The Simple Math of CO2 Reduction

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Message 1064357 - Posted: 7 Jan 2011, 19:45:31 UTC - in response to Message 1064334.  
Last modified: 7 Jan 2011, 19:48:54 UTC

generally speaking, unless someone has this problem staring them in the face, they won't do anything. CO2 has no taste and you can't feel it so its a hard sell for the average person that doesn't understand how a Internal combustion engine works but they know their Camaro has 426 BHP. Needless to say We need enormous education programs to get people to understand something this complex



No matter how you slice it, it is going to be a VERY tough sell to get people to stop burning oil/gas/coal for fuel, among all the other ways humanity is causing an increase in atmospheric CO2 levels.

If the Al Gore camp is correct, there is NO safe level beyond the natural one for CO2 emissions. True CO2 sinks are very limited in the rate they can absorb CO2 and thus remove from the environment. Research I have seen implies hundreds if not thousands of years to absorb what we have already caused to be emitted. And it is not the rate of emission that is important, it is the total amount emitted.

If the Al Gore camp is correct, we MUST stop it. The entire mess. NOW. No exceptions. Turn out the lights, the party is over. Maybe in 20 or 30 thousand years, CO2 levels will be back to 'normal'... If the Al Gore camp is correct...


Gonna happen? Not a snowball's chance in hell.

The average person is WAY more concerned with having their nice petroleum powered car, all the conveniences of modern life, or even just a slash & burn of another plot of rainforest so they can grow their crops next year. The average person has no desire to even slightly consider what might happen 'to the other guy' (its always the other guy, not themselves) a few years down the line.


You have to show them what is in it for THEM (especially in the developed world). What better way than, for instance, the economic value of oil/gas/coal for all the other uses they have in our modern world rather than just burning the stuff for a quick, cheap joyride?
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Message 1064359 - Posted: 7 Jan 2011, 19:54:30 UTC - in response to Message 1064357.  
Last modified: 7 Jan 2011, 19:55:46 UTC

It gets worse than that. There is an area around the Antarctic known as the "carbon sink". An extremely cold portion of the ocean that entraps CO2 naturally. The scientists that have studied it indicate it is full.

And it gets worse than that. As ocean temperatures rise..

And it gets worse than that. Methane entraped by the melting ice caps and land masses are thawing out.. more greenhouse gases...

My view is we are well past the natural tipping point. If we turned everything off and went back to building fires, it would make matters even worse.

It may be that natural selection is in progress. And we are the next dinosaurs.

But personally, I favor trying over giving up.

Edit: oh and as far as their nice fast cars, that is the importance of such vehicles as the wrightspeed x1. It shows that performance does not have to be internal combustion.
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Message 1064361 - Posted: 7 Jan 2011, 20:00:56 UTC - in response to Message 1064359.  


But personally, I favor trying over giving up.


As do I. That is why I am advocating a more... rational reason to give up burning Oil/Gas/Coal. Not some climate-change boogie-man that, as we have seen, fails to motivate much in the way of change from anyone (except maybe those currently being affected, but then they are currently such a small fraction of humanity as to effectively be meaningless in their contribution to the mess).
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Message 1064362 - Posted: 7 Jan 2011, 20:05:26 UTC - in response to Message 1064357.  
Last modified: 7 Jan 2011, 20:06:51 UTC

generally speaking, unless someone has this problem staring them in the face, they won't do anything. CO2 has no taste and you can't feel it so its a hard sell for the average person that doesn't understand...



No matter how you slice it, it is going to be a VERY tough sell to get people to stop burning oil/gas/coal for fuel, among all the other ways humanity is causing an increase in atmospheric CO2 levels.


Especially so when many can't believe it is happening, or where most people likely simply don't want to know!


If the Al Gore camp is correct, there is NO safe level beyond the natural one for CO2 emissions. True CO2 sinks are very limited in the rate they can absorb CO2 and thus remove from the environment. Research I have seen implies hundreds if not thousands of years to absorb what we have already caused to be emitted. And it is not the rate of emission that is important, it is the total amount emitted.


That may be the case if you assume only breakdown by atmospheric processes. We already have the oceans soaking up half of the man-made excess emissions.

However, there is a big question as to how all the natural sinks for CO2 are going to respond to the greatly changed conditions. They've been nicely in equilibrium with the natural sources of CO2 for many millennia. The last 200 years are a really brutal kick to the system...


... The average person is WAY more concerned with having their nice petroleum powered car, all the conveniences of modern life, or even just a slash & burn of another plot of rainforest so they can grow their crops next year. The average person has no desire to even slightly consider what might happen 'to the other guy' (its always the other guy, not themselves) a few years down the line.

You have to show them what is in it for THEM (especially in the developed world). What better way than, for instance, the economic value of oil/gas/coal for all the other uses they have in our modern world rather than just burning the stuff for a quick, cheap joyride?


How do you drag people off the quick cheap joyride? We have a recent typical example just for one example with the cheap shots from the USA Republicans against the EPA...


There is a technological economic way out of the mess, but only if the economics of CO2 pollution are realistically costed out for now and through to the future...

It's our only planet,
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Message 1064445 - Posted: 7 Jan 2011, 22:06:44 UTC - in response to Message 1064441.  
Last modified: 7 Jan 2011, 22:10:33 UTC

What are your proposals and how much would they reduce CO-2? How long would they take to implement and what would be the cost? Why do you believe C0-2 concentrations have a significant effect on temperature? What caused the rising temperature that caused the ice-age to melt away? What were the CO-2 concentrations then?

Are we in some kind of a sun output cycle ? If so where are we in the cycle?
How does the concentration of CO-2 compare to the concentration of water vapor in the Atmosphere?
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Message 1064450 - Posted: 7 Jan 2011, 22:14:07 UTC - in response to Message 1064447.  

Honda Civic $14,000

So how many miles to drive to break even. What is life, cost and warranty on the battery pack ??
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Message 1064465 - Posted: 7 Jan 2011, 22:48:16 UTC - in response to Message 1064453.  

http://news.cnet.com/8301-11128_3-20001408-54.html
Nissan has not yet disclosed warranty information on the battery pack for the Leaf. But drivers can expect that there will be some degradation over time. After about 10 years, the total driving range will degrade from about 100 miles to 70 or 80 miles, Perry said.



So after 10 years you are still getting about 70% of the battery thats still pretty good.




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Message 1064506 - Posted: 8 Jan 2011, 0:34:34 UTC - in response to Message 1064501.  

http://news.cnet.com/8301-11128_3-20001408-54.html
Nissan has not yet disclosed warranty information on the battery pack for the Leaf. But drivers can expect that there will be some degradation over time. After about 10 years, the total driving range will degrade from about 100 miles to 70 or 80 miles, Perry said.



So after 10 years you are still getting about 70% of the battery thats still pretty good.



I have some pretty good experience with lead-acid, nickel-cadmium, and nickel-metal hydride batteries. Just a little bit of experience with these new lithium-ions.

I've never seen a rechargable battery last 10 years. With minimal use and careful attention to detail when putting in on a charger, 6 years is the most useful life I've ever been able to get out of any battery.

[url]http://batteryuniversity.com/learn/article/how_to_prolong_lithium_based_batteries [/url]


There is a pretty good chance you have not seen a 10 year old lithium-ion battery. I know every device I have had with one, the device is obsolete before the battery is an issue.

And they are getting in excess of 5-6 years with NiMH batteries now, so I would not expect at 10 year battery life to be out of the question.
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Message 1064519 - Posted: 8 Jan 2011, 1:24:16 UTC - in response to Message 1064498.  

What are your proposals and how much would they reduce CO-2? How long would they take to implement and what would be the cost? Why do you believe C0-2 concentrations have a significant effect on temperature? What caused the rising temperature that caused the ice-age to melt away? What were the CO-2 concentrations then?

Are we in some kind of a sun output cycle ? If so where are we in the cycle?
How does the concentration of CO-2 compare to the concentration of water vapor in the Atmosphere?



Well i would recommend an Anthropogenic reduction in CO2 of 50%,
since this is the upper limit to carbon sinking that the biosphere
is capable of accommodating at our present level of CO2 forcing levels.
This should stabilize CO2 concentrations at their present level.


Uhh... no. We need to go for 100% reduction. Not 50%. There is a limit to what many of those temporary sinks can absorb. And doing so has various other bad effects. For instance, more CO2 dissolved in the oceans. When one dissolves CO2 in water (H2O), you get carbonic acid (H2CO3). This makes the oceans more acidic as more CO2 dissolves, with consequent bad effects.


This would take a few years, but we really can't afford to wait.
We should start at once a global collaborative effort at introducing safe,
clean, cheap, nuclear power plants to provide for increases in global
electrical demand. Hopefully Fusion power plants are in the near future,
but we really can't wait.


I agree that nuclear fission needs to be part of the mix. However, it can't be the only ingredient. There is a limited supply of mine-able fissionable materials on the earth. More limited than, for instance, crude oil.

Commercial fusion power is 30 years away. Funny thing, it has been 30 years away for the last 60 years. Though possible, it is a very, very tricky proposition. Fission power is child's play compared to it. Don't count on it any time in the near to medium term future. Every time they solve one problem, 2 or more new problems pop up.


I appreciate your question as to how the earth moved out of its ice-ages.
My guess is that certain types of Flora adapted, despite the temperature,
and CO2 concentration prevalent at the time of the ice-ages, to marginally
decrease the earth's albedo and hence absorb more of the suns energy,
slowly increasing CO2 level, accelerating to a more moderate ecology
for other dormant species to take root and flourish.
I suppose you could posit a Solar cycle of 100,000 years or so between
one solar maxima and the next, with some harmonics in between, but that
would in no way explain the sudden recent rise in global temperature,
and level of CO2 concentrations.


About what *starts* a glacial cycle, there is a school of thought that says it is the disappearance of the northern polar ice cap that triggers it. As to what ends it... Well, it is believed that the combination of a number of long-term cycles warms the planet slightly, and that starts the ice melting. Once the ice starts melting, the planet's surface darkens leading to the retention of more heat which melts most all the ice eventually. Glacial cycles have been somewhat regular for a long time indeed. Our history started shortly after the last cycle ended, and we are just about due for the start of a new one. What is ironic is that 'global warming' might be working at cross purposes. One, the warming is making the north polar ice cap disappear, it is thought, thereby triggering the onset of a new cycle. Also, the planetary warming might be delaying or preventing the onset of the new cycle. As we progress from the hot-house phase we are apparently in, we need to be careful that things don't immediately flip to an ice-age phase.


i'm a proponent for the move to a hydrogen based economy.
The hydrogen fuel cell is close to being optimized.
Hydrogen production and delivery are being held back by big oil interests.
Safe/economic Hydrogen storage technology is not far off.


Poppycock. Hydrogen storage just isn't there. Due to quantum mechanical effects and the small size of the hydrogen atoms and molecules, the little buggers just slowly leak through anything you try to contain them in, especially the economical ones. The only hope is to combine the hydrogen chemically with something else to stop the leaking. However, the problem with this is that frequently it takes more energy to extract the hydrogen from whatever you combine it with than its worth. One way around this is if the chemical you combine it with can be used as well. We already HAVE an efficient combination of hydrogen... With carbon.. Its called hydrocarbons... Oil/Gas/Coal... Just as with hydrocarbons, we need to make sure that whatever we end up combining the hydrogen with won't cause its own set of nasty problems.

Hydrogen is not the be-all and end-all answer. Can it be part of the mix? Sure, to a limited degree. But not the whole ball of wax.


With small High temperature nuclear reactors the
iodine-sulfur process process promises water to hydrogen conversion
efficiencies of 80%.


Nice, but again there is the storage/distribution issue with the hydrogen.



It really should be the Oil Companies working with Auto Manufacturers to
make available the "Fuel of The Future". But it seems that even Global
Conglomerates want Governments to lead the way.

Water vapour in the atmosphere really is just a function of air temperature,
regardless of what makes the air warm, whether it be Methane, CO2, Water
vapour, or what have you.



Yes, if they had any economic good sense, the oil companies would be leading the way into alternatives. But, they sadly don't, for the most part. There are a few that are trying to do so in small ways, but they are too bound up in the short-term bottom line. The Auto companies are trying too, but it is going slowly. Surprisingly, it is the electric generation companies that are doing the most towards alternatives now. It seems it is easier to get a permit for an alternative generation plant than it is to get one for a Oil/Gas/Coal powered one.
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Message 1064523 - Posted: 8 Jan 2011, 1:34:07 UTC - in response to Message 1064519.  

Step 1: get off the fossil fuels.
Step 2: balance ourselves out to carbon neutral.
Step 3: work on carbon storage, even short term until we can return to temperate levels.
Step 4: Reforestation, eliminate contaminations.

I know this is the sound of someone that loves twinkies.. but honestly I do not, nor all it implies... But planting hemp where possible (an "if in doubt" crop) to help generate oxygen into the atmosphere, really might be called for. And per acre it is very effective at that. Redwoods are also excellent, but they take some time to grow.

As I have said before, wind is the cheapest to add. Those worried about straining the grid at night realize this is off-peak time, when the grid is most able to handle it. Solar is still a great idea, in a variety of forms.

And then pray to whatever gods or whatever you hold as holy it is not too little too late.
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Message 1064527 - Posted: 8 Jan 2011, 1:53:46 UTC - in response to Message 1064506.  

There is a pretty good chance you have not seen a 10 year old lithium-ion battery. I know every device I have had with one, the device is obsolete before the battery is an issue. ...


Hopefully, we'll quickly move onto batteries that do not suffer structural decay due to chemical cycling, or degradation due to composition loss due to use or over-charging or overheating.


There's a multi-GWh battery that has been in daily use at Dinorwig for some years now. The only degradation there is corrosion! (...maximum generation in less than 16 seconds. Using off-peak electricity...)




It's our only planet,
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Message 1064528 - Posted: 8 Jan 2011, 2:01:26 UTC - in response to Message 1064445.  
Last modified: 8 Jan 2011, 2:02:17 UTC

Are we in some kind of a sun output cycle ? If so where are we in the cycle?
How does the concentration of CO-2 compare to the concentration of water vapor in the Atmosphere?


Variance due to the sun cycles (and orbital cycles) are small compared to the effect of "greenhouse gasses". (Yes, we know in the strict sense the analogy is wrong, it's more metaphorical, it's just one of those soundbites things!)

The major greenhouse gas is water vapour. However...

Water vapour doesn't stay in the atmosphere for long, no more than a few days at most, before... It rains out! Hence the level of water vapour is itself controlled by the average temperature which is itself controlled by the long lived greenhouse gasses such as CO2 and methane that stay in the atmosphere for many years.

The water vapour acts as an amplifier to all the other greenhouse gasses that hang around. A bit like you applying a tenth of a pound of foot pedal force on the gas pedal of your car to get a lot more force to propel you forwards...


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Message 1064541 - Posted: 8 Jan 2011, 2:36:46 UTC - in response to Message 1064528.  

Are we in some kind of a sun output cycle ? If so where are we in the cycle?
How does the concentration of CO-2 compare to the concentration of water vapor in the Atmosphere?


Variance due to the sun cycles (and orbital cycles) are small compared to the effect of "greenhouse gasses". (Yes, we know in the strict sense the analogy is wrong, it's more metaphorical, it's just one of those soundbites things!)

The major greenhouse gas is water vapour. However...

Water vapour doesn't stay in the atmosphere for long, no more than a few days at most, before... It rains out! Hence the level of water vapour is itself controlled by the average temperature which is itself controlled by the long lived greenhouse gasses such as CO2 and methane that stay in the atmosphere for many years.

The water vapour acts as an amplifier to all the other greenhouse gasses that hang around. A bit like you applying a tenth of a pound of foot pedal force on the gas pedal of your car to get a lot more force to propel you forwards...


It's our only planet.
Martin


Martin,

You forget that while water vapor is a greenhouse gas in one sense, in other senses, it acts as a cooling agent. More water vapor in the air equals more clouds, which reflects solar input back off into space. But even there, it also acts as a warming agent, reflecting heat from the ground back to the ground.

The action of water vapor in the atmosphere is a complicated subject. It has both warming and cooling effects. The net isn't much in either direction.
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Message 1064578 - Posted: 8 Jan 2011, 6:30:18 UTC - in response to Message 1064545.  

I really believe that the USA and the rest of the world is still suffering
from Hindenberg Syndrome. Hydrogen Bad. Get over it. Hydrogen GOOD!!!

I've read proposals on the pyrolysis of coal stock to produce hydrogen at
very competitive pricing, with the carbon residue simply buried underground
thus taking advantage of any future carbon capture credits without the need of
carbon capture technology. This appears to be a very efficient cycle, so
why has it not been exploited?

What's holding up development on this hydrogen economy?
Could it be the Hindenberg Syndrome?
Maybe it's that hydrogen refueling stations probably shouldn't be Self Serve.

Guido.man,

Once again, it isn't the production of hydrogen that is the hold-up. Any fool can produce hydrogen with a source of water, of DC electricity, a small amount of salt so the water conducts the electricity, and a couple dollars of equipment. It is the storage and transportation of the hydrogen that is the hold-up. It is obvious that you do not understand the problem. Go study both physics and chemistry for a few years. You might understand it then.

In addition to its other nasty effects on container/pipeline materials, the hydrogen will also permeate out through the material. Very heavy and expensive materials can be more resistant to this leaking, but their use is somewhat counter-productive. For instance in a more common tank in a small, confined space (like an H2 tank in the trunk of a vehicle), in less than two weeks, enough hydrogen will leak out to produce an explosive mixture in the space outside the tank. And yes, it is possible for the hydrogen to spontaneously ignite. Add in the embrittlement of metals by hydrogen, and the entire tank could rupture. You don't want to be on the receiving end of that big kablooie. Similar concerns affect pipelines.

Add in the other main problem of hydrogen, that while hydrogen has a high energy density by mass, it has a rather low energy density by volume. You need a rather large tank to do much good. The space shuttle's external fuel tank is, by volume, mostly hydrogen tanks.

Besides, use of hydrogen to power vehicles may not be very energy efficient when compared to electric. It takes energy to crack the hydrogen. Also not even the most modern fuel cell is 100% efficient. If you are going to use them to power an electric vehicle, you may as well just use the original electricity used to crack the hydrogen to power the vehicle. It would be more efficient. And if you are going to burn the hydrogen in an internal combustion engine, that introduces a host of other inefficiencies. An electric vehicle is WAY more energy efficient than one powered by an internal combustion engine, of ANY sort.

Hydrogen does not have an advantage in energy efficiency. Also, hydrogen has other problems. While, for some limited uses, hydrogen may be part of the mix of alternatives, it is NOT a 'magic bullet' that will solve all of our problems.

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Message 1064614 - Posted: 8 Jan 2011, 10:42:29 UTC

hydrogen probably deserves its own thread. One of the most difficult uses is direct fuel for transportation. There could be great merit for on site storage of energy.

As far as safety, I recall a hydrogen tank truck that backed up into a loading dock a few years back. It punctured the tank and caught fire, caused a great panic and evacuation and a huge flame shooting high into the air.

Most of the panic to responders was the safety of the mist coming down on people. yep.. it was drizzling water. After the flames died down and things cooled off, they put new tires on the truck and DROVE IT AWAY.

I am trying to go from memory and believe it happened at Ballard Power, but I can not swear to that part.

The thing about hydrogen "explosions" and fires is, when hydrogen is released it goes straight up. Unlike Gasoline fumes which tend to stay low and spread out, causing much more potentially widespread damage.


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Message 1064622 - Posted: 8 Jan 2011, 12:54:10 UTC

I have a question about hydrogen powered cars. Since the byproduct is water, what happens in cold climates? It seems the first car would be fine, but lay down an ice slick for those that follow, which would accumulate when every additional hydrogen vehicle passed by. Is there some sort of collection tank that is heated so it won't become solid? I have visions of a snow cannon on a ski slope.

I have not read every post, but the discussion of the various topics is very interesting.

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Message 1064625 - Posted: 8 Jan 2011, 13:28:00 UTC - in response to Message 1064622.  

It is more of a vapor form, so "steam".. but yes it could conceivably (if all vehicles were using) cause massive green and damp zones around roadways.

Of course, existing automobile exhaust leaves a thin coating of oil, very unpopular at first drizzle.


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Message boards : Politics : The Simple Math of CO2 Reduction


 
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