Click for next page ( 74


The National Academies | 500 Fifth St. N.W. | Washington, D.C. 20001
Copyright © National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved.
Terms of Use and Privacy Statement



Below are the first 10 and last 10 pages of uncorrected machine-read text (when available) of this chapter, followed by the top 30 algorithmically extracted key phrases from the chapter as a whole.
Intended to provide our own search engines and external engines with highly rich, chapter-representative searchable text on the opening pages of each chapter. Because it is UNCORRECTED material, please consider the following text as a useful but insufficient proxy for the authoritative book pages.

Do not use for reproduction, copying, pasting, or reading; exclusively for search engines.

OCR for page 73
Environmental Issues

OCR for page 73

OCR for page 73
Energy: Production, Consumption, and Consequences. 1990. Pp. 75 84. Washington, D.C.: National Academy Press. Global Environmental Forces THOMAS C. SCHELLING Greenhouse warming is global in at least two respects. First, carbon dioxide (CO2) and the other gases released or withheld anywhere on earth disperse rapidly into the global inventory. The location of origin makes no difference. Second, the effect will be a change in global circulation of air and water. Although the mean rise in atmospheric temperature is commonly used as an index of climate change, the change in temperature differential between equatorial and polar regions may be a better measure of global environmental forces. The standard point estimate of global warming for a doubling of the concentration of CO2 in the atmosphere is 3 C (National Research Council, 1982~. But it is usually estimated that the warming in the polar regions associated with this 3-degree average change might be 8 or 10 degrees, whereas the change in atmospheric temperature near the equator might be closer to 1 degree (National Research Council, 1982~. Offhand this sounds like a welcome dispersion of temperature change: it will mainly get warmer where it is already very cold and warm up the least where it is already hot. But more significant is that it is the temperature gradients between equatorial and polar regions that drive the winds, which in turn drive the oceans, and a change of 7 or 8 degrees in the mean temperature difference will change the atmospheric and oceanic circulation much more than would a uniform global rise in atmospheric temperature. Most climates may get warmer, some will undoubtedly become cooler. But the observed changes will include not only temperature and temperature variation from season to season and year to year but also, probably more importantly, the amounts, . 7s

OCR for page 73
76 llI0~4S C SCHELLING the seasonal distribution, and the year-toyear variation in rainfall, snow, wind, fog, sunlight, humidity, and storms. For the purpose of comparing forthcoming changes in climate with changes experienced in the past, the mean global atmospheric tempera- ture is probably not only a reliable index but something of a measure of magnitude. Using the commonly accepted 3-degree rise from a doubling of the atmospheric concentration as an approximation to what may be forthcoming, the ensuing temperature will not only be well outside the range of atmospheric temperatures experienced in the past 10,000 years but may be several times the range of temperature variation experienced in that time. This observation is frequently expressed, and correctly, as a change in climate greater than any that mankind has experienced since the dawn of history. It is expressed more accurately as changes in cli- matesplural not singular because different climates around the globe will change differently. Without belittling the unprecedented nature of such climate changes or the prospect of some change that is not gradual but catastrophic, it is fair to point out that most people will not undergo in the next 100 years changes in their local climates more drastic than the changes in climate that people have undergone during the past 100 years. No climate changes are forecast that compare with moving from Boston to Irvine, California, or even perhaps from Irvine to Los Angeles. The Goths and the Vandals, the Romans and the Vikings, the Tartars and the Huns migrated through more drastic changes than any currently anticipated; Europeans who migrated to North and South America similarly underwent drastic climate changes. In this country in 1860 barely 2 percent of the population lived outside the humid continental or subtropical climates; in 1980 the percentages outside these zones had increased from 2 percent to 22 percent. Furthermore the microclimates of urbanized lblyo, Mexico City, and Los Angeles have not deterred their population growth; the microclimates of London and Pittsburgh changed dramatically during the century before 1950 and have changed again almost as dramatically since then. Even urbanization itself, without the associated air pollution, changes the condi- tions created by climate. Most Americans, Europeans, and Japanese never experience muddy roads anymore. The expectation is that climates will change gradually, both over time and over space (National Research Council, 1983:Ch. 1-3~. The climate of Nebraska may gradually change into the current climate of Kansas, not into the climate of Massachusetts or Oregon. Climates will "migrate." This expectation is on the whole reassuring, but it could be mistaken. The models used in the computer simulation of climate may be incapable of producing discontinuities because the current state of meteorological knowledge is confined to continuous processes. There may be no reason to expect

OCR for page 73
GLOBAL ENVIRONMENTAL FORCES 77 discontinuities, but the fact that the models produce no discontinuities may reflect an inability to design models based on the state of the art that can discover such phenomena. Aside from a possible rise in ocean level, which I shall discuss presently, the most predictable physical and economic consequences of climate change will be in agriculture. By "predictable" I mean not that the actual changes can be predicted but that it can be reliably predicted that there will be changes. These will be changes in rainfall, winter snow for summer irrigation, humidity, daylight and cloud cover, and perhaps the health and comfort of livestock There is no reason to believe that the revolutionary improvements in agricultural productivity that have developed over the past 75 years and that in many cases have spread worldwide will not continue. Depletion of soils may continue, but control over plant and animal genetics and the possible production of new proteins may drastically change for the better what crops people will grow and what foods they will eat 50 or 100 years from now. An increase in the cost of food production by 5 or 10 percent, even 20 percent, which would be a somewhat extravagant estimate, may easily be offset many times over by another century's improvements in agricultural productivity. There will undoubtedly continue to be parts of the world that are intractably poor and dependent for a livelihood largely on local production of food or other climatically dependent crops. These countries may have little of the capacity to adapt that the more advanced countries can afford. So even if the damage to food production may not average enough on a global scale to be cause for alarm may not even be noticeablethere may be particular areas in which the damage to agriculture coupled with population growth could severely retard progress. (Population growth may be the more serious.) This situation may demand foreign aid to the poorest countries. I would neither expect nor recommend foreign aid directly related to hardships induced by climate change, but rather aid to the poorest. What I have said so far will sound to many readers as insufficiently alarmist. "Optimistic" it may appear. One reason for the unexcited tone, which I shall elaborate shortly, is pessimism, not optimism. I do not believe that serious measures will be taken over the next quarter century to curtail the emissions of carbon into the atmosphere. I do not believe that even an alarmist appraisal will lead to a substantial policy response. I therefore do not believe that exaggerating the dangers will serge a useful purpose. But there is, I acknowledge, another reason why my assessment is so mild. As I mentioned earlier, I am attempting to assess predicted changes, and it may be that our climate models predict only what we understand well enough to include in the models. Maybe we are also good at adapting to

OCR for page 73
78 THOA{4S C SCHELLING phenomena we understand, as well as good at predicting them; and the ones we do not understand well enough to predict will cause difficulty because we do not understand them well enough to adapt. In other words, there is bias in our assessment of dangers: those we understand well enough to perceive we understand well enough to overcome, those that we have no hints of may be the dangers we would least know how to meet and overcome. Reduced rainfall in Kansas 25 or 50 years from now we may adapt to with moisture-conserving agricultural techniques, genetically altered crops that require less moisture, or the acquisition and transport of water. The phenomenon is familiar, the adaptations are familiar, and the predictions are based on familiar principles of meteorology. The "collapse" of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet would be an altogether different phenomenon. As recently as 15 or 20 years ago, the accepted estimates were that the grounded ice ice resting on the sea bottom and rising a kilometer or more above sea level might, with a warming of the oceans attendant upon a warming of the atmosphere, slide or glaciate into the ocean within 75 years, causing a 20-foot rise in sea level. Like seismology in response to the test-ban controversy of the l950s, glaciology has advanced in the past decade or two, assisted by satellite sensing, and the currently accepted estimates are that if that grounded ice should be added to the ocean level it is likely to be gradual and to take several hundred years. The urgency of that particular danger is thus reduced by an order of magnitude (unless further rapid advances in the relevant glaciology bring comparable changes in estimates back in the opposite direction). What is worrisome is that there may be other phenomena, perhaps, like the ocean level, not being perceived as "climatic," that could be as devastating as a 20-foot rise in sea level and that will not, upon further inspection, yield to more benign estimates. When asked for an example, I can of course protect myself by pointing out that predicting the unpredictable, foreseeing the unforeseen, especially as an amateur, cannot be demanded of me. But when I am in a mood to worry I think about possible changes in the Gulf Stream and the Japanese current. The current global circulation models, as I understand it, do not include changes in the direction and velocity of ocean currents, and I am not sure that enough is known about the response of ocean currents to changes in wind patterns to predict whether there may be catastrophes, that is, flipflops from one equilibrium to another, rather than gradual change. Thus, there may be a missing feedback loop from warming to winds to currents to climate that, when added to the current models, will produce something more worrisome. than the migration of the climate of Kansas to South Dakota. As I said at the outset, the problem is global; and that is why it is exceedingly unlikely that anything substantial will be done to curtail fossil

OCR for page 73
GLOBAL ENVIRONMENTAL FORCES 79 fuel emissions. Any nation that attempts to mitigate changes in climate through a unilateral program of energy conservation or fuel switching (or expensively scrubbing CO2 from smokestacks) in the absence of some international rationing or compensation arrangement, pays alone the cost of its program while sharing the benefits with the rest of the world. Consider the Federal Republic of Germany, which accounts for about 4 percent of world's energy consumption and just about 4 percent of each of the three fossil fuels, coal, oil, and natural gas. If that country took the drastic step of reducing by one-third its consumption of fossil fuels, the cost in lost productivity and consumer welfare, even if it were done gradually over a period of two decades, could be equivalent to 3 - percent of its gross national product while the concentration of CO2 in the atmosphere would be reduced by barely 1 percent. Even for the United States, the largest energy consumer of all, phasing in a one-third cutback in fossil fuel consumption over the next 20 years at a cost perhaps equivalent to $150 billion or $200 billion per year at today's prices and income levels, would reduce emissions worldwide by less than 10 percent. The time to a doubling of CO2 in the atmosphere might be reduced from something like 85 years to 80 years. I think it is a fair estimate that for no individual country, with the arguable exception of the United States, is it economical to curtail CO2 emissions unilaterally in the interest of retarding climate change. Any significant effort to curtail emissions would require an inter- national rationing regime, covering the larger fraction of world energy consumption, to ration the consumption of energy, or the consumption of fossil fuels, or the consumption of carbon, in some manner that could con- fidently be expected to remain in force long enough to be effective, say 50 years or more. It would have to include the Soviet Union, it would have to include the People's Republic of China, and it may well have to include the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC). It would require mandating compliance on the part of scores of nations that would greatly prefer to be outside the regime. And it would require for many nations trading urgently needed economic growth now for the dubious future ben- efits of a rationing scheme that depended on a more disparate membership than even that of OPEC. Eventually, because most of the world's known coal resources are in the Soviet Union, China, and the United States, the scheme would require those three nations to collaborate effectively and indefinitely as a cartel. The political likelihood of solid and confidently expected collaboration of that kind would be approximately zero if energy were a homogeneous commodity consumed uniformly worldwide. But to put in effect a rationing scheme the impact of which will begin to hurt and be effective only after several decades of energy growth would require dealing with economic growth itself, and that in turn requires attention to things like population

OCR for page 73
80 lots C SCHEMING growth (Ausubel and Nordhaus, 1983; Nordhaus and Yohe, 1983~. Do the Chinese claim that a policy of zero population growth is more than sufficient as a curtailment of energy use and that their country should therefore be exempt? Do the countries in the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development participate as a unit, negotiating long-term shares in energy growth? Is there any chance they could be more successful than they have been with defense budgets, oil imports, or agricultural trade? My pessimistic conclusion is that nothing of the sort is going to hap- pen. I do not believe the Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer, signed in September 1987, is any harbinger for sup- pression of CO2. Economically what is at stake is two or three orders of magnitude greater for fossil fuels than for chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) and the prospects for technological replacement of CFCs are much brighter. (The Ozone Protocol does illustrate the need for worldwide collaboration to make restrictions worthwhile: the treaty takes effect only when ratified by nations representing two-thirds of world consumption.) If world politics change as much in the next 75 years as in the past 75, a global fuel regime of some kind may become possible, but none is now foreseeable. If I am wrong, and world rationing of fossil fuels becomes economically and politically feasible, we shall still face the prospects for climate change. There is absolutely no possibility that fossil fuel emissions can cease altogether in the foreseeable future, and even the most optimistic could hardly hope that fuel emissions would stop growing within the fore- seeable future. A most ambitious goal might be to reduce by half the growth rate in fossil fuel emissions. (As the fraction of fossil fuels represented by petroleum and natural gas declines over the coming century, fossil fuel consumption will have to increase at less than half the unrestricted growth rate in order that carbon emissions be only half what they might otherwise be.) A not unreasonable estimate, for purposes of illustration only, of growth in fossil fuel consumption over the next half century might be 2 per- cent per year, a rate at which the atmospheric concentration of CO2 might double in about 85 years, reaching 50 percent elevation in about 50 years. Holding emissions to 1 percent growth would carry us beyond the middle of the next century before we reached concentrations half again as great as today's. The implied curtailment in emissions, at 1 percent compared with 2 percent, would be 10 percent at the end of the first decade, 25 percent at the end of three decades, and 40 percent by the end of five decades. That seems to me to be the outside limit to what might be economically acceptable worldwide. (How that 40 percent aggregate curtailment would be shared among consuming nations I hesitate even to conjecture.) National programs to phase in nuclear power to replace fossil fuels for electricity, even for the production of hydrogen fuels, may again become popular. But it is still hard to measure the half-life of anxiety resulting from

OCR for page 73
GLOBAL ENVIRONMENTAL FORCES 81 the accidents at Three Mile Island and Chernobyl. Any new reactors will have to be economical as well as clean. Cutting the growth of emissions from 2 percent to 1 percent may well require all electric power capacity in the future to be nuclear. Energy conservation measures deserve emphatic attention, but invest- ments in conservation will mainly be limited to what the private economy finds economical. National or international policy will probably be limited to research, development, demonstration, and technology transmission. Energy-efficient investments may yet get a boost from another doubling or more of the price of crude oil, but that is probably not a boost to be hoped for. What else may be done to cope with the greenhouse problem? CO2 can be removed from the atmosphere by increasing the mass of living vegetation or by "refossilizing" timber, burying it underground or in the ocean or coating it so that it cannot oxidize. And CO2 can be scrubbed from smokestacks at very substantial expense. Probably at enormous expense, some attenuation could be achieved in this fashion. (Some small increase in the carbon density of forests may result naturally from the enhancement of CO2 in the atmosphere.) The concentration of CO2 will therefore certainly increase, and at an increasing rate, and I consider it unlikely that we shall be rescued much before the concentration has nearly doubled. The main response will be adaptation, and most of that by ordinary people and businesses. Some of the adaptation will be by governments, but local and regional governments as much as national governments. There will be changing climates to cope with, changing urbanization, changing population densities, and in most countries probably drastic changes in the ways that people live and work and transport themselves, perhaps s~gn~ncant changes In what they eat. Much of the adaptation will seem generally "environmental" rather than specifically climate oriented. And, of course, there is continuous adaptation to climate even when it is not changing: we change the technology and the efficacy with which we heat ourselves and cool ourselves and clean our air and protect ourselves from storms and cope with droughts and floods and dispose of snow. The pace of change may be such that people will find themselves adapting to climate rather than to changing climate. Just as businesses shift to take advantage of better productive climates, they will keep shifting to better climates with perhaps small regard for the prospects of changing climates in given locations. ~ ~ ~ . . . .. There remains to be discussed a response to climate change that re- ceives so little attention that it deserves emphasis heredirect intervention in weather and climate. When Thomas F. Malone was chairman of the Committee on Atmospheric Sciences of the National Research Council, he wrote, 20 years ago, "The possibility that large effects may be produced

OCR for page 73
82 lots C SCHELLING from relatively modest but highly selective human interventions opens up the possibility that weather and climate modification may some day be operationally feasible" (Malone, 1968:1136~. And of the modification of hurricanes he said, "If five years are allowed for the development of an ad- equate mathematical model, five more years for assessing the consequences of interventions of various kinds, and then ten years of field experimenta- tion for validation, it seems unreasonable to expect much before 1990, with the probabilities fair to good that a proven technology will exist by the year 2000." He added, "The probability of success in broad climate modification is likely to exceed 50 percent by the year 2018" (1968:1138), that being the 50-year mark from the time he wrote. Most experiments with weather modification or with changing geo- graphical features that may lead to climate change have been local and regional. That has been true of cloud seeding and would be true of the manipulation of hurricanes. In a discussion of greenhouse warming, the possibility of global intervention has to be considered. An important kind of human intervention in global climate may be efforts to change the ra- diation balance itself. We know it can be done: we are doing it. That is what the greenhouse discussion is all about. The fact that we are doing it unintentionally, and the fact that the consequences may not be welcome, do not contradict that we know how, at some expense if necessary, to change the world's climate more than it has changed in the last 10,000 years. Warming the atmosphere currently is more economical than cooling it because it happens as a by-product of energy consumption that would be costly to reduce or terminate. If we were faced with a "little Ice Age" over the next century, we might be glad to get some of that CO2 in the atmosphere at no cost and without having to negotiate climate change diplomatically. But we know that, in principle, cooling could be arranged. Volcanic eruptions have done it. Discussions of "nuclear winter" took seriously the possibility that human activity might lower global temperatures cataclysmi- cally. Considering the development of nuclear energy in both its explosive and its controlled uses and the feat of landing a team on the moon and returning it safely, and that we now know how to warm the earth's atmo- sphere and possibly to cool it (though through unacceptable means), we should not rule out that technologies for global cooling, perhaps by inject- ing the right particulates into the stratosphere, perhaps by subtler means, will become economical during coming decades. A more benign example, compared with nuclear winter or induced volcanic eruptions, may be the manipulation of cloud cover. Let me again quote Thomas Malone (1968:1135~. A characteristic of the atmosphere that frustrates the weather forecaster while providing a basis for optimism on the part of the weather modifier is a tendency

OCR for page 73
GLOBAL ENVIRONMENTAL FORCES for the processes in the atmosphere to demonstrate certain traits of instability.... For example, a small pulty-type cloud may grow to a towering thunderstorm in a matter of hours; a gentle zephyr in tropical latitudes may develop into a "killer" hurricane in a matter of days; and a small low-pressure center may grow to a vigorous extratropical cyclone within a single day.... An avenue may be opened up by which great erects may be produced from relatively modest but highly selective human interventions. 83 If somebody learned in the next 50 years how to affect the extent and global distribution of certain kinds of cloud cover, incoming radiation may become manipulable by nations, international agencies, or even interested private organizations, depending on the nature of the technology, its expense, and perhaps geographical considerations. It is difficult to mention such a possibility without appearing to rec- ommend it, or to use it as a "technological fix" in the future to divert attention from some need for immediate policy intervention. I am not rec- ommending, I am predicting. Independently of CO2, we have to consider that weather and climate modification may become feasible in a period of time no longer than the elapsed time since electronics, genetics, antibiotics, and nuclear fission were unimagined. The greenhouse warming may gen- erate an interest among most nations in moderating the changed radiation balance, and if it proves more expensive to facilitate outgoing radiation than to obstruct incoming, there may be powerful motives for considering it. And if the technique for moderating incoming radiation were globally uniform or nearly so, an international agreement would have only to decide how to share the costs, a unidimensional problem compared with sharing the reduction of emissions. If intervention is more regional than global, or global but not uniform in its distribution, intervention could become exceedingly controversial. Mexico and China are counting on those hurricanes they are an essential source of rainfall for cropswhereas the Cubans, Filipinos, Japanese, and residents of the Texas coast would suppress them if they knew how. In closing I must say a word about sea level. I believe the current wisdom is that we may be in for rising sea level that could be on the order of a meter per century for several centuries (Robin, 1986~. Anything upwards of a meter, perhaps even half a meter, would primarily be due to the collapse of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet. The full hotfoot rise corresponding to the complete disappearance of that body of ice would put the White House rose garden under water, make Beacon Hill in Boston an island, and isolate the southern third of Florida by making the middle third disappear under water. A country like the United States should be able to adapt (eventually by doing, perhaps, what the Dutch have been doing for centuries~onstructing dikes). No such "easy" solution is available to a country like Bangladesh, which is densely populated in large areas that would be inundated by the

OCR for page 73
132 TABLE 3 Muliiday Study Simulation Manx JOHN ~ SHINER FUEL TYPE .Gasoline Methanol Case 1: V Current conventional vehicles E (nodal fleet turnover) . H Case 4: I M85 @ 100 percent substitutions C 15 mg/mi formaldehyde, ? HC Case 2: L 199~2000 model year vehicles Case S: E (additional regulations, M100 @ 100 percent subsiituiiona nonnal fleet turnover to 2000) 55 mg/mi fonnaldebyde, no HC T Case 6: M100 @ 100 percent substitution Y 15 mg/mi formaldehyde, no HC P Case 3: E Advanced vehicles (technological break- through) and 100 percent substitution aComplete replacement of methanol vehicles for both highway and off-road mobile vehicles and re- placement of methanol for gasoline in die retail fuel distribution system. the base case into compliance (100 percent) and appear in Figure 9. For the base case scenario, the maximum peak ozone level was calculated to be 0.27 ppm. Because 0.12 ppm is the value specified by the ozone standard, a 57 percent reduction in ozone level would be required to achieve compliance; this is represented by the top bar of Figure 9 plotted at 100 percent and 0.27 ppm. From Table 4, we note that cases 2 and 3 were found to reduce ozone levels by 3 and 9 percent, respectively; this corresponds, respectively, to 5 and 16 percent of the reduction required to reach the 0.12 ppm level (greater by the ratio of 100/574. These two cases are indicated by bars 2 and 3 of Figure 9. The next three bars indicate percent of achievement for the three methanol cases. Note that the best methanol case, M100 with low formaldehyde, achieves only 29 percent of the reduction required to reach 0.12 ppm. These preliminary results of this study are consistent with previous research; however, the reader is again reminded that these

OCR for page 73
133 ~ _ ~ As_ "o ~ o Vat :Z U. o ~ C ID ~ U. .~ _ To - to - m As 43 _ _ 4) ~ ~ ~ TIC ~ - 9D C) Us 0 cot ~ cry 0 lo ~ ~ _ ~ ~ 7; ' C} ~ C ~ i ~ 8 - '0; 0 3 ~ 3 o ~ 8 8 ~ _ _ ~ ~ 2 o - U, oo o ~ C? ~ Cat cot 'S c`4 as Q DO .~ .E ~ _ _ ~ ~ _ 4 2 m ~ A ~ 6 Uc ~ ~ o _ c, 3 o s ~ ~, o ;~. o ~ ~ U. o. o V} ~ 6 =.' ~ .~ =~.S _ ~ .O ~, 6 oo `: s ~o ~ ~ ~_ a, ~ . o _ P" ~ ~ 6 o ~ ~ ~ aq U~ o 6.8 3 o, ~ ~ _ ~ C ~ ~ o '-# ~ ,' ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ 3 ~ e =~ ,= O C ~ ~ o ~ O ~ ~ 0, C

OCR for page 73
134 Conventional Vehicle Base Case 1900-2000 Model Year Vehicles Maximum Advanced Conventional Vehicle MB5, Low F M100, High F M100, Low F No Mobile HC No Mobile NOX No Mobile HC and NO 0.12 x No Man-Made Sources JOHN ~ SHILLER Peak O3 Level (ppm) 0.27 ~ 1 ;;;;.;;;;;;;; _- .. 2 . ~ ,,.,., ,,,, ......... , ..................... ~ _ 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 2 3 4 ~ m 5 ~ of 6 'L 7 0 20 40 60 80 100 UNACHIEVED O3 REDUCTION (% of 0.15 ppm) FIGURE 9 Companson of ozone reduction strategies for the South Coast Air Basin for the year 2000. The solid bars show the percent of unachieved reduction of ozone levels from a base case value of 0.27 ppm to the 0.12 ppm level required by the ozone standard. Case numbers are the same as in Cables 3 and 4 and are described further in the text. These results suggest that no strategy limited to the motor vehicle transportation system alone will be sufflaent to achieve the ozone standard in the Los Angeles area. SOURCE: California Air Resources Board, 1988. findings depend on the plausibility of the emission rate assumptions and initial conditions. The bars below case 6 in Figure 9 show the reductions achieved by eliminating all ozone precursor emissions due to the motor vehicle trans- portation system, that is, emissions from all retail gasoline and diesel distribution centers, all petroleum refining operations, and all motor vehi- cles (both highway and off-road vehicles) except motorcycles. The three cases studied were as follows: the removal of all HC with reduced NOR achieved a reduction of 16 percent, the removal of all NOR with reduced HC achieved 20 percent, and the removal of all HC and NOR (case 7) achieved 24 percent, far short of the 57 percent required. Further, a peak ozone level of 0.139 ppm was estimated for the extreme case of removing all in-basin emissions (all sources) and assuming low-level initial conditions (low pollutant concentrations entering the basin). Even for this case, only 87 percent of the reduction required to achieve the ozone standard was attained, as shown by the bottom bar of the figure. These results suggest that achievement of the ozone standard in the

OCR for page 73
THE AUTOMOBILE AND THE ATMOSPHERE 135 Los Angeles area will not be possible with any strategy that targets mobile sources alone. It may not be possible even with the removal of all man- made sources. The results further indicate that methanol-fueled vehicles do have some potential to reduce ozone in the Los Angeles area but that the magnitude of the reduction during multiday episodes is likely to be smaller than that of earlier single-day modeling results (see Able 2 for Los Angeles). The emission assumptions for the M85 case are considered to be more realistic (for either the M85 or the M100 case). This suggests a 6 percent ozone benefit (9 percent versus 3 percent, respectively) for methanol-fueled vehicles over conventionally fueled vehicles (with additional controls) may be possible if the assumed optimistic emission rates can be achieved. More work is needed to examine the accuracy of the emission assumptions and the general applicability of these results to other modeling conditions. Public Health and Direct Formaldehyde Emissions For any ozone control strategy, it is vital to consider the possibility of undesirable effects that may arise as a consequence of the control strategy itself. In other words, we must make sure that the "cure is not worse than the disease.'' Thus, it is necessary to evaluate the effect of direct emissions of formaldehyde on public health, particularly in confined spaces such as parking garages. Work is being done to gain a better understanding of this concern. For example, the Health Effects Institute (HEI) has under- taken a study of formaldehyde to complement their earlier study on the health effects of direct methanol emissions (HEI, 1985~. The earlier study indicated that adverse human health effects due to methanol at projected exposure levels associated with a move to methanol fuel are unlikely. In another study (Gold and Moulis, 1988), EPAs proposed methanol vehicle emission standards (U.S. EPA, 1986b) are shown to prevent concentrations of methanol and formaldehyde from reaching toxic levels in most com- monly encountered driving scenarios. However, further analysis of parking garages and other areas with restricted air dilution is needed before all concerns can be fully resolved. As for open and unrestricted spaces, the Carnegie Mellon study (Computers in Science, 1988) showed that 90 percent of atmospheric formaldehyde is created by photooxidation of hydrocarbons and that only 10 percent comes from direct emissions. Thus, a significant increase in average ambient formaldehyde levels with methanol vehicles is unlikely.

OCR for page 73
136 JOHN ~ SHILLER PUBLIC POLICY STRATEGIES In recognition of the difficult task of achieving standards in the Los An- geles Basin, the South Coast Air Quality Management District (SCAQMD) and the Southern California Association of Governments (SCAG) have announced a three-tier strategy to attain air quality standards over the next 20 years (SCAQMD and SCAG, 1987, 1988~. The plan, which was proposed in June 1988, acknowledges that full-scale implementation and advanced development of known technology will be inadequate to achieve the standards in Los Angeles. Significant technological breakthroughs are required. To illustrate the magnitude of the situation, Figure 10 shows the 1985 emission inventory for both mobile and stationary sources of reactive hydro- carbons and oxides of nitrogen in the South Coast Air Basin (SCAQMD and SCAG, 1987~. Based on estimates by SCAQMD and SCAG, am percent reduction in reactive hydrocarbons from the 1985 inventory would be necessary to attain the air quality standard for ozone. Elimination of highway vehicle hydrocarbon emissions would only provide a 43 percent reduction, far short of the required 79 percent. Therefore, the demands of attaining the ozone standard in Los Angeles would exceed even the most aggressive application of current motor vehicle technology. Note that this conclusion is consistent with the multiday computer simulations described above. The three-tier strategy proposed by SCAQ to reduce emissions to the point where all air quality standards are achieved by 2007-2010 requires a full-scale implementation of known technology (tier 1), significant ad- vancement of known technology (tier 2), and technological breakthroughs (tier 3~. In the second phase of the plan, it is assumed that 40 percent of passenger cars, 70 percent of freight vehicles, and 100 percent of buses will use clean-fuel technologies (Acurex, 1986~. In January 1988, SCAQMD adopted a five-year $30-million Clean Fuels Program, which includes 19 mobile source related demonstration projects for technologies, such as electric vehicles, methanol, and compressed natural gas. Tier 3 assumes full electrification of all motor vehicles and stationary combustion sources. That assumption relies on new technologies such as superconductors and improved electrical storage devices and either the building of new infras- tructures or the elimination of existing infrastructures or both. Tier 3 is clearly beyond current capability. CUSTOMER VALUE AND FUEL STRATEGY If a conversion to alternative fuels is to be successful, the vehicles that use these fuels must represent value to the customer or they will not sell.

OCR for page 73
THE AUTOMOB LE AND THE ATMOSPHERE 137 Customer surveys, such as the 1987 Automotive Consumer Profile survey of 5,000 members of the driving-age public, show that reliability and quality lead the list of consumer '~wants" (see Figure 11), with safety and service (availability of parts and labor) also high on the list (Power Report, 1988~. About 70 percent or more of the respondents said that these features were "very or somewhat important" in the purchase of their next vehicles. Purchase price, operating cost, and resale value (a factor in operating cost) are also perceived as important. Based on new car buyers' perceptions of how these features would be affected by a switch to methanol fuel (see Figure 12), the perceived benefits of methanol are in areas of relatively low importance to consumers. Vehicles that use alternative fuels must be fully competitive in value with current transportation alternatives. In fact, it could be argued that they must offer an advantage to overcome any concerns a customer might have. This advantage may have to take the form of buyer incentives (at least in the beginning) to induce consumer risk invesunent by compensating for the perceived potential disadvantages associated with the convenience, reputation, and resale of alternative-fuel vehicles in relation to gasoline- fueled vehicles. It is critical that consumer concerns be addressed at the outset. 1 400 1 200 >` a, 1 000 Q CO Hi; In z o In CO 400 Level for Ozone Attainment - 200 HO _ Nonhighway Automobiles Vehicles Trucks ~ Petroleum Operations NOxi O Residential ~ Electric Power Manufacturing O Service- Commerce FIGURE 10 South Coast Air Basin emissions lay source for 1985. In 1985 the ozone produced by precursor sources unrelated to transportation was sufficient to exceed the standard. Level for NO Attainment

OCR for page 73
138 Reliability Quality Safety Service Comfort Reputation Low Price Fuel Economy Appearance Power Technology Small Size JOHN ~ SHILLER 1 '1 ~:q .:.:.:.:.1 1987-1988 Buyers n Potential New-Car I I Consumers 0 50 1 00 PERCENT SAYING VERY/SOMEWHAT IMPORTANT FIGURE 11 Important factors affecting new-car purchase decisions. From the customer's point of view, the availability of vehicles capable of using alternative energy sources will alone not produce a change in the present transportation system. There must also be a substantial increase in the production capacity for the alternative fuel in question and a distribution network to make such fuel readily available. Therefore, the development of vehicles having "fuel flexibility" seems imperative in any program to introduce a new fuel. CONCLUSIONS Significant advances have been made in reducing emissions from current-technology vehicles. Further reductions are expected as newer vehicles replace old. Even with the progress to date, certain areas of the

OCR for page 73
THE AUTOMOBILE AND THE ATMOSPHERE 139 country still did not attain all air quality standards by the August 1988 congressional deadline. The Los Angeles area faces the most difficult task to achieve the national air quality standards. Because of the special air quality situation in Los Angeles, the potential environmental benefits of alternative fuels are being studied to determine what can be accomplished. 1b date, the relatively low cost of gasoline and diesel fuel and their other inherent advantages have restricted the use of other fuel sources. The renewed interest in alcohol as a fuel in the United States results mainly from a hope that it may reduce environmentally undesirable emissions. Studies suggest that conversion of light~uty vehicles to methanol fuel has some potential to reduce ozone levels if emission assumptions are correct, but they also suggest that in certain areas it is not possible to achieve the ozone standard with any strategy that targets only the emissions from the motor vehicle transportation system. Much remains to be done to ascertain the validity of the assumptions that underlie the conclusions reached thus far and to gain a better understanding of currently Reliability Quality Safety Service Comfort Reputation Low Price Fuel Economy Appearance Power Technology Small Size ~//.///////~/////////~////////////~ ///// Perception of Methanol Impact Positive Neutral 1 Unknown Negative 1 0 20 30 40 50 60 70 80 90 PERCENT SAYING VERY/SOMEWHAT IMPORTANT FIGURE 12 Consumer perceptions of the effect of methanol-fuel capability on factors important to a new-car purchase.

OCR for page 73
140 JOHN ~ SHILLER unregulated emissions. The improvements made in conventional technology also need careful evaluation for comparison. Surveys of motor vehicle consumer preferences indicate that the per- ceived benefits of methanol are relatively less important than other vehicle attnbutes. This situation poses an even greater challenge for vehicle man- ufacturers and governmental regulators to deliver these new technology vehicles in a way that provides equal, if not greater, value to the customer. REFERENCES Acurex. 1986. California's Methanol Program, Evaluation Report, Vol. I, Executive Summary. November. Mountain View, Calif.: Acurex Corp. American Petroleum Institute (API). 1987. Ozone Concentration Data Analysis. Washington, D.C.: API. Bolt, J. A. 1980. A Survey of Alcohol as a Motor Fuel. SAE Technical Paper Series, SAE/pt-80/19. Warrendale, Pa.: Society of Automotive Engineers. Brunelle, M. F., J. E. Dickinson, and W. J. Hamming. 1966. Effectiveness of Organic Solvents in Photochemical Smog Formation: Solvent Project, Final Report. Los Angeles County Air Pollution Control District. California Air Resources Board (CARB). 1986. Methodology to Calculate Emission Factors for On-Road Motor Vehicles. CARB Technical Support Division, Emission Inventory Branch, Motor Vehicle Emissions and Projections Section. Sacramento, Calif.: CARB. California Air Resources Board. 1988. Selected draft of Carnegie Mellon University study results released in response to a request for information in preparation for the June 1, 1988, CARB workshop on formaldehyde emission standards. Carter, W. P. lo, R. Atkinson, W. D. Long, L. Lo N. Parker, and M. ~ Dodd. 1986. Effects of Methanol Fuel Substitution on Multi-Day Air Pollution Episodes. University of California for California Air Resources Board, Contract No. A3-125-32. Sacramento, Calif.: CARB. Chang, R. Y., S. J. Rudy, G. Kuntasal, and R. A. Gorse, Jr. 1989. Impact of methanol vehicles on ozone air quality. Atmospheric Environment (In Press). Chemical Rubber Company. 1983. Handbook of Chemistry and Physics, 64th ed. Boca Raton, Fla.: CRC Press. Computers in Science. 1988. Carnegie Mellon University. January-February. Dodge, M. C 1984. Combined effects of organic reactivity and NMHC/NO ~ ratio on photochemical oxidant formationA modeling study. Atmosphenc Environment 18~8~:1657-1665. Faith, W. L., and ~ A. Atkisson, Jr. 1972. Air Pollution, 2d ed. New York: John Wiley & Sons. Gold, M. D., and C. E. Moulis. 1988. Effects of emission standards on methanol vehicle- related ozone, formaldehyde, and methanol exposure. APCA Paper No. 88-41.4, SDSB/EPA. Pittsburgh, Pa.: Air Pollution Control Association. Haagen-Smit, A. J. 1952. Chemistry and physiology of Los Angeles smog. Industrial and Engineenng Chemistry 44(6):1342. Hagen, D. Lo 1977. Methanol as a fuel: A review with bibliography. SAE Technical Paper Senes, SAE-770792. Warrendale, Pa.: Society of Automotive Engineers. Harris, J. N., A. G. Russell, and J. B. Milford. 1988. Air Quality Implications for Methanol Fuel Utilization. SAE Technical Paper Series, SAE-881198. Wa.~ndale, Pa.: Society of Automotive Engineers. Health Effects Institute (HEI). 1985. Letter to Dr. Bernard Goldstein, Assistant Admin- istrator for Research and Development, EPA, from Thomas P. G~umbley. August 12. Ingersoll, E. P. 1895. The Horseless Age (November).

OCR for page 73
THE AUTOMOB LE AND THE ATMOSPHERE 141 Ingersoll, E. P. 1897a. The oil famine bugaboo, a gunpowder motor. The Horseless Age II(3~. Ingersoll, E. P. 1897b. Acetylene as a motive agent, motor cabs (electric) in New York. The Horseless Age (February). Ingersoll, E. P. 1897c. Acetylene motors. The Horseless Age (March). Ingersoll, E. P., ed. 1897d. Riker electric Victoria carbonic acid carriage motor, the Worthley steam carriage, new motor (electric) fire (fighting) apparatus, alcohol as a fuel for motors. The Horseless Age (September). Ingersol, E. P. 1897e. Compressed air vehicles of the Pneumatic Carriage Company. The Horseless Age (October). Lonneman, W. A., S. A. Meeks, and R. L. Sella. 1986. Non-methane organic composition in the Lincoln Tunnel. Environmental Science and Technology 20:79~796. Miron, W. L., R. A. Ragazzi, T. W. Hollman, and G. L. Gallagher. 1986. Ethanol- blended fuel as a CO reduction strategy at high altitude. SAE Technical Paper Series, SAE-860530. Warrendale, Pa.: Society of Automotive Engineers. Motor Vehicle Manufacturers Association (MVMA). 1987. MVMA Motor Vehicle Facts and Figures '87. Washington, D.C.: MVMA. Murrell, J. D., and G. K Piotrowski. 1987. Fuel economy and emissions of Toyota T-LCS-M methanol prototype vehicle. SAE Technical Paper Series, SAE-871090. Warrendale, Pa.: Society of Automotive Engineem. Nichols, R. J. 1986. The flexible fuel vehicle: The bridge to methanol. Paper FL-86-103. National Petroleum Refiners Association, Fuels and Lubricants Meeting, Houston, Texas. November. Nichols, R. J., and J. M. Norbeck. 1985. Assessment of emissions from methanol-fueled vehicles: Implications for ozone air quality. APCA Paper No. 85-38.3. Pittsburgh, Pa.: Air Pollution Control Association. Nichols, R. J., E. Clinton, E. T. King, C. S. Smith, and R. J. Moreland. 1988. A view of FFV aldehyde emissions. SAE Future Transportation Technology Conference and Exposition, August 8-11. O'Toole, R., E. Dutzi, R. Gershman, W. Heft, W. Kalema, and D. Maynard. 1983a. California Methanol Assessment, Vol. 1: Summary Report: Jet Propulsion Laboratory and California Institute of Technology, N83-33340. Springfield, Va.: National Technical Information Service. O'Toole, R., E. Dutzi, R. Gershman, W. Heft, W. Kalema, and D. Maynard. 1983b. California Methanol Assessment, Vol. 2: Technical Report: Jet Propulsion Laboratory and California Institute of Technology, N8~33341. Springfield, Va.: National Technical Information Service. Pefley, R. K, B. Pullman, and G. Whitten. 1984. The impact of alcohol fuels on urban air pollution: Methanol photochemistry study. University of Santa Clara and Systems Applications, Inc., for Department of Energy, DOE/CE/50036-1. November. Springfield, Va.: National Technical Information Service. Power Report. 1988. liouble-free, quality, safe cam important to consumers. The Power Report Newsletter (March). Regulation No. 13. 1987. The reduction of carbon monoxide emissions from gasoline powered motor vehicles through the use of oxygenated fuels. Adopted by the Colorado Air Quality Control Commission on July 29, 1987, and submitted to the Colorado Secretary of State for publication in the Colorado Register on July 10, 1987. South Coast Air Quality Management District (SCAQMD) and Southern California Associ- ation of Governments (SCAG). 1987. The Path to Clean Air Attainment Strategies. December. Los Angeles, Calif.: SCAG. South Coast Air Quality Management District (SCAQMD) and Southern California Asso- ciation of Governments (SCAG). 1988. The Path to Clean Air Policy Proposals for the 1988 Air Quality Management Plan Revision. June. Los Angeles, Calif.: SCAG. Shiller, J. W. 1987. The role of alternative fuels in air quality planning: Methanol fuels in light duty vehicles, does it help or hurt? Proceedings, Air Pollution Control Association Specialty Workshop on Post-1987 Ozone Issues, Golden West Chapter, San Francisco, November.

OCR for page 73
142 JOHN ~ SlIlLLER Staner, H. W., ed. 1905. Alcohol as a fuel for motor cars. The Autocar XIV(482~(January 14~. Szwarc, A., and G. M. Branco. 1987. Automotive emissions The Brazilian control program. SAE Technical Paper Series, SAE-871073. Warrendale, Pa.: Society of Automotive Engineers. U.S. Department of Energy. 1988. Assessment of Costs and Benefits of Flexible and Alternative Fuel Use in the U.S. Transportation Sector, Progress Report One: Context and Analytical Framework, DOE/PE-0080. Washington, D.C.: U.S. Department of Energy. U.S. Energy Information Administration. 1988. Monthly Energy Review (July). Washington, D.C.: U.S. Department of Energy. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). 1977. Uses, Limitations and Technical Basis of Procedures for Quantifying Relationships Between Photochemical Oxidants and Precursors. EPA-450/2-M-021a. EPA Research Triangle Park, N.C. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. 1985. Outdoor Smog Chamber Experiments: Reactivity of Methanol Exhaust. EPA Offlce of Mobile Sources. EPA 460/3-85-009a & b. September. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. 1986a. Regulatory Support Document, Proposed Organic Emission Standards and Test Procedures for 1988 and Later Methanol Vehicles and Engines. July. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. 1986b. Emission Standards for Methanol-Fueled Motor Vehicles and Motor Vehicle Engines, FR 51 No. 166. August. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. 1987a. Air Quality Benefits of Alternative Fuels. Report prepared for the Vice President's disk Force on Alternative Fuels, EPA Offlce of Mobile Sources. July. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. 1987b. Guidance on Estimating Motor Vehicle Emission Reductions from the Use of Alternate Fuels and Fuel Blends. Draft Technical Report EPA-AA-TSS-PA-87~. EPA Emission Control Technology Division, Ann Arbor, Mich. July. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. 1987c. Note to correspondents, EPA release of 1986 air quality data. EPA Offlce of Air Quality Planning and Standards. August 27. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. 1988a. National Air Quality and Emission Trends Report, 1988. EPA450/4-88-001. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. 1988b. EPA lists areas failing to meet ozone or carbon monoxide standards. EPA press release, Washington, D.C., May 3. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. 1988c. Guidance on Estimating Motor Vehicle Emission Reductions from the Use of Alternative Fuels and Fuel Blends. EPA-AA- TSS-PA-87~. Ann Arbor, Mich.: EPA Emission Control Technology Division. Whitten, G. Z., and H. Hogo. 1983. Impact of methanol on smog: A preliminary estimate. Systems Applications, Inc., San Rafael, Calif., for ARCO Petroleum Products Co., SAI Publication No. 83044. February. Whitten, G. Z., T. C. Myers, and N. Yonkow. 1986. Photochemical modeling of methanol- use scenarios in Philadelphia. Systems Applications, Inc., San Rafael, Cali, for EPA Emission Control Technology Division, Ann Arbor, Mich. EPA 460/3-86-001. March.