Carbon Dioxide Emissions in a Methane Economy

Ausubel, J.H., Grubler, A. ORCID:, & Nakicenovic, N. ORCID: (1988). Carbon Dioxide Emissions in a Methane Economy. IIASA Research Report (Reprint). IIASA, Laxenburg, Austria: RR-88-007. Reprinted from Climatic Change, 12 (3). pp. 245-263

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Increasing reliance on natural gas (methane) to meet global energy demands holds implications for atmospheric CO2 concentrations. Analysis of these implications is presented, based on a logistic substitution model viewing energy technologies like biological species invading an econiche and substituting in case of superiority for existing species. This model suggests gas will become the dominant energy source and remain so for 50 years, peaking near 70 percent of world supply. Two scenarios of energy demand are explored, one holding per capita consumption at current levels, the second raising the global average in the year 2100 to the current U.S. level. In the first ("efficiency") scenario concentrations peak about 450 ppm, while in the second ("long wave") they near 600 ppm. Although projected CO2 concentrations in a "methane economy" are low in relation to other scenarios, the projections confirm that global climate warming is likely to be a major planetary concern throughout the twenty-first century. A second finding is that data on past growth of world per capita energy consumption group neatly into two pulses consistent with long-wave theories in economics.

Item Type: Monograph (IIASA Research Report (Reprint))
Research Programs: Dynamics of Technology Program (DOT)
Technology, Economy, Society (TES)
Depositing User: IIASA Import
Date Deposited: 15 Jan 2016 01:58
Last Modified: 27 Aug 2021 17:13

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