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Transcript
Climate Change: A Step
Toward Realism
Joel Schwartz
Visiting Fellow
American Enterprise Institute
Industrial Environment/California Manufacturers and
Technology Association Annual Meeting
November 8, 2007
San Diego, California
Environmentalists claim air pollution will
increase in future due to greenhouse warming
2
Back in the real world:
Rising Temperatures…Declining Air Pollution
25
1
0
20
Ozone (days/year)
-1
15
-2
10
5
-
-3
Temperature (oC) (rel. to 1951-80 mean)
PM2.5 (ug/m3)
30
Ozone
PM2.5
Temperature
-4
1970 1975 1980 1985 1990 1995 2000 2005
Sources: GISS, EPA
Year
Ozone: 8-hour exceedance days/year; PM2.5: annual average.
Temperature and pollution levels are national averages.
3
More driving, more energy…less air pollution (1)
Change in ambient pollution levels, 1980-2005
+109%+114%
+95%
100%
+61%
Air pollution going down
0%
-96% -94%
-79% -74%
-63%
Fossil fuel use
going up
GDP
Lead
Diesel Truck M
Automobile Mile
Coal Usage
Ozone, 8-hour
Ozone, 1-hour
Oxides of Nitro
Fine Pa
Oz
Oz
Carbon Monoxi
Sulfur Dioxide
1980-2005
Percent Change
-100%
-28% -20%
-40% -37%
Sources: EPA, DOT, DOE
4
More driving, more energy…less air pollution (2)
Change in pollutant emissions, 1980-2005
+95%
100%
+109%+114%
+61%
Emissions going down
0%
-96%
GDP
Lead
Diesel Truck
Automobile
Coal Usage
Nitrogen Oxid
Carbon Mon
V
Particulate M
Sulfur Dioxide
1980-2005
Percent Change
-100%
-67%
-50% -49% -42%
Fossil fuel use
going up
-30%
Sources: EPA, DOT, DOE
5
Air pollution will continue to decline




Motor vehicle standards will eliminate more than
80% of vehicle NOx, VOC and PM, even after
accounting for growth in driving
Clean Air Interstate Rule (CAIR) will eliminate
more than 70% of SO2 and more than 50% of
NOx during the next two decades
MACT rules eliminate most emissions from a
wide range of industrial sources
Overall, existing requirements will eliminate at
least 70%-80% of remaining air pollution during
next 20 years or so
6
Long-term ambient, on-road, and stack
measurements confirm pollution reductions


On-road emissions:

Average automobile’s emissions are dropping: VOC -12%/yr;
NOx -6%/yr; CO -10%/yr.

Heavy-duty diesel trucks: NOx -4%/yr; soot -8%/yr

Rate of NOx and soot declines will accelerate as vehicles built to
new Tier 2 (2004) and heavy-duty (2007) emissions standards
begin to permeate the on-road fleet
Power plant emissions:


NOx SIP Call recently reduced coal-fired NOx emissions nearly
60% below 1998 level. SO2 down 23% since 1998.
Ambient levels of directly emitted pollutants:

Steady declines in NO2, CO, SO2, benzene, 1,3-butadiene, total
VOC, etc. All dropping a few percent to several percent per year.
7
So how did NRDC come up with rising air
pollution levels in the future?
NRDC’s press release
“Smog Poses Greater Health Risk Because of Global Warming
More Bad Air Days for Southern, Eastern U.S. Cities
WASHINGTON, DC (September 13, 2007) -- People living in ten mid-sized
metropolitan areas are expected to experience significantly more 'red alert' air
pollution days in coming years due to increasing lung-damaging smog caused
by higher temperatures from global warming.
Researchers project that, unless action is taken to curb global warming, by
mid-century people living in a total of 50 cities in the eastern United States
would see:
A doubling of the number of unhealthy ‘red alert’ days
A 68 percent (5.5 day) increase in the average number of days exceeding the
current 8-hour ozone standard”
8
NRDC’s Sleight of Hand

Used the 1996 EPA emissions inventory to
“predict” ozone levels in the 2050s


But 1996 ozone-precursor emissions were more than
30% higher than 2006 emissions
In other words, NRDC got higher future ozone
levels by assuming a large increase in future
ozone-forming emissions. However, NRDC
obscures this fact in its report and press release.
9
NRDC’s response to Schwartz’s critique of
Heat Advisory: Deception and evasion

NRDC: “The project on which Heat Advisory is based kept anthropogenic
ozone precursor emission levels constant as a way of evaluating the effect
that climate change alone could have on ozone concentrations.”


Misleading: “Constant” really means “constant at 1996 levels”, which really
means more than 30% higher than today, and at least four or five times higher
than emissions in coming decades
NRDC: “While we would expect significant reductions in precursor
emissions over the next decade there are no reliable estimates of
precursor emissions extending to the mid 21st century.”



Climate activists assume climate models provide accurate predictions of future
temperatures without batting an eye. But when it comes to ozone, NRDC pleads
uncertainty and then chooses increases in future ozone-forming emissions that
are patently at odds with any plausible future scenario.
If anything, the statement that “there are no reliable estimates….extending to
the mid 21st Century” is far more applicable to greenhouse gas emissions and
climate models’ predictive skill than it is for ozone-forming emissions.
Imagine NRDC’s reaction if climate skeptics assumed CO2 emissions would
stay constant at 1996 levels to predict future climate
10

NRDC then claimed Heat Advisory wasn’t really making predictions of
future ozone levels:


“The project on which Heat Advisory is based kept anthropogenic ozone
precursor emission levels constant as a way of evaluating the effect that climate
change alone could have on ozone concentrations. Other researchers may
choose alternative assumptions about how anthropogenic ozone precursors
could change in the future, and will arrive at different projected ozone
concentrations. Projections of how global warming would affect ozone levels are
not predictions of what will happen.”
Now look at NRDC’s press release:
Smog Poses Greater Health Risk Because of Global Warming
More Bad Air Days for Southern, Eastern U.S. Cities
WASHINGTON, DC (September 13, 2007) -- People living in ten midsized metropolitan areas are expected to experience significantly more
'red alert' air pollution days in coming years due to increasing lungdamaging smog caused by higher temperatures from global warming.
Researchers project that, unless action is taken to curb global warming,
by mid-century people living in a total of 50 cities in the eastern United
States would see:
A doubling of the number of unhealthy ‘red alert’ days
A 68 percent (5.5 day) increase in the average number of days
exceeding the current 8-hour ozone standard
11
NRDC certainly knows that air pollution will decline—
their press releases highlight the new regulations

EPA Rule Means Progress Against Diesel Pollution According
to Natural Resources Defense Council, May 10, 2004


NEW DIESEL FUEL HITTING PUMPS NATIONWIDE ON
OCTOBER 15 CUTS POLLUTION, ENABLES NEW LOWEMISSION ENGINE TECHNOLOGY, October 10, 2006


These standards…will reduce particulate soot and nitrogen oxide
emissions [from non-road diesel vehicles] by 90-95 percent in most
cases
…when combined with a new generation of engines hitting the road in
January, it will enable emission reductions of up to 95 percent,
according to the Natural Resources Defense Council
EPA touts new, cleaner cars, January 26, 2004:

Mike Leavitt, head of the Environmental Protection Agency, unveiled 17
new cars and trucks designed to meet stricter "Tier 2" emissions
standards set in 1999. The vehicles, which burn low-sulfur fuel, are 77
percent to 95 percent cleaner than current models.
12
What makes Heat Advisory even more egregious is
that the report was actually written by university and
government scientists
Heat Advisory’s
authors are from
major universities
and gov’t agencies
Activism thinly
cloaked in a
scientific wrapper
13
Heat Advisory’s results have also been
published in two journal articles




Knowlton et al., “Assessing ozone-related health impacts
under a changing climate,” Environmental Health
Perspectives, 112 (2004): 1557-63
Bell et al., “Climate change, ambient ozone, and health in
50 US cities,” Climatic Change, 82 (2007): 61-87
These studies both manufacture increases in future
ozone by assuming increases in ozone-forming
emissions that are patently at odds with any plausible
future scenario.
Both studies are peer-reviewed. Both are published in
prestigious journals. And both have nothing to do with
reality.
14
“Let’s pretend” is almost standard in
peer-reviewed scientific studies
Actual U.S. and European trends in total NOx
emissions compared with IPCC A2 scenario
projection for OECD countries

Sitch et al., “Indirect
radiative forcing of climate
change through ozone
effects on the land-carbon
sink,” Nature, 48 (2007).

Study uses IPCC A2
scenario for future ozone
precursor emissions.

But A2 scenario has no
relationship to reality. A2
assumes rising NOx and
VOC in developed
countries—just the
opposite of the actual
trend.
Index (1990 = 1.0)
2.0
1.5
1.0
IPCC A2 scenario projection
(OECD countries)
European Union (EEA
estimate)
0.5
U.S. (EPA estimate)
0.0
1960 1980 2000 2020 2040 2060 2080 2100
Year
15
Sitch et al.’s modeled ozone levels also conflict
with measured levels
Average June-August Ozone, 1984-2004
(based on 24-hour averages)
24-hour Ozone (ppb)
100
80
Observed ozone at
worst location in
U.S. (Crestline, CA)
Modeled current
average U.S.
ozone from
Sitch et al.,
Nature (2007)
is twice as high
as actual
average
60
40
Observed average
ozone at 193
continuously
operated sites
20
1970
1975
1980
1985
1990
1995
2000
2005
Year
16
Only one study has tried to use a realistic
estimate of future air pollutant emissions
17
GA Tech/NESCAUM assumptions & results

Assumptions



Climate warms about 2.5˚F by 2050 (IPCC A1B scenario)
NOx and SO2 emissions drop 50%; VOC emissions drop more
than 40%
Results

“The combined effect of climate change and emission reductions
lead to a 20% decrease (regionally varying from 11% to 28%) in
the mean summer maximum daily 8-hour ozone levels (M8hO3)
over the United States. Mean annual PM2.5 concentrations are
estimated to be 23% lower (varies from 9% to 32%).”

Modeling suggests warming alone increases ambient pollution in
some regions of U.S. and decreases it in others, but effects are
small compared to effect of emission reductions
18
GA Tech study is actually too pessimistic

Future air pollution declines will be greater than
Georgia Tech/NESCAUM study predicts

NOx has already declined more from 2001-2006 than
study assumed for 2001-2020. VOC has already
declined more than half the amount predicted for
2001-2020.

In last six years, the U.S. has achieved more than
one-fourth the ozone and PM2.5 decline predicted for
2001-2050
19
California Wildfires—Any Connection with
Human Caused Climate Change?

Activists and journalists were quick to blame the
southern California wildfires on drought
purportedly caused by climate change.

In fact—as anyone who lives in southern
California knows—SoCal has virtually no rain
from May through September

In fact, it is wet winters that help create
conditions amenable to wild fire, by stimulating
growth of vegetation
20
The Real Causes of SoCal Wildfires





“These [SoCal] fires often occur in conjunction with Santa Ana weather
events, which combine high winds and low humidity, and tend to follow a
wet winter rainy season…over a century of watershed reserve
management and fire suppression have promoted fuel accumulations,
helping to shape one of the most conflagration-prone environments in the
world.”
“charcoal records from Santa Barbara Channel sediments indicate the
frequency of wildfires in the region has not changed significantly in the last
500 years.”
“The severity of the immediate human impact of the October 2003 wildfires
was exacerbated by the rapid growth of an extensive wildland-urban
interface proximate to a population of nearly 20 million in southern
California…The intensity of the fires and the severity of their ecological
impact on the region’s forests were exacerbated by the long-term
accumulation of fuels such as snags, logs, and heavy brush due to 20th
Century fire suppression policies and watershed preservation efforts since
the late 1800s.”
“Precipitation tends to be above normal in the winter or early spring prior to
the fire season, suggesting that large fall and winter fires are
preconditioned two or more seasons in advance.”
Westerling et al., “Climate, Santa Ana Winds and Autumn Wildfires in
Southern California,” EOS, 85 (2004): 289, 296.
21
What about the effect of future warming?

“warmer temperatures might tend to reduce the moisture
available to plants during the growing season.”


“Preliminary results of a Santa Ana wind analysis
indicate, however, that the frequency of Santa Ana
events in early fall, when temperatures are still high, may
decrease by the end of the century, which would serve to
reinforce any reductions in southern California fire risks
due to changes in temperature and precipitation.”


In other words, warming = less plant growth = lower fire risk
In other words, models suggest warming = fewer Santa Ana’s =
lower fire risk
Westerling et al. “Climate change and wildfire in
California,” Climatic Change, in press
22
Southern California Monthly Precipitation,
2000-2007
10
9
Precipitation (inches)
8
7
6
5
4
3
2
1
0
2000
2001
2002
2003
2004
2005
2006
2007
2008
Year
23
No human signal in long-term SoCal
precipitation trend
Dec-Mar
May-Sept
30
Precipitation (inches)
25
20
15
10
5
1900 1910 1920 1930 1940 1950 1960 1970 1980 1990 2000
Year
24
According to Cal-EPA...
But note that decline is not volume of runoff, but percent of total runoff
occurring from April-July (Source: Cal-EPA AB1493 briefing package)
25
California’s Water Supply Is Not Shrinking
Sacramento River Index, 1906-2007
40
Runoff (million acre-feet)
35
30
25
20
Annual
15
10
April-July
5
-
2000
1990
1980
1970
1960
1950
1940
1930
1920
1910
1900
Year
Index is unimpaired
runoff. Source:
CA Dept. of Water
Resources
26
No signal of human-caused climate change in
long-term Sacramento River Index
Runoff (million acre-feet)
Sacramento River Index, 900-2007
40
Reconstructed historic runoff
Measured runoff
30
20
10
0
900
1000
1100
1200
1300
1400 1500
Year
1600
1700
1800
1900
2000
Reconstruction is based on tree-ring data.
Sources: Measured runoff: CA Dept. of Water Resources.
Reconstructed runoff, NCDC/NOAA
27
According to Cal-EPA…
Source:
Cal-EPA, AB
1493 briefing
True, but sea level has been rising since the 1920s—decades before
humans emitted enough GHGs to affect the climate. Cal-EPA’s own graph
shows this. In fact, the graph shows sea level rose as much from 18601885 as it did from 1950-2000.
28
Sea level rise has slowed or stopped since mid-1980s
San Francisco coastal sea level trend, 1854-2007
10
Blue: monthly average
Black: annual average
Red: decadal average
Sea Level (feet)
9.5
9
8.5
8
7.5
2000
1990
1980
1970
1960
1950
1940
1930
1920
1910
1900
1890
1880
1870
1860
1850
Year
Source: NOAA, Historic Tide Data
29
World sea levels don’t show a global warming
signal



Sea level has been
rising since at least the
beginning of the 20th
Century
But 94% of all human
CO2 emissions
occurred after 1910;
90% after 1920
Rate of sea level
increase slowed down
during the 20th Century
30
Rate of sea level rise is 27% lower than IPCC
estimate

Study used GPS data to measure vertical land
movements and correct for these movements in
estimating sea-level trend from tide gauges

After factoring in vertical land movement, average rate of
world sea level rise is 27% lower than IPCC estimate
31
CO2 per Person (metric tons)
Reality: Stabilizing atmospheric CO2 means
developed world must deindustrialize
20
Actual CO2/person, 2004
15
Allowable CO2/person for atmospheric
stabilization
10
5
0
es alia ada pan ion nce den orld ina rica dia esh
t
f
h
ta
In ad
tr an Ja Un ra
e
A
W
C
S us
w
F
n
gl
C
S
d
A
a
n
e
t
a
pe
ni
B
o
U
ur
E
Country/Region
CO2 emissions data source:
U.S. Energy Information Administration
“India, at 1 tonne [annual
CO2 emissions] per
capita, is the only largesized economy that is
below the desired carbon
emission levels of 2050.
‘India should keep it that
way and insist that the rich
countries pay their share
of the burden in reducing
emissions,’ says Mr
[Nicolas] Stern.”
India Times, Nov. 5, 2007
32
Wealth requires
abundant
energy, which in
practice means
mainly energy
from fossil fuels
CO2/person vs. GDP/person, 2004
22
US
20
Canada
Aus/NZ
18
16
14
Russia
12
S. Korea
Source: U.S.
Energy Information
Administration
Western Europe
8
Middle East
Eastern Europe
6
2
per Capita (m
Emissions
CO
Allowable
CO2 per
capita for
stabilization
Japan
10
China Mexico
4
Other-Amer
Asia Brazil
Africa
2
India
0
0
5
10
15
20
25
GDP per Capita $US
30
35
40
33
The relationship between
abundant energy and prosperity
explains why it is so hard to get
people to produce less CO2,
even in countries that claim to be
very concerned about climate
change
34
No magic bullets for reducing fossil fuels


Europeans have been
paying $5 or $6 per
gallon of gasoline for
decades. But their cars
still run on gasoline and
diesel.
 They drive smaller
cars than we do, and
they drive them less.
Europeans pay a price—
not just in Euros—but in
less useful and less
comfortable cars, and in
lower mobility
35
How about getting people out of their cars and into
transit? Europe is going in the opposite direction.
EU15 trend in person-miles per capita by mode
• Transit’s market
share dropped
from 25% to
16% between
1970 and 2000
• Autos account for
78% of travel
miles
• Vast majority of
new
development is
suburban
Source: European Environment Agency
36
People buy cars as soon as they become
wealthy enough to afford them
Cars/capita vs. GDP/capita, 2002
900
800
Cars per 1,000 People
700
It’s not just Americans
who have a “love affair
with the automobile”
“Love affair” is also the
wrong metaphor.
600
People the world over
buy cars because no
other transport mode
offers comparable
flexibility, speed, privacy,
convenience, or
autonomy
500
400
300
200
100
0
$0
$10,000 $20,000 $30,000 $40,000 $50,000
GDP per Person
Source: Int’l Monetary Fund
37
Unintended consequences when governments try to
pick technology winners through a political process

New research suggests that N2O from fertilizer used to
grow fuel crops more than offsets any CO2 savings

N2O has about 300x the greenhouse potential of CO2
“we have shown that, depending on N[itrogen] content, the use of
several agricultural crops for energy production can readily lead to
N2O emissions large enough to cause climate warming instead of
cooling by ‘saved fossil CO2’.”
38
Energy realism from a climate alarmist
I’ll tell you one of the horrifying facts of global warming, and why it is so
inexorable. Suppose that you and I wanted…[to] guarantee that the
concentrations of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere…would not go up any
more.
...You’d have to cut [world carbon dioxide emissions] by 75 percent.
That’s a horrific number if you think about everything that you do: whether
it’s talking on the telephone, or driving our cars, or heating or cooling our
homes. Think of everything that’s manufactured, energy used to extract
metals, for example…You would have to have a radical change in your
lifestyle.
…In fact, it’s worse than I talk about, because suppose that we’re able to
produce the miracle – the absolute miracle – of reducing 75% in our
emissions globally. Guess what? Over the next hundred years, the Earth
would warm up another degree Fahrenheit, even though we produced that
miraculous result.
…it’s really hard to do something about it in a relatively short period of
time, say over the next three decades. It’s really, really hard.
— Jerry Mahlman, NOAA Climate Scientist, Earth & Sky interview
39
Don’t underestimate the benefits of abundant,
inexpensive energy
40
To contact me
[email protected]
To read my papers and presentations
www.joelschwartz.com
41