Energy use and climatic changes

Williams, J. & Häfele, W. (1978). Energy use and climatic changes. Acta Astronautica 5 (7-8) 589-600. 10.1016/0094-5765(78)90087-5.

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The IIASA Energy Program is studying global aspects of energy systems in terms of resources, demands, options, strategies and constraints. One constraint on the major energy options (nuclear, fossil fuel and solar) is their potential impact on global climate. The energy systems could change climate through the addition of waste heat, through changes in atmospheric constituents and through changes in the characteristics of the land or ocean surface. Models of the atmospheric circulation have been used to study the impact of waste heat on the climate system and have shown that the addition of large amounts of heat in a variety of scenarios can have significant climatic effects not only in the area of heat input. One-dimensional and three-dimensional models of the atmosphere have shown that the addition of carbon dioxide to the atmosphere from combustion of fossil fuels also produces significant climatic changes. Changes in the albedo, roughness and hydrological characteristics of land surfaces, from the deployment of large scale solar energy conversion systems could certainly cause local climatic changes and possibly have global implications. Space observations of the net radiation budget at the top of the atmosphere, of the albedo of the earth-atmosphere system and of other climate variables necessary for the validation of climate models, will be required for the monitoring of climatic changes induced by energy systems.

Item Type: Article
Research Programs: Energy Program (ENP)
Depositing User: Romeo Molina
Date Deposited: 05 Apr 2016 07:29
Last Modified: 27 Aug 2021 17:40

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