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Anthropogenic Climate Change in the Zero-Carbon Era

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Chihak Ahn, Professor Nick Cowern


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Global warming is a result of 'temperature forcing', the net imbalance between energy fluxes entering and leaving the climate system and arising within it. At present humanity introduces temperature forcing through greenhouse gas emissions, agriculture, and thermal emissions from fuel burning. Up to now climate projections, based on projected GHG emissions and neglecting thermal emissions, typically foresee maximum forcing at a date occurring from midcentury onwards, followed by a slow decline due to elimination of carbon emissions. However, under reasonable scenarios of growth in primary energy use, even if we switch completely to generation by zero-carbon fuel burning (nuclear or fossil with carbon capture) temperature forcing will be sustained and even increase through the second half of the century as a result of the additional heat injected into the climate system. A potential solution to this problem is to develop energy generation technologies that remove heat from the climate system, or as a temporary solution 'dump' heat in the deep ocean. Two such technologies, both relying on solar energy, are discussed in this paper.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Ahn C, Cowern NEB

Editor(s): Han, M.W., Lee, J.

Publication type: Conference Proceedings (inc. Abstract)

Publication status: Published

Conference Name: EU-Korea Conference on Science and Technology

Year of Conference: 2011

Pages: 9-19

ISSN: 0930-8989

Publisher: Springer


DOI: 10.1007/978-3-642-17913-6_2

Notes: E-ISBN: 9783642179136

Library holdings: Search Newcastle University Library for this item

Series Title: Springer Proceedings in Physics

ISBN: 9783642179129