This is pretty tedious. The IPCC tells us that carbon dioxide actually has very little influence on earth’s greenhouse effect. That’s probably sent a lot of greenhouse hysterics into a dead faint so I’d better explain.
The IPCC provides the formula to demonstrate that CO2 constitutes less than 10% of earth’s greenhouse effect as defined by Trenberth et al of about 330 Watts per meter squared (W/m2) by defining each doubling of atmospheric CO2 (5.35*LN(2) = 3.7) and since repeated doubling is only powers of 2 we know that once CO2 reached 512 ppmv (29) it would deliver 9 x 3.7 = 33.3 W/m2 or 10% of Trenberth’s total “Back Radiation” or greenhouse effect.
Since we’ve long defined greenhouse effect as 33 °C and know that CO2 delivers less than 10% of that or 3.3 °C in total at 512 ppmv from 33 W/m2 (9 doublings from 1ppmv) we know that each doubling of atmospheric carbon dioxide delivers just 0.37 °C (33/9).
See, we don’t even need any marvelous magical multipliers because this is what it is doing in the real world inclusive of all operating feedbacks of both signs.
Makes you wonder what all the fuss is about, doesn’t it? However, Lemonick is handwringing:
Coal is the most abundant and cheapest fossil fuel on the planet, but it’s also the dirtiest in terms of how much heat-trapping carbon dioxide (CO2) it spews into the atmosphere when you burn it. One possible way of dealing with coal’s globe-warming effect is to capture the CO2 from coal exhaust and bury it deep underground in a process known as carbon capture and sequestration, or CCS. Opponents of the idea have argued, however, that among other potential dangers, CCS could trigger earthquakes.
And for years, proponents have said, “tell us something we didn’t know.” Geologists have been aware since the 1960’s that pumping liquids and gases into underground rock formations can trigger earthquakes by adding just a little extra pressure to existing faults in a sort of straw-that-broke-the-camel’s-back effect.
In 2011 alone, subsurface injection of wastewater from mining operations was blamed or suspected in quakes that shook Arkansas, Colorado, Ohio and Oklahoma. But they were small earthquakes, causing minimal damage and no injuries at all, and if that’s the worst consequence of keeping a lid on global temperatures, it might well be worth it.
Or maybe not.
In a new analysis published last week in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Mark Zoback and Steven Gorelick of Stanford University point out that in order to be effective, CCS projects need to keep CO2 out of the atmosphere for thousands of years — and that earthquakes too small to endanger life or property could nevertheless create leaks that would make the whole thing a waste of time. The bottom line, according to Zoback: “CCS is a risky proposition. Not that it’s impossible, or even inappropriate. It should be done. But at a global scale, it’s not likely to reduce CO2 emissions significantly.”