Modeling the impact of large-scale energy conversion systems on global climate

Williams, J. (1979). Modeling the impact of large-scale energy conversion systems on global climate. In: Man's Impact on Climate. Eds. Bach, W., Pankrath, J., & Kellogg, W., pp. 253-267 New York, USA: Elsevier/North Holland. ISBN 978-0-444-41766-4 10.1016/B978-0-444-41766-4.50026-6.

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There are three energy options which could satisfy a projected energy requirement of about 30 TW and these are the solar, nuclear and (to a lesser extent) coal options. Climate models can be used to assess the impacts of large scale deployment of these options. The impact of waste heat has been assessed using energy balance models and general circulation models (GCMs). Results suggest that the impacts are significant when the heat input is very high and studies of more realistic scenarios are required. Energy balance models, radiative-convective models and a GCM have been used to study the impact of doubling the atmospheric CO2 concentration. State-of-the-art models estimate a surface temperature increase of 1.5-3.0°C with large amplification near the poles, but much uncertainty remains. Very few model studies have been made of the impact of particles on global climate, more information on the characteristics of particle input are required. The impact of large-scale deployment of solar energy conversion systems has received little attention but model studies suggest that large scale changes in surface characteristics associated with such systems (surface heat balance, roughness and hydrological characteristics and ocean surface temperatures) could have significant global climatic effects.

Item Type: Book Section
Research Programs: Resources and Environment Area (REN)
Depositing User: Romeo Molina
Date Deposited: 04 Apr 2016 10:01
Last Modified: 27 Aug 2021 17:26

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