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Carbon Capture Not The Answer – Met Office

December 7, 2015

By Paul Homewood  

  

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http://www.metoffice.gov.uk/news/release/archive/2015/carbon-capture

 

Apparently not according to the Met Office!

 

 

7 December 2015 – Large scale carbon capture technology is not the answer to climate change

A new study has found that the implications and costs of using carbon capture technology on a large scale, mean that reducing greenhouse gas emissions is still essential if climate change is to be tackled and global temperature rise kept below 2 degrees.

A review article, led by the University of Aberdeen and co-authored by the Met Office, is published today in the journal Nature Climate Change and examines the potential environmental, economic and energy impacts of so-called negative emissions technologies i.e. techniques that remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere.

CO2 is the major driver of climate change. Nearly all the emission scenarios assessed by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) that keep global average temperatures below 2 °C assume the large-scale removal of CO2 from the atmosphere by the end of this century. The options considered include planting more trees, which soak up CO2 as they grow, or crushing rocks that naturally absorb CO2 and spreading them on soils so that they remove CO2 more rapidly.

The main technology commonly assumed in future scenarios to remove carbon from the atmosphere is burning biomass for energy, capturing the CO2 that would otherwise be released, and then storing it permanently deep below the ground. This technology is known as bioenergy with carbon capture and storage (BECCS).

But all these CO2 removal techniques come with different costs and environmental effects and limitations. The review article considers the impacts of negative emission technologies on land use, greenhouse gas emissions, water use, Earth’s reflectivity, and soil nutrient depletion, as well as the energy and cost requirements for each technology.

Chris Jones, Met Office Hadley Centre scientist, and co-author of the study said: "We have previously quantified the amount of Negative Emissions required to achieve 2 degrees and the numbers are big. 100s of giga-tonnes1 of CO2 must be removed and stored somewhere, and the longer we wait to cut emissions the greater the future burden of removal will be."

"We simply don’t know if deployment of negative emission technologies on that scale is feasible, so here we have tried to calculate the potential costs and implications of different approaches. It is clear that swift action to cut emissions now is vital".

The study finds that all negative emissions technologies have significant limitations and while we need to invest in research and development to try and overcome these limitations, the key message from our study is that we should not rely on these as-yet unproven technologies to save us in the future. Instead cuts in greenhouse gas emissions are needed to avoid a risky dependence on these technologies in the future.

The work was carried out by a team of 40 collaborators, including scientists from the Met Office and the University of Aberdeen, as a contribution to the Global Carbon Project, http://www.globalcarbonproject.org/

 

 

1. a giga-tonne of CO2 (1 GtCO2) is 1 billion tonnes of CO2. Annual fossil fuel emissions are around 36 GtCO2 for 2015.

 

This all raises one question – why the hell is the Met Office wasting taxpayers’ money on a project which does not concern it in the least?

12 Comments leave one →
  1. December 7, 2015 6:36 pm

    I wish they’d quantify the Negative Spending Money, taxpayers & consumers would suffer in order to achieve their previously quantified amount of Negative Emissions required to achieve 2 degrees.

  2. Graeme No.3 permalink
    December 7, 2015 6:37 pm

    “CO2 is the major driver of climate change”

    I can see where they went wrong.

  3. A C Osborn permalink
    December 7, 2015 6:42 pm

    Agenda 21 and the Paris Climate Meeting.
    They think adding their name adds Gravitis to the study.
    When in fact it does exactly the opposite.

  4. CheshireRed permalink
    December 7, 2015 6:45 pm

    Just one more thing the entire sceptic community got right then. Another box ticked off.

  5. Gray permalink
    December 7, 2015 7:14 pm

    Only one answer and that’s nuclear.
    Massive energy and no CO2
    Just needs a political decision on how to deal with the waste by burying it in deep mud deposits near a subduction zone.
    Unfortunately it’s taken forty years to not decide on where to build a new runway……………
    Don’t hold your breath and buy a diesel generator.

    • December 8, 2015 7:03 pm

      Thorium reactors would be a much better answer if only research had been begun earlier.

  6. John F. Hultquist permalink
    December 7, 2015 7:33 pm

    … reducing greenhouse gas emissions is still essential …

    Really, that is all they wanted to say. It took 40 collaborators and a bunch of money to say it. Good work.

    They studied planting trees and burning trees (biomass), crushing rocks, and capturing Unicorn farts. The last is as good as the others. They just need to find those elusive unicorns.

    And what’s with this: The main technology commonly assumed in future scenarios to remove carbon from the atmosphere is burning biomass for energy, capturing the CO2 and blah blah blah.

    commonly assumed
    They are kidding – right? I wonder who made that up?
    Deus ex machina

  7. Steve Crook permalink
    December 7, 2015 8:11 pm

    I see this as a positive thing. The Met are viewed (in some circles) as a reliable organisation and an authority. If they say CCS may not work and even if it does, it’s going to be hugely expensive and won’t be a significant contribution to getting to a 2c target.

    People might take notice.

    So that should be enough to stop any more money being spent on something that we all knew was completely pointless

  8. Green Sand permalink
    December 7, 2015 8:28 pm

    “This all raises one question – why the hell is the Met Office wasting taxpayers’ money on a project which does not concern it in the least?”

    If (IF) CCS was to work then anthropogenic CO2 could no longer be perceived as a threat. No need for ongoing climate impact research. Move funding from research and mitigation to adaptation. Bye, bye Hadley Centre!

  9. Bitter&Twisted permalink
    December 7, 2015 11:03 pm

    Don’t you love it when “scientists” make such statements of the blindingly obvious and think they are being smart?

  10. Manfred permalink
    December 8, 2015 5:37 am

    From beginning to end, unadulterated claptrap. The Met Office signed up to “climate change” as defined in c.2000 by the UN when global warming failed to oblige. Explicit within their definitions is the anthropogenic influence on climate wrought by changing atmospheric composition and land usage. Therefore, irrespective of pointlessly wasting billions on CCS to rescue a non-problem, “climate change” must remain.
    The answer of course lies in the ultimate ‘solution’, the widespread eradication of humanity from Gaia. Not even The Met Office are quite up to this……yet.

  11. December 8, 2015 12:38 pm

    “The study finds that all `renewable sources of energy` have significant limitations and while we need to invest in research and development to try and overcome these limitations, the key message from our study is that we should not rely on these as-yet unproven technologies to save us in the future”

    See these guys sound almost rational if you just substitute a few key words. How refreshing would it be to have a clear rational response to a mole hill turned into a mountain?

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