By Andy May
New York Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman has accused ExxonMobil of lying to the public and investors about the risks of climate change according to the NY Times and has launched an investigation and issued a subpoena demanding extensive financial records, emails and other documents. Massachusetts, the US Virgin Islands, and California are also investigating ExxonMobil. It is interesting that all but one of the attorneys general are Democrats. The remaining attorney general is Claude Walker of the US Virgin Islands who is a Green leaning Independent. So, this is a very partisan investigation, carefully coordinated with anti-fossil fuel activists. How much is there to it?
I’ve reviewed the 22 internal documents from 1977 to 1989 made available by ExxonMobil here. I’ve also reviewed what I could find on 104 publications (most are peer-reviewed) with ExxonMobil personnel as authors or co-authors. For some of the peer-reviewed articles I only had an abstract and for some I could find the reference but no abstract or text without paying a fee. Below this short essay is an annotated bibliography of all 22 internal documents and 89 of the published papers. The documents are interesting reading, they fill in the history of modern climate science very well. Much of the current debate on climate change was being debated in the same way, and often with the same uncertainties, in 1977.
Between 1977 and the fifth IPCC report in 2013 ExxonMobil Corporate Research in New Jersey investigated the effect of increasing CO2 on climate. If they withheld or suppressed climate research from the public or shareholders, it is not apparent in these documents. Further, if they found any definitive evidence of an impending man-made climate catastrophe, I didn’t see it. The climate researchers at ExxonMobil participated in the second, third, fourth and fifth IPCC assessment reports making major contributions in mapping the carbon cycle and in climate modeling. They calculated the potential impact of man-made CO2 in several publications. They investigated methods of sequestering CO2 and adapting to climate change. They also investigated several potential biofuels.
The internal documents are generally summaries of published work by outside researchers. Some of the documents are notes from climate conferences or meetings with the DOE (Department of Energy). For many of the internal documents one has to read carefully to separate what is being said by the writer and what he is reporting from outside research. Exxon (and later ExxonMobil) did some original research, particularly making ocean and atmospheric measurements of CO2 from their tankers. But, most of what they produced was by funding research at Columbia University or the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory. All of their internal research and the work at Columbia was published as far as I can tell, so it is difficult to accuse them of hiding anything from the public or shareholders.
At the heart of Schneiderman’s accusation, according to the NY Times, is a list of statements made by ExxonMobil executives that he believes contradict the internal memos summarized below. The statements are reported here. In fact, the internal memos and documents listed below, do not contradict the ExxonMobil executives in any way. The internal documents and publications all clearly describe the considerable uncertainties in climate science and align with the executives’ statements. Go to the link to see all of them, two of the most notable are quoted below:
Mr. Ken Cohen, ExxonMobil Vice President for Public and Government Affairs, 2015 (Blog Post):
“What we have understood from the outset – and something which over-the-top activists fail to acknowledge — is that climate change is an enormously complicated subject.
“The climate and mankind’s connection to it are among the most complex topics scientists have ever studied, with a seemingly endless number of variables to consider over an incredibly long timespan.”
Duane Levine, Exxon’s manager of Science and Strategy Development, 1989 (Internal Document #21 below)
“In spite of the rush by some participants in the greenhouse debate to declare that the science has demonstrated the existence of [man-made global warming] today, I do not believe such is the case. Enhanced greenhouse is still deeply imbedded in scientific uncertainty, and we will require substantial additional investigation to determine the degree to which its effects might be experienced in the future.”
Even if there were a contradiction between the executives and the ExxonMobil climate researchers, who is to say which of them is wrong? Free speech is a fundamental individual right in the USA and executives are allowed to disagree with their employees. As University of Tennessee Law Professor Glenn Harlan Reynolds has said in USA Today:
Federal law makes it a felony “for two or more persons to agree together to injure, threaten, or intimidate a person in any state, territory or district in the free exercise or enjoyment of any right or privilege secured to him/her by the Constitution or the laws of the United States, (or because of his/her having exercised the same).”
“I wonder if U.S. Virgin Islands Attorney General Claude Walker, or California Attorney General Kamala Harris, or New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman have read this federal statute. Because what they’re doing looks like a concerted scheme to restrict the First Amendment free speech rights of people they don’t agree with. They should look up 18 U.S.C. Sec. 241.”
ExxonMobil has filed court papers in Texas seeking to block a subpoena issued by the attorney general of the US Virgin Islands Claude Walker. They argue that the subpoena is an unwarranted fishing expedition into ExxonMobil’s internal records.
Environmentalist groups, like the Rockefeller Family Fund and 350.org are trying to organize a legal attack against ExxonMobil patterned on the attack many organizations led against the tobacco companies. They feel that their presumed imminent man-made climate disaster is being ignored and they want to make ExxonMobil a scapegoat. As Lee Wasserman (Rockefeller Family Fund) said recently “It’s not really about Exxon.”
Mr. Scheiderman may have made the “error of assuming facts that are not in evidence.” He assumes that man-made greenhouse gases are a significant factor in climate change and that the resulting enhanced climate change is dangerous. Neither assertion has been proven. He also assumes that Exxon’s early research proved these assertions to be true, with little or no doubt. Therefore, Mr. Scheiderman believes the Exxon executives’ claims that there is significant uncertainty around the idea of dangerous man-made climate change is a lie. I do not see any proof of dangerous climate change, man-made or otherwise in any of the documents below. In peer reviewed document #55 below, Flannery, et al. in 1985 suggest that the effect of CO2 on climate, based on geological data from the Cretaceous Period, is 50% or less. Internal document #3 indicates concern that there is a “potential problem amid all the scientific uncertainties.”
Along this line of thought, the ExxonMobil court filing against Mr. Walker and the US Virgin Islands says in part:
“… [ExxonMobil] has “widely and publicly confirmed” that it recognizes “that the risk of climate change and its potential impacts on society and ecosystems may prove to be significant.”
Brian Flannery states in published document #66 below in 2001:
“Although we know the human emissions fairly well, we don’t know the natural emissions well at all. Added to this uncertainty is the fact that natural emissions can change as a result of long-term climate changes.”
The key problem is that ExxonMobil management and most, if not all, of their researchers do not think the idea of dangerous man-made climate change has been proven. Further, one of them said in internal document #3 below: “we have time to evaluate the uncertainties even in a worse-case scenario.” This is still true, especially considering the very slow pace of warming over the last twenty years.
In internal document #3 below, they discuss the potential effect of doubling CO2 in the atmosphere and the discussion is instructive. The CO2 level prior to the industrial revolution (roughly 1840-1850) is unknown. They give two possibilities (260-270 ppm or 290-300 ppm). The temperature increase from 1850 to the end of 2015 is roughly 0.85°C from the HADCRUT 4 dataset and the 5th IPCC Assessment reports 0.85°C from 1880 to 2012. The Exxon researchers did not think a clear anthropogenic signal was detectable in 1979, because at that time the total temperature increase from 1850 had not exceeded 0.5°C, their assumed natural variability. So, they thought man-made warming might be clearly detected by the year 2000.
We are now well past the year 2000 and according to the data shown in their Table 6 (Internal Document #3), we are on track with their most benign scenario of a temperature increase of 1.3° to 1.7°C per doubling of CO2 (ECS). This assumes an initial concentration of CO2 of 265 to 295 ppm and a natural variability of +-0.5°C. The initial CO2 concentration assumption is reasonable, the assumption of 0.5°C for natural variability may be too low. However, if the assumptions are true, they probably eliminate the possibility of higher climate sensitivity to CO2 (ECS>2°). This is also supported by recent empirical estimates of ECS. There are considerable uncertainties in this approach, but they are important to recognize. We don’t know the CO2 level when we started emitting a lot of fossil fuel CO2, we don’t know the net effect on our climate, and can’t be certain we have seen any impact of man-made CO2 on our climate to date.
Even Brian Flannery, one of the Exxon researchers who has been deeply involved in the IPCC process stated in internal document 22, below: “”While uncertainty exists, science supports the basic idea that man’s actions pose a serious potential threat to climate.” This is the most alarmist statement I could find anywhere, but it still says “potential” and notes that uncertainty exists.
In peer-reviewed paper #25 below, Dr. Kheshgi and Dr. White state in 2001:
“Many previous claims that anthropogenically caused climate change has been detected have utilized models in which uncertainties in the values of some parameters have been neglected (Santer et al. 1996b). In section 5 we have incorporated known parameter uncertainties for an illustrative example by using the proposed methodology for distributed parameter hypothesis testing. The results clearly show that incorporation of parameter uncertainty can greatly affect the conclusions of a statistical study. In particular, inclusion of uncertainty in aerosols forcing would likely lead to rejection of the hypothesis of anthropogenically caused climate change for our illustrative model …”
They are concerned here and in other papers, that the GCM (global circulation climate models) have used fixed parameters for their calculations for variables that actually have a great deal of uncertainty. By fixing these variables across many models, the modelers produce a narrower range of outcomes giving a misleading appearance of consistency and accuracy that does not actually exist.
As Professor Judith Curry has often said there is an uncertainty monster at the science-policy interface. The ExxonMobil scientists are very good, they write well and their superiors in ExxonMobil understand what they are saying. Man-made climate change is a potential problem, but it is shrouded in uncertainty because it is an extremely complex research topic with countless variables. The internal and published documents below show that Exxon has worked hard to define the uncertainty and they have even succeeded in reducing the uncertainty in some areas, especially in the carbon cycle. But still, the remaining uncertainty is huge and it covers the range from zero anthropogenic effect to perhaps 4° or 5°C (see publication #7, Kheshgi and White 1993) to this day. Not much different than in 1977 when they got started.
I’ll conclude this post with a quote from internal document #11, the 1982 Exxon Consensus statement. I think it speaks well for ExxonMobil and puts Schneiderman (and many in the media) to shame:
“As we discussed in the August 24 meeting, there is the potential for our research to attract the attention of the popular news media because of the connection between Exxon’s major business and the role of fossil fuel combustion in contributing to the increase of atmospheric CO2. Despite the fact that our results are in accord with most major researchers in the field and are subject to the same uncertainties, it was recognized that it is possible for these results to be distorted or blown out of proportion.
Nevertheless the consensus position was that Exxon should continue to conduct scientific research in this area because of its potential importance in affecting future energy scenarios and to provide Exxon with the credentials required to speak with authority in this area. Furthermore our ethical responsibility is to permit the publication of our research in the scientific literature; indeed to do otherwise would be a breach of Exxon’s public position and ethical credo on honesty and integrity.”
This is the only thing I found in the internal memos that was not published. In 1982 they thought the media might distort their research results or blow them out of proportion (the Uncertainty Monster). Well, that certainly happened. For science to work properly, research outcomes cannot be dictated. All interested parties must be allowed to investigate the problem and publish their results. They must have access to data, computer programs and models that are publicly funded. But, above all, they should not be punished, jailed, intimidated or sued because they are skeptical of a popular scientific thesis. They should be judged only on the quality of their scientific work and not who they work for or who funds them.
The internal documents.
This letter is a proposal to begin an extensive CO2 research project. The purpose of the study is to assess the possible impact of the greenhouse effect on Exxon’s business. The project will attempt to measure ocean CO2 uptake by estimating the mass transfer coefficient of CO2 into the ocean. They also wanted to establish a history (by examining old wine) of carbon isotope ratios, these ratios can be used to measure the fossil fuel contribution to atmospheric CO2 because carbon-14 is not found in fossil fuels. The project is proposed as a joint Exxon and DOE (US Department of Energy) project, although DOE funding had not yet been obtained.
This is a draft summary of the science of the CO2 greenhouse effect for Exxon management by Henry Shaw and P. McCall. It notes that CO2 concentration in the atmosphere has increased since the 19th Century and that the increase is due to fossil fuels and deforestation. They report that a doubling of CO2 could occur as early as 2035, but probably much later than that. They state:
“the most widely accepted calculations carried on thus far … indicate that an increase in the global average temperature of 3°+-1.5°C is most likely.”
Not dissimilar to some estimates made today. They do mention that some estimates are as low as 0.25°C, but call these unlikely. Their figure 4, summarizing the estimates they had suggests a median value of 2.4°C or so. Their assumption (not measured) of natural temperature variability is -.5° to +.5°, which seems very small relative to recent historical events like the Little Ice Age and the Medieval Warm Period. They note that the atmosphere was 2°C warmer in what they call the “Altithermal” period 4000 to 8000 years BP also called the Holocene Thermal Optimum. They mention the possible melting of the Antarctic ice sheet in a thousand years causing a 5 meter rise in sea level, although we now know it would take many thousands of years, if it is even possible in that time frame. Currently the Antarctic ice cap is probably growing in size and not melting.
Generally the assessment is pretty reasonable considering when it was written. It relies on published peer-reviewed studies and work at the DOE and it does not mention any original Exxon work or data. They note a consensus of the effect of CO2 on temperature has not been reached. They believe the earliest that could happen would be in the year 2000. The UAH satellite data suggest that the lower troposphere has warmed about 0.4°C from 1980 to 2016. Is this natural? The PDO (Pacific Decadal Oscillation) was in a positive phase at that time. Or is it man-made? Can we tell?
They do mention the positive effects of additional CO2 on agriculture.
CO2 Greenhouse Effect (M. B. Glaser)
This 1982 summary of the CO2 greenhouse effect is an update of the previous document. They moved the anticipated doubling of CO2 to 2090. They reduced the impact of doubling CO2 on surface temperatures to a range of 1.3°C to 3.1°C, which is more in line with their data. It is lower than the IPCC 5th Assessment report (1.5°C-4.5°C). They note the considerable uncertainties in detecting warming due to CO2 and in the impact on mankind from warming. This quote is prescient:
“Making significant changes in energy consumption patterns now to deal with this potential problem amid all the scientific uncertainties would be premature in view of the severe impact such moves could have on the world’s economies and societies.”
They suggest the uncertainties in the flow of CO2 between the biosphere and the atmosphere may be larger than man’s contribution of CO2 from deforestation and burning fossil fuels. They emphasize that there is great uncertainty in the CO2 concentration before 1850. Since the increase in temperature is small and there is considerable uncertainty in natural temperature variation, the uncertainty in the calculation of the effect of man-made CO2 is high.
This summary is better and more reasonable than the first one (1980, above). They clearly say that the popular range of climate sensitivity to CO2 of 1.5°C to 4.5°C is too broad. They also do not believe there is any need for alarm, we have time to evaluate the uncertainties even in a worse-case scenario.
This is notable:
“If the Earth is on a warming trend, we’re not likely to detect it before 1995. This is about the earliest projection of when the temperature might rise the 0.5°C needed to get beyond the range of normal temperature fluctuations.”
They continue, refer to their Table 6 for an explanation of the numbers used:
“…If a doubling of atmospheric CO2 will cause a 3°C rise in temperature, then we should have seen a temperature increase above climate noise [they assume climate noise is +-0.5°C] if initial CO2 concentrations was 265 ppm, or be on the threshold of detecting such an effect now, if the initial concentration was 295 ppm. If we assume that we are on the threshold of detecting a greenhouse effect, then the average temperature due to a doubling of CO2 will be 1.9°C for an initial concentration of 265, or 3.1°C for an initial concentration of 295 ppm. Finally, if the greenhouse effect is detected in the year 2000, then the doubling temperature for initial CO2 concentrations of 265 and 295 ppm will be 1.3°C and 1.7°C respectively. Based on these estimates, one concludes that a doubling of current concentrations of CO2 will probably not cause an average global temperature rise much in excess of 3°C, or the effect should be detectable at this time.”
Further as Dr. Roy Spencer notes in his book The Great Global Warming Blunder: How Mother Nature Fooled the World’s Top Climate Scientists, proving a man-made climate signal is extremely difficult.
This 1977 memo describes a meeting with the DOE about the creation of a DOE CO2 study group and trying to find the right individual to head it.
In this 1979 memo Henry Shaw warns that environmental legislation may be passed that will affect Exxon. He argues that Exxon should do their own environmental research so they are ahead of the government in making the public aware of potential pollution problems. He recommends that Exxon find the best way to participate in all of the environmental areas.
Another memo from 1978 proposing an Exxon research program into the “CO2 Problem.” The author states “…the world’s leading energy company and leading oil company take the lead in trying to define whether a long-term CO2 problem really exists and, if so, what counter measures would be appropriate.”
This 1979 presentation was a proposal for a joint research project with NOAA that would be jointly funded by Exxon and the DOE. The work would focus on quantifying the exchange of CO2 between the oceans and the atmosphere. They are planning on asking the Exxon ocean oil tankers to take measurements on their voyages to help quantify CO2 transfer from the oceans to the atmosphere and back. They are also proposing taking deep water samples from Exxon drill ships. Carbon isotope measurements are proposed since Carbon-14 is only found in plants, fossil fuels only have C13. The goal of the program is to “Use Exxon expertise and facilities to help determine the likelihood of a global greenhouse effect.”
This is a 1980 letter to the Exxon Board of Director’s on Exxon’s position on the Greenhouse Effect. It was written by the head of Exxon’s Science and Technology group in New Jersey. Their summary statement is quite reasonable:
“Science & Technology feels that the build-up of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere ls a potentially serious problem requiring the results of a huge worldwide research effort before quantitative predictions can be reached on the probabilities and timing of world climate changes. We feel that the magnitude of the research effort required is beyond the resources and responsibility of any single company or industry, and must be addressed by the combined coordinated efforts of government, industries and academia.”
It was a good idea and in fact, Exxon participated in the 2nd, 3rd, 4th, and 5th IPCC assessments. It is clear from this memo and other documents that Exxon Research felt that they could not fund a climate research project on their own, but they wanted to participate in public research programs led by the DOE and other agencies. In the memo Science and Technology supported Exxon funding two relevant studies of the world’s carbon cycle.
Carbon-14 forms in the atmosphere, but has a short half-life. This means carbon-14 is not present in fossil fuels. Exxon is interested in determining the source of the additional CO2 in the atmosphere, so they have proposed:
Measuring the air and ocean CO2 concentrations around the world repetitively on their ocean oil tankers to determine the driving force and the mass transfer coefficient for the transfer of CO2 between the atmosphere and the oceans. They hope to determine the net CO2 flux into the ocean with these measurements.
Obtaining some 100 bottles of wine from a single chateau in France with well documented histories, the carbon-14 content in the wine will help identify how the ratio of carbon-14 to the other isotopes has changed over the period of time the wine was made.
The memo makes the following points:
CO2 has increased 5% since 1957 and this is due to fossil fuel burning and forest clearing
Exxon is spending $600K per year to determine more accurately where the excess CO2 is coming from and where it goes.
The other major question, besides the source of the additional CO2, is how will increases in CO2 affect climate? Exxon is not looking into this, but instead participating in joint projects with academic and government organizations like Columbia University, the DOE and NOAA.
The amount of CO2 accumulating in the atmosphere is less than the amount released by fossil fuel combustion.
Most excess CO2 goes into the ocean and the oceans have an ultimate capacity to store CO2 that far exceeds any projected fossil fuel CO2 production.
Exxon Climate modeling, 1982
The Exxon model was an exercise to check predictions made by MIT’s Professor Newell that increased evaporation in the tropics would reduce warming. The Exxon model showed that Newell’s hypothesized increased evaporation in the tropics was correct, but the total warming was the same because of increased warming at the poles. They published the study (see peer reviewed papers #1, #2, #3, and #54 below) and presented it to the DOE and Lamont-Doherty.
“Complexity of climate systems requires many approximations and parameterizations”
“Geological and historical climate data are inadequate for validation of models”
“Predictions of models are unverified”
Exxon Climate Catastrophe Memo, W. Glass
Based on published studies, no original Exxon input. Key quote:
“Much is still unknown about the sources and sinks for atmospheric CO2, as well as about the climatic effect of increasing CO2 levels in the air, so that prognostications remain highly speculative. The models that appear most credible (to us) do predict measurable changes in temperature, rainfall pattern, and sea level by the year 2030 for the postulated fossil fuel combustion rates, but changes of a magnitude well short of catastrophic and probably below the magnitude that need trigger otherwise non-economic responses to the problems of energy supply.”
Exxon is not monolithic, however, and there is disagreement. Roger Cohen objected to the statement above:
“I would feel more comfortable if the first paragraph concluded with a statement to the effect that future developments in global data gathering and analysis, along with advances in climate modeling, may provide strong evidence for a delayed CO2 effect of a truly substantial magnitude, a possibility which increases the uncertainty surrounding the post-2000 CPD scenario.”
So they could not agree on what might happen in the future, only that there is great uncertainty.
Exxon Consensus statement on CO2 and climate
This summary statement was written in 1982, it is based on published data and with very little original input by Exxon researchers. The first paragraph is notable:
“Although the increase of atmospheric CO2 is well documented. It has not yet resulted in a measurable change in the earth’s climate. The concerns surrounding the possible effects of increased CO2 have been based on the predictions of models which simulate the earth’s climate. These models vary widely in the level of detail in which climate processes are treated and in the approximations used to describe the complexities of these processes. Consequently the quantitative predictions derived from the various models show considerable variation. However, over the past several years a clear scientific consensus has emerged regarding the expected climatic effects of increased atmospheric CO2. The consensus is that a doubling of atmospheric CO2 from its pre-industrial revolution value would result in an average global temperature rise of (3.0 +- 1.5°C). The uncertainty in this figure is a result of the inability of even the most elaborate models to simulate climate in a totally realistic manner. The temperature rise is predicted to be distributed non-uniformly over the earth, with above-average temperature elevations in the polar regions and relatively small increases near the equator. There is unanimous agreement in the scientific community that a temperature increase of this magnitude would bring about significant changes in the earth’s climate, including rainfall distribution and alterations in the biosphere.”
They discuss several published studies based on various climate models, one notable study was by Professor Reginald Newell of MIT:
“Several scientists have taken positions that openly question the validity of the predictions of the models, and a few have proposed mechanisms which could mitigate a CO2 warming. One of the most serious of these proposals has been made by Professor Reginald Newell-of MIT. Newell noted that geological evidence points to a relative constancy of the temperature of the equatorial waters over hundreds of millions of years. This constancy is remarkable in view of major climatic changes in other regions of the earth during this period. Newell ascribed this anchoring of the temperature of the equatorial waters to an evaporative buffering mechanism. In this mechanism, when heating increases at the equator, most of the extra energy induces greater rates of evaporation rather than raising temperatures. Newell proposed that this effect might greatly reduce the global warming effect of increased atmospheric CO2.”
Exxon looked into Newell’s hypothesis in some detail and published the results of their study in peer reviewed papers #1, #2, and #3 below.
They conclude this memo, in part:
“As we discussed in the August 24 meeting, there is the potential for our research to attract the attention of the popular news media because of the connection between Exxon’s major business and the role of fossil fuel combustion in contributing to the increase of atmospheric CO2. Despite the fact that our results are in accord with most major researchers in the field and are subject to the same uncertainties, it was recognized that it is possible for these results to be distorted or blown out of proportion.”
“Nevertheless the consensus position was that Exxon should continue to conduct scientific research in this area because of its potential importance in affecting future energy scenarios and to provide Exxon with the credentials required to speak with authority in this area. Furthermore our ethical responsibility is to permit the publication of our research in the scientific literature; indeed to do otherwise would be a breach of Exxon’s public position and ethical credo on honesty and integrity.”
This is a study done by a summer intern, Steve Knisely, at Exxon’s lab in 1979. This study was done using published data and papers, none of it is original with Exxon other than their annual “World Energy Outlook,” which they publish every year for shareholders. Key points:
“Climatic models predict that the present trend of fossil fuel use will lead to dramatic climatic changes within the next 75 years. However, it is not obvious whether these changes would be all bad or all good.”
“It must be realized that there is great uncertainty in the existing climatic models because of a poor understanding of the atmospheric/ terrestrial/oceanic CO2 balance.”
“A vast amount of speculation has been made on how increased CO2 levels will affect atmospheric temperatures. Many models today predict that doubling the 1850 atmospheric CO2 concentration will cause a 1°C to 5°C global temperature increase.”
“The temperature increases will also tend to vary with location being much higher in the polar region. These temperature predictions may turn out too high or low by several fold as a result of many feedback mechanisms that may arise due to increased temperatures and have not been properly accounted for in present models.”
These feedback mechanisms include:
“A decrease in snow and ice coverage. This is a positive feedback…”
“Cloud Cover: This is considered the most important feedback mechanism not accounted for in present models. A change of a few percent in cloud cover could cause larger temperature changes than those caused by CO2. Increased atmospheric temperature could cause increased evaporation from the oceans and increased cloud cover.”
“Ocean and Biosphere Responses: As the CO2 level is increased and the ambient temperature rises, the ocean may lose some of its capacity to absorb CO2 resulting in a positive feedback. However, increased CO2 levels could increase photosynthetic activities which would then be a negative feedback mechanism.”
A scenario where there is no limit on CO2 emissions, which is where we are now:
“…CO2 buildup from this energy strategy is quite rapid. The yearly atmospheric CO2 increase rises from 1.3 ppm in 1975 to 4.5 ppm in 2040. Noticeable temperature changes would occur around 2010 as the concentration reaches 400 ppm.”
Obviously we have reached 400 ppm, but no dramatic temperature changes have occurred.
A scenario to limit CO2 increase to 440 ppm
“To adhere to the 440 ppm limit, non-fossil fuels will have to account for 28 billion B.O.E. (barrels of oil equivalent) in 2000. The entire world’s energy consumption in 1970 was 35 B.O.E. for comparison. This difference is equivalent to over 1000, 1000 MW nuclear power plants operating at 60% of capacity. Ten billion B.O.E. is also approximately equivalent to 400,000 square miles of biomass at 35% conversion efficiency to methane. This is equivalent to almost one-half the total U.S. forest land.”
It is interesting that their figure 4 predicts that we will be 1.5°C warmer today (2016) than in 1979 if CO2 is not curtailed. They also predict we will be at 420 ppm CO2. Currently we are at about 402 ppm CO2 and temperature is 0.4°C warmer than in 1979. So we are behind Exxon’s assessment of where we should be.
This is a 1984 report on climate modeling by Dr. Callegari. It is unclear if they wrote their own model or not, but they did serve on the DOE State-of-the-Art subcommittee on transient climate modeling and response to CO2 increases. They also supported and participated in Columbia University’s Lamont Doherty Earth Observatory climate modeling program. Exxon contributed their ocean tanker CO2 measurements from around the world. Exxon has prioritized carbon cycle modeling, particularly the ocean/atmosphere portion of the cycle.
The Natuna D-Alpha project was a project to develop a large natural gas field in Indonesia that contains 71% CO2. Exxon did not want to vent the CO2 to the atmosphere for environmental reasons, but explored the possibility of venting the CO2 on the ocean floor. Because this caused only a short delay of the entry of the CO2 into the atmosphere, this idea was rejected. The only viable and safe way to deal with the waste gases (both CO2 and H2S) was to reinject them into the reservoir. This work and the other work Exxon did on subsea disposal of CO2 was published in two peer reviewed papers, see papers #6 and #8 below.
This memo calculates the amount of CO2 emitted by burning an amount of coal equivalent to the amount of natural gas produced at Natuna. This is compared to venting the Natuna CO2 to the atmosphere. The author (G. Gervasi) found that venting the Natuna CO2 produced twice as much CO2 as burning the coal.
A discussion of the environmental and economic concerns regarding the three alternatives for disposal of the CO2 and H2S produced from Natuna D-Alpha. They did not believe that emission regulations would ever be implemented in the Natuna area because it is very remote. However, they did believe that environmental concerns were important regardless of regulations, especially regarding Sulphur Dioxide emissions.
The chemistry of CO2 and seawater is well understood. If the CO2 is discharged on the ocean floor it will eventually increase the partial pressure of CO2 in the South China Sea to where it exceeds the partial pressure in the atmosphere and at that point it will degas into the atmosphere. They judged that the retention time of the CO2 in the area would be 10 years or less. The CO2 may also lower the pH of the ocean water enough to cause dissolution of calcite over a large area. Thus subsea disposal offers no advantage over direct atmospheric venting of CO2.
This is a brief summary of 17, above.
This is a 1978 memo that came from a presentation to Exxon management on the Greenhouse effect. The memo is a summary of climate research to date with no original Exxon research. Dr. Black notes that CO2 has been shown to be increasing in the atmosphere and that mathematical models suggest this increase could cause warming of 2° to 3°C if the CO2 concentrations doubles. He notes that the increase to date (1978) is not enough to be noticeable, where noticeable is 0.7°C.
This is the presentation discussed in 19 above.
Board of Directors Presentation on the Greenhouse Effect by Duane Levine
This is a 1989 presentation to the Exxon Board of Directors by Duane Levine on the greenhouse effect. This is after 12 years of work on the subject. After explaining that life on earth depends upon the greenhouse effect, he explains that man is potentially enhancing the greenhouse effect by adding CO2 to the atmosphere (PEG):
“In spite of the rush by some participants in the Greenhouse debate to declare that the science has demonstrated the existence of PEG today…I do not believe such is the case. Enhanced greenhouse is still deeply imbedded in scientific uncertainty, and we will require substantial additional investigation to determine the degree to which its effects might be experienced in the future.”
This presentation is a very well written summary of climate science in 1989. It is based on published papers. It restates the perennial 1.5-4.5°C increase for a doubling of CO2 that we still see today and first saw in 1978. He says this is from climate models and
“…No one knows how to evaluate the absolute uncertainty in the numbers.”
There is a long discussion on the politics of climate change in 1989 at the end.
This is a light summary of climate science by Brian Flannery as of 1989. The summer of 1988 was hot and public attention to man-made climate change peaked. They note that:
“While uncertainty exists, science supports the basic idea that man’s actions pose a serious potential threat to climate.”
It seems clear that Brian Flannery and some of the others at Exxon’s corporate research center in New Jersey believe in the possibility of a man-made climate catastrophe. But, if you read all of the memos and presentations, it is clear that most of the Exxon researchers have considerable doubt about the magnitude of man’s influence and how dangerous this influence might be. They would all agree we have some influence, but a “serious potential threat?” From the documents, it appears few would agree with that statement, unless there is considerable emphasis on “potential.”
The published papers
Hoffert, M.I., Flannery, B. P., Callegari, A. J., Hseih, C. T., and Wiscombe, W., 1983. Evaporation-limited tropical temperatures as a constraint on climate sensitivity. Journal of the Atmospheric Sciences 40, No. 7, 1659-1668.
This paper is the published version of the modeling work that the team did to look into Newell’s (MIT) idea that evaporation at the equator would control temperatures in the tropics and worldwide. This is discussed in internal document #9 above.
Flannery, B. P., 1984. Energy balance models incorporating transport of thermal and latent energy. Journal of the Atmospheric Sciences 41, No. 3, 414-421.
This is the published version of the Exxon climate model described in internal documents #9 and #13 above.
Hoffert, M. I., Flannery, B. P., 1985. Model projections of the time-dependent response to increasing carbon dioxide, in Projecting the Climatic Effects of Increasing Carbon Dioxide, United States Department of Energy, M. C. MacCracken and F. M. Luther editors, Lawrence Livermore, Livermore, Livermore, CA., 151-168.
This DOE publication presents the Exxon Climate Model, see internal documents #9 and #13 above, in much greater detail. It covers the same ground as Flannery, 1984 (2, above).
Kheshgi, H. S., Hoffert, M. I. and Flannery, B. P., 1991. Marine biota effects on the compositional structure of the world oceans. J. Geophys. Res., 96: 4957-4969.
This paper covers aspects of the ocean carbon cycle in a one-dimensional equatorial ocean/polar model.
Kheshgi, H. S. and White, B. S., 1993. Effect of climate variability on estimation of greenhouse parameters: usefulness of a pre-instrumental temperature record. Quaternary Science Reviews, 12: 475-481.
This paper states that to estimate the strength of the [man-made] greenhouse warming signal, the natural climate variability “noise” needs to be removed. It estimates that the natural climate variability has a time scale of a century [Wyatt and Curry’s stadium wave is around 100 years long, but other cycles like the Bond events are longer]. They then try to show that data prior to 1950 does not significantly improve the quality of the estimated man-made greenhouse climate effect “for assumed models.”
Flannery, B. P., Kheshgi, H. S., Hoffert, M. I. and Lapenis, A. G., 1993. Assessing the effectiveness of marine CO2 disposal. Energy Convers. Mgmt, 34: 983-989.
This paper covers the work done on the Natuna D-Alpha CO2 disposal project seen in internal documents #14-#18 above. Plus they include additional work done since the Natuna D-Alpha CO2 disposal project was completed.
Kheshgi, H. S. and White, B. S., 1993. Does recent global warming suggest an enhanced greenhouse effect? Climatic Change, 23: 121-139.
This paper is very similar to peer reviewed paper #5, published the same year by the same authors. They try and show that using “assumed models of greenhouse forcing and natural climate variability” they can compute equilibrium climate sensitivity (ECS) a number of ways. They also assumed that natural climate variability occurs on a century time-scale. It is interesting that they computed confidence bands (uncertainty) “wide enough to encompass both zero ECS and typical values obtained from the GCM’s [General Circulation Models].”
Kheshgi, H. S., Flannery, B. P., Hoffert, M. I. and Lapenis, A. G., 1994. The effectiveness of marine CO2 disposal. Energy, 19: 967-974.
This is essentially the same paper as #6, above.
Jain, A. K., Kheshgi, H. S., Hoffert, M. I. and Wuebbles, D. J., 1995. Distribution of radiocarbon as a test of global carbon cycle models. Global Biogeochem. Cycles, 9: 153-166.
This paper describes a mathematical model that can reproduce the past (pre-nuclear bomb test) changes and distribution of 14carbon. This is useful since 14carbon is only found in plants and animals, it is not present in fossil fuels due to its short half-life. Thus the ratio of 14carbon to the other isotopes is an indicator of the source of the carbon. Developing this function was a goal of Exxon Research as far back as 1978. In the early memos they hoped to obtain some very old wine from a winery in France to measure of 14carbon content over a long period of time in order to develop a function like this. I don’t know if they actually got the wine (see internal documents #1 and #8), but they did develop the function.
Kheshgi, H. S., 1995. Sequestering atmospheric carbon dioxide by increasing ocean alkalinity. Energy, 20: 915-922.
This paper suggests that CO2 uptake in the oceans would be increased if the alkalinity of the oceans were increased. It is suggested as a potential “geoengineering” project.
Kheshgi, H. S. (Contributing Author), 1996. Detection of Climate Change and Attribution of its Causes, Chapter 8, Volume I of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change Second Assessment Report.
Lead author was Ben Santer for this chapter of the second IPCC assessment report. Dr. Kheshgi was a contributing author.
Kheshgi, H. S. and White, B. S., 1996. Modelling ocean carbon cycle with a nonlinear convolution model. Tellus, 48B: 3-12.
In this paper they present a nonlinear convolution integral to model the ocean uptake of CO2 from the atmosphere. It predicts the ocean uptake as a function increasing CO2 in the atmosphere.
Kheshgi, H. S. and Lapenis, A. G., 1996. Estimating the uncertainty of zonal paleotemperature averages. Palaeogeography, Paleoclimatology, Palaeoecology, 3: 221-237.
I could not find this article.
Kheshgi, H. S., Jain, A. K., and Wuebbles, D. J., 1996. Accounting for the missing carbon sink with the CO2 Fertilization Effect. Climatic Change, 33: 31-62.
This paper investigates the biosphere as a sink for CO2. The biosphere is a large enough sink that it cannot be ignored. The biosphere sink is driven by the CO2 fertilization effect. They find that the biospheric fraction of CO2 uptake reaches a maximum of about 30% about 50 years after the impulse [the added CO2], which is the same size as the oceanic fraction at that time.
Jain, A. K., Kheshgi, H. S., and Wuebbles, D. J., 1996. A globally aggregated reconstruction of cycles of carbon and its isotopes. Tellus, 48B: 583-600.
A global model of the carbon cycle is developed in this paper. The model agrees well with ice core data and tree ring 13C isotope data.
Jain, A. K., Kheshgi, H. S., and Wuebbles, D. J., 1997. Is there an imbalance in the global budget of bomb-produced radiocarbon? Journal of Geophysical Research, 102: 1327-1333.
This paper investigates the effect of nuclear bomb testing on the amount of carbon isotopes, especially carbon-14, in the atmosphere, biosphere and oceans. Uncertainties limit the utility of carbon-14 as a tracer.
Archer, D., Kheshgi, H., and Maier-Reimer, E. 1997. Multiple Timescales for the Neutralization of Fossil Fuel CO2, Geophysical Research Letters, 24: 405.
This paper suggests that as of 1997, the terrestrial biosphere is taking up nearly all of the CO2 released. But, they are afraid that as CO2 emissions increase the biosphere will be swamped. They suggest that the millennial scale fate of fossil fuel CO2 is up to the oceans.
Kheshgi, H. S., Schlesinger, M. E., and Lapenis, A. G., 1997. Comparison of Paleotemperature Reconstructions as Evidence for the Paleo-Analog Hypothesis, Climatic Change, 35:123.
There is general agreement that temperatures during the Holocene Climatic Optimum (roughly 9500 BP to 4000 BP, it varies in different parts of the Earth) were warmer than today (1950 to 2015). Most estimates are around +0.2°C at the equator and +3.5°C at the poles. This paper argues that the errors in the various estimates of mid-Holocene warming are larger than claimed by Shabalova and Konnen (1995).
Archer, D., Kheshgi, H., and Maier-Reimer, E., 1998. The dynamics of fossil fuel CO2 neutralization by marine CaCO3, Global Biogeochemical Cycles, 12:259-276.
This paper describes the portion of the carbon cycle in the oceans that relates to CaCO3 (Carbonate). Thus how does extra CO2 in the atmosphere work its way through the ocean and how does it affect the carbonate on the ocean floor. The paper ignores the effect of increasing plant and animal life in the biosphere due to additional CO2. It does note that this may be a larger effect, but that the effect on the biosphere cannot be modeled. So, ignoring the biosphere, the additional CO2 stabilizes in several thousand years. They believe that dissolution of carbonate will occur for a thousand years or so and then as alkalinity increases this stops. The oceans will equilibrate after 8000 years or so. Obviously, growth of additional plant and animal life will probably have a major effect on this timeline.
Kheshgi, H. S., Jain, A. K., Kotamarthi, V. R. and Wuebbles, D. J. 1999. Future Atmospheric Methane Concentrations in the Context of the Stabilization of Greenhouse Gas Concentrations. J. Geophys. Res., 104: 19,183-19,190.
This paper looks into the effect of methane on potential warming scenarios and methods of controlling methane emissions or shortening the lifetime of methane in the atmosphere. They acknowledge that methane is a small contributor to global warming, less than one-third of the impact of CO2, but believe it should be studied in any case.
Kheshgi, H. S., A. K. Jain and D. J. Wuebbles, Model-based estimation of the global carbon budget and its uncertainty from carbon dioxide and carbon isotope records, J. Geophys. Res., 104, 31,127-31,144, 1999.
“Emitted carbon dioxide increases the atmospheric concentration, which is then thought to increase the rate at which carbon is taken up by dissolution [going into solution] in the oceans and by enhanced growth of the terrestrial biosphere… Global carbon cycle exhibits exchanges of carbon between the biosphere and atmosphere at annual rates (~100 billion tons of carbon per year each) that far exceed the annual emissions of carbon dioxide by the burning of fossil fuels (~6 billion tons of carbon per year).”
The range of results of different models was considered as one measure of model uncertainty [Bruno and Joos, 1997; Entinget al., 1994; Schimel et al., 1996], even though the results of these models are not all consistent with isotopic records as shown by Jain et al. . Furthermore, a generic weakness of using model intercomparisons to estimate uncertainty is that the model results that are intercompared are usually the “best guess” results of each model.”
They arrived at similar estimates of ocean and biosphere carbon uptake as previous studies, but their error bars are larger. This is because of the great uncertainty in how quickly the carbon moves from the shallow ocean to the deeper ocean.
This study does a Bayesian estimate of the global carbon cycle using data on carbon dioxide and carbon isotopes as constraints.
Kheshgi, H. S., R. C. Prince, and G. Marland, 2000: The Potential of Biomass Fuels in the Context of Global Change: Focus on Transportation Fuels. Annual Review of Energy and the Environment, 25, 199-244.
“An ultimate limit on the extent that biomass fuels can be used to displace fossil transportation fuels, and their associated emissions of CO2, will be the land area available to produce the fuels and the efficiencies by which solar radiation can be converted to useable fuels. Currently, the Brazil cane-ethanol system captures 33% of the primary energy content in harvested cane in the form of ethanol. The US corn-ethanol system captures 54% of the primary energy of harvested corn kernels in the form of ethanol. If ethanol is used to substitute for gasoline, avoided fossil fuel CO2 emissions would equal those of the substituted amount minus fossil emissions incurred in producing the cane- or corn-ethanol. In this case, avoided emissions are estimated to be 29% of harvested cane and 14% of harvested corn primary energy. Unless these efficiencies are substantially improved, the displacement of CO2 emissions from transportation fuels in the United States is unlikely to reach 10% using domestic biofuels.”
Bolin, B., Sukumar, R., Ciais, P., Cramer, W., Jarvis, P., Kheshgi, H., Nobre, C., Semenov, S., and Steffen, W.: 2000, ‘Global Perspective,’ In (R. T. Watson, et al. eds.) Land Use, Land-Use Change, and Forestry: A Special Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, Cambridge University Press, New York, 23-51.
This special IPCC report presents approximate volumes of CO2 emitted by burning fossil fuels and changing land use and where they think the CO2 goes. They also try and define terms, such as “forest,” “natural” versus “human-induced,” etc. They also try to create a methodology for accounting for man-made CO2. The article is an attempt to prepare to write rules for some sort of man-made CO2 curtailment through laws or treaty.
Bolin, B., and Kheshgi, H. S.: 2001, ‘On strategies for reducing greenhouse gas emissions‘, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 98, 48504854.
“Equity is of fundamental concern in the quest for international cooperation to stabilize greenhouse gas concentrations by the reduction of emissions. By modeling the carbon cycle, we estimate the global CO2 emissions that would be required to stabilize the atmospheric concentration of CO2 at levels ranging from 450 to 1,000 ppm. These are compared, on both an absolute and a per-capita basis, to scenarios for emissions from the developed and developing worlds generated by socio-economic models under the assumption that actions to mitigate greenhouse gas emissions are not taken. Need and equity have provided strong arguments for developing countries to request that the developed world takes the lead in controlling its emissions, while permitting the developing countries in the meantime to use primarily fossil fuels for their development. Even with major and early control of CO2 emissions by the developed world, limiting concentration to 450 ppm implies that the developing world also would need to control its emissions within decades, given that we expect developing world emissions would otherwise double over this time. Scenarios leading to CO2 concentrations of 550 ppm exhibit a reduction of the developed world’s per-capita emission by about 50% over the next 50 years. Even for the higher stabilization levels considered, the developing world would not be able to use fossil fuels for their development in the manner that the developed world has used them.”
Kheshgi, H. S., and B. S. White, 2001: Testing Distributed Parameter Hypotheses for the Detection of Climate Change. Journal of Climate 14, 3464-3481.
In this paper the authors attempt to detect the anthropogenic influence on climate using a sophisticated statistical technique that involves providing uncertainties in all parameters, rather than using nominal values for most of the parameters. Including all of the uncertainty makes the proposition that man has caused most of the recent warming more questionable.
The following quote is instructive:
“Many previous claims that anthropogenically caused climate change has been detected have utilized models in which uncertainties in the values of some parameters have been neglected (Santer et al. 1996b). In section 5 we have incorporated known parameter uncertainties for an illustrative example by using the proposed methodology for distributed parameter hypothesis testing. The results clearly show that incorporation of parameter uncertainty can greatly affect the conclusions of a statistical study. In particular, inclusion of uncertainty in aerosols forcing would likely lead to rejection of the hypothesis of anthropogenically caused climate change for our illustrative model, as is illustrated in Fig. 9.”
Prentice, C., Farquhar, G., Fasham, M., Goulden, M., Heimann, M., Jaramillo, V., Kheshgi, H., Quéré, C. L., Scholes, R., and Wallace, D.: 2001, ‘The carbon cycle and atmospheric CO2‘, In (J. T. Houghton, et al. eds.) Climate Change 2001: The Scientific Basis: Contribution of WGI to the Third Assessment Report of the IPCC, Cambridge University Press, New York, 183-237.
Dr. Kheshgi participated in the IPCC 3rd Assessment report in the chapter on the carbon cycle.
Kheshgi, H. S. (Contributing Author), 2001. “Detection of Climate Change and Attribution of its Causes,” In (J. T. Houghton, and D. Yihui eds.) Climate Change 2001: The Scientific Basis: Contribution of WGI to the Third Assessment Report of the IPCC, Cambridge University Press, New York, 695-738.
Dr. Kheshgi participated in the IPCC 3rd Assessment report in the chapter on the detection of climate change.
Kheshgi, H. S. (Contributing Author), 2001. “Technical Summary,” In (J. T. Houghton, and D. Yihui eds.) Climate Change 2001: The Scientific Basis: Contribution of WGI to the Third Assessment Report of the IPCC, Cambridge University Press, New York, 21-83.
Dr. Kheshgi was a contributing author in the IPCC 3rd Assessment report Technical Summary.
Kheshgi, H. S. (Contributing Author), 2001. “Technical and Economic Potential of Options to Enhance, Maintain and Manage Biological Carbon Reservoirs and Geo-Engineering,” In (B. Metz et al. eds.) Climate Change 2001: Mitigation of Climate Change: Contribution of WGIII to the Third Assessment Report of the IPCC, Cambridge University Press, New York, 301-343.
Dr. Kheshgi was a contributing author in the IPCC 3rd Assessment report on economic options.
Flannery, B. P. (Lead Author) 2001: “Decision Making Frameworks,” In (B. Metz et al. eds.) Climate Change 2001: Mitigation of Climate Change: Contribution of WGIII to the Third Assessment Report of the IPCC, Cambridge University Press, New York, 601-688.
Dr. Brian Flannery was the lead author of this section of the 3rd IPCC assessment.
Hayhoe, K. A. S., Kheshgi, H. S., Jain, A. K. and Wuebbles, D. J. 2002. Substitution of natural gas for coal: climatic effects of utility sector emissions. Climatic Change 54, 107-139.
This paper examines the impact of substituting natural gas for coal in electric power generation.
“Coal-to-gas substitution initially produces higher temperatures relative to continued coal use. This warming is due to reduced SO2 emissions and possible increases in CH4 emissions, and can last from 1 to 30 years, depending on the sulfur controls assumed. This is followed by a net decrease in temperature relative to continued coal use, resulting from lower emissions of CO2 and BC [Black Carbon].”
Hoffert, M. I., Caldeira, K., Benford, G., Criswell, D. R., Green, C., Herzog, H., Jain, A. K., Kheshgi, H. S., Lackner, K. S., Lewis, J. S., Lightfoot, H. D., Manheimer, W., Mankins, J. C., Mauel, M. E., Perkins, L. J., Schlesinger, M. E., Volk, T., and Wigley, T. M. L.: 2002, Advanced technology paths to global climate stability: energy for a greenhouse planet, Science 298, 981-987.
This paper examines methods of producing carbon free energy, including nuclear (fusion and fission) power, carbon fuels with sequestration, solar and wind.
Kheshgi, H. S., and A. K. Jain, 2003: Projecting future climate change: implications of carbon cycle model intercomparisons. Global Biogeochemical Cycles, 17, 1047, doi:10.1029/2001GB001842.
“Carbon cycle is an additional contributor to uncertainty in climate projections that further expands the range of climate projections beyond that assessed by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.”
This is another paper focused on the uncertainty in the carbon cycle. It is clear from these papers that Dr. Kheshgi is concerned that the IPCC reports have over-simplified the carbon cycle. He believes that they are ignoring major uncertainties in the path that additional, presumably man-made, CO2 will take in nature.
“Climate projections [Cubasch et al., 2001] communicated by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) in its Third Assessment Report (TAR) did not account for uncertainty in future carbon cycle behavior.”
Le Quéré, C., O. Aumont, L. Bopp, P. Bousquet, P. Ciais, R. Francey, M. Heimann, C. D. Keeling, R. F. Keeling, H. Kheshgi, P. Peylin, S. C. Piper, I. C. Prentice, and P. J. Rayner, 2003: Two decades of ocean CO2 sink and variability. Tellus, 55, 649-656.
The land and ocean uptake of CO2 from the atmosphere has been increasing since the 1980’s. The combined rate is was 1 PgC [petagram 1015 g]/year larger in the 1990’s than in the 1980’s. This is equivalent to an increase of 3.7 billion tons of CO2 in each year.
Kheshgi, H. S. and Archer, D. 2004. A non-linear convolution model for the evasion of CO2 injected into the deep ocean. Journal of Geophysical Research, 109, C02007, doi:10.1029/2002JC001489.
“Deep ocean storage of CO2 captured from, for example, flue gases is being considered as a potential response option to global warming concerns. For storage to be effective, CO2 injected into the deep ocean must remain sequestered from the atmosphere for a long time. However, a fraction of CO2 injected into the deep ocean is expected to eventually evade into the atmosphere.”
Kheshgi, H. S. 2004. Evasion of CO2 injected into the ocean in the context of CO2 stabilization, Energy, 29, 1479-1486.
“The eventual evasion of injected CO2 to the atmosphere is one consideration when assessing deep-sea disposal of CO2 as a potential response option to climate change concerns. Evasion estimated using an ocean carbon cycle model is compared to long-term trajectories for future CO2 emissions, including illustrative cases leading to stabilization of CO2 concentration at various levels. Modeled residence time for CO2 injected into the deep ocean exceeds the 100-year time-scale usually considered in scenarios for future emissions, and the potential impacts of climate change.”
Kheshgi, H.S. 2004. Ocean carbon sink duration under stabilization of atmospheric CO2: a 1,000-year time-scale, Geophysical Research Letters, 31, L20204, doi:10.1029/2004GL020612.
“Ocean CO2 uptake, moderated by the slow mixing of dissolved inorganic carbon to the ocean depths, is estimated to have a duration of ~1,000 years when the atmosphere is held at a constant ”stabilized” CO2 concentration. This timescale is found to be several times longer than the relaxation time for the atmosphere-ocean system to come to equilibrium when forced by a CO2 emission impulse. Furthermore, the 1,000 year timescale is found to be insensitive to atmospheric CO2 concentration level.”
Kheshgi, H. S., and Prince, R.: 2005. Sequestration of fermentation CO2 from ethanol production, Energy , 30, 1865-1871.
“Renewable energy from biomass is conventionally thought to avoid emissions of the greenhouse gas CO2 by replacing the roles of fossil fuels. We show that if the off-gases produced during the fermentation of sugars to fuel–ethanol were captured and, for example, injected deep underground to keep them from the atmosphere, then the production of ethanol could lead to the net removal of CO2 from the atmosphere in addition to avoiding gasoline-related CO2 emissions by using the ethanol as a transportation fuel.”
Kheshgi, H.S., Smith, S.J. and Edmonds, J.A. 2005. Emissions and Atmospheric CO2 Stabilization: Long-term Limits and Paths, Mitigation and Adaptation Strategies, 10, 213-220.
“For CO2 to approach a constant concentration over a finite time, CO2 emissions must peak and then gradually approach zero over 1,000+ years, regardless of the concentration level. While this intellectual architecture has proved useful, we suggest consideration of a broader range of scenarios, including ones in which net emissions decline to zero over a finite period of time resulting in a maximum CO2 concentration followed by a long-term decline to a lower level. Carbon cycle model results illustrate these scenarios.”
Prince, R.C. and Kheshgi, H.S. 2005. The photobiological production of hydrogen: potential efficiency and effectiveness as a renewable fuel, Critical Reviews in Microbiology, 31, 19-31.
“Photosynthetic microorganisms can produce hydrogen when illuminated, and there has been considerable interest in developing this to a commercially viable process. Its appealing aspects include the fact that the hydrogen would come from water, and that the process might be more energetically efficient than growing, harvesting, and processing crops. We review current knowledge about photobiological hydrogen production, and identify and discuss some of the areas where scientific and technical breakthroughs are essential for commercialization.”
Flannery, B.P. and Kheshgi, H.S. 2005. An industry perspective on successful development and global commercialization of innovative technologies for GHG mitigation, in the proceedings of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change Workshop on Industry Technology Development, Transfer and Diffusion, Tokyo, September 2004.
Presented to a general IPCC working group 3 meeting in Japan, September 2004.
Caldeira, K., Akai, M., Brewer, P., Chen, B., Haugan, P., Iwama, T., Johnston, P., Kheshgi, H., Li, Q., Ohsumi, T., Poertner, H., Sabine, C., Shirayama, Y. and Thomson, J. (2005). Ocean storage, in IPCC Special Report on Carbon Dioxide Capture and Storage, eds. B. Metz, O. Davidson, H. de Coninck, M. Loos and L. Meyer. New York: Cambridge University Press.
Dr. Haroon Kheshgi is a lead author of chapter 6: Ocean Storage.
Barker, T., Bashmakov, I., Alharthi, A., Amann, M., Cifuentes, L., Drexhage, J., Duan, M., Edenhofer, O., Flannery, B., Grubb, M., Hoogwijk, M., Ibitoye, F. I., Jepma, C. J. and Pizer, W. A. (2007). Mitigation from a cross-sectoral perspective, in Climate Change 2007: Mitigation, Contribution of Working Group III to the Fourth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, eds. B. Metz, O. R. Davidson, P. R. Bosch, R. Dave and L. A. Meyer. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Brian Flannery is a lead author of Chapter 11.
Kheshgi, H. S. 2007. Probabilistic estimates of climate change: methods, assumptions and examples, in Human-Induced Climate Change: An Interdisciplinary Assessment, eds. M. E. Schlesinger, H. S. Kheshgi, J. B. Smith et al. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, pp. 4961.
“This chapter gives an overview of the progression of methods used to estimate change in the future climate system and the climate sensitivity parameter. Model-based statistical estimation has the potential of synthesizing information from emerging climate data with models of the climate system to arrive at probabilistic estimates, provided all important uncertain factors can be addressed. A catalog of uncertain factors is proposed including consideration of their importance in affecting climate change estimates. Addressing and accounting for factors in the catalog, beginning with the most important and tractable, is suggested as an orderly way of improving estimates of future climate change.”
Birdsey, R., N. Bates, M. Behrenfeld, K. Davis, S. C. Doney, R. Feely, D. Hansell, L. Heath, E. Kasischke, H. Kheshgi, B. Law, C. Lee, A. D. McGuire, P. Raymond, and C. J. Tucker, 2009: Carbon cycle observations: gaps threaten climate mitigation policies, EOS, 90, 292-292.
“This Forum highlights the most signiﬁcant gaps and threats to carbon cycle observations—including observations from satellites; in situ observations of land, ocean, and aquatic systems; and direct atmospheric measurements—and suggests ways to improve the U.S. national effort.”
Lively, R. P., R. R. Chance, B. T. Kelley, H. W. Deckman, J. H. Drese, C. W. Jones, and W. J. Koros, 2009: Hollow fiber adsorbents for CO2 removal from flue gas, Ind. Eng. Chem. Res., 48, 7314-7324.
“The nation’s pulverized coal infrastructure is aging, and implementation of current retrofit postcombustion capture methods is extremely expensive. This paper describes a technology based on hollow polymeric fibers with sorbent particles embedded in the porous fiber wall to enable postcombustion CO2 capture via a rapid temperature swing adsorption (RTSA) system.”
Jain, A., X. Yang, H. Kheshgi, A. D. McGuire, W. Post, and D. Kicklighter, 2009: Nitrogen attenuation of terrestrial carbon cycle response to global environmental factors, Global Biogeochemical Cycles, 23, 13, doi:10.1029/2009GB003519.
“Results of this study suggest that responses of available N [Nitrogen] in terrestrial ecosystems to global environmental changes have not significantly affected the amount of terrestrial C [Carbon] sequestration over the 20th century, but these N responses have a strong influence on the spatial distribution of predicted C sequestration.”
“…our analysis using ISAM-NC [computer model with limited Nitrogen] and ISAM-C [computer model with Nitrogen always available] estimates approximately the same total global amount of C uptake during the entire 20th century regardless of the consideration of N cycle dynamics.”
Flannery, B.P. 2011. Comment (on the scale-up of carbon dioxide capture and storage technology systems), Energy Economics, 33, 605-607.
“This comment will address CCS [carbon capture and storage] from the perspective of potential suppliers, operators, and clients in large-scale systems. CCS today lacks both an economically viable policy framework and a business model. Although little has changed regarding the available technology, and the potential for CCS to mitigate emissions since publication of the comprehensive IPCC (2005) review, much has changed concerning estimates of costs, institutional barriers, and enablers. As well, the major expansion in proven reserves of natural gas gives increased impetus to understand the implications of CCS applied to power from natural gas as a significant option to mitigate emissions.”
Kheshgi, H., H. Thomann, N. B. Bhore, R. B. Hirsh, M. E. Parker, and G. F. Teletzke: 2012, ‘Perspectives on CCS cost and economics‘, SPE Economics & Management, SPE-139716.
“Focus on carbon capture and storage (CCS) has grown over the past decade with recognition of CCS’s potential to make deep CO2-emission reductions and that fossil fuels will continue to be needed to supply much of the world’s energy demands for decades to come. How CCS will compare with other options in the future depends critically on the cost of CCS (the focus of this paper) and resolution of barriers to CCS deployment and costs and barriers for other emission-reduction options.”
“Current cost estimates for coal CCS for nth-of-a-kind power-generation plant are in the USD 60 to 100/t of CO2 avoided, which is higher than some of the earlier CCS estimates, and higher than the generally accepted range of expected carbon prices in the next 2 decades.”
NRC (Panel to Review the National Climate Assessment: W. Washington et al. including H. Kheshgi): 2013, A Review of the Draft 2013 National Climate Assessment, NRC.
As the title suggests this is a review of the government document with many suggestions for improvement.
Allen, R. J., and W. Landuyt (2014), The vertical distribution of black carbon in CMIP5 models: Comparison to observations and the importance of convective transport, J. Geophys. Res. Atmos., 119, doi:10.1002/2014JD021595.
“Large uncertainty in the direct radiative forcing of black carbon (BC) exists, with published estimates ranging from 0.25 to 0.9 W m−2. A significant source of this uncertainty relates to the vertical distribution of BC, particularly relative to cloud layers. We first compare the vertical distribution of BC in Coupled Model Intercomparison Project Phase 5 (CMIP5) models to aircraft measurements and find that models tend to overestimate upper tropospheric/lower stratospheric (UT/LS) BC, particularly over the central Pacific from Hiaper Pole-to-Pole Observations Flight 1 (HIPPO1). However, CMIP5 generally underestimates Arctic BC from the Arctic Research of the Composition of the Troposphere from Aircraft and Satellites campaign, implying a geographically dependent bias.”
“Compared to the Modern-Era Retrospective Analysis for Research and Applications, most CMIP5 models overestimate MC, with all models overestimating MC [convective mass flux] above 500 hPa. Our results suggest that excessive convective transport is one of the reasons for CMIP5 overestimation of UT/LS BC.”
Song, Y., Jain, A. K., Landuyt, W., Kheshgi, H. S., and M. Khanna, 2014: Estimates of Biomass Yield for Perennial Bioenergy Grasses in the United States, BioEnergy Research, DOI 10.1007/s12155-014-9546-1.
“This study … aims to integrate the dynamic crop growth processes for Miscanthus and two cultivars of switchgrass perennial grasses into a land surface model, the Integrated Science Assessment Model (ISAM), to estimate the biomass yields for these three grasses in the USA.”
The study identified several regions in the USA where these grasses can be grown successfully.
Fischedick M., J. Roy, A. Abdel-Aziz, A. Acquaye, J. M. Allwood, J.-P. Ceron, Y. Geng, H. Kheshgi, A. Lanza, D. Perczyk, L. Price, E. Santalla, C. Sheinbaum, and K. Tanaka, 2014: Industry. In: Climate Change 2014: Mitigation of Climate Change. Contribution of Working Group III to the Fifth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change [Edenhofer, O., R. Pichs-Madruga, Y. Sokona, E. Farahani, S. Kadner, K. Seyboth, A. Adler, I. Baum, S. Brunner, P. Eickemeier, B. Kriemann, J. Savolainen, S. Schlömer, C. von Stechow, T. Zwickel and J.C. Minx (eds.)]. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, United Kingdom and New York, NY, USA.
Exxon participated in the 5th IPCC Assessment Report.
Flannery, B. P., Callegari, A. J., and Hoffert M. I., 1984. Energy balance models incorporating evaporative buffering of equatorial thermal response, in Climate Processes and Climate Sensitivity, Maurice Ewing Volume 5, J. Hansen and T. Takahashi, editors, American Geophysical Union, Washington, DC, pp. 108-117.
“We describe two non-standard energy balance models which include effects of latent heat on climate sensitivity, and apply them to study sensitivity to uniform variations in insolation and changes in the concentration of atmospheric CO2. The Tropical Equatorial Constraint (TEC) model incorporates the proposal of Newell and Dopplick (1979) that evaporative losses from tropical sea surface strongly limit thermal response. The two phase model includes an approximate treatment of energy transfer both as sensible heat and as latent heat of water vapor.”
“We compare the mathematical and physical assumptions underlying each model, and contrast their solutions with results from a standard model in which the diffusion coefficient remains constant with forcing. Both the TEC and two phase model produce stronger thermal response in polar regions than does the standard model. “
This paper is in a book edited by James Hansen and Taro Takahashi.
Flannery, B. P., Callegari, A. J., Hseih, C. T., and Wainger, 1985. CO2 driven equator-to-pole paleotemperatures: predictions of an energy balance model with and without a tropical evaporation buffer, in The Carbon Cycle and Atmospheric CO2: Natural Variations Archean to Present, Geophysical Monograph 32, E. T. Sundquist and W. S. Broecker, editors, American Geophysical Union, Washington, DC. 3. Kheshgi, H. S., 1989. The sensitivity of CO2 projections to ocean processes. Third International Conference on Analysis and Evaluation of Atmospheric CO2 Data, Report E.P.M.R.D. No 59, World Meteorol. Organ., Geneva, pp. 124-128.
“Direct measurements of CO2 trapped in polar ice cap cores indicate levels some two-thirds current values during the last ice age. In addition, other estimates, based on geochemical models for weathering over the Phanerozoic [540 million years ago to today], indicate CO2 variations as large as 10 or more times current values. Here we investigate the influence of such carbon dioxide variation through the greenhouse effect on the horizontally averaged equator-to-pole temperature distribution of the earth’s surface. The influence for long-wave radiation to space and from the atmosphere to the surface is represented by functions derived from the LOWTRAN radiation code. Surface temperatures are computed using a multi-reservoir energy balance climate model with separate land, water, and atmosphere components. A range of “climates” are computed as a function of carbon dioxide amounts for 0.5 to 20 times current value using both constant and variable eddy thermal diffusivities. Model results indicate that CO2 variations alone account for only about half the “observed” climate variations during the Cretaceous. Other effects, such as a different distribution of land and sea, might also be of importance but were not considered here.”
Kheshgi, H. S., 1995. Research relevant to the integrated assessment of climate change. Proceedings of the Third Japan-US Workshop on Global Change Modeling and Assessment, Honolulu, Hawaii, U.S.A., U.S. Global Change Research Program: 133-136.
Text of abstract and paper are unavailable.
Kheshgi, H. S., Jain, A. K. and Wuebbles, D. J., 1995. Accounting for the missing carbon sink in global carbon cycle models. Tsukuba Global Carbon Cycle Workshop, Tsukuba, Japan, Center for Global Environmental Research, CGER-I018-’95.
“The difference in the response of C3 and C4 plants to increasing CO2 concentrations is also well documented, and different biomes have significantly different compositions of C3 and C4 plants. Temperate and boreal forests are more sensitive to carbon fertilization, whereas grasslands are less sensitive . Even within a biome, between plant species or even genotypes there is a marked differential response to carbon fertilization. A managed temperate forest planted with a highly sensitive species may store larger amounts of carbon than an otherwise equivalent forest planted with less sensitive species, or a comparable tract of old forest. Therefore, the carbon fertilization effect is quite heterogeneous over space as well.”
Edmonds, J. A., Wise, M. A., Sands, R. D., Brown, R. A. and Kheshgi, H. S., 1996. Agriculture, Land Use, and Commercial Biomass Energy. Pacific Northwest Laboratory, PNNL-11155.
“…we have considered commercial biomass energy in the context of overall agriculture and land-use change. We have described a model of energy, agriculture … to examine the implications of commercial biomass energy or both energy sector and land-use change carbon emissions. In general we find that the introduction of biomass energy has a negative effect on the extent of unmanaged ecosystems. Commercial biomass introduces a major new land use which raises land rental rates, and provides an incentive to bring more land into production, increasing the rate of incursion into unmanaged ecosystems. But while the emergence of a commercial biomass industry may increase land-use change emissions, the overall effect is strongly to reduce total anthropogenic carbon emissions. Further, the higher the rate of commercial biomass energy productivity, the lower net emissions. Higher commercial biomass energy productivity, while leading to higher land-use change emissions, has a far stronger effect on fossil fuel carbon emissions. Highly productive and inexpensive commercial biomass energy technologies appear to have a substantial depressing effect on total anthropogenic carbon emissions, though their introduction raises the rental rate on land, providing incentives for greater rates of deforestation than in themore » reference case.”
Prince, R. C. and Kheshgi, H. S., 1996. Longevity in the deep. Trends in Ecology & Evolution, 11: 280.
Text of article and abstract unavailable.
Kheshgi, H.S., A.K. Jain and D.J. Wuebbles, 1997. Analysis of proposed CO2 emission reductions in the context of stabilization of CO2 concentration, Proceedings of the Air & Waste Management Association’s 90th Annual Meeting & Exhibition, Toronto, Ontario, Canada, Air & Waste Management Association; 97-TA53.02.
“Targets for reduction of CO2 emissions have been proposed in response to concerns over future global climate change with a focus on a 2010 target date. We develop emission scenarios over the 1990 to 2010 time-frame from available emissions data, and which encompass the range of proposed emission reductions. Emission reductions over this time frame could be viewed as steps towards mitigating impacts of climate change as well as steps towards the objective of the Framework Convention on Climate Change which is, in part, the stabilization of greenhouse gas concentrations. Illustrative analyses of the stabilization of CO2 concentration have defined pathways that lead to constant CO2 concentrations over time ranges of greater than a century. While the prediction of specific impacts of climate change is highly uncertain, models have been developed to project changes in global-average temperature, sea level, and CO2 concentration; these quantities are often used as indicators in place of specific impacts of climate change. In this study, we summarize projections made with our Integrated Science Assessment Model of these quantities for the range of emission scenarios, and find that the reductions considered are not expected to [affect] near-term (by 2010) impacts. We also find no obvious correspondence between CO2 emissions reductions by 2010 and the stabilization levels eventually arrived at by previously defined pathways of CO2 concentration.”
It is interesting that they note “While the prediction of specific impacts of climate change is highly uncertain.” Then they state “models have been developed to project changes in global-average temperature, sea level, and CO2 concentration; these quantities are often used as indicators in place of specific impacts of climate change.” In other words, we don’t know what climate change will cause, but we can model some effects that might cause alarm.
Flannery, B. P., Kheshgi, H., Marland, G. and MacCracken, M. C. 1997. Geoengineering climate, in Engineering response to global climate change: planning a research and development agenda, edited by R. G. Watts, CRC Press LLC.
The book is available for purchase, I don’t have access to either the paper or the abstract.
Hayhoe, K. A. S., Kheshgi, H. S., Jain, A. K., and Wuebbles, D. J., 1998. Trade-Offs in Fossil Fuel Use: The Effects of CO2, CH4 and SO2 Aerosol Emissions on Climate, World Resources Review, 10:321-333.
Text of abstract and paper are unavailable.
Kheshgi, H. S., and D. Archer, 1999: Modeling the Evasion of CO2 Injected into the Deep Ocean, in Greenhouse Gas Control Technologies, edited by B. Eliasson, P. Riemer and A. Wokaun, pp. 287-292, Pergamon.
This paper presents their model of deep ocean injection of CO2 and the time it takes for the CO2 to make it back to the atmosphere. Similar to peer reviewed papers #35-#37 above.
Kheshgi, H. S. and Jain, A. K. 1999. Reduction of the atmospheric concentration of methane as a strategic response option to global climate change, in Greenhouse Gas Control Technologies, edited by B. Eliasson, P. Riemer and A. Wokaun, pp. 775-780, Pergamon.
This paper presents a model that shows there could be a reduction in radiative forcing of climate if methane emissions were reduced.
Hayhoe, K. A. S., Jain, A. K., Kheshgi, H. S. and Wuebbles, D. J., 2000. Contribution of CH4 to Multi-Gas Reduction Targets: The Impact of Atmospheric Chemistry on GWPs. In Non-CO2 Greenhouse Gases: Scientific Understanding, Control and Implementation, 425-432, Kluwer Academic Publishers, Netherlands.
The various greenhouse gases can interact with one another and with other gases. This paper explores those interactions and shows how a methane concentration target (to control the greenhouse effect) can be affected by other gas concentrations.
Flannery, B. P., 2001, An Industry Perspective on Carbon Management, in Carbon Management: Implications for R & D in the Chemical Sciences, National Academy Press, pp. 44-59.
This chapter is an excellent overview of the climate change issue and potential problems in dealing with it.
“If climate change proves to be serious over the coming decades and requires a transition to new technologies, those technologies are not likely to be straightforward extensions of ones we know or understand today.”
“Although we know the human emissions fairly well, we don’t know the natural emissions well at all. Added to this uncertainty is the fact that natural emissions can change as a result of long-term climate changes. From data on the year-to-year fluctuations in the accumulation of atmospheric CO2, it appears that they can also change as a result of volcanic eruptions, fluctuations in sunlight, and other factors this may not be understood. These factors make understanding CO2 in the atmosphere difficult. Adding to this difficulty is what might happen in the atmosphere over the next 100 years if these processes themselves begin to change.”
“Taxpayer-funded resources today should not be wasted on optimizing currently uneconomic technologies. These technologies will not enter the market substantially for many years, if they do at all. Spending tax dollars on expensive pilot and demonstration studies to optimize technologies that are not viable economically is extremely expensive and unlikely to deliver a product of lasting value.
I think this is the fundamental question concerning the role of research and development for society. Taxpayer-sponsored initiatives create opportunities for inertia, boondoggles, pork-barrel funding, and white elephants that could become a problem. This will be a challenge because it creates opportunities for big budgets and employment gains in some areas through politically motivated demonstrations of action that are unlikely to lead anywhere.
At the end of the day, the private sector should bear the risk and capture the rewards of developing commercial technology that will ultimately compete in the market. Historically, governments tend to be ineffective at supplying markets efficiently. The private sector is far more successful. Even more importantly, it is the private sector and not the government that should suffer the loss if mistakes are made.”
Shinn, J., Kheshgi, H., Grant, J., and Bernstein, L.: 2001, ‘Technology assessment in climate change mitigation‘, In (D. Williams, B. Durie, P. McMullan, C. Paulson, and A. Smith eds.) Greenhouse Gas Control Technologies: Proceedings of the 5th International Conference on Greenhouse Gas Control Technologies, CSIRO Publishing, Collingwood, VIC, Australia, 11711176.
The book is available for purchase, I don’t have access to either the paper or the abstract.
Imbus, S., Orr, F. M., Kuuskraa, V. A., Kheshgi, H., Bennaceur, K., Gupta, N., Rigg, A., Hovorka, S., Myer, L. and Benson, S. 2006. Critical issues in CO2 capture and storage: findings of the SPE advanced technology workshop (ATW) on carbon sequestration. Society of Petroleum Engineers, SPE-102968.
“Carbon dioxide capture and storage (CCS) is emerging as a key technology for greenhouse gas (GHG) mitigation. The Society of Petroleum Engineers (SPE) Applied Technology Workshop (ATW) on CO2 Sequestration (Galveston Island, Texas, Nov. 15-17, 2005) convened a diverse group of geoscience, engineering, economics and stakeholder experts to review the status of CCS and to identify the remaining critical issues that still serve as barriers to its acceptance and widespread deployment.”
Kheshgi, H., Cappelen, F., Crookshank, S., Heilbrunn, A., Lee, A., Mikus, T., Robson, W., Senior, B., Stileman, T. and Warren, L. 2006. Carbon dioxide capture and geological storage: contributing to climate change solutions. Society of Petroleum Engineers, SPE-98583-PP.
“This paper is based on the outcomes of an IPIECA workshop to advance understanding of the role of CO2 capture and geologic storage, and strategies to improve its performance and prospects.”
“The cost of CCS is a significant hurdle to its widespread use, and adds to the cost of energy. In limited circumstances the cost of CO2 capture is modest (e.g. in gas processing and the production of some chemicals). And in some circumstances the geologic storage of CO2 adds value (e.g. enhanced oil recovery (EOR) and reservoir pressure maintenance). These circumstances may provide opportunities for early experience, but deep reductions in CO2 emissions would require capture of CO2 emissions from large sources, e.g. power production. The cost of capturing CO2 in both coal- and gas-fired power stations with current technology is roughly $40/t CO2 emissions avoided and is energy intensive. CCS will add to the cost of energy and accelerate the depletion of resources, presenting tradeoffs to be considered.”
R. Bose and H. Kheshgi, Review Eds., 2007. Transport and its infrastructure, in Climate Change 2007: Mitigation, Contribution of Working Group III to the Fourth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, eds. B. Metz, O. R. Davidson, P. R. Bosch, R. Dave and L. A. Meyer. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Dr. Kheshgi was a review editor in this section of IPCC Assessment Report 4.
Schlesinger, M. E., Kheshgi, H., Smith, J. B., de la Chesnaye, F. C., Reilly, J. M., Wilson, T. and Kolstad, C., Eds., 2007. Human-Induced Climate Change: An Interdisciplinary Assessment. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 426 pages.
The book is available for purchase, I don’t have access to either the paper or the abstract.
Kheshgi, H., Shires, T., Lev-On., M., Siveter, R., Ritter, K., Hochhalter, T., 2008. Harmonizing the quantification of greenhouse gas emission reductions through oil and gas industry project guidelines, 19th World Petroleum Congress, Spain.
“The oil and natural gas industry is addressing the challenges of meeting the world’s growing energy demands in a responsible manner. Real and sustainable actions to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions are an important aspect of achieving this objective. To this end, the American Petroleum Institute (API) and the International Petroleum Industry Environmental Conservation Association (IPIECA) have collaborated on guidelines to promote the credible, consistent, and transparent quantification of GHG emission reductions from emission reduction projects of interest to the oil and natural gas industry. This paper will provide an overview of the Petroleum Industry Guidelines for Greenhouse Gas Emission Reduction Projects (referred to as the Project Guidelines), developed to provide oil and natural gas companies with a framework for evaluating, quantifying, documenting, and reporting GHG emission reductions achieved through discreet projects. … Case studies will be used to demonstrate the application of these emission reduction principles for two categories of significant GHG emission reduction projects: (a) cogeneration of electricity and steam, and (b) carbon dioxide capture and geological storage.”
Benge, G., 2009: Improving wellbore seal integrity in CO2 injection wells, Energy Procedia, 1, 3523-3529.
“Materials selection for new wellbore construction, completion and abandonment identifies those components that are designed specifically for the chemical and physical environments of these wells. Sealant selection is key to providing long term integrity of the wells, with Portland cement being the material of choice in most oil field applications.
Efforts have focused on enhancing the properties of Portland cement for CO2 injection wells by reducing the permeability of the set cement, lowering the concentration of materials in the system that react with CO2, or replacing the conventional Portland with specialty materials. Complementing technologies have been used to promote long term seal integrity in the wellbore and include the use of specialty “self-healing” cements and in-situ swell packers.”
Hershkowitz, F., H. W. Deckman, J. W. Frederick, J. W. Fulton, and R. F. Socha, 2009: Pressure swing reforming: a novel process to improve cost and efficiency of CO2 capture in power generation, Energy Procedia, 1, 683-688.
“We present a novel method of hydrogen production – applicable to gaseous and distillate fuels – that integrates with a gas turbine and has the potential to reduce the cost and energy required for CO2 capture.
The Pressure Swing Reformer (PSR) process yields syngas at high efficiency and with the compactness of an auto-thermal reformer. PSR is a cyclic, reverse-flow reactor that alternates combustion steps to heat the catalyst bed with reforming steps that cool the bed. During these steps the center of the catalyst bed remains at temperatures approaching 1200°C, enabling rapid and high conversion. Heat exchange within the packed-bed results in relatively cool products, resulting in high efficiency. The debits of conventional hydrogen manufacture, such as air separation or high-temperature furnaces, are completely eliminated.
As applied to CO2 capture, PSR’s syngas product is shifted and separated to yield hydrogen and a sequesterable CO2 stream. The hydrogen is used to fuel a gas turbine for power generation, and is also used to fuel the PSR. The power turbine is further integrated by borrowing compressed air from the turbine to use as a combustion source within the PSR. Recovering CO2 from high pressure syngas can reduce separation cost, just as in IGCC. But unlike IGCC, PSR is a low-cost reactor system that uses air at the conditions provided by the GT compressor and returns air at conditions appropriate for the expander. Integrated as such, the PSR enables lower cost production of power with CO2 capture.”
Kheshgi, H. S., S. Crookshank, P. Cunha, A. Lee, L. Bernstein, and R. Siveter, 2009: Carbon capture and storage business models, Energy Procedia, 1, 4481-4486. 36. Northrop, P. S., and J. A. Valencia, 2009: The CFZTM process: a cryogenic method for handling high-CO2 and H2S gas reserves and facilitating geosequestration of CO2 and acid gases, Energy Procedia, 1, 171-177.
Text of abstract and paper are unavailable.
Parker, M. E., J. P. Meyer, and S. Meadows, 2009: Carbon dioxide enhanced oil recovery injection operations technologies, Energy Procedia, 1, 3141-3148.
“Over the past 35 years, the oil and gas industry has developed many technology improvements and operating practices for injecting carbon dioxide (CO2) for enhanced oil recovery (EOR). Over this time, the US oil and gas industry has operated over 13,000 CO2 EOR wells, over 3,500 miles of high pressure CO2 pipelines and has injected over 600 million tons of CO2 without any significant safety or environmental endangerment events. Today, the US produces over 245,000 barrels of oil per day as a direct result of CO2 EOR.
This presentation will describe many of the technical improvements and operational practices that have been developed as a result of the oil and gas industry’s experiences with CO2 EOR. When these technologies and practices are applied, operators can expect facility and wellbore integrity at levels equivalent to those seen for conventional oil and gas operations.
Many of the technologies and practices that have been developed for CO2 EOR may have applicability in carbon capture and storage (CCS) projects, recognizing however, that each project should be designed to meet its site specific conditions. The CO2 EOR experiences of the oil and gas industry represent the largest collective base of technical information available on CO2 injection and, as such, provide valuable information for development and implementation of CCS field projects as they move forward.”
Ritter, K., R. Siveter, M. Lev-On, T. Shires, and H. S. Kheshgi, 2009: Harmonizing the quantification of CCS GHG emission reductions through oil and natural gas industry project guidelines, Energy Procedia, 1, 4451-4458.
“This paper provides an overview of the Petroleum Industry Guidelines for Greenhouse Gas Emission Reduction Projects, a collaborative effort between the American Petroleum Institute (API) and the International Petroleum Industry Environmental Conservation Association (IPIECA) to develop guidelines for accounting and reporting of GHG emission reduction projects of interest to the oil and natural gas industry. Key concepts from the Project guidelines for evaluating, quantifying, documenting, and reporting GHG emission reductions are presented with a specific focus on CCS activities.”
Wilkinson, J., R. Szafranski, K.-S. Lee, and C. Kratzing, 2009: Subsurface design considerations for carbon dioxide storage, Energy Procedia, 1, 3047-3054.
“Over the past three decades the oil and gas industry has developed full-system approaches for safe and cost-effective injection of carbon dioxide (CO2). Projects have been executed successfully that inject into formations spanning a full range of depths, reservoir quality, pressures and temperatures. Injection has been into both aquifers and hydrocarbon bearing intervals. Lessons learned about site selection, storage design and site monitoring are directly applicable to current and future carbon dioxide geo-sequestration projects.
In this paper the focus will be on storage project field experience and simulation-based investigations of plume growth and migration in different geologic settings. Also discussed will be options to optimize well rates and location to maximize the storage volumes of CO2 injection. Safe, efficient and reliable long term storage of CO2 will require knowledge and observance of limits on cap rock fracture pressures, location of formation spill points and maximum rates of injection to mitigate adverse sweep related to gravity override of injected gas.”
Xiao, Y., T. Xu, and K. Pruess, 2009: The effects of gas-fluid-rock interactions on CO2 injection and storage: insights from reactive transport modeling, Energy Procedia, 1, 1783-1790.
“Reactive Transport Modeling is a promising approach that can be used to predict the spatial and temporal evolution of injected CO2 and associated gas-fluid-rock interactions. This presentation will summarize recent advances in reactive transport modeling of CO2 storage and review key technical issues on (1) the short- and long-term behavior of injected CO2 in geological formations; (2) the role of reservoir mineral heterogeneity on injection performance and storage security; (3) the effect of gas mixtures (e.g., H2S and SO2) on CO2 storage; and (4) the physical and chemical processes during potential leakage of CO2 from the primary storage reservoir.”
Parker, M. E., S. Northrop, J. A. Vaencia, R. E. Foglesong, and W. T. Duncan: 2009, ‘CO2 management at ExxonMobil’s LaBarge field, Wyoming, USA‘, International Petroleum Technology Conference, IPTC 13258.
“The Shute Creek Treating Facility (SCTF) processes the gas produced from the LaBarge field. The SCTF handles the lowest hydrocarbon content natural gas commercially produced in the world. The gas composition entering Shute Creek is 65% CO2, 21% methane, 7% nitrogen, 5% hydrogen sulfide (H2S) and 0.6% helium. The SCTF separates CO2, methane, and helium for sale and removes hydrogen sulfide for disposal.
Most of the CO2 captured at Shute Creek is used for enhanced oil recovery (EOR). EOR is consistently cited as one of the most viable early opportunities for large scale implementation of CCS[Carbon Capture and Storage]. ExxonMobil’s LaBarge operation is the largest demonstration of this approach to CCS in the world today. Currently ExxonMobil provides 4 to 5 million tonnes per year of CO2 for EOR. Ongoing facility expansion will increase this capacity to over 7 million tonnes per year in 2010.”
Sweatman, R. E., M. E. Parker, and S. L. Crookshank: 2009, ‘Industry experience with CO2 enhanced oil recovery technology‘, Society of Petroleum Engineering, SPE 126446.
“Since the first patent for CO2 EOR was granted in 1952 (Whorton), the O&G industry has spent many tens of billions of dollars developing and implementing CO2 EOR technologies, asset development, and operational experience. As new sources of CO2 have become available, field testing and demonstration or pilot project activities have been conducted. These development and improvement efforts have been continuous since the first project in 1964. The first large-scale, commercial CO2 EOR project began operations in 1972 at the SACROC field in West Texas, which continues in operation today. Many more have started since then and by 2008 had reached a total of 112 projects, as reported in the EOR Survey by the Oil and Gas Journal (O&GJ, 2008). Since 1952, numerous patents, best practices, equipment, and products have been developed for CO2 EOR well construction and injection/production operations. Innovative, cost-effective materials, equipment, and methods continue to be developed and implemented such as the recent introduction of real-time, smart-well operations at SACROC.”
Kheshgi, H., A. Lee, O. Levang, M. Linhares, J. M. Juez, B. Poot, and R. Siveter: 2010, ‘Increasing the Pace of Technology Innovation and Application to Enable Climate Change Solutions‘, Society of Petroleum Engineers, SPE-126678.
“The creation of energy technology options to meet the global demand for energy with low greenhouse gas emissions is an essential component of a risk management approach to global climate change. To be effective, the pace of deployment of commercially viable energy technology is an additional, critical factor. This paper considers the range of actions and policies to address energy technology in the climate change context: their effectiveness, their representation in future scenarios, and their implications for business.”
“Decisions on the appropriate actions to address the risks posed by climate change are informed by the evolving state of knowledge on climate science and its inherent uncertainties, and the capabilities of both technologies and institutions. Recognizing this uncertain future, risk management values the development of multiple response options. These options should apply to each of the key elements of a response to global climate change: further research to improve the assessment of the risks of global climate change and society’s response…”
Kheshgi, H., N. B. Bhore, R. B. Hirsh, M. E. Parker, G. F. Teletzke, and H. Thomann: 2010, ‘Perspectives on CCS cost and economics‘, Society of Petroleum Engineers, SPE-139716.
“This paper provides a comparison of the cost of electricity of five power generation options – coal and gas Combined Cycle Gas Turbine (CCGT,) with and without CCS and nuclear – and shows regions of carbon price and fuel prices where each can be economically viable.
Current cost estimates for coal CCS for Nth-of-a-kind power generation plant are in the 60-100 $/ton of CO2 avoided – higher than some of the earlier CCS estimates, and higher than the generally accepted range of expected carbon prices in the next two decades. The high cost of coal CCS suggests that:
Gas based power generation is much more economical than coal CCS at carbon prices below 60-100 $/ton CO2.
Even after carbon prices reach 60-100 $/ton CO2, gas CCS produces lower cost electricity than coal CCS as long as natural gas prices remain below 9 $/MBTU.
Nuclear has a lower cost of electricity than coal CCS.”
Although Coal or Gas CCS is unlikely to be economical in power generation over the next two decades, subsidized demonstrations of CCS are likely to occur.
Feldman, A., V. Rabl, H. Kheshgi, R. Wright, and D. Keairns (2010). Carbon management project and electric power generation scorecard. Energy Tech. July 2010.
“The project was working to identify practical steps the country can take toward managing greenhouse gas emissions, a key issue in the mitigation on climate change. The project selected the Scorecards approach as a tool for assessing the merit of various greenhouse gas management options. The Scorecards developed so far address electric power generation and 4-wheel passenger vehicles transportation. The objective of the Scorecard approach is to identify options that could be implemented in sufficient quantity to provide a significant impact on GHG reduction in the 2020 and 2050 timeframes. In general, options for 2020 timeframe will be different from those that become important in 2050.”
Burgers, W. F. J., P. S. Northrop, H. S. Kheshgi, and J. A. Valencia, 2011: Worldwide development potential for sour gas, Energy Procedia, 4, 2178-2184.
“Globally a total resource of around 4 trillion m3 of net hydrocarbon gas and 15000 MT of associated CO2 has been identified. This was done by summing individual undeveloped and underdeveloped fields with ultimate recoverable proven and probable resources larger than 14 billion m3 each of net hydrocarbon gas and CO2 content between 15% and 80%.
Development of these fields could be enabled by the availability of a cost effective gas separation method such as the Controlled Freeze ZoneTM (CFZ) technology, and of viable CO2 enhanced oil recovery opportunities (CO2-EOR) to reduce the cost of CO2 capture, transportation and storage.”
Kheshgi, H., de Coninck, H. and J. Kessels: 2012, ‘Carbon dioxide capture and storage: seven years after the IPCC special report‘, Mitigation and Adaptation Strategies for Global Change, 17:6:563-567, DOI 10.1007/s11027-012-9391-5.
“The publication of the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) (2005) Special Report on CCS (SRCCS) raised the profile of CCS, particularly among the expert community dealing with international climate policy (Meadowcroft and Langhelle 2009). The expert community now commonly sees CCS as a major option for reducing global emissions of CO2. The technology plays a major role in long-term scenarios where there is significant reduction in greenhouse gas emissions (Clarke et al. 2009; IEA2010a). For CCS to play such a major role, the separation, transport and storage would have to handle large volumes of CO2, and involve huge investments in facilities and infrastructure. The SRCCS conveyed some key insights. First, it clearly indicated that in principle, CCS is technically feasible. It also found that subsurface endowments of geological storage are probably massive, but regionally distributed and still highly uncertain.”
Kheshgi, H., R. B. Hirsh, M. E. Parker, G. F. Teletzke, and H. Thomann: 2012, Carbon Dioxide Capture and Storage: Perspectives on Cost and Economics; Proceedings of the 2012 World Gas Conference.
Abstract and paper text not available.
Abdulla, H. Kheshgi, and H. Xu, Review Eds., 2014. Key economic sectors and services. In: Climate Change 2014: Impacts, Adaptation, and Vulnerability. Part A: Global and Sectoral Aspects. Contribution of Working Group II to the Fifth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change [Arent, D.J., R.S.J. Tol, E. Faust, J.P. Hella, S. Kumar, K.M. Strzepek, F.L. Tóth, and D. Yan (authors)] [Field, C.B., V.R. Barros, D.J. Dokken, K.J. Mach, M.D. Mastrandrea, T.E. Bilir, M. Chatterjee, K.L. Ebi, Y.O. Estrada, R.C. Genova, B. Girma, E.S. Kissel, A.N. Levy, S. MacCracken, P.R. Mastrandrea, and L.L. White (eds.)]. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, United Kingdom and New York, NY, USA, pp. 659708.
Dr. Kheshgi participated in the 5th IPCC Assessment Report.
Landuyt, W., A. Lee, L.Verduzco, J. Castaneda, and R. Siveter: 2014, Addressing adaptation to climate risks in the oil and gas industry; SPE International Conference on Health, Safety and Environment; SPE 168370.
“Adaptation planning and implementation for managing climate change risks is rising up the agenda of governments and companies alike, broadening from a sole focus on mitigating greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. There is a growing awareness of the need for adaptation as part of a balanced risk management strategy toward climate change. The objective of this paper is to explore the oil and gas industry’s awareness of climate change-related risks and appropriate responses, and efforts to incorporate them into an overall risk management framework. As a result of a recent IPIECA workshop we identify a few key observations regarding adaptation for the oil and gas industry: the oil and gas industry assesses a range of current and future risks from climate variability to their operations and infrastructure; impacts are local and projects are unique, hence assessments are being performed at the local level to design actions; uncertainty in climate variability and future scenarios suggests that flexible and robust engineering designs along with adaptive management practices will be critical for climate risk management. The paper is structured to provide insight into the adaptation planning process, including: examples of climate risks identified by the oil and gas industry; the process of evaluating the risk posed by a potential impact; and examples of currently employed approaches to adapt and manage identified risks.”
Andy May worked for Exxon from 1980 to 1985. During part of that time he worked on the Natuna D-Alpha project discussed in some of these documents. He did not work at either the Florham Park, New Jersey Research laboratory or the Linden, New Jersey laboratory where the climate research was done. The views expressed in this essay and bibliography are his own. This was written in his spare time and he received no compensation from anyone for writing and posting it.