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Friday, October 17, 2014

Study: fracking won't save the climate

A new peer-reviewed study from researchers in several nations, published in the journal Nature, finds that abundant global natural gas supplies will reduce coal use, but also crowd out nuclear and renewable energy as well, providing little if any climate benefit overall through 2050.

Limited impact on decadal-scale climate change from increased use of natural gas used separate computer models of the effects of abundant global supplies, and finds that: 
Future CO2 emissions are similar in magnitude with and without abundant gas, as the two emission trajectories continue to rise over time at similar rates. 
This really isn’t a surprise, as readers of this blog know. See, for example, here, here, and here.

The critical piece of the study was that its models were run assuming current greenhouse-gas reduction policies.  Those policies are totally inadequate to prevent climate catastropheLeveraging the attributes of natgas-fired electricity to intentionally build a short bridge to a renewable future is where the world must go.  That will not happen on its own. In the end, it’s all about policy, and that includes requiring CCS for all fossil fueled electricity.


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