Examining the limits to bio-energy and bio-sequestration
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.
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.