Global warming – human impact indisputable
Updated: Aug 19
IPCC - conclusion
IPCC, the global panel on climate change, launched its last report earlier this week, and the conclusion was unambiguous: The human impact on climate change is indisputable. Previously, the data supporting climate change as such has been equally indisputable, the last uncertainty being to what degree humans impacted this change.
-As always, the politicization continues, the climate change deniers generally being disinterested in changing their views despite scientific facts, clinging to fringe scientists and “research reports” from dubious sources, says chairman of the board of Ewave Holding AS, Jarle Lysberg. - Still, both the EU and USA are moving forcefully in implementing policy change aiming at limiting the temperature increase to 2 degrees centigrade.
The “as is” situation is not promising – eco systems are collapsing, global temperature has already risen by 1.5 °C, leaving pretty little space left up to the critical 2°C threshold.
- Additionally, a lot of uncertainty has been added by the temperature increase not being equally distributed globally, comments Steinar Fretheim, advisor to Ewave Holding AS. - The temperature rise has been massively larger in the polar regions, with an increase up to 6 °C, causing an ice free arctic in the summertime, as well as an accelerating melting of the permafrost in Siberia, releasing millions of tons of methane to be released. As climate gases go, methane is 2500% more “potent” than CO2, i.e., 1 kg of methane causes the same greenhouse effect as 25 kg of CO2. Thus, the release of vast amounts of methane in Siberia is equivalent to the emissions of millions of fossils fuelled cars.
- There is not one solution to the climate crisis; no “silver bullet”, continues Jarle Lysberg. - In order to achieve the less then 2 °C increase, “Strong, rapid, and sustained reductions in CO2, methane, and other greenhouse gases are necessary. » (IPCC report)
Central elements in the solution will include
1. Electrification of the society
2. Replacing fossil based electric power plants with renewable power plants
3. Replacing fossil fuel with zero emission fuels (hydrogen, synthetic hydrocarbon fuels) for sectors that may be complicated to electrify
4. Implement energy management on domestic and industrial level, reducing unnecessary
energy usage and waste.
Implementing electric vehicles and transform electricity production is perhaps a bit “sexier” then energy savings, but the latter one might be just as important for reaching the goals of IPCC. Steinar Fretheim continues: - EU is aiming at a 67% reduction of energy usage in 2050 vs a 2019 baseline scenario, calling for a massive improvement in the efficiency of energy usage. Again, there is no single solution to reach this target – it will be a large number of individual measures that will contribute. Still, the solutions will have to contain some sort of energy management systems, that automatically controls energy and power usage. Without information, it will be next to impossible to achieve such a target.
The EU is now in the process of installing automatic measuring meters for electricity and gas on a domestic level. With the proper hardware and software solutions in place, a
reduction in energy consumption of 30% is perfectly achievable. This is what can be called “low hanging fruit” – with the right incentives, this reduction can be on-boarded within 2030, giving the EU a good start reaching its 2050 goals. A proper energy management solution, combined with domestic energy production, mainly solar panels, will also contribute with local, renewable energy, thus participating in the decarbonisation of electricity production. - As a good “kinder-egg”, Jarle Lysberg says, - this will also contribute to increased robustness of the electricity supply, especially if combined with storage solutions, domestic and/ or industrial.
As always, the solution to the climate crisis is not dragging humanity back into the caves,
making lives more miserably – the solution is technology driven, assisted by the right incentives. Considering what humanity can achieve when pushed in the right direction. Quantum leaps happens in times of crises - in 1939, UK and a number of other countries entered the war with planes like Gloster Gladiator, a piston driven biplane.
Just 4 years later, in 1943, the first operational jet fighter, Gloster Meteor, from the same manufacturer, had its first flight, and just a year later it was operational.
The same explosive development was observable in the space race - it took 12 years from the first satellite being launched, Sputnik 1 in 1957, until the first man set his foot on the moon, demonstrating that rapid development might also happen in peacetime. Less spectacular, but perhaps just as impressive, is the massive cost reduction for solar panels - from USD 76 per watt in 1977 to USD 0.20 today, a reduction of more than 99.7%.
Again, the stone age didn't end because they ran out of rock - and the zero carbon society doesn't replace the carbon age because we run out of hydro carbons, but because new technology is a better solution.