Lars and Bill Smith analyzed new information published over past year by the IPCC and IEA on methane and carbon dioxide. Some of the analysis confirms what we knew before, i.e. that about half of CO2 that is emitted to the atmosphere actually doesn’t end up airborne and thus cannot contribute to global warming… it is taken up by nature and contributes to greening of the Earth (also confirmed by NASA). All sources are well documented in the paper including links.
Other analysis results are rather surprising, which even the authors didn’t expect. For this, however, “IPCC’s Global Warming Potential GWP” needs to be accepted (see Lars’ YouTube video for a short introduction).
A short summary of 4 main points from the paper:
As per IPCC and IEA data, applying simple mathematics
1. Methane makes up a large portion of warming from green-house gases – this is ignored by CO2 taxation or decarbonization regulation also pushed from banks
- 40% of methane comes from natural sources + 25% from agriculture (total 65%)
- at 20y GWP – about Half of current “GHG warming” comes from natural CH4 emissions and agriculture (at 100y GWP this number reaches just over 30%)
2. As a result, currently globally coal makes up ~15% of all GHG p.a. (CO2eq) over 20y horizon (or ~25% over 100 years)
- Fyi, we know that coal accounts for ~40% of global man-made CO2 emissions, which is correct, but does not consider methane
3. As a result – on average, LNG is “worse for the climate” than all coal (please keep in mind the authors have nothing against LNG or natural gas, quite the contrary… they are amazing energy resources we and we need them urgently… these are only logical conclusions from IPCC and IEA data)
- It only takes 2% additional methane emissions from LNG production, transportation, and processing compared to coal to be on par in terms of global warming, over 20 years (over 100 years it is about 5%)
- Current LNG supply chains surpass these values, though this is difficult to document
4. As a result – on average, Surfaced mine coal is “better for the climate” than all natural gas on average
The point is not to favor coal over gas or the other way around, but to analyze what IPCC and IEA reported numbers would mean. With a large portion of green-house gas warming stemming from methane (much of it natural and from agriculture), we may start to see the world differently.
These are quite eye-opening analysis outcomes that would result in significant energy policy adjustments especially after COP26’s anti-coal agenda.
- logically, based on this information, CO2 taxation and all most decarbonization efforts (see ESG metrics in large conglomerates or banks) are leading to unwanted market distortions
Lars and Bill conclude that investment in al reliable, affordable, sustainable ways of producing electricity (including coal, gas, nuclear, hydro, geothermal, and more) are urgently required to eradicate poverty, enable economic growth, and avoid a global energy shortage. USC – Ultra super critical power plant technology (and if really needed + CCUS) is the answer to minimizing the negative impact that our quest for affordable and reliable electricity has on our planet.
I hope you find this interesting and invite you to feedback as usual.
Have a good pre-holiday season and I remain with best regards,
Ps1: detailed calculations are given in below table. please note that the below table uses updated new 2021 IEA published methane data. The paper attached still uses end of 2020 IEA data and will be updated later… the changes between the two years are noticable and are in favor of gas
Ps2: for your reference, below two prior published research/articles, both of which are very much worth reading:
Schernikau, Lars, and William Smith. “How Many Km2 of Solar Panels in Spain and How Much Battery Backup Would It Take to Power Germany.” SSRN Electronic Journal, April 2021. https://doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3730155 (auch in Deutsch verfügbar über den o.g. Link)
Excellent Article on Renewables “Can renewable energy sources supply the world with a large share of the energy it requires?” published at Cement Review in Oct 2020 (republished here at Musica-Project.eu) (auch in Deutsch verfügbar, schreibt mir einfach zurück)
Available at SSRN Electronic Journal
Google search «climate impact schernikau»
Climate Impacts of Fossil Fuels In Today’s Energy Systems
Dr. Lars Schernikau | Prof. William H. Smith