Global Climate Change INEEL

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Presentation Transcript

Global Climate Change: 

Global Climate Change David E. Shropshire July, 2002 Consulting Engineer Energy Efficiency and Natural Resources

Global Climate Change: 

Global Climate Change

Questions?: 

Questions? What is the role of the transpiration process? What does global warming have to do with: Trees? Our climate? Soil? Vegetation? How does conservation of soil and water resources relate to the reduction of global warming? Do agricultural farming ventures contribute to global warming? What is Carbon Trading? Is there an opportunity?

Presentation Roadmap: 

Presentation Roadmap Earth’s Temperature Greenhouse Gas affect Radiation Forcing Carbon Cycle and Carbon Sinks Climate Impacts to Agriculture and Forestry Ways we can reduce the impacts from climate change

The Earth’s temperature is rising: 

The Earth’s temperature is rising

Slide8: 

Carbon cycle Carbon Exchange takes 3-4 years 85% of man’s contribution

Concerns about carbon sinks:: 

Concerns about carbon sinks: The First Sink: Oceans have dissolved organic carbon stored as methane hydrates which have the potential to thaw as the ocean warms. The Second Sink: Soil is weakened by forest destruction and farming, causing carbon to be released to the atmosphere. carbon in arctic tundra is being unlocked as snow disappears. The Third Sink: Forests and Vegetation potential imbalance between the carbon stored through photosynthesis and the losses from plant respiration and decay of residues.

Climate change affects plants’ evapotranspiration processes.: 

Climate change affects plants’ evapotranspiration processes. Increased concentrations of atmospheric CO2 increases plants productivity by: stimulating photosynthesis caused by CO2 fertilization, decreasing transpiration (uptake of water) due to a partial closing of the stomatal aperture. Temperature increases will increase the plant and soil respiration rates, thus increasing CO2. Decreased rainfall can reduce plant photosynthesis and ability to store carbon.

Local climate impacts may threaten some areas, benefit others.: 

Local climate impacts may threaten some areas, benefit others. Plant growth and health may benefit from fewer freezes, but is damaged by higher temperatures, and the expanded range of certain weeds, insects, and plant diseases. Localized climate shifts north (droughts, temp. changes). mid-latitude regions could see shift of 150-550 km Increased frequency of severe weather events. e.g., intense rainstorms more frequent High latitude regions will see more runoff, less snowpack, less soil moisture, and less recharge of aquifers.

Forestry and agriculture are important sources of CO2.: 

Forestry and agriculture are important sources of CO2. Deforestation is the second largest source of human related CO2 emissions (occurring mainly in the tropics). When forests are cleared for agriculture or development, most of the carbon is burned or decomposing trees release their carbon to the atmosphere. New forests absorb CO2 removing it from the atmosphere. Trees shade the earth, reducing direct solar warming. Established forests on degraded or non-forested land add to the amount of carbon stored. Sustainability grown fuel-wood can be used in place of fossil fuels to preserve the carbon reserve underground.

How much carbon does a tree store?: 

How much carbon does a tree store? 1 tree absorbs one ton of CO2 over 40 years. An average acre of newly planted American forest will store 50 tons of carbon over 40 years.

Soils are a net source of greenhouse gases, but could be made into a net sink.: 

Soils are a net source of greenhouse gases, but could be made into a net sink. Intensive agriculture practices such as livestock rearing and fertilizer use emit methane and nitrous oxide. Adding vitamin and mineral supplements to feed mixtures can increase milk production while decreasing methane emissions. New fertilizers and practices can decrease the need for nitrogen applications. Technologies are available to cut carbon emissions while reducing costs (e.g., composting, no-tillage practices). Agriculture wastes could be converted into non-fossil fuels like ethanol or biodiesel.

Conservation of soil and water resources can help reduce emissions.: 

Conservation of soil and water resources can help reduce emissions. Change crops and crop varieties Adapt planting schedules and tillage approaches. Reuse materials Buy recycled products Use renewable energy sources (solar, wind, hydro, geothermal) Improve water management and irrigation systems Improve watershed management and land-use planning.

What is Carbon Trading?: 

What is Carbon Trading? Carbon “credits” can be sold to offset emissions. A marketplace for carbon trading is beginning to develop, both domestically and internationally. The carbon that is stored in the soil, potentially has economic value -- but how much is still undetermined. Idaho farmers could explore the benefits of carbon sequestration.

Other questions?: 

Other questions?

Where to learn more:: 

Where to learn more: Web sites: http://www.epa.gov/globalwarming/index.html http://www.ucsusa.org/warming/gw.resources.html http://www1.oecd.org/env/cc/freedocs.htm http://cdiac.esd.ornl.gov/about/intro.html http://gcmd.nasa.gov/ http://www.pewclimate.org/ http://progressivefarmer.com/issue/1099/carbon/default.asp http://www.fb.com/news/fbn/html/agriculture_s.html