Carbon Cycle Key Knowledge

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  • Carbon Cycle
    • = biogeochemical process by which carbon is  which carbon is sequestered and moved between stores via process’.   Global scale = closed system Local scale = subsystems interact
      • Biological
        • Lithosphere, 100,000,000 PgC +       Fossil fuels 4,000Pgc                    Oceans Deep, 38,000PgC
          • Weathering & Decom - trans - sedim - lithification (Volcanic outgas 50PgC)
          • Bio, food web - Carbon pump, decom/dissolve inorganic carbon sedimentation - Physical, thermohaline deep 10% more
      • Geological
        • Oceans Surface, 1,000Pgc                Biosphere  2,060Pgc            Atmosphere, 560Pgc
          • 92 seques, 90 released, 90% excess heat from CC, 50x atmosphere carbon
          • Photosyn, respiration, food web, decom
            • Soils 20-30% global carbon (in)organic matter, hummus is 60% carbon
          • Rainforest 17% terrestrial carbon, Hardwood trees Brazil nut
          • Atmo store ?240, 4/yr, while veg ?30 and FF?365
            • Land-Atmo from FF, flux ?7.8, from land use changes ?1.1
        • smallest stores, quickest greatest fluxes can be influenced by humans
          • Atmo-Bio 103yr Photosynthesis
  • biggest stores, slowest smaller fluxes but can’t be influenced by humans
    • Ocean-Lith = 0.2yr Sedimentation
  • Greenhouse effect
    • Shortwave - 31% reflected by clouds - 69% (50% Oceans) absorbed converted into heat - radiated infrared - some pass thru atmosp - majority absorbed GHG - reradiated back  - heat trapped
    • 1900 never above 300 ppm 1950 350ppm, 2018 409ppm, (nothing done) 2100 900ppm, more co2, more IR trapped, more warming
  • Global warming
    • Last 40yrs ?0.6C, IPCC 1.5C reach in 2030
    • 2100 1.5C sea level rise 10cm lower than 2C
      • For 1.5C limited rise: Global CO2 has to reduce 45% from 2010 levels by 2030, renewable provide 85% energy, coal use 0, size of australia needed for energy crops, net emissions 2050 0
        • Mitigation = prevents hazard happening, stop global warming eg. Steel industry 7-9% all CO2, ‘Hybrit’
          • Alternatives to FF
            • Bristol estuary 15m tidal range, hydro power, threaten 85,000 birds
            • 7th Aug Scot wind powered day
            • 90% Brazil engines flex fuel, sugarcane plant doubled, deforestation cancel ? emissions
        • Adaptation = live alongside hazard, adjust to warmer world/CO2 world, eg.  CCS last 20-30yrs
          • Forest covers 30% world, 1.1% contribute to global economy 36 football pitches per minute, China’s 4,500km green wall
    • By 2100: Usual = 4C rise, Some, Strong, Aggressive mitigation 1.5C
    • Columbia glacier, Alaska: 1902-2001 10 miles 10 yrs, 2001-2010 100 miles 10yrs (Cryoconite holes)
  • Currently being done?
    • UN ‘roadmaps’ countries ‘carrot+stick’ measures
    • Kyoto protocol 1997 aim cut GHG emission 5% on 1990 levels by 2012, by 2012 emission 22.6% lower, but 2015 65% increase since 1990
      • 1900 5,972TWh, 1950 20,138TWh, 2018 135,051TWh (Kuznets curve?)
  • Energy security = uninterrupted availability of energy sources @ affordable price
    • Intensity = country energy efficiency use
      • Mix = mix of energy sources that meet a countries demand
        • Pathway = route taken by energy from source - consumption
          • UK 4th gas importer, Russia 2nd producer, 2015 UK doubled Russian gas export
        • France 74% nuclear, Uganda 50% renewables
        • China & USA, biggest energy consumers 80%< fossil fuels
    • USA, 59,000GDP, 10Kw per capita, S.Africa 6000GDP 4Kw per capita

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