New feed sources key to ambitious climate targets

Walsh, Brian J., Rydzak, Felicjan, Palazzo, Amanda, Kraxner, Florian, Herrero, Mario, Schenk, Peer M., Ciais, Philippe, Janssens, Ivan A., Penuelas, Josep, Niederl-Schmidinger, Anneliese and Obersteiner, Michael (2015) New feed sources key to ambitious climate targets. Carbon Balance and Management, 10 26: . doi:10.1186/s13021-015-0040-7


Author Walsh, Brian J.
Rydzak, Felicjan
Palazzo, Amanda
Kraxner, Florian
Herrero, Mario
Schenk, Peer M.
Ciais, Philippe
Janssens, Ivan A.
Penuelas, Josep
Niederl-Schmidinger, Anneliese
Obersteiner, Michael
Title New feed sources key to ambitious climate targets
Journal name Carbon Balance and Management   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1750-0680
Publication date 2015-12-01
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1186/s13021-015-0040-7
Open Access Status DOI
Volume 10
Issue 26
Total pages 8
Place of publication Heidelberg, Germany
Publisher SpringerOpen
Language eng
Subject 2306 Global and Planetary Change
2308 Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law
1901 Earth and Planetary Sciences (miscellaneous)
1900 Earth and Planetary Sciences
Abstract Net carbon sinks capable of avoiding dangerous perturbation of the climate system and preventing ocean acidification have been identified, but they are likely to be limited by resource constraints (Nature 463:747-756, 2010). Land scarcity already creates tension between food security and bioenergy production, and this competition is likely to intensify as populations and the effects of climate change expand. Despite research into microalgae as a next-generation energy source, the land-sparing consequences of alternative sources of livestock feed have been overlooked. Here we use the FeliX model to quantify emissions pathways when microalgae is used as a feedstock to free up to 2 billion hectares of land currently used for pasture and feed crops. Forest plantations established on these areas can conceivably meet 50 % of global primary energy demand, resulting in emissions mitigation from the energy and LULUC sectors of up to 544 ± 107 PgC by 2100. Further emissions reductions from carbon capture and sequestration (CCS) technology can reduce global atmospheric carbon concentrations close to preindustrial levels by the end of the present century. Though previously thought unattainable, carbon sinks and climate change mitigation of this magnitude are well within the bounds of technological feasibility.
Formatted abstract
Net carbon sinks capable of avoiding dangerous perturbation of the climate system and preventing ocean acidification have been identified, but they are likely to be limited by resource constraints (Nature 463:747–756, [2010]). Land scarcity already creates tension between food security and bioenergy production, and this competition is likely to intensify as populations and the effects of climate change expand. Despite research into microalgae as a next-generation energy source, the land-sparing consequences of alternative sources of livestock feed have been overlooked. Here we use the FeliX model to quantify emissions pathways when microalgae is used as a feedstock to free up to 2 billion hectares of land currently used for pasture and feed crops. Forest plantations established on these areas can conceivably meet 50 % of global primary energy demand, resulting in emissions mitigation from the energy and LULUC sectors of up to 544 ± 107 PgC by 2100. Further emissions reductions from carbon capture and sequestration (CCS) technology can reduce global atmospheric carbon concentrations close to preindustrial levels by the end of the present century. Though previously thought unattainable, carbon sinks and climate change mitigation of this magnitude are well within the bounds of technological feasibility.
Keyword Protein
Livestock
Biofuels
Climate change
Food security
BECCS
CCS
FeliX
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Provisional Code
Grant ID ERC-2013-SyG-610028
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: School of Agriculture and Food Sciences
Official 2016 Collection
 
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