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Wednesday, February 20, 2013


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When it comes to biofuels, my major concern is the use of cropland for the production of fuels. I know that the text refers to fields being "set aside". However, as the world's population increases, the demand for food will increase, probably increasing the demand for crop land. In addition, as many countries have felt in the past few years, climate change is hurting our ability to grow crops. I believe the estimate is a 10% reduction in production per degree C of warming. So better to save our fields for food, in my opinion.

But, at the end of the day, fossil fuels are the problem. I do not have faith in the idea of "growing" a substitute. Instead, I believe we should put all of our energy in improving mass transit and making transportation run on electricity.

Thanks for the interesting post!

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Convert carbon dioxide (CO2) weight to carbon (C) weight


CO2/3.67 = C 


ex: 40 GtCO2 ≈ 10.9 GtC


1 Gt (Gigatonne) = 1 billion tonnes

1 tonne = 1,000 kg


Also: 1 Pg = 1 Gt


1 Pg (Petagram) = 1 quadrillion grams


Soil specialists tend to use Pg, as they are used to working with gram units per square meter of soil area. Atmospheric specialists tend to use Gt. 

Convert carbon emissions to ppm atmospheric CO2


GtC/2.12 = ppm

To convert emissions of carbon to atmospheric ppm CO2, carbon sinks must be taken into account. 

So far, terrestrial and oceanic sinks have taken up about 50% of CO2.



ex: 40 GtCO2 emissions ≈ 10.9 GtC

10.9 GtC/2.12 ≈ 5.14 ppm CO2 before accounting for sinks

5.14 ppm CO2 x 0.5 ≈ 2.57 ppm CO2 after accounting for sinks


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