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Carbon Capture and Storage

Description: Carbon capture and sequestration (CCS) is the long-term isolation of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere through physical, chemical, biological, or engineered processes. This includes a range of approaches including soil carbon sequestration (e.g., through no-till farming), terrestrial biomass sequestration (e.g., through planting forests), direct ocean injection of CO{sub 2} either onto the deep seafloor or into the intermediate depths, injection into deep geological formations, or even direct conversion of CO{sub 2} to carbonate minerals. Some of these approaches are considered geoengineering (see the appropriate chapter herein). All are considered in the 2005 special report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC 2005). Of the range of options available, geological carbon sequestration (GCS) appears to be the most actionable and economic option for major greenhouse gas reduction in the next 10-30 years. The basis for this interest includes several factors: (1) The potential capacities are large based on initial estimates. Formal estimates for global storage potential vary substantially, but are likely to be between 800 and 3300 Gt of C (3000 and 10,000 Gt of CO{sub 2}), with significant capacity located reasonably near large point sources of the CO{sub 2}. (2) GCS can begin operations with demonstrated technology. Carbon dioxide has been separated from large point sources for nearly 100 years, and has been injected underground for over 30 years (below). (3) Testing of GCS at intermediate scale is feasible. In the US, Canada, and many industrial countries, large CO{sub 2} sources like power plants and refineries lie near prospective storage sites. These plants could be retrofit today and injection begun (while bearing in mind scientific uncertainties and unknowns). Indeed, some have, and three projects described here provide a great deal of information on the operational needs and field implementation of CCS. Part of this interest comes from several key ...
Date: October 3, 2007
Creator: Friedmann, S.

Chapter 3: Evaluating the impacts of carbonaceous aerosols on clouds and climate

Description: Any attempt to reconcile observed surface temperature changes within the last 150 years to changes simulated by climate models that include various atmospheric forcings is sensitive to the changes attributed to aerosols and aerosol-cloud-climate interactions, which are the main contributors that may well balance the positive forcings associated with greenhouse gases, absorbing aerosols, ozone related changes, etc. These aerosol effects on climate, from various modeling studies discussed in Menon (2004), range from +0.8 to -2.4 W m{sup -2}, with an implied value of -1.0 W m{sup -2} (range from -0.5 to -4.5 W m{sup -2}) for the aerosol indirect effects. Quantifying the contribution of aerosols and aerosol-cloud interactions remain complicated for several reasons some of which are related to aerosol distributions and some to the processes used to represent their effects on clouds. Aerosol effects on low lying marine stratocumulus clouds that cover much of the Earth's surface (about 70%) have been the focus of most of prior aerosol-cloud interaction effect simulations. Since cumulus clouds (shallow and deep convective) are short lived and cover about 15 to 20% of the Earth's surface, they are not usually considered as radiatively important. However, the large amount of latent heat released from convective towers, and corresponding changes in precipitation, especially in biomass regions due to convective heating effects (Graf et al. 2004), suggest that these cloud systems and aerosol effects on them, must be examined more closely. The radiative heating effects for mature deep convective systems can account for 10-30% of maximum latent heating effects and thus cannot be ignored (Jensen and Del Genio 2003). The first study that isolated the sensitivity of cumulus clouds to aerosols was from Nober et al. (2003) who found a reduction in precipitation in biomass burning regions and shifts in circulation patterns. Aerosol effects on convection have ...
Date: September 3, 2007
Creator: Menon, Surabi & Del Genio, Anthony D.