CLIMATE CHANGE
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CLIMATE CHANGE:
The Problem
Effects to Date
Future Effects
Late Already?
Thresholds
Is it Our Fault?
Our Responsibility
Scepticism
Facts & Figures
Kyoto Agreement


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Some Facts & Figures

Extreme Weather Increases (re. insurance industry):
WORLD: Three times as many severe natural disasters in 1990s than in 1960s.
UK: Repair cost has doubled over the five years to 2004.

UK Government Targets:
Reduction in CO2 emissions:
- Was to be 20% below 1990 level by 2010 but goverment admitted late 2004 that this is unlikely (by 1997 was 7.5% below - mainly due to power stations converting from coal to gas and to closure of UK manufacturing, arguably "exporting" pollution to other countries - but now increasing).
- 60% below 1990 level by 2050.

Home Energy Conservation Act 1995: 30% home energy efficiency improvement, 1995 to 2010.

Electricity Sources, UK (gov't figures):
2004:     37% gas, 35% coal, 24% nuclear,  3%* renewables.
By 2010: 57% gas, 16% coal, 16% nuclear, 10% renewables.
Note:
-  *Wind 11%; hydro 42%;  bio+waste 47% (2002, approx).
-  Current overall consumption increase: 1.5%/year.
-  Gas gives out 40% less CO2 than coal and 22% less than oil.
-  Currently, the cost of wind energy is over twice that of coal.

Electrical Power Losses in UK Grid:
The electricity supply system is only approx 28% efficient - i.e. 72% of the energy in the fuel going into the power station is lost. So remember that any electricity we use unnecessarily is effectively wasting 3.5 times that amount of energy!

World Energy Sources: 39% coal, 19% hydro, 16% nuclear, 15% gas, 10% oil.

Kyoto Agreement: See page: Kyoto Agreement

Nuclear: other risks, but little greenhouse gas!
Total world nuclear power plants currently generating electricity: 440 in 31 countries, producing 364,000 MW, 16% of global electricity.
In UK, all but one (Sizewell B) to be closed by 2025, removing approx 20% of generating capacity.
No. of reactors in operation, "+" currently in-build, and (% current generation), as at 29/9/05:
USA 103+1 (20%); China 9+2 (2.2%), France 59+1 (78%), Japan 55+1 (29%), Russia 31+4 (16%), UK 23 (19%), S. Korea 20 (38%), India 15+8 (2.8%) Canada 18 (15%), Germany 17 (32%), Ukraine 15 (51%), Sweden 10 (52%), Finland 4+1 (27%).
Planned/proposed: China 27, S. Africa 25, India 24, Japan 12, S. Korea 8, Russia 9, USA 2.
For full list, see: http://www.world-nuclear.org/info/inf01.htm
Total world reactors powering ships and submarines: 220
Research reactors: 284

Wind Farms in UK: (at Dec '06)
Farms in operation or construction: 164 (onshore 157, offshore 7).
Largest turbine power ratings: onshore 3.6MW, offshore 5MW.
Largest farm power ratings: onshore 322MW (E. Renfrewshire);  offshore 90MW (Barrow, Crosby, Whitstable).
Total UK installed capacity inc. farms currently in construction: 2700MW. Average load factor 30% gives actual 810MW.

For comparison, one typical 1960s coal-fired power station has capacity 2000MW; load factor 50% gives actual 1000MW.

Total regular UK demand is approx 50GW (50,000MW); i.e. wind currently approx 1.6% of total (inc. farms in build).

Greenhouse Gases (GHG):
The proportions by warming effect in the atmosphere are: carbon dioxide 70%, methane 23%, nitrous oxide 7%. Also ozone and industrial halocarbons - small volume but very potent. Water vapour also acts as a GHG and is by far the most abundant, but it acts to amplifies the effect of the carbon-based gases, with more water vapour in the atmosphere as temperatures increase.

Methane is 23 times more potent as a GHG than CO2, and nitrous oxide 296 times (time-dependant; these figures are calculated for a 100 year period).

The ratio of man-made GHG contributions between fuel burning and deforestation is approx 3:1.

UK CO2 Emissions by Sector:
Business 26%, Domestic 26%, Transport 28%, Public 15%, Agriculture 1%, Other 4%.

World Carbon Reservoirs, estimate in Gigatonnes:

Atmosphere
Forests
Soils
Surface Ocean
Deep ocean
Fossil fuels:
  Coal
  Oil
  Natural gas

750
610
1580
1020
38100

4000
500
500