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August 17, 2013

Mtg: Many Uncertainties About Climate Change

by @ 4:22 pm. Filed under ALL, BioEngineering, Electrical/Power, Engineering Mgmt

MONDAY September 16, 2013
OEB and SCV Life Members Chapters
Speaker: Donald Anthrop, Professor Emeritus, Department of Environmental Studies, San Jose State University
Time: Networking/buffet dinner at 6:00 PM; Presentation at 7:00 PM
Cost: IEEE Members: $25; Non-members: $27
Place: Michaels at Shoreline, 2960 Shoreline Blvd., Mountain View
RSVP: from website by September 13th

In May 2013, atmospheric carbon dioxide levels measured atop the Mauna Loa volcano on the island of Hawaii reached 399.5 parts per million (ppm).  This compares with concentrations of about 370ppm measured in 2001 and 356ppm in 1990.  However, global mean temperature has not tracked the atmospheric CO2 concentration particularly well.  Since the beginning of the 20th century, global mean temperature has increased by about 0.8oC.  However, since about 2001, global mean temperature has remained essentially unchanged while atmospheric concentrations increased from 370ppm to 400ppm.  This would suggest that factors in addition to CO2 are affecting climate.
Despite the fact that the Obama Administration’s energy regulations have already had very serious unintended consequences, in July the President announced his intention to implement new regulations to reduce CO2 emissions from existing power generating plants.  The administration claims the new regulations will reduce US CO2 emissions by 17% between 2005 and 2020.  EIA was already projecting a reduction of 545 million metric tons (mt) over this time period due to improved energy efficiency and increased use of natural gas.  The new regulations will further reduce CO2 emissions by an additional 464 million mt.  This reduction represents 1.3% of world CO2 emissions in 2020.  More significantly, emissions from China alone are expected to increase by 464 million mt in just the next year.  This illustrates the futility of efforts by the US government to reduce CO2 emissions in the US as long as there are no constraints on emissions in developing countries.

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