Friday, March 6, 2015

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Comes Out in Favor of Geoengineering

                                                        Only Geoengineering can produce Negative CO2 emissions

The United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) is the "gold standard" when it comes to scientific organizations studying climate change.  Awarded the Nobel Peace Prize (along with Al Gore) in 2007, the IPCC was set up in 1998 and its work was subsequently endorsed by the entire UN General Assembly (Resolution 43/53).  

The scientific work of the IPCC is done in support of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). The goal of the UNFCCC is to 

"stabilize greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere at a level that would prevent dangerous anthropogenic [i.e., human-induced] interference with the climate system"

The best known product of the UNFCCC is the Kyoto Protocol, an international treaty where 192 nations pledged to make voluntary reductions in their CO
2 emissions. The Kyoto Protocol expired in 2012, and efforts are underway to craft a new, post-Kyoto climate change treaty.

In a remarkable statement in 2013, however, the IPCC cast doubt on the effectiveness of the UN climate change treaty process and suggested that Geoengineering is needed to reverse Global Warming. The report said: 

"CO2-induced warming is projected to remain approximately constant for many centuries following a complete cessation of emission. A large fraction of climate change is thus irreversible on a human timescale, except if net anthropogenic CO2 emissions were strongly negative over a sustained period." 

The IPCC statement means that international treaties like the Kyoto Protocol can't possibly stop global warming. The only way to stop global warming is what the IPCC called "negative" CO2 emissions, i.e. the removal of CO2 from the atmosphere. And the only way to remove CO2 from the atmosphere is through geoengineering.

2 Antarctic Pumpdown geoengineering proposal would create negative CO2  emissions by adopting chemical processes commonly used to remove CO2 from the atmosphere in submarines and industrial sites.  The CO2 removed from the atmosphere would be stored in the Antarctic Ice Sheet.  Several other geoengineering concepts propose to do the same thing in other ways.   It can only help the field of geoengineering to have the IPCC officially come out in favor of "negative" CO2 emissions.

No comments:

Post a Comment