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Science Forum

Science Forum

  1. Standard member flexmore
    Quack Quack Quack !
    28 Apr '08 23:11 / 4 edits
    How are we to measure CO2 emissions from countries?
    It can be emitted from so many unmonitored sources ... some large sources and sinks are from farms/parks, controlled burns etc and depend on the method of land management. Surely some countries will be un-cooperative, and just emit in hidden ways, delaying progress for decades more.
    Is it realistic to be able to enforce accurate measurment of emissions?
    Can we just measure CO2 upwind and downwind of a country, perhaps with a satellite technology?
  2. 29 Apr '08 09:14
    Originally posted by flexmore
    How are we to measure CO2 emissions from countries?
    It can be emitted from so many unmonitored sources ... some large sources and sinks are from farms/parks, controlled burns etc and depend on the method of land management. Surely some countries will be un-cooperative, and just emit in hidden ways, delaying progress for decades more.
    Is it realistic to be ...[text shortened]...
    Can we just measure CO2 upwind and downwind of a country, perhaps with a satellite technology?
    Why should we measure it? If we did need to we would probably only want to measure certain industries and even then we might not even need to take measurements but simply look at the technology involved etc. for example count the number of coal fired power plants and the total tonnage of coal burned.

    If we are to combat global warming however we should stop trying to control emissions and start investing in clean energy. If a government puts pressure on a coal power plant to reduce its emissions there is only so much it can do and cheating is quite likely. However if the government pays for a new solar plant or invests in solar technology development etc etc then change will really happen.
  3. 29 Apr '08 12:25
    I don't think that it is possible to measure CO2 emmisions in absolute terms. But with statistical means it is possible, with some level of fault tolerance.

    Fo example: We know how much a countrys imports of oil and other fossil fuels and dig up in their own fields. We know how much CO2 is generated from a certain amount of fossil fuels. Then we know roughly how much CO2 are generated in this country. Now, this is only an example of statistic calulations that easily can be performed if you have the imputs. The same kind of methods can be applied in other production of CO2 too.

    So the point is that you don't just stick a sensor in the air and measure the actual contents of CO2 in the air. You use statistical mathods.
  4. Standard member flexmore
    Quack Quack Quack !
    29 Apr '08 13:01
    Originally posted by FabianFnas
    I don't think that it is possible to measure CO2 emmisions in absolute terms. But with statistical means it is possible, with some level of fault tolerance.

    Fo example: We know how much a countrys imports of oil and other fossil fuels and dig up in their own fields. We know how much CO2 is generated from a certain amount of fossil fuels. Then we know r ...[text shortened]... sor in the air and measure the actual contents of CO2 in the air. You use statistical mathods.
    yes, fossil fuel co2 emissions are easy to measure; but co2 emissions from fossil fuel use do not give the whole picture ... if there are going to be billions of dollars involved then the whole picture needs to be covered - people will explore any weaknesses.
  5. 29 Apr '08 13:57
    Originally posted by flexmore
    yes, fossil fuel co2 emissions are easy to measure; but co2 emissions from fossil fuel use do not give the whole picture ... if there are going to be billions of dollars involved then the whole picture needs to be covered - people will explore any weaknesses.
    I don't think there are any better methods than to use statistical methods, whereas I gave an example of one only. And those are better than guesses only.
  6. 29 Apr '08 14:12
    Originally posted by flexmore
    yes, fossil fuel co2 emissions are easy to measure; but co2 emissions from fossil fuel use do not give the whole picture ... if there are going to be billions of dollars involved then the whole picture needs to be covered - people will explore any weaknesses.
    You are talking like there is going to be some world wide policing of CO2 emissions by county. Where do you get that idea from? What makes you think it will happen? Why should it happen? As for the problem itself, whoever is doing the policing would have to look at what it is they want to monitor and why before looking for methods for doing it.

    But as I said before, policing will achieve nothing.
  7. Standard member flexmore
    Quack Quack Quack !
    23 May '08 11:33
    Originally posted by twhitehead
    You are talking like there is going to be some world wide policing of CO2 emissions by county. Where do you get that idea from? What makes you think it will happen? Why should it happen? As for the problem itself, whoever is doing the policing would have to look at what it is they want to monitor and why before looking for methods for doing it.

    But as I said before, policing will achieve nothing.
    most people want to know who are the major contributers to atmsopheric co2 increases .... they want to point the finger at someone/thing.

    and many other people will want to claim they are removing co2 from the air ... "carbon credits"/"carbon offsets".

    this is worth a lot of money ... but i still do not see how it can be measured ... not in a meaningful way ...
  8. 23 May '08 12:27
    Originally posted by flexmore
    most people want to know who are the major contributers to atmsopheric co2 increases .... they want to point the finger at someone/thing.

    and many other people will want to claim they are removing co2 from the air ... "carbon credits"/"carbon offsets".

    this is worth a lot of money ... but i still do not see how it can be measured ... not in a meaningful way ...
    Well the measurement method is obviously up to whoever is dishing out the credits and offsets. I doubt it will be by country though. It is more likely to be by project.
  9. Standard member flexmore
    Quack Quack Quack !
    23 May '08 12:32 / 1 edit
    Originally posted by twhitehead
    Well the measurement method is obviously up to whoever is dishing out the credits and offsets. I doubt it will be by country though. It is more likely to be by project.
    This is a world wide issue .. it will go to the highest scales ... credits will either be meaningless (at all scales) ... or they will be traded between countries (and relevant at all scales).