"Is Carbon Sequestration Feasible at the Scale of the"
Is Carbon Sequestration Feasible at the Scale of the Global Carbon Cycle? Eric Sundquist U.S. Geological Survey, Woods Hole Yale University Forum Carbon Sequestration: Is It Feasible? April 7, 2006 Time scales of carbon cycle change • Changes in atmospheric CO2 reflect natural carbon-cycle interactions that occur over a wide range of time scales. • Injection of anthropogenic CO2 into the atmosphere sets off natural responses that span the full range of time scales The Calculus of CO2 Projections • Short-term (years) and medium-term (decades) peak concentrations depend on rate of net emissions • Long-term (centuries) and very long-term (millennia) “stabilization” asymptote depends on cumulative net emissions Source: IPCC SRCCS, 2005, adapted from Kheshgi, 2003 Hedging by Wedging Source: Dooley et al., 2004, in IPCC SRCCS, 2005 Questions • Can carbon sequestration be implemented at rates sufficient to significantly reduce the projected CO2 peak in the coming decades to centuries? • Can carbon sequestration be implemented in cumulative quantities sufficient to significantly reduce the projected CO2 “stabilization” asymptote in the coming centuries to millennia? • How can we better engage the public in consideration of the feasibility of carbon sequestration and reduction of CO2 emissions by energy conservation and use non-fossil energy sources?