certain that much of the recent warming is due to anthroprogenic causes, i.e., increased greenhouse gas emissions due to fossil fuel consumption and land use changes. What are natural and anthroprogenic factors that affect climate?
Summary of Global Warming Observations
• • • • • • • • • • • Rate and duration of warming in 20th century is larger than any other time in last 1000 years. The 1990s are likely to have been warmest decade of the millennium in the Northern Hemisphere. 1998 is likely to have been the warmest year. Note: A few areas of the globe have not warmed in recent decades: some areas of Southern Hemisphere and parts of Antarctica Total atmospheric water vapor has likely increased several percent per decade over many regions in NH some subtropical regions are experiencing more dry spells Annual land precipitation has increased in the middle and high latitudes of the Northern Hemisphere. Increased cloud cover by about 2% since the beginning of the 20th century over the Northern Hemisphere. Decreasing snow cover and sea-ice amounts in NH. No significant trends in Antarctic sea-ice are apparent. Global mean sea-level rise during 20th century has been observed to be 1.0-2.0 mm per year. Increase in heavy and extreme precipitation events in regions where total precipitation has increased.
Climate Change and Feedback Mechanisms
Feedback mechanism - when physical processes in the earthatmosphere system further impact the initial change if the impact is such that the initial perturbation is enhanced, then it is called a positive feedback mechanism --> if the impact is such that the initial perturbation is reduced, or weakened, then it is called a negative feedback mechanism.
Negative Feedback Mechanism
Here is an example of a negative feedback mechanism--> In reality, there are a large number of feedback mechanisms that involve processes and interactions within and between: the atmosphere the cryosphere the biosphere the solid earth it is indeed a complex system and is why understanding climate change is very difficult!! Now, what are some natural climate change processes????
Climate Change - Plate Tectonics
• • • •
Theory of Plate Tectonics - Continental Drift Earths outer shell is composed of plates --> they move at a rate of about 3 cm per year affect of more land at higher latitudes: – alter ocean currents and therefore heat transport – alter global atmospheric circulation – more glaciers over land, higher albedo, cooler temps. • plate movement also generates more volcanic activity – hence, when the plates are on the move, have more volcanic eruptions -> emit more CO2 into atmosphere – this would cause global temps to rise. – if there is little movement, volcanic activity decreases -> so CO2 concentrations are lower in the atmosphere -> avg temp decreases
Climate Change - Milankovitch Theory Eccentricity Cycle
• Climate change due to variations in the earth's orbit Milankovitch Theory • 1) eccentricity cycle - the earth's orbit around the sun is elliptical. • the shape of the ellipse (eccentricity) varies from less elliptical to more elliptical back to less elliptical and take about 100,000 years to complete this cycle.
currently, we are in an orbit of low eccentricity (near circular). Data analysis for the last 800,000 years of deep-ocean sediments show that ice coverage is a maxima every 100,000 years this matches the Eccentricity cycle period
Climate Change - Milankovitch TheoryPrecession Cycle
• Climate change due to variations in the earth's orbit - Milankovitch Theory • 2) Precession cycle • The earth is wobbling about it's axis of rotation like a spinning top • To make one complete cycle takes about 23,000 years • in 11,000 years, the seasons will switch times during year and will be more severe
Climate Change - Milankovitch TheoryTilt Cycle
• 2) Tilt Cycle • currently, the axis of rotation for the earth is tilted at 23.5° • However, this value changes from a minimum of 22.5° to a maximum of 24.5° and takes 41,000 years to complete one cycle • at 22.5° the seasonal variation will be smaller than current? • at 24.5° the seasonal variation will be larger than current?
The Milankovitch cycles and plate tectonics are not the only natural factors which can affect global climate......, there are other factors to consider: amount of dust and aerosols in the atmosphere reflectivity of ice sheets concentrations of trace gases amount of clouds
The Source of Global Warming
• is the observed warming over the last 50-100 years due to natural climate variability, human influence, or both? • “…. natural forcing alone is unlikely to explain the recent observed global warming or the observed changes in vertical temperatures structure of the atmosphere.” • “In light of new evidence and taking into account the remaining uncertainties, most of the observed warming over the last 50 years is likely to have been due to the increase in greenhouse gas concentrations.”
• CO2 – natural and anthropogenic sources – recent increase due to fossilfuel combustion and deforestation • CH4 – natural and anthropogenic sources – about 1/2 of current emissions are anthropogenic (land fills, natural gas, agriculture) • N2O– natural and anthropogenic sources – nitrogen-based fertilizers • Other important Greenhouse Gases: – CFCs – Ozone – and of course, water vapor!
Climate Change - Increasing Concentrations of CO2 and other Green House Gases
Climate Change - CO2 Feedback mechanisms
• other trace gases like N2O, CH4, and CFCs are also increasing - these are also greenhouse gases • increased temps will enhance evaporation from oceans > increased water vapor in atmosphere -> enhanced greenhouse effect • increased temps will enhance evaporation -> increase amount of low clouds -> increase earth's albedo • CO2 will dissolve into the oceans • Vegetation will remove CO2 and grow more vigorously
Climate Change - Possible Consequences of Global Warming
• Temperature: • Globally averaged surface temperature is projected to increase by 1.4 to 5.8 ºC over the period 1990-2100. • Greater relative warming in the higher latitudes • Land areas will warm more and faster than ocean areas • “The projected rate of warming is much larger than the observed changes during the 20th century and is very likely to be without precedent during at least the last 10,000 years, based on palaeoclimate data”. • Precipitation: • Globally averaged water vapor, evaporation and precipitation are projected to increase. • NOTE: At the regional scale, increases and decreases will be observed.
Climate Change - Possible Consequences of Global Warming
• Extreme Weather:
• • • • More hot days and heat waves are likely over nearly all land areas Frost days and cold waves are very likely to become fewer Frequency of extreme precipitation events is projected to increase General drying (increased drought frequency) of all mid-continental areas during summer.
• Glaciers and Snow Cover: • Glaciers and ice caps will continue their widespread retreat during the 21st century and NH snow cover and sea ice are projected to decrease further. • NOTE: The Antarctic ice sheet is likely to gain mass because of greater precipitation • Sea Level Rise: • A sea level rise of 0.09 – 0.88 meters is projected for 1990-2100. – Thermal expansion of the oceans – Loss of mass from glaciers and ice caps
• Two categories of instruments need to be considered: • Domestic policy instruments to enable individual nations to achieve their specific targets/goals • International policy instruments to allocate responsibility among nations • Main criteria • Cost effectiveness (Minimum aggregate costs) • Dynamic incentives for technology innovation and diffusion • Adaptability to economic and social changes • Distributional equity • Institutional (political and administrative) feasibility
How to combat?
• • • • • • • • • Green house gas emission reduction - a collective target Collective responsibility Bilateral or multilateral policy Voluntary agreement leads to free riding and leakages Free riding arises when countries that do not contribute to reduction also benefits Emission leakage occurs when abatement by cooperating countries alters world relative prices and leads noncooperating countries to increase emissions Kyoto Protocol – an agreement made under UNFCCC Countries that ratify agreed to reduce the emissions below a target level or engage in emissions trading if they maintain or increase the green house gases Objective: Stabilization of the greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere at a level that would prevent dangerous anthropogenic interference with the climate system
• The Kyoto Protocol sought a 5.2% reduction in overall (carbon equivalent) green house gas emissions by 2008-2012 relative to 1990 • Targets apply only to industrialized countries – developing countries not mandatory • Target differentiated among industrialized countries • Actual reduction commitments are further smaller in subsequent negotiations • Flexibility introduced through • Emissions Trading • Joint implementation • Clean Development Mechanism • Kyoto Protocol came into force in 2005 • 172 countries ratified – latest entry Australia
Clean Development Mechanism
• One of those so called flexible mechanisms • The CDM creates emission reduction projects in developing countries, (co-)financed by industrialized countries, in order to help them to meet their emission target, as established by the Kyoto Protocol. • As such, it turned out to be a powerful instrument for the achievement of industrialized countries´ emission cap, attracting considerable amounts of investment. • CDM projects currently under development will generate over 320 million of emission reduction certificates up to 2012 which satisfies about 29% of the overall need for emission reduction certificates
Carbon credits – Clean money for dirty air
• • • Carbon credit, as defined by Kyoto protocol, is one metric tonne of carbon emitted by burning of fossil fuels. The GWP (Global Warming Potential) factors are used to convert each of the five gases (like methane, for example) that are not CO2 into tonnes of CO2 equivalent (CO2E), which is the standard of trading. To bring the buyers and sellers of carbon trading on one platform and to augment the process of carbon trading, carbon credits are traded at CO2E exchange in Britain, CDM (Clean Development Mechanism) exchange in Europe. I In India recently, MCE (Multi Commodity Exchange) has announced carbon trading exchange with license agreement from Chicago climate exchange. Like the usual stock exchange, carbon credits have all spot transactions, forward settlement and options of trading. Prices of credit trading vary and some time back was in the range of Euro six to Euro 12 per tonne of CO2. There is a steep penalty to the tune of Euro 40 per tonne to the companies emitting more than their quota. So companies that are having huge carbon credit can sell these to companies that are deficient in carbon credit or that have exhausted their quota for huge prices.
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CDM entitled projects
• • • • • • • • • • • • Alternative Energy: water wind biomass geothermal energy solar energy Energy Saving: improvement of the production improvement of the distribution improvement of the regulation improvement of the insulation improvement of the accounting
• • • • •
Conventional Energy: energy efficient plants using latest technology improvement of the energy efficiency of old plants building of cogeneration plants for heat and power
Fuel Change: • from CO2-intensive fuels to less CO2 causing fuels (e.g. a switch from coal to gas) • optimization of the energy supply (from central to decentralized or vice versa) • Waste management: • implementation of gas collection and combustion systems at landfills • separate collection and utilization of biomass •
• • • • • • • • • • • • • • •
Creation of energy carriers: reduction of the flaring volatile components optimization of the chain of transportation reduction of transport losses efficiency increase for further utilization Transportation: Replacement of the vehicle fleet implementation fuels with low CO2 output transposition to natural gas or hydrogen utilization of biofuels upgrading public transport (error detection) Agriculture: Cultivation of "biofuels" recycling of liquid manure avoidance of methane output from liquid manure reduction of the methane output of farm animals
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Chemistry: implementation of efficient processes avoidance of the output of GHG reset of GHG avoidance of flaring Forestry: afforestation and reforestation opening of new conservation areas opening of plantations with afforestation plans long term usage of wood
Magnitude of trade in India
• Of the 839 CDM projects registered with the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) as of November 2007, 288 projects are in India, giving it a global share of 35 per cent (Source: UNFCCC statistics). • Listed Indian companies are already reaping sizeable profits through Certified Emission Reduction (CER) deals. • The UNFCCC issued 1.83 million CERs to SRF Ltd in February 2006 for its HFC-23 thermal oxidation plant. There was an inflow of Rs 122.28 crores (December 2006) This was nearly 27 per cent of the total income that year. • Tata Sponge Iron Ltd got a CDM certificate from the UN for its waste heat recovery project in Orissa. The company expects to reduce 3,17,624 tonnes of carbon dioxide over a 10-year period. • All these CERs could be traded in the market, which would provide potential income over the next few years. Gujarat Fluorochemicals, Gujarat Ambuja Cement, Birla Corporation Ltd, Balrampur Chini Mills, Tata Steel and JK Cement are also eyeing additional profits through the CER route by 2012. • Reliance Energy already has energy efficiency and process development CDM projects and is now looking at natural gas-based power plants.
How is it traded?
• • • • • • • • • • The CER is sold at a price negotiated between the buyer and the seller. Currently, Indian sellers are able to realise 15-20 euros on an average per CER. The major factor affecting the price of CER is the EUA (European Union Allowance) market price. EUAs refer to the secondary market for CERs where the buyer purchases emission allowances created and auctioned by the regulators. Here the CER is offered with a guarantee of delivery by the regulator. Project and delivery risk is borne by this entity in the secondary market. CERs often command a higher price than those bought directly from a project. Future and Option contracts on these EUAs are traded in ECX and are experiencing increasing growth. Since launch in April 2005, the EUA futures contract has seen close to1.3 billion tonnes CO2 traded with an underlying market value of 24 billion euros. ECX will also shortly introduce futures and options contracts on CERs.