Saturday, October 27, 2007

BioFuels Look worse by the day

Below is a writing that explains more problems with biofuels and the un-tested theory that they could put out less C02 than Sea-bottom diatom fuels(formerly known as Fossil fuels)

In two prior Editorials, those of 26 September 2007 and 10 October 2007, we describe two important scientific findings that refute the "creation care" contention of England's Sir John Houghton that "very large growth" in the biofuels industry will be required in taking the moral high-road to help slow CO2-induced global warming. Those findings are that: (1) in order to produce enough biofuels to offset a significant amount of fossil fuel usage, humanity would have to employ a large portion of earth's remaining arable land and freshwater resources, which would result in the driving of innumerable species of plants and animals to extinction due to massive habitat loss, and (2) forestation of the land area needed for biofuel production would likely remove much more carbon from the atmosphere than what would not be put into the air by using biofuels in the place of fossil fuels. Here, we describe yet a third way in which replacing fossil fuels with biofuels may be detrimental to earth's climate and the biosphere.

In an important new paper published on 1 August 2007 in Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics Discussions, Crutzen et al. (2007) calculate the amount of nitrous oxide (N2O) that would be released to the atmosphere as a result of using nitrogen fertilizer to produce the crops used for biofuels, which analysis, in their words, "only considers the conversion of biomass to biofuel" and "does not take into account the use of fossil fuel on ... farms and for fertilizer and pesticide production." As they describe it, this work revealed that "all past studies have severely underestimated the release rates of N2O to the atmosphere, with great potential impact on climate warming." And why would greater N2O emission rates have a tendency to cause the climate to warm? Because, in their vernacular, N2O "is a 'greenhouse gas' with a 100-year average global warming potential 296 times larger than an equal mass of CO2."

Full story at C02

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