environment,energy,greenhouse,gas,carbon,dioxide,global,nuclear energy,clean energy,emissions,global climate change,environmental impacts, Nuclear Energy Can Save US: Negative and Positive, Energy/Climate Feedbacks

Nuclear Energy Can Save US--America�s 100 nukes equal four million barrels of oil per day.

Billions of lives and civilization itself may be at risk from the Global Warming & End of Cheap Oil, Crisis. Rising sea levels and rising oil prices could be the end of civilization as we know it. The problem is so huge that the most powerful answer, many nuclear plants, must be deployed. Currently, America‘s 100 nukes deliver the energy of four million barrels of oil per day. Wind and solar cannot do the job, and may delay the real answer too long. Still, all kinds of clean energy, plus conservation, plus reducing deforestation, will be needed to help the poor half of the world, and for civilization to survive through this century.

Saturday, February 2, 2008

Negative and Positive, Energy/Climate Feedbacks

A negative feedback mechanism could be a silver lining to a bad process, that reverses the damage automatically. Naively, I thought that the disappearance of oil might have this effect. As oil is used up, the world will have to substitute for its loss with clean nuclear and wind energy, and oil will not be pouring CO2 into the air. However, a recent History (HIS) channel program, shot down this hope. Their take is that oil is primarily responsible for doubling the atmospheric CO2 from the level before the Industrial Revolution. Also, the oil remaining would easily cause another equal increase, which could be catastrophic.
Even worse, are the positive climate feedbacks scientists are talking about now. As the air heats, forest fires burn more frequently, and fiercely, which heats the air more. As floe ice melts in the arctic, less of the Sun's energy reflects into space, and is instead absorbed by the water. As areas of frozen tundra thaw, methane hydrates percolate into the air, and methane is a more potent greenhouse gas than CO2.
This leads to the idea of a "tipping point". There is a slim, but real, danger, that a point may be reached where no amount of nuclear and wind energy can stop the feedbacks. Also, rising sea levels may not be the most serious problem. Per the History channel program, in past geologic times, atmospheric CO2 several times higher than current levels produced a Venus-like Earth. If the world does not press nuclear and wind energy, right now, we will be playing with fire.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

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