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Viewing: Blog Posts Tagged with: greenhouse gases, Most Recent at Top [Help]
Results 1 - 3 of 3
1. Climate change poses risks to your health

When heads of state and other leaders of 195 nations reached a landmark accord at the recent United Nations COP21 conference on climate change in Paris, they focused primarily on sea level rise, droughts, loss of biodiversity, and ways to decrease greenhouse gas emissions in order to reduce these consequences. But arguably the most serious and widespread impacts of climate change are those that are hazardous to the health of people.

The post Climate change poses risks to your health appeared first on OUPblog.

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2. Climate change – a very difficult, very simple idea

Planet Earth doesn’t have ‘a temperature’, one figure that says it all. There are oceans, landmasses, ice, the atmosphere, day and night, and seasons. Also, the temperature of Earth never gets to equilibrium: just as it’s starting to warm up on the sunny-side, the sun gets ‘turned off’; and just as it’s starting to cool down on the night-side, the sun gets ‘turned on’.

The post Climate change – a very difficult, very simple idea appeared first on OUPblog.

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3. How much oil is left?

The world’s total annual consumption of crude oil is one cubic mile of oil (CMO). The world’s total annual energy consumption – from all energy sources – is currently 3 CMO. By the middle of this century the world will need between 6 and 9 CMO of energy per year to provide for its citizens.

In their new book, Hewitt Crane, Edwin Kinderman, and Ripudaman Malhotra introduce this brand new measuring unit and show that the use of CMO replaces mind-numbing multipliers (such as billions, trillions, and quadrillions) with an easy-to-understand volumetric unit. It evokes a visceral response and allows experts, policy makers and the general public alike to form a mental picture of the magnitude of the challenge we face.

Here, Ripu Malhotra answers some questions we had about oil, energy, climate change, and more.

Q: What is the goal of your book, A Cubic Mile of Oil?

A: Raising literacy about energy in the general public. Meeting the global demand for energy is going to be a daunting challenge, and the way we choose to do it, namely the energy sources that we choose to employ will have a profound effect on the lives of millions of people. We have tried to provide an unvarnished look at the different energy sources so people can engage in an informed dialog about the choices we make. People have to be involved in making the choice, or the choice will be made for them.

Q: Why introduce a cubic mile of oil as another unit of energy? There are so many units for energy already.

A: True, there are way too many units of energy in use. Furthermore, different sources of energy are often expressed in different sets of units: kilowatt-hours of electricity, barrels of oil, cubic feet of gas, tons of coal, and so on. Each of these units represents a relatively small amount of energy, and in order to express production and consumption at a global or national scale, we have to use mind-numbing multipliers like millions, billions, trillions and quadrillions. To add to the confusion, a billion and a trillion mean different things in different parts of the world. It gets very difficult to keep it straight.

Q: Who coined the term CMO?

A: Hew Crane came up with this term. He was waiting in a gas line in 1973 when he began contemplating how much oil the world was then using annually. He made some guesses of the number cars, and the miles driven by each, etc., and came up with an estimate approaching a trillion gallons. How large a pool would hold that quantity, he next pondered. A few slide rule strokes later realized that the pool would have to a mile long, a mile wide and a mile deep—a cubic mile!

Q: What is your overall message?

A: Currently, the global annual consumption of oil stands at 1 cubic mile. Additionally, the world uses 0.8 CMO of energy from coal, 0.6 from natural gas, roughly 0.2 from each of hydro, nuclear, and wood for a grand total of 3 CMO. Solar, wind, and biofuels barely register on this scale; combined they produced a total of 0.03 CMO i

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