Greenhouse gases, climate change and the transition from coal to low-carbon electricity
Environmental Research Letters
16 Feb 2012
Myhrvold NP and Caldeira K
A transition from the global system of coal-based electricity generation to low-greenhouse-gas-emission energy technologies is required to mitigate climate change in the long term. The use of current infrastructure to build this new low-emission system necessitates additional emissions of greenhouse gases, and the coal-based infrastructure will continue to emit substantial amounts of greenhouse gases as it is phased out. Furthermore, ocean thermal inertia delays the climate benefits of emissions reductions. By constructing a quantitative model of energy system transitions that includes life-cycle emissions and the central physics of greenhouse warming, we estimate the global warming expected to occur as a result of build-outs of new energy technologies ranging from 100 GWe to 10 TWe in size and 1–100 yr in duration. We show that rapid deployment of low-emission energy systems can do little to diminish the climate impacts in the first half of this century. Conservation, wind, solar, nuclear power, and possibly carbon capture and storage appear to be able to achieve substantial climate benefits in the second half of this century; however, natural gas cannot.
The Association Between Mountaintop Mining and Birth Defects Among Live Births in Central Appalachia, 1996-2003.
22 Jun 2011[ePub]
Ahern MM, Hendryx M, Conley J, Fedorko E, Ducatman A, Zullig KJ.
Birth defects are examined in mountaintop coal mining areas compared to other coal mining areas and non-mining areas of central Appalachia.
Health-Related Quality of Life Among Central Appalachian Residents in Mountaintop Mining Counties.
American Journal of Public Health
18 Mar 2011 [ePub]
Zullig KJ, Hendryx M.
This study examines the health-related quality of life of residents in mountaintop mining counties of Appalachia using the 2006 national Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System.
Mountaintop Mining Consequences
Palmer MA, Bernhardt ES, Schlesinger WH, Eshleman KN, Foufoula-Georgiou E, Hendryx MS, Lemly AD, Likens GE, Loucks OL, Power ME, White PS, Wilcock PR
Damage to ecosystems and threats to human health and the lack of effective mitigation require new approaches to mining regulation.