This paper is a pdf.
Biofules, biomass , wood pellets et al are a disaster if you believe more CO2 will cause Global Warming.
Does replacing coal with wood lower CO2 emissions?
Dynamic lifecycle analysis of wood bioenergy
John D. Sterman1
Juliette N. Rooney-Varga3
In sum, although bioenergy from wood can lower long-run CO2 concentrations compared to
fossil fuels, its first impact is an increase in CO2, worsening global warming over the critical
period through 2100 even if the wood offsets coal, the most carbon-intensive fossil fuel.
Declaring that biofuels are carbon neutral as the EU and others have done, erroneously
assumes forest regrowth quickly and fully offsets the emissions from biofuel production and
combustion. The neutrality assumption is not valid because it ignores the transient, but
decades to centuries long, increase in CO2 caused by biofuels.
A broken analog clock is right twice a day. So I’m quoting from the Guardian again.
A few quotes:
“In the middle of the 19th century, wood burning rose to such levels that western Europe was almost completely deforested. Ironically, the rise of coal burning saved the situation”
” carbon emissions will rise by 6% or possibly more if wood is allowed to continue to provide more and more of Europe’s energy output”
“Europe has increased its use of renewable energy sources to provide it with power, and about half of that rise has come from burning biomass. Unfortunately, says Beddington, if that increase continues Europe will soon need to burn an amount of wood greater than its total harvest and would have to seek sources from other continents. Either land for farming would be turned to biomass growing or precious natural habitats will be exploited, most probably the latter”
“In generating exactly the same amount of electricity, wood will release four times as much carbon into the atmosphere as gas would do, and one and half times as much as coal. In addition, energy is used in harvesting and transport while vast stretches of land are needed to create the forests to supply generating stations with the wood they need.”
“A power plant burning wood chips will typically emit one and a half times the carbon dioxide of a plant burning coal and at least three times the carbon dioxide emitted by a power plant burning natural gas.
Although regrowing trees absorb carbon, trees grow slowly, and for some years a regrowing forest absorbs less carbon than if the forest were left unharvested.
Eventually, the new forest grows faster and the carbon it absorbs, plus the reduction in fossil fuels, can pay back the “carbon debt”, but that takes decades to centuries, depending on the forest type and use. We conservatively estimate that using deliberately harvested wood instead of fossil fuels will release at least twice as much carbon dioxide to the air by 2050 per kilowatt hour. Doing so turns a potential reduction in emissions from solar or wind into a large increase.”
Even The Guardian gets it …
I’ve written about DRAX before. Because of loopholes in UK and EU “climate” laws the largest coal power plant is switching from coal to wood pellets sources from the USA.
DRAX has made the news again.
The report says it has found ‘misleading statements by Enviva about its emissions and environmental impacts’ in its prospectus when it was floated on the New York stock exchange last April.
The report says Enviva has claimed that ‘burning wood in power plants reduces carbon emissions compared to coal’. But the study says Drax’s own data shows that while burning coal leads to emissions of 1,901lb of carbon dioxide per megawatt hour (Mwh), the figure for wood is significantly higher – 2,128lb per Mwh.
Enviva’s claim is only possible because of a UK and EU ‘policy loophole’ – which does not apply in America – classing biomass fuel such as wood pellets as ‘zero carbon’.
According to the study, Enviva has not made this clear. Its claim to the SEC that using its pellets ‘reduces’ emissions only applies to making and shipping the pellets, not burning them.
The complaint calls on the SEC to launch an investigation to ‘establish and enforce clear guidelines applicable to companies that may be claiming climate benefits’.
Drax produces eight per cent of the UK’s electricity – enough to power six million homes. Half of its six 650 megawatt (MW) generators have been converted from coal to burn wood pellets from America. Drax spokesman Andrew Brown yesterday confirmed the firm wants to adapt its remaining three furnaces.
This is huge. And logical. Only idiots thought plants prefer freezing to death.
“Not all species flee rising temperatures. As the mercury has inched upward across western North America over the last 40 years, many plant species have moved downhill, toward—not away from—warmer climates, according to the results of a new study.
The finding adds to growing evidence that temperature isn’t the only factor influencing how Earth’s life will respond to climate change.”
Isn’t that last sentence hilarious? “Temperature isn’t the only factor …’ Well DUH! But unfortunately the AGW cult has twisted science so much that many are surprised that plants might like it warmer than colder.
“The results of the analysis were unexpected. More than 60% of plants shifted their distributions downward, toward warmer, lower elevations—despite significant climate warming across the regions under study, the team reported online on 24 July in Global Change Biology. Even more striking, all plants within a region—regardless of species—moved in the same direction.”
What a shocker eh? Given a choice between the cold of the 1970s, plants like it warmer. Who would have thought? …. Only people with a brain thought that!
I have mapped the February 2014 mean temperature anomalies in the Environment Canada monthly summaries that have “normals”. The anomalies are calculated from selected stations based on the 1971-2000 average.
The size if the dot represents the size of the anomaly. The 5C black dot in the top left hand corner represents 5C difference from “normal”. Red dots are warmer than normal. Blue are cooler. And Green are 0.
Most of the prairies averaged 5C or more below “normal”. Click for bigger.