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    Climate Change and Methane Emissions: Using Integrated Analysis Tools to Advise Policy

    Marcus C. Sarofim

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    Overview

    • Climate Change Background – The Science – The Politics

    • The Role of Methane – Conventional Wisdom – Research results (political, economic, and

    scientific) – Policy recommendation: decouple CO2 from

    CH4 policy

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    The Earth’s Radiative Balance

    Emitted by Atmosphere

    Absorbed by Atmosphere67

    165

    Incoming Solar Radiation

    342 Wm-2

    Atmospheric Window

    40

    30

    235 342

    Outgoing Longwave Radiation 235 Wm-2

    Greenhouse Gases

    324 Back Radiation

    40350

    390 Surface Radiation

    Absorbed by Surface

    324 Evapo-

    transpiration

    ThermalsAbsorbed by Surface

    168 24 78

    30

    Reflected Solar

    107 Wm-2 107

    Reflected by Clouds, and Atmosphere

    77

    77

    24 78

    Reflected by Surface

    30

    Radiation

    Latent Heat

    Figure by MIT OCW, based on Kiehl and Trenberth 1997.

  • Radiative Forcing Components RF Terms

    Long-lived

    greenhouse gases

    Ozone Stratospheric

    Land use Black carbon on snow

    Tropospheric

    Halocarbons

    CO2

    CH4

    N2O

    RF values (Wm-2) Spatial scale LOSU

    High

    High

    Med

    Low

    Low

    Low

    LowGlobal

    Global

    Global

    Global1.66 [1.49 to 1.83]

    0.48 [0.43 to 0.53] 0.16 [0.14 to 0.18] 0.34 [0.31 to 0.37]

    -0.05 [-0.15 to 0.05] 0.35 [0.25 to 0.65]

    0.07 [0.02 to 0.12]

    -0.2 [-0.4 to 0.0]

    -0.5 [-0.9 to -0.1]

    -0.7 [-1.8 to -0.3]

    0.01 [0.003 to 0.03]

    0.12 [0.06 to 0.30]

    0.1 [0.0 to 0.2]

    Continental

    Continental to global

    Continental to global

    Continental to global

    Local to Continental

    Med - Low

    Med - Low

    Stratospheric water Vapour from CH4

    Surface albedo

    Direct effect Total

    Aerosol Cloud albedo effect

    Linear contrails

    Solar irradiance

    Total net anthropogenic

    N at

    ur al

    A nt

    hr op

    og en

    ic

    Radiative Forcing Wm-2 -2 -1 0 1 2

    {

    {

    1.6 [0.6 to 2.4]1.6 [0.6 to 2.4]

    Figure by MIT OCW, based on IPCC.

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    Politics

    • UN Framework Convention on Climate Change – Stabilization of Greenhouse Gases at a level avoiding

    dangerous anthropogenic interference – No binding commitment

    • Kyoto Protocol – “Annex B” nations have commitments in 2008-2012 – Multiple gases: CO2, CH4, N2O, HFCs, PFCs, SF6

    • Cap and trade: using Global Warming Potentials

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    Global Warming Potentials (GWPs)

    ∫ ∫=

    dttCOa

    dttxa xGWP

    CO

    x

    )]([*

    )]([* )(

    22

    EPPA, Kyoto, and US inventories all use IPCC 1996 100 year GWPs

    IPCC TAR 20 year 100 year 500 year IPCC 1996 (100 year)

    CO2 1 1 1 1

    CH4 62 23 7 21

    N2O 275 296 156 310

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    Anthropogenic Emissions by GWP weight

    GHG emissions, 2000 Total: 10.3 GtC eq.

    CO2

    CH4

    N2O

    (emissions data from the MIT EPPA model)

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    Methane: Arguments against GWP based Trading • Conventional Wisdom

    – Capture “What” flexibility by trading among GHGs • Results of this study

    – CO2 constraints have negative interactions with economic distortions

    – Methane is undervalued for reasons of chemistry and timing

    – Methane emission inventories are much less accurate than fossil CO2 emission inventories

    – Methane constraints are politically more palatable to developing nations

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