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Energy and Climate

For 200 years, the world has progressively lightened its energy diet by favoring hydrogen atoms over carbon in our hydrocarbon stew.  Energy technologies succeed when economies of scale form part of their conditions of evolution.   Like computers, to grow larger, the energy system must now shrink in size and cost.  The successful decarbonization of the energy system, the key to the alleviation of numerous environmental problems, will ultimately depend on the use of pure hydrogen fuel produced from sources and processes that are carbon-free.  Rapid evolution of the energy system along its current trajectory, combined with cultural change, can avert the environmental danger.  

Science has effectively alarmed many people about the chances human activities will harm Earth's climate. More importantly, science and engineering can lessen worries about climate change.  Technology can make adapting to climate change, offsetting emissions, and preventing emissions cheap and effective. The trick is easing in the changes when the technologies turnover, operating at the point where old things are substituted anyway. Hope is a better companion than fear.

The PHE studies long-term trajectories in the energy system and means to improve its performance.   We analyze ways to reduce the carbon intensity of energy systems in order to lessen fears and lift hopes about climate.

About the icon – Atmospheric cloud vortex

For Energy and Climate news relating to PHE, see:

13 April 2016

We post “Power Density and the Nuclear Opportunity” by Jesse H. Ausubel.  The talk is adapted from the keynote address to the Nuclear Power Council, Electric Power Research Institute, Atlanta, Georgia, 3 September 2015.  Thanks to EPRI’s Neil Wilmshurst for the opportunity to develop and present the talk.

8 December 2015

We post (belatedly) Self-sinking capsules to investigate Earth’s interior and dispose of radioactive waste, Jesse H. Ausubel, Seminar presentation delivered 26 July 2011, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution Program of Study in Geophysical Fluid Dynamics.  Jesse and 2011 summer intern Catherine Fisher carried out this work.

Publications about Energy and Climate

1173 JH Ausubel. Density: Key to Fake and True News About Energy and Environment (PDF). 2017 Presented at a meeting of the American Association of Petroleum Geologists, Next 100 Years of Global Energy Use: Resources, Impacts and Economics, Houston Convention Center, 4 April 2017. Published in AAPG’s Search and Discovery, as contribution #70272, 28 June 2017Density: Key to Fake and True News About Energy and Environment,

1159 NM Victor, JH Ausubel, R Boswell, J Goodman, YC Beaudoin, SR Dallimore,. Potential Implications for Future Energy Systems (PDF) [external link]. Chapter 1 in Frozen Heat: UNEP Global Outlook on Methane Gas Hydrates. United Nations Environment Programme, GRID-Arendal 2: 10-26, 2014 Potential Implications for Future Energy Systems,

1160 JH Ausubel. Self-sinking capsules to investigate Earth’s interior and dispose of radioactive waste (PDF). Seminar Presentation 26 July 2011, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution Program of Study in Geophysical Fluid Dynamics. 2011 Self-sinking capsules to investigate Earth’s interior and dispose of radioactive waste,

1128 JH Ausubel. Generations of methane (PDF) [external link]. EPRI J Summer: 2010 Generations of methane, methane, hydrogen

1123 JH Ausubel. Natural gas and the jack rabbit (PDF). Representative American Speeches 2008-2009 - The Reference Shelf 81(6): 2009 Natural gas and the jack rabbit, Natural gas

0105 JH Ausubel. Renewable and nuclear heresies (PDF). Int J Nucl Governance, Econ Ecol 1(3): 229-243, 2007 Renewable and nuclear heresies, nuclear, renewable, decarbonization, electricity, environmental impact, energy, nuclear power

0103 JH Ausubel. The future environment for the energy business (PDF). APPEA Journal Part 2: 487-495, 2007 The future environment for the energy business, energy, energy business, decarbonization, ZEPPs, green strategy, carbon dioxide hydrogen, co2

0097 JH Ausubel. Big green energy machines (PDF). The Industrial Physicist 10(5): 20-24, 2004 Big green energy machines, Energy, electric power, zepp, zero emissions power plant, carbon dioxide, co2, liquid hydrogen

0081 JH Ausubel. Where is energy going? (PDF). The Industrial Physicist 6(1): 16-19, 2000 The essay had appeared in Italian in the special millennial edition of the Italian financial newspaper, Il Sole/24 Ore, on 17 November 1999; also in Italian as Benvenuti nel millennio nuclear, pp.163-168 in Duemila: Verso una societa aperta, M. Moussanet, ed., Il Sole 24 Ore, Milano, 2000.Where is energy going?, Energy, natural gas, nuclear, climate, emissions, carbon dioxide, co2, decarbonization

0053 JH Ausubel. Productivity, electricity, science: Powering a green future (PDF). The Electricity Journal 9(3): 54-60, 1996 Productivity, electricity, science: Powering a green future, energy, electric power

0046 JH Ausubel. Technical progress and climatic change. Energy Policy 23(4/5): 411-416, 1995 Also pp. 501-512 in Integrated Assessment of Mitigation, Impacts, and Adaptation to Climate Change, N Nakicenovic, WD Nordhaus, R Richels, and FL Toth (eds), International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis, Laxenburg, Austria, 1994.Technical progress and climatic change, climate, energy, natural gas, decarbonization, hydrogen, carbon dioxide, co2

0031 JH Ausubel. Mitigation and adaptation for climate change: Answers and questions. The Bridge 23(3): 15-30, 1993 Also pp. 557-584 in Costs, Impacts, and Benefits of CO2 Mitigation, Y. Kaya, N. Nakicenovic, W.D. Nordhaus, and F.L. Toth, eds., International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis, Laxenburg, Austria, 1993.Mitigation and adaptation for climate change: Answers and questions, climate, energy

0019 JH Ausubel. Energy and environment: The light path. Energy Systems and Policy 15: 181-188, 1991 Energy and environment: The light path, Energy, natural gas, nuclear, climate, emissions, carbon dioxide, co2

0021 JH Ausubel. Does climate still matter?. Nature 350: 649-652, 1991 Does climate still matter?, innovations, technology, climatic shifts, population, consumption, agriculture

0022 JH Ausubel. A second look at the impacts of climate change (PDF). Am Sci 79: 210-221, 1991 A second look at the impacts of climate change, climate, energy, natural gas, decarbonization, hydrogen, carbon dioxide, co2

1153 Ausubel JH. Hydrogen and the Green Wave (PDF). The Bridge 20(1): 17-22, 1990 Hydrogen and the Green Wave,

0013 JH Ausubel, A Gruebler, N Nakicenovic. Carbon dioxide emissions in a methane economy (PDF). Climatic Change 12: 245-263, 1988 Carbon dioxide emissions in a methane economy, Energy, electric power, natural gas, carbon dioxide, co2, hydrogen

0009 JH Ausubel, WD Nordhaus. A review of estimates of future carbon dioxide emissions in Changing climate: Report of the carbon dioxide assessment committee [external link]. National Academy Press, Washington DC 1983 A review of estimates of future carbon dioxide emissions in Changing climate: Report of the carbon dioxide assessment committee, climate, decarbonization, hydrogen, carbon dioxide, co2

0010 JH Ausubel. Historical Note [on the issue of Carbon Dioxide and Climate Change], in Changing climate: Report of the carbon dioxide assessment committee, annex 2 (PDF). National Academy Press, Washington D.C 1983 Historical Note [on the issue of Carbon Dioxide and Climate Change], in Changing climate: Report of the carbon dioxide assessment committee, annex 2, climate, decarbonization, hydrogen, carbon dioxide, co2

0007 JH Ausubel. A framework for scenario generation for CO2 gaming (PDF) [external link]. IIASA Working Paper WP-81-034: 49, 1981 A framework for scenario generation for CO2 gaming, climate, energy, decarbonization, hydrogen, carbon dioxide, co2

0008 I Stahl, JH Ausubel. Estimating the future input of fossil fuel CO2 into the atmosphere by simulation gaming (PDF) [external link]. IIASA Working Paper WP-81-107: 29, 1981 Estimating the future input of fossil fuel CO2 into the atmosphere by simulation gaming, climate, decarbonization, hydrogen, carbon dioxide, co2

0001 JH Ausubel, AK Biswas. Economics in the air: an introduction to economic issues of the atmosphere and climate (PDF) [external link]. IIASA Working Paper WP-80-092: 50, 1980 Economics in the air: an introduction to economic issues of the atmosphere and climate, Climate, economy, energy, decarbonization, hydrogen, carbon dioxide, co2

0002 JH Ausubel. Climatic change and the carbon wealth of nations (PDF) [external link]. IIASA Working Paper WP-80-075: 54, 1980 Climatic change and the carbon wealth of nations, Climate

0003 JH Ausubel, AK Biswas. Climatic constraints and human activities: Introduction and overview  (PDF) [external link]. IIASA Working Paper WP-80-091: 18, 1980 Climatic constraints and human activities: Introduction and overview , Climate

0004 JH Ausubel, LW Lathrop, I Stahl, JM Robinson. Carbon and climate gaming (PDF) [external link]. IIASA Working Paper WP-80-152: 19, 1980 Carbon and climate gaming, climate, energy, decarbonization, hydrogen, carbon dioxide, co2, games

0005 JH Ausubel. CO2: an introduction and possible board games (PDF) [external link]. IIASA Working Paper WP-80-153: 34, 1980 CO2: an introduction and possible board games, climate, energy, decarbonization, hydrogen, carbon dioxide, co2, games

1141 JH Ausubel. Executive Summary and Synthesis chapter in Changing climate: Report of the carbon dioxide assessment committee (PDF). National Academy Press, Washington D.C 1983 Executive Summary and Synthesis chapter in Changing climate: Report of the carbon dioxide assessment committee,