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California ARB Staff Releases Updated California-GREET Model

The staff of the California Air Resources Board (ARB) has released an update to the California-GREET model 1.8b for estimating the carbon intensities of transportation fuels as part of the Low Carbon Fuels Standard (LCFS) rulemaking process.

This update reflects updates in the September 2008 release of the Argonne National GREET model. Additional information to include criteria pollutants is also updated in the model. The model does not include the land use change estimate.

For this release, updates have been performed for CARBOB, ULSD, CaRFG, CNG, and Electricity. Pathway documents reflecting the updates will be posted to the ARB website shown below over the next 1-2 weeks. An additional update to incorporate the other fuel pathways will also be posted in the next 1-2 weeks.

The modifications were made by Life Cycle Associates, LLC.

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Comments

Reel$$

Look, it's time for someone to flag the Argonne Lab. They're a national RESEARCH lab "connecting basic research to innovative technology..."

They're involved in too much policy at this time - advising on new battery consortiums, toying with ARB and struggling to prop up the AGW disaster.

Federally funded labs should be in the business of doing what they say they do (basic research) and not get involved in becoming a tool for politicians hell bent on pushing the failed global warming agenda.

generationalequity

Universities should conduct most basic research which should be in the public domain. Federal labs should focus on applied research that is too risky for the private sector, as well as accelerating commercialization of federally funded technologies. The labs should continue their cooperative R&D and contract research efforts with the private sector to offset tighter federal budgets and shifting priorities. The labs should also ignore political pressure from well funded special interest groups that have in effect purchased political power for the purpose of distorting good public policy on Climate Change, Energy Policy, and the Life Sciences. They seek to destroy the integrity of federally sponsored research through censorship and promotion of the interests of polluting industries over the health and welfare of the majority.

Reel$$

"that have in effect purchased political power for the purpose of distorting good public policy on Climate Change, Energy Policy, and the Life Sciences."

It would be interesting to see your citations on this. While clearly the petroleum interests are out to propagandize the continued use of fossil fuels - there is a whole, large community of science and business people that reasonably oppose the notion of atmospheric CO2 as a "pollutant." While the GREET model 1.8a makes a clear distinction between "greenhouse gases" and real, toxic criteria pollutants - Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC) - it is still a source of major confusion to the public. And AGW fanatics leverage that confusion.

And as the ARB and other state and federal agencies respond to public pressure - they continue to accept the idea that CO2 is a "pollutant" responsible for global warming. To date we have no reliable data to support this theory and to institute policy based on the theory is detrimental to "the health and welfare of the majority."

Argonne and the authors of the GREET model define "greenhouse gases" as: "emissions of carbon dioxide (CO2)-equivalent greenhouse gases (GHGs) including CO2, methane (CH4), and nitrous oxide (N2O)." They lump the CH4 and N2O in as CO2 equivalents.

Now that the global warming effect of CO2 has largely been dismissed by science and open minded people; and as we recognize AGW to have been a once well-intended hoax gone terribly wrong, - it is time to put an end to its propagation by federally financed laboratories.

Give us the facts on VOC pollutants and ways to curb them. Save the time and expense given to "greenhouse emissions" until there is verifiable hard evidence of the destructive powers of atmospheric CO2. Those of us who advocate a sustainable future do well, with good science and without the global warming fiasco.

generationalequity

Reel, I didn't notice any authoritative citations on your dismissal of climate science as practiced by NASA, the Scripps Institute of Oceanography, NOAA, and other federally sponsored researchers, so I will spare you the numerous citations on violations of scientific integrity by the departing administration, and their financial contributors in the heavy polluting industries.

I guess the fundamental question you need to answer is why would democratically elected officials in Europe, the U.S., and around the world seek to burden their economies and competitiveness with the cost of controlling GHG emissions if in fact the super-greenhouse gases, methane, and CO2 are perfectly harmless, and perhaps helpful as argued by the anti-AGW crowd? I suppose if we all lived on Mars, the anti-AGW folks would no doubt be correct about the benefits of GHG, but I leave it to University and Government Researchers, under the checks and balances of peer review, to make the most likely determination for Earth. From a policy perspective, even under scientific uncertainty, it often makes sense to purchase INSURANCE for the benefit of current and future generations, particularly when the cost of a very bad, though unlikely outcome, is enormous and irreversible.

Moreover, the role of CO2 in the growing acidification of the Earth's oceans does not require any complex computer models, involves simple high school chemistry, and there is not a shred of evidence that it is helpful to marine life, the food chain, etc.

I think Sustainability means the adoption of new technologies, and economic incentives (e.g., pollution fees, Cap and Trade Regimes, RPS goals, etc.) that can insulate the earth's natural ecosystem from the massive and rapidly growing quantities of liquid, solid, and gaseous wastes produced by the activities of 10 billions humans, and the industries they have created.

No doubt we have to assign priorities to the management of these mountains of waste, and achieve the biggest environmental bang for each dollar of abatement. Most of the world's recently elected leaders have concluded, based on input from their Scientific Advisors, that control of GHG should be high on the abatement list and I see no reason to reject their conclusion.

Reel$$

"if in fact the super-greenhouse gases, methane, and CO2 are perfectly harmless, and perhaps helpful"

With respect to the fertilizing effect of CO2 on terrestrial plant life there is a mountain of data - notably from the FACE studies and hundreds of peer reviewed journal articles. Here's just one example detailing the increase in growth of marine red macroalgae both mitigating ocean acidification and atmospheric CO2:

"Influence of enhanced CO2 on growth and photosynthesis of the red algaeGracilaria sp. andG. chilensis"
http://tinyurl.com/7pex4e

Thus your statement "there is not a shred of evidence that it is helpful to marine life, the food chain, etc." is disingenuous or ignorant.

"I leave it to University and Government Researchers, under the checks and balances of peer review, to make the most likely determination for Earth."

Unfortunately many of these researchers have been unduly pressured to conform to the IPCC models of AGW in order to win life-supporting grants. That is now changing and we are seeing more courageous scientists speaking their minds in opposition to AGW. Those voices are being heard loud and clear and, to the credit of the game changers, policy now reflects this.

"(e.g., pollution fees, Cap and Trade Regimes, RPS goals, etc.)"

I don't disagree with well structured fees except those targeting CO2 as a "pollutant." Cap and trade are a scheme of the commodities traders who expect to create a market in carbon trading - having no justification or reason in science.

Fortunately pols and science advisers realize that there are good science and political reasons to transition to sustainable energy. The new watchword is: Global Energy Independence.

generationalequity

"Cap and trade are a scheme of the commodities traders who expect to create a market in carbon trading - having no justification or reason in science."

Since cap n trade regimes have been used successfully for decades to control a variety of criteria pollutants including SOx, NOx, Mercury, and in some countries water pollution, you are either disingenuous or ignorant of cost effective emissions control regimes.

My comment about "not a shred of evidence" refers to the damage caused by a more acidic ocean, not the direct impact of CO2 on photosynthetic plants. In any changing ecosystem, there are always species winners and losers, but the vast majority of marine biologists agree that the majority of species residing in the earth's oceans today will not benefit from ocean acidification, and that ecological diversity will decline with falling Ph levels.

In addition, since I presume you are in favor of energy diversity, and reducing criteria emissions, and recognize CO2 is a co-product of fossil and other fuel combustion, almost all cost effective strategies for controlling CO2,(e.g., Higher energy efficiency, substitution of renewables and less carbon intensive fuels [Solar, Wind, Waste Biomass derived Fuels] for petroleum and coal, electrification of transportation, CNG/LNG) will also reduce criteria emissions, air toxins, and dependence on foreign oil).

Reel$$

"the vast majority of marine biologists agree that the majority of species residing in the earth's oceans today will not benefit from ocean acidification, and that ecological diversity will decline with falling Ph levels."

While this statement may be true - we have little data showing that lowering alkalinity (Ph) is affecting marine life right now. The ocean’s average pH worldwide, now roughly 8.4, has dropped about 0.1 since pre-industrial times. Scientists estimate that it could fall another 0.4 by 2100 if carbon emissions continue on their current trajectory. Doubtful given electrification of transport and other fossil limiting actions.

You might be interested in the following paper that details a rather elegant method of natural balance between CO2, marine life and Earth's albedo:

"Unexpected consequences of increasing CO2 and ocean acidity on marine production of DMS and CH2ClI: Potential climate impacts"

http://www.agu.org/pubs/crossref/2007/2006GL028139.shtml

I refer only to carbon trading as a scheme tied to the erroneous belief in AGW. Trading credits on real pollutants such as SO4 has been effective. CO2 is not a pollutant. Trading it is a monstrous scam enriching World Bank & Wall street-types and certain ex-VPs heavily invested in global warming biz.


In fact a recent study showed a remarkable adaptation of microalgae

ToppaTom

Basic research scientists and engineers have always let their political leanings affect their research to some degree and they should be careful to resist such bias.
But with an increasingly ignorant press, we need to rely on them more.
If we relied on the press everything would be given “equal time”.
I’ll take opinionated scientists for my science every time.
And climate change is very complex science.
AGW is not proven but the preponderance of our scientific evidence supports it and the best scientists in the field believe it is almost certain.
I hate for it to be true – does this count? No.
Can we afford to ignore it? – I don’t think so.
Can we afford the expensive and maybe ineffective measures to try and stop it? – I don’t know.

Reel$$

"AGW is not proven but the preponderance of our scientific evidence supports it and the best scientists in the field believe it is almost certain."

Human activity certainly affects elements of climate - probably on a regional basis. But has it "warmed the globe?" Beyond cyclical climate events? And to the extent that alarmists claim?

"“The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) assumes that there are no long-term natural sources of energy imbalances in the Earth’s radiative budget that would cause natural periods of global warming or global cooling. But recent satellite evidence suggests that the Pacific Decadal Oscillation (PDO) does indeed change the Earth’s energy balance. When that PDO-related forcing is put into a simple climate model, along with the 100-year history of the PDO, a global temperature history results which is very similar to that observed, including 75% of the centennial temperature trend. This suggests that the IPCC’s claim of high confidence in global warming being manmade is misplaced.” Dr. Roy Spencer Dec 15, 2008

Dr. Spencer is the U.S. Science Team Leader for the Advanced Microwave Scanning Radiometer (AMSR-E) on NASA’s Aqua satellite. Dr. Spencer is the recipient of NASA’s Medal for Exceptional Scientific Achievement and the American Meteorological Society’s Special Award for his satellite-based temperature monitoring work.

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