Tuesday, March 11, 2014

ECOPOL Project

Climate change as a threat to Biodiversity:

Technology as a Solution


Climate change over the past 30 years has produced numerous shifts in the distributions and abundances of species and has been implicated in one species-level extinction. Using projections of species distributions for future climate scenarios, data shows extinction risks for sample regions that cover some 20% of the Earth's terrestrial surface. Exploring three approaches in which the estimated probability of extinction shows a power law relationship with geographical range size, Its been predicted, on the basis of mid-range climate-warming scenarios for 2050, that 1537% of species in our sample of regions will be committed to extinction. When the average of the three methods and two dispersal scenarios is taken, minimal climate warming scenarios produce lower projections of species committed to extinction (18%) than mid-range (24%) and maximum change (35%) scenarios. 
These estimates show the importance of rapid implementation of technologies to decrease greenhouse gas emissions and strategies for carbon sequestration. Carbon dioxide (CO2) capture and sequestration (CCS) is a set of technologies that can greatly reduce CO2 emissions from new and existing coal- and gas-fired power plants and large industrial sources. CCS is a three-step process that includes:
  1. Capture of CO2 from power plants or industrial processes
  2. Transport of the captured and compressed CO2 (usually in pipelines).
  3. Underground injection and geologic sequestration (also referred to as storage) of the CO2 into deep underground rock formations. These formations are often a mile or more beneath the surface and consist of porous rock that holds the CO2. Overlying these formations are impermeable, non-porous layers of rock that trap the CO2 and prevent it from migrating upward.

The figure below illustrates the general CCS process and shows a typical depth at which CO2 would be injected.


 Watch the following videos to learn more about how CCS works:
http://prod-mmedia.netl.doe.gov/Video/carbon_sequestration_animation.wmv
http://prod-mmedia.netl.doe.gov/Video/carbon_sequestration_sept.wmv

Posted by David Ferguson

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