Tag Archives: carbon debt

Life Cycle Analysis, International Land Use Change and Uncertainty

Bruce Dale, University Distinguished Professor of Chemical Engineering at Michigan State University, shared this presentation that he gave during a webinar hosted by the North Central Bioeconomy Consortium. In it, he highlights the number of factors in Life Cycle Analysis and Indirect Land Use Change (ILUC) models that produce uncertainty – in other words, if the assumptions or data for these factors change, how much do the results change. Dale is primarily examining the “carbon Read More >

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Does Oil Cause Indirect Land Use Change?

I’ve been paying a lot of attention recently to new analyses attempting to model carbon emissions from indirect land use change, which is the conversion of land needed to maintain an international balance of supply and demand for agricultural crops, an effect that is heavily determined by crop prices. These new analyses raise a question about the existing assumption that oil has zero effect on land use change. Tim Searchinger, the lead author of one Read More >

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It’s Carbon Payback Time

A recent study from researchers at the University of Wisconsin takes another look at the “carbon debt” models proposed by Searchinger and Fargione in ScienceXpress earlier this year. Searchinger and Fargione argued that biofuel development in the United States and Europe would lead to the destruction of rainforests and grassland in Brazil and other tropical climates, which would of course release massive amounts of carbon into the atmosphere (See earlier posting). The new study takes Read More >

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UK Study Highlights Uncertainty in Calculating Indirect Land Use Emissions

Britain’s Renewable Fuels Agency this week released the Gallagher Review, a report on the indirect effects of biofuels production that was prompted by the Searchinger and Fargione studies published in Science earlier this year. (See this blog’s earlier post on the forthcoming study.) The summary of the conclusions of the Gallagher Review include some very telling comments: Quantification of GHG emissions from indirect land-use change requires subjective assumptions and contains considerable uncertainty. “Current lifecycle analyses Read More >

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An Interesting Coincidence?

The papers published in Science two weeks ago continue to make headlines, as a quick search of Google News will show. Also this week, oil reached the $100 per barrel mark. Meanwhile, debate over the Science papers continues, and some truths are out there, as we said when we began this public forum. Nathanael Greene of the Natural Resources Defense Council notes the media have made rather simplistic assessments of the Science papers.Greene writes that the Read More >

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