Examining the limits to bio-energy and bio-sequestration

Examining the limits to bio-energy and bio-sequestration

Wednesday, 2 May 2018 - 11:00am to 12:00pm

Biomass is being considered as one climate-change mitigation option through both the substitution of carbon emitting fuels with biomass and in the use of biomass as a mechanism for the capture of atmospheric carbon dioxide for storage. However, there are limitations to the potential for these options including the:

·      Inefficiency of the photosynthetic process;
·      Needs of heterotrophic organisms (natural and cultivated);
·      Human competition for the use of biomass for food, fibre, wood products, species conservation and other existing and proposed human appropriation of this relatively finite resource
·      Economic considerations including transport costs.

Indeed what is desirable but yet to be fully accomplished, is an holistic assessment of the carbon, energy and dollar flows across the full value proposition, harvesting to energy utilisation or carbon storage.

This seminar will examine some aspects of these issues both globally and in an Australian perspective.

Event Location: 
Australian-German Climate and Energy College
Level 1, 187 Grattan Street
3010 Parkville , VIC

Dr Graeme Pearman joined CSIRO, in 1971 where he was Chief of Atmospheric Research, 1992–2002. He contributed over 200 scientific journal papers primarily on aspects of the global carbon budget. He is now a consultant and Professorial Fellow, Melbourne University.

He has given over 500 briefings on climate-change science and sustainability to governments, peak industry bodies, public groups, and companies as part of their climate-change risk assessments. These include presentations to the PM's Science, Engineering and Innovation Council: Bob Hawke, 1989; Paul Keating, 1992; John Howard, 1998. He has been Australian science advisor to the Hon. Al Gore.

He was awarded the CSIRO Medal (1988), a United Nations Environment Program Global 500 Award (1989) and a Federation Medal (2003).

Current interests include describing holistic strategies that build resilient energy futures and emissions reductions appropriate for specific nations or communities; transport technologies and limitations and risks associated with bio-fuels; dimensions of human behaviour in the climate-change issue; and the role of science in modern societies.

Web tools and Projects we developed

  • Open-NEM

    The live tracker of the Australian electricity market.

  • Paris Equity Check

    This website is based on a Nature Climate Change study that compares Nationally Determined Contributions with equitable national emissions trajectories in line with the five categories of equity outlined by the IPCC.

  • liveMAGICC Climate Model

    Run one of the most popular reduced-complexity climate carbon cycle models online. Used by IPCC, UNEP GAP reports and numerous scientific publications.

  • NDC & INDC Factsheets

    Check out our analysis of all the post-2020 targets that countries announced under the Paris Agreement.