Resources, Consumption and CO2 Emission
[versión en español]
"Information is information, not matter or energy" Norbert Wiener
"I refuse to believe that God plays dice with the world ... e=mc2" A. Einstein
"When you don't know where a road leads, it is sure as hell will take you there"
"Where is the wisdom we have lost in knowledge? ... where is the knowledge we have lost in information?" T.S. Eliot
"Information without knowledge is noise, ... knowledge without wisdom is dangerous stupidity"
This page presents an overview on basic World Energy Data projections for the period 1993-2015. The information is compiled from studies presented by the World Resources Institute and the Energy Information Administration. The EIA forecast for total world fossil energy consumption, rises from 340 Quads in 1995 to 645 Quads in 2015. The latest projections for total world fossil energy range from 380 Quads in 1997 to 606 Quads 1n 2020, which amounts to a 60% increase in this 23 year period, or 2.1% average increase per year (see also the current EIA page and many thanks to Ingrid for this updated pointer).
The overall world fossil fuel production/consumption 1995 may be summarized as follows:
1. CO2 absorption by high productive cropland is around 800 kg CO2/km2.hour, that is around 7000 TonCO2/km2.year.
2. Assuming that the overall available world land vegetation operates at 30% of the figure stated above, the actual world CO2 average absorption capacity would amount to 2100 TonCO2/km2.year.
3. Fossil Fuel Production/Consumption (1995) are:
Natural Gas (Billion CF): 78,276 = QuadsBTU/y: 78
Coal (Million Tons): 5,104 = QuadsBTU/y: 102
Petroleum Oil (1000 barrel/day): 69,378 = QuadsBTU/y: 160
4. The Fossil fuel related total world emissions are as follows (1995)
Total CO2 emission: 25,100 Million Tons
Total human population: 5,250 Million
Total Land Surface: 114 Million Km2
CO2 kg/capita: 4,780
CO2 Ton/km2.year: 220
5. If you compare the fossil fuel related CO2 emissions at 220
Ton/km2.y with the overall ecosystem CO2 absorption capacity of 2,100
Ton/km2.y, it would seem that our non renewable sources emission amount to 10.5%
of the world vegetation absorption capacity. However it must be known that if
the ecosystem absorbs 2,100 TonCO2/Km2.y it also emits a closely
similar amount as result of vegetal decay in food chain processes.
The key indicator of the CO2 overall balance is the concentration level of CO2 in the atmosphere, which is known to be increasing from around 250 ppm in 1850, at the beginning of the industrial revolution, to actual levels around 350-400 ppm. These apparently small increments in atmospheric CO2 level explain the also apparently small world climate temperature increases, but the effects in hurricanes, floods, and similar induced phenomena are already at all time high records in many regions of the world (China, Central and South America, France, Mozambique, etc).
6. See the graph containing the historic CO2 atmospheric concentration data derived from Vostok polar ice cores. See the predicted calculated CO2 and Temperature scenarios for the future until 2030.
What conclusion you may see from this information? If you still need further clarifications and analysis, see note 7, otherwise you are done: congratulations!
This page is in construction. Helpers are welcome !
Further useful links and data sources:
The information presented is a good starting point to assess the World Energy -as usual- situation in the near future. The 1995 CO2 emission of the largest 20 emitting countries classified tabulation, presents a clear picture of the actual situation. The listed 20 countries account for a 79.8% of total world CO2 emissions.
The absolute emission ranking is as follows:
1. United States with 23.3% of world total CO2
2. China (12.96%)
3. Russia (7.28%)
4. Japan (5.30%)
5. Germany (4.66%)
The per capita CO2 emission is an indicator of the energy use efficiency (or should we say inefficiency ?). The per capita ranking is as follows:
1. Australia (23,176 kg
2. USA (22,924)
3. Canada (19,184)
4. Saudi Arabia (14,961)
5. Germany (14,667)
The Specific emission in units of Tons CO2/km2/year is an indication of the emission intensity related to the dissipation capacity of the country available land. In this respect the 20 countries ranking is as follows:
1. Korea (4458 Ton/km2/y)
2. Japan (3600)
3. Germany (3351)
4. UK (2562)
5. Italy (1602)
For a more detailed information click on this tabulation
The presented forecasts assume an inertial continuation of the economic models -energy business as usual- and people average behaviour and expectations at the present time. The result is a continued increase in energy consumption, greenhouse gas emission, population, and per capita consumption, and a parallel continued decrease of non renewable resources, greenlands, and rainforests. The debate between conservationists and developmentalists continues as a matter of philosophical and economic preferences encounter with deep convictions and interests.
The BP Statistical Review of World Energy reveals that the level of proved world oil reserves amounts to 1037.6x109 barrels, while 1997 world consumption reached 71.67x106 barrels/day (26177x106 BBL/year), and that the world oil consumption increased 2.0% from 1996 to 1997. All this means that the world oil reserves will end in 39.6 years (year 2037) if there is no consumption increase above 1997 levels. The oil reserves at the present tendency of 2% consumption increase per year will end in 29 years (year 2026). But if instead of increasing, as is happening now, the world consumption would be decreased by, say 2%, the same oil reserves will last for a period of 80 years. This change from 'increase' to 'decrease' consumption by a modest 2% rate would extend the oil availability from 29 to 80 years, a time gain of 51 years, equivalent to 2 generations ! This extra available time should allow for a full transition of the present oil based energetic technology to renewable sources and to a just/sustainable socio-economic energy distribution.
To impulse such a change it would be worth to install a 'World Energy International Council', composed by all world countries, and empower this council to establish, collect, and invest a world energy consumption tax, payable by each country for each barrel of consumed oil. The duty per oil barrel would be based on the the per capita consumption level in excess of the overall world average. The collected 'energy tax' funds would be invested by a 'World Energy International Bank' for the development and restructuring of the energy technology as to implement the renewable energy sources (solar, etc.), best suited to ensure the sustainability of the human civilization on our planet.
The richest overdeveloped countries with 20% of the world population and consuming 80% of all world energy, oil included, would end paying such a tax. Most of the collected funds would be reinvested in the same region, where are located the most 'advanced' science and technology centers. This measure would not make poor the rich. It would direct the rich countries to reduce their excessive non renewable energy consumption, and to invest as necessary for the development of adequate energetic technologies, that insure the long term sustainability of human civilization on our planet.
The annual reduction in oil consumption in 'rich' countries should range from 4% to 10%, depending on their actual overrun on percapita consumption, allowing the poorest countries to increase oil and energy consumption without any penalty, as necessary for them to catch-on a decent level of development. The overall goal should be to decrease the world consumption of oil by at least 2% to 4% per year, and this should be done starting now! not waiting until year 2012, as suggested in the Kyoto Conference (1997) on Global Warming. Such delayed measures, and low level of commitment of the 'developed' countries are sheer procrastination, to say it in mild words. But more recently (2001), in a cynical denial attitude, the new elected USA president has rejected the signature of the treaty, by his country, the main world CO2 emmiter, arguing that it would affect unfavorably their business economy. How miserable conception of economics ! God save America .... God save us from this american (USA) nightmare !
The type of action needed is similar to a combination of the 'Manhattan Project' (to construct the nuclear bomb), the 'Marshall Plan' (to revamp the postwar european economy), and the 'USA + Soviet Space Program' (to land space vehicles on the moon). If necessary, the 'World Energy International Bank' could collect additional income charging a duty to the business of international oil trading and processing corporations, as a fee for their right to operate and benefit from a business that is exhausting the planet resources, and at the end contaminating the global atmosphere with unforeseeable cost effects, as the actual 'economic theory' has not much knowledge nor consideration for such 'externalities'.
In addition, the international currency markets and stock markets, are moving around 20 to 50 dollars for each dollar of the real productive economy. Each day between $800 billion and $1 trillion are changing hands in mostly speculative, casino type gambling money games, where the most rich play to become mega-rich. (see D. Korten, Taming the Giants}. This game accepted by the present 'culture' as 'valuable and productive economic activity', is one of the main causes of the corruption in values, in politics, and in the inequity of the world economic dividends. This 'economic game', privatizing gains in few pockets and socializing losses for the rest of human population, could and should be taxed as to limit its most pernicious economic effects: speculation, inflation, unemployment, wealth concentration, resource overconsuption, environmental degradation, and generalized relative misery. This 'game' and its effects are not sustainable; it is fundamentally stupid and should be discouraged by imposing a kind of social fee or tax, first to slow it down, and second to generate important additional funds, to those already mentioned on fossil fuels, for the cause of the sustainability, to provide funds for human survival useful purposes.
The real matter is to imagine a way of life to optimize its quality today and its sustainability tomorrow. If there is to be a worthwhile tomorrow, it will necessarily be based more on the wise use of information and knowledge than in the inefficient use of energy and resources. The inertia opposing to necessary change is enormous, but also is enormous the capacity of people to communicate to find solutions, to change perceptions and behaviours, specially now, having available such tools as the Internet. May it be that the communication revolution will allow us to find the common ground to link our jobs, our families, our nations, our species, and our common cosmic spaceship Earth. Lets wake up and standup for the common good.
Let's hope that such understanding will arrive on time: anything less will condemn our species for what deserves, without chance for regrets or excuses. It is time to stop the stupid holocaust of our fundamental survival resources by the current 'terminator economic system' for the profit of few billionaires. It is up to you and me, it is up to all of us without exceptions !! Is this too much to ask, is this too great a challenge to the powerful world leaders, to the main brokers of the world economy, and to their 'economics' experts and professors ?
In this page we present all known records on atmospheric CO2 and temperature based on the Vostok Antarctic Ice Core analysis as well as the recent CO2 atmospheric CO2 records taken at Mauna Loa, Hawaii. Based on such record evidence we have prepared an extrapolation of CO2 atmospheric concentration and expected global temperature increase for a short time period from now to year 2030. In such short period there are no such factors as variations in solar radiation or other long range cosmological effects to be accounted for. What is not known exactly yet, is what atmospheric temperature increase will be necessary to produce a total melting of the polar ice. A guess value that 4 oC or 6 oC will cause that melting is still a matter of discussion, but that may happen by year 2020 or 2025 at the present 2% rate of increase of CO2 emissions. In the case that there is no further yearly increase, assuming that 1995 emission level is maintained constant from now on, the 4 oC temperature increase will be achieved in year 2030.
The other still unknown fact is what will be the effect of temperature increase in the intensity of storms, hurricanes, floodings, changes in insect populations, extinctions of forest areas, etc, just to mention some of the possible foreseeable phenomena related with planet temperature changes. Some conservative estimates indicate that loss in property caused by atmospheric disasters have reached figures in the dozens of billions of dollars per year in the last short time period from 1998 and later, and that those losses are all time historic records. The forecast of such calamities is grim for the next years to come, and unfortunately with the actual politics of ignoring the problem and avoiding even such minimal commitments as the Kyoto protocol, things will go from bad to worse as predicted by Murphy's laws. That is the price to maintain business as usual, and denial policies, that mainstream politicians and mass communication media are decided to favor. These self interested procrastinators are to be held responsible for all increments of disasters to come, and lets hope that at some time a tribunal will balance their profits against the collateral damages suffered by others worldwide.
Here you may see the close correlation between CO2 and Temperature variation in planet history. You may find that recent CO2 concentration level of 375 ppm is much higher than any value in the previous 450,000 years, and that the rate of increase of CO2 with time is about 100 times higher than any other rate of increase in the recorded history. The greenhouse effect and the related global warming issue is a well known scientific fact established a century ago by Arrhenius, but today many 'respected' scientists in the payroll of political bureaucracies and multinational business organisation, are engaging in byzantine discussion on minor technicalities, confusing and misinforming the public opinion, asking another century of further 'scientific' and academic studies to be completely sure before any meaningful corrective action is to be taken.
Now see in the graphs below what is the predicted future scenarios for various possible options. You should be able to draw by now your own conclusions, and if you do, you should be capable to raise your voice for the political conduction of our home planet, as the present world leaders are failing miserably in their task. They have decided now that the prioritary task is terrorism, and are compromising all the economic accumulated resources to increase the military expenses, as preparing to solve the world excesive population problem by military means when that becomes a convenient political time. USA military budget has been revamped to a level of 350,000 million dollars exceeding by far the expense level at the worst time of the cold war confrontation. According to UN estimates with a budget of some 25,000 million dollars per year it would be possible to cure the world famine, and fund programs for child health care, family planning, and basic education needs for the poorest population worldwide. But that is too expensive of course for the economic policy brokers in the richest counties. The powerful are generous when it comes to spend in bombing, but ask for others to pay for reconstruction help or aid for the 'collateral damages' of their actions. The hegemonic power has corrupted any residual decency, any moral and ethical responsibility, replacing those values by share greed seeking its maximum efficiency and profit. All the economic power and high technology are useless if not focused primarily for the achievement of most basic human and ecological needs.
If you understand the predicament to which we all tripulants of the planet earth are confronted, and if you want to do something about, I suggest that you send this information to all the people you may reach, members of your family, of your community, your company, your club, and your friends. The technology to achieve the transmission of messages is at your disposal: the internet. Others are using that same technology massively everyday to send us all kind of unsolicited junk, easy money offers, or pornography. It is time that all decent people around the world start also using technological means for communication useful purpose. So please do something before the available time to act runs out.
The Global Warming Issue: Some Historic Factual Records and Projection in the Future
Integrated CO2 and Temperature Information
Calculated Atmospheric Temperature Rise for several Scenarios Period 2000-2030
CO2 ARE% - CO2 Annual Rise in Emissions
Calculated Atmospheric CO2 concentrations for several Scenarios Period 2000-2030
CO2 ARE% - CO2 Annual Rise in Emissions
7. Some readers have asked further questions or have misunderstood the information presented above, or have failed to derive the consequences. Therefore for the benefit of all, please read carefully what is indicated below:
If you work from the information provided in my web pages concerning the annual CO2 emission due to fossil fuel combustion, which amounts to 2.5 10^13 kg/y which corresponds to 5.7 10^11 kmol/y CO2, and if you take in consideration that the atmosphere consists of 5.27 10^18 kg = 1.82 10^17 kmol, you will find that if there would be no absorption of CO2, the atmospheric concentration would increase at 3.1 ppm/year. The 1995 data indicate that the atmospheric concentration was 365 ppm and the annual change was about 1.8 ppm/y. That means that 42.4% of fossil combustion CO2 was absorbed by the ecosystem and 57.^ of it went permanently to the atmosphere. If there is another CO2 emission due to other sources, whatever they may be, those are fully absorbed by the ecosystem.together with the 42% due to fossil fuel combustion. Now loo0king at the historic data at year 144350 BC the CO2 was at a low of 190 ppm and then increased to 296 ppm in year 132100 BC. So that in this period of 12150 years the CO2 increased by 106 ppm, that is 8.65 ppm/millennium. From historical temperature graphs, the temperature increase for that same period was at least 7 > oC, that is a rate of 0.56 oC/millennium. Combining those rates we find that the temperature increase per ppm CO2 increase is 0.066 oC/ppm.
From those figures we may estimate what is the short term future of the planetary climate for any scenario of fossil fuel yearly emissions. Assuming that those emission increase each year at 2% following the current trend, we may predict the CO2 ppm atmospheric concentration and the increase of the global average planet temperature. The main results for this 2% increase scenario are as follows: For detailed graphs see here.
There are great chances that the 6.7 oC temperature increase will cause a massive melting of the polar ice with the consequence that sea level increase around 40 to 60 meters. That will sink most coastal cities and small islands. Not to talk about the other effects of increase rainfalls in some areas in some periods and increased dry zones in other areas, the possible disruption of wind patterns and ocean streams, that all can be cathastropic by themselves. And all that is considering that the actual absorption capacity will not diminish due to the massive deforestation currently underway. On the contrary, in this model credit is taken that the absorption stock will remain the same (no further deforestation please!) and that the absorption capacity will increase as CO2 ppm and temperature increase in the atmosphere.
Please work the calculations by yourself if you dont believe, and then review all your discourse and conclusions.
Some basic conclusion notes for various scenarios analysed:
note 1: In order to keep constant the atmospheric CO2 concentration and temperature, it is required to reduce the combustion CO2 emissions to a level of 45% of 1995 amounts and maintain constant in the future that emission amount
note 2: If emissions would be reduced to 0 (zero level from now on) by year 2030 CO2 would decrease to 324 ppm and temperature would reduce 2.7 oC
note 3: If emissions are kept constant at 1995 level, by year 2030 CO2 will reach 423 ppm and temperature will increase 3.8 oC
note 4: If emissions increase 2% annually, by year 2030 CO2 will reach 467 ppm and temperature will rise 6.8 oC
note 5: If emissions decrease 2% annually, by year 2030 CO2 will reach 395 ppm and temperature will rise 2 oC
Final questions: In your opinion what changes are required in our world energetic policies? do you believe that the Kyoto agreements are sufficient? what do you think of those overdeveloped countries that consider those Kyoto agreements excessive and harming the economic business requirements? can you understand and support such leaders policy views? will there be any economy as usual surviving a mayor global climatic warming cathastroph in the next 30 years? do you believe that mankind is stupid? are politicians and economists stupid? are you sleeping in your present personal comfort? are you ready to understand and act accordingly? do you have some solidarity and responsibility feeling for the next generation ?
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