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Went to a talk on March 19, 2012 by Dr Joel Schwarz about a recent UNEP report on Short Lived Climate Forcers:

Integrated Assessment of Black carbon and Tropospheric Ozone and Near Term Climate Protection and Clean Air Benefits

Summary for Decision Makers

The report focuses on three SCLF [short lived climate forcers] – black carbon, tropospheric ozone and methane [an ozone precursor*] – because reducing them will provide significant benefits through improved air quality and a slowing of near-term climate change.
Black carbon and tropospheric (10 - 20 km above ground) ozone are resident in the atmosphere for a few days to three weeks (3-8 days for carbon, up to 4-18 days for ozone).  Methane has an atmospheric lifetime of 12 years, ± 3 years.

"Full implementation" of all the identified measures could reduce future global warming by "0.5˚C (within a range of 0.2–0.7˚C)". If implemented by 2030, this tactic  might halve the potential increase in global temperature projected for 2050. "The rate of regional temperature increase would also be reduced" wherever they are put into practice.

These measures "could avoid 2.4 million premature deaths (within a range of 0.7–4.6 million) and the loss of 52 million tonnes (within a range of 30–140 million tonnes), 1–4 per cent, of the global production of maize, rice, soybean and wheat each year."  Benefits will be felt immediately "in or close to the regions" where black carbon, methane, and tropospheric ozone are reduced.  The potential for emissions reductions, climate, health, and economic benefits are highest in Asia but gains can also be realized in Africa, Latin America, and wherever these measures are put into practice.

A few emission reduction measures "targeting black carbon and ozone precursors could immediately begin to protect climate, public health, water and food security, and ecosystems. Measures include the recovery of methane from coal, oil and gas extraction and transport, methane capture in waste management, use of clean-burning stoves for residential cooking, diesel particulate filters for vehicles and the banning of field burning of agricultural waste."

All these benefits can be obtained with existing technology but require significant strategic investment and institutional arrangements to make them widespread, part of general and every day use.

*Ozone is not directly emitted. It is a secondary pollutant that is formed in the troposphere by sunlight-driven chemical reactions involving carbon monoxide (CO), non-methane volatile organic compounds (NMVOCs), methane (CH4), and nitrogen oxides (NO ).  Ozone in the troposphere is the third most human-emitted greenhouse gas, after CO2 and methane.  Ozone formation increases as temperature rises.

Table 3.2: Key black carbon abatement measures identified for this report (after UNEP/WMO, 2011)

Standards for the reduction of pollutants from vehicles (including diesel particle filters), equivalent to those included in Euro-6/VI standards, for road and off-road vehicles
Elimination of high-emitting vehicles in road and off-road transport

Replacing lump coal by coal briquettes in cooking and heating stoves
Pellet stoves and boilers, using fuel made from recycled wood waste or sawdust, to replace current wood burning technologies in the residential sector in industrialized countries
Introduction of clean-burning (fan-assisted) biomass stoves for cooking and heating in developing countries1, 2
Substitution of traditional biomass cookstoves with stoves using clean-burning fuels (liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) or biogas)1, 2

Replacing traditional brick kilns with vertical shaft brick kilns3
Replacing traditional coke ovens with modern recovery ovens

Ban on open burning of agricultural waste1

1. Motivated in part by its effect on health and regional climate including its impact on areas of ice and snow
   2. For cookstoves, given their importance for black carbon emissions, two alternative measures are included
   3. Zig-zag brick kilns would achieve comparable emission reductions to vertical-shaft brick kilns

Table 3.1: Key methane abatement measures identified for this report (after UNEP/WMO, 2011)

Fossil fuel production and transport
Extended pre-mine degasification and recovery and oxidation of methane from ventilation air from coal mines
Extended recovery and utilization, rather than venting, of associated gas and improved control of unintended fugitive emissions from the production of oil and natural gas
Reduced gas leakage from long-distance transmission pipelines

Waste management
Separation and treatment of biodegradable municipal waste through recycling, composting and anaerobic digestion as well as landfill gas collection with combustion/utilization
Upgrading primary wastewater treatment to secondary/tertiary treatment with gas recovery and overflow control

Control of methane emissions from livestock, mainly through farm-scale anaerobic digestion of manure from cattle and pigs
Intermittent aeration of continuously flooded rice paddies

If you are interested in helping to reduce black carbon from inefficient cookstoves in Tanzania, Maasai Stoves and Solar could use some help:

Sidestepping the Impasse:  Zero Emissions to Ecological Design

Methane Cycle:  Gas Production and Gas Release

Methane Cycle:  Climate Change

Comprehensive Design for a Carbon-Neutral World

Towards Zero Emissions:  The Methane Cycle

Originally posted to gmoke on Sat May 05, 2012 at 09:15 PM PDT.

Also republished by SciTech.


Less black carbon, tropospheric ozone, and atmospheric methane?

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Comment Preferences

  •  Huge short term health improvement and climate too (9+ / 0-)

    Such a no-brainer.

    If I'm reading correctly, these benefits are not even based on climate mitigation:

    A few emission reduction measures "targeting black carbon and ozone precursors could immediately begin to protect climate, public health, water and food security, and ecosystems.
  •  thanks for the post (5+ / 0-)

    It is important to remember that every effort, no matter how small or futile it may seem, has a measurable effect on our atmosphere.
     I made the point recently that much of the climate effects we are seeing today are the result of gas we pumped a decade and more ago, but the substances identified here are immediate actors; thus near-immediate mitigation is achieved if these controls are implemented.
    Which is a whole 'nuther issue. It's not hard to imagine the caterwauling about the "job killing" cost of new coke ovens for heavy industry, or the "government takeover" of wood stoves.

    Class war has consequences, and we are living them.

    by kamarvt on Sun May 06, 2012 at 03:55:43 AM PDT

  •  Hi gmoke...missed the elephant in the room (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    indycam, gmoke, RunawayRose, JayDean

    livestock production is the greatest contributor to all 3 of the short lived climate forcers.  Reducing meat consumption is the fastest, cheapest way  to mitigate climate change.

    Macca's Meatless Monday

    by VL Baker on Sun May 06, 2012 at 03:58:48 AM PDT

  •  Re meat consumption, we are still right (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    indycam, gmoke, RunawayRose, JayDean, DawnN

    up there with Australia, Spain and Argentina on beef consumption, but China is trouncing us on overall meat consumption:
    Meat Consumption in China Now Double That in the United States

    “The first principle [in science] is that you must not fool yourself, and you are the easiest person to fool.” Richard Feynman

    by the fan man on Sun May 06, 2012 at 06:24:50 AM PDT

  •  Brought your diaries up recently in one of (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    RunawayRose, gmoke, DawnN

    NNadir's diatribes on the eeeevils of renewable energy.  He was busy going on about how horrible renewable energy was because a number of third world countries still used open fires, burnt animal dung, and the like, so I pointed to several of your diaries where renewables advocates were trying to at least upgrade the folks in these countries to using more efficient, less-polluting energy sources.  He hadn't bothered to suggest that they switch to nuclear, which at least shows that he isn't totally lost to the realities of the economic forces in operation in the third world.

    •  Thanks (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Dr Erich Bloodaxe RN, DawnN

      Saw that diary and your comment.  Warmed my heart that someone cared enough about my writings to cite them.  I appreciate it very much.

      Commented on that diary too, about solar ovens in refugee camps.  When NNadir dismissed that work out of hand, I commented again, asking him for his nuclear solution for Gambia's cooking fires.  

      Another NNadir diary actually has some useful information in it about making CO2 into an industrial feedstock.  Here's the study he cites that promotes the idea of a closed CO2 cycle:

      Whenever he gets tired of being a polemicist, I sorta kinda think we can agree on the necessity for transforming our economy from one of waste to one of zero emissions, period, full stop.

      Solar is civil defense. Video of my small scale solar experiments at solarray.

      by gmoke on Sun May 06, 2012 at 11:44:22 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I spoke too soon. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        He came back to my comment later and suggested that the solution to a lack of electricity in the Gambia is for the West to 'donate' a nuclear generator to the Gambia.

        So yes, the 'solution' to Gambian energy problems is 'nuclear', and NNadir continues to be a one trick pony with his small clique of nuke supporters cheering him on.

        •  Thanks. I appreciate you fleshing out my position (0+ / 0-)


          At least you didn't distort my position.

          I went a little further in response to the diarist in this diary when I wrote (in my diary):

          I made the point elsewhere in this commentary.(1+ / 0-)

          we could donate one nuclear reactor to Gambia and increase the access to energy of the average citizen in that country 4 fold.

          Despite the smug supercilious condescending attitude of Westerners, you would be somewhat surprised to learn that many nations previously thought to be too poor for nuclear are not impressed by the kind of badly infornmed people who think that $20,000 worth of solar arrays and twenty tons of toxic batteries that might run two or three computers for a few hours a day are ideal.

          Bangladesh, Nigeria, Namibia, are among some of the nations that plan to have nuclear power plants.

          Nigeria, with the help of Nobel Peace Laureate Mohammed ElBaradei is already running a research reactor to train nuclear engineers.

          Ahmadu Bello University Research Reactor.

          While you're smugly talking about providing Africans with some tin cans in which to cook their food whenever the weather's right, there are Africans who are training in highly sophisticated nuclear science programs that are, um, frankly a little bit over your head.

          Have a nice day.

           Ignorance Kills.

          by NNadir on Sun May 06, 2012 at 02:23:24 AM EDT

           [ Parent | Reply to This ]


          Your paternalistic attitude is not shared by Africans.

          I note that 50 years of cheering for half assed wishful thinking for so called "renewable energy" and related Rube Goldberg schemes has not changed the position of nuclear energy as the world's largest, by far, source of climate change gas free energy one whit.

          Nor has it done anything to change the rate of addition of dangerous fossil fuel waste in the planetary atmosphere.

          The data is right here:  Mauna Loa Carbon Dioxide Observations.

          This is something called "data."

          In general science involves looking at this sort of thing and drawing conclusions from it.

          Collectively around the world, 10's, maybe 100's of billions of Euros, dollars, and other currencies at the renewable game, and the chief result has been that resources that might have been better spent elsewhere (on nuclear plants for instance) have been wasted.

          The data is that none of these "renewable energy" schemes produce even 10 exajoules per year of energy output in a world that consumes roughly 520 exajoules per year.

          Despite much caviling, fear, superstition and ignorance in opposition to nuclear energy, it remains the world's largest, by far, source of climate change gas free primary energy, by far, easily outstripping wind, solar, tidal, blah...blah...blah combined.

          In general I find people who object to my "one trick pony" as you accurately describe my position all want to talk about 2050 or some other far away year when many of us here will be dead.   This is, in my view, morally irresponsible to future generations who will bear the weight of our ignorance, fear and superstition.

          Thanks for giving me the chance to reiterate my position.

          Have a nice evening.


          •  Donate the Grid Too? (0+ / 0-)

            Donating a nuke doesn't mean much if you don't have a functioning and reliable grid to hook it up to.  Then you have to supply the electric stoves so you can eliminate those "dangerous renewables" you inveigh against so consistently.  That's more money and more donations.  What's the full cost of replicating the USA all electric house, which seems to be your goal, for everyone in  Gambia, your test case country, or Mali or Nigeria?  

            Oddly enough, solar lighting is beginning to replace kerosene in many areas.  The cost of a solar panel and an LED light (and cell phone charger increasingly) is about the same or even less than the cost of kerosene.  We all should be happy about that because it reduces indoor air pollution, accidental burns, and fire hazards.  Somehow, I'm not sure that lifts your spirits very much.  

            Maybe I'll ask Dr Richard Komp about smug Westerners in Africa and solar this Thursday afternoon when he talks at MIT and premieres the documentary about his decades of work teaching people about affordable and practical solar in Africa and around the world later that evening.  I hope Dr Robert Lange who's been co-designing more efficient cookstoves with the Maasai people in Tanzania will be there too.  He might have an opinion about smug Westerners as well.  That is, if he's back from an international conference in Nigeria on the international cookstove initiative.  I expect Dr Sajed Kamal will be there in the evening.  He's from Bangladesh and helped start the solar push in that country.  He  can supply a non-Western view of smug Westerners and solar.  You might want to ask William Kamkwamba of Malawi about the lack of utility of renewables in Africa.  Or Bernard Kiwia of Tanzania.  You can google them if you don't know who they are.

            Hey, Mr Nadir, did you notice that none of the recommendations from this UNEP report feature solar?   They are all useful though, it seems to me, for not only reducing climate change but also for improving health and increasing local crop yields.  If you really, truly cared about slowing climate change, (and my impression is that you do, unlike some of the pro-nuke claque here), you'd understand that these measures are probably the best practices that even the poorest countries can adopt now.

            Solar is civil defense. Video of my small scale solar experiments at solarray.

            by gmoke on Sun May 06, 2012 at 09:56:33 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

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