Potential of bio-energy with carbon capture and storage to limit global warming to 1.5°C (1.5C-BECCSy)

The 1.5C-BECCSy project addresses the potential of large scale BECCS deployment, in addition to mitigation, to limit global warming to 1.5°C. BECCS entails growing bioenergy crops to produce energy and sequester carbon.

About the project

Most IPCC emission scenarios stabilising climate at low levels, like the 1.5°C target as outlined by the Paris Agreement, require large scale deployment of Bio-Energy with Carbon Capture and Storage (BECCS, or Bio-CCS). Here, we explore the potential of large scale BECCS deployment in reaching the 1.5°C global warming target, and moreover evaluate associated climate and carbon cycle responses to large deployment scales.

Model for large-scale production of bioenergy with carbon capture and long time geological storage (BECCS, or Bio-CCS). Illustration: Doghouse.no

    Objectives

    To assess the possibilities of using large-scale BECCS deployment in addition to mitigation to reach the 1.5°C global mean warming target. Is it feasible to produce this level of bioenergy over the course of the 21st Century? What would the climate impacts be?

    Background

    The increasing awareness of the many damaging aspects of climate change over this century and beyond has prompted research into ways of reducing and reversing the recent man-made increase in the amount of carbon in the atmosphere. All of the IPCC AR5 scenarios that limit global warming to 1.5°C encompass unconventional methods, like bio-energy with carbon capture and storage. The biocrops absorb carbon dioxide from the atmosphere through photosynthesis. When the bioenergy crop is combusted for energy, the resultant carbon emissions are captured and stored in geological long term storage (CCS). This hence results in negative emissions, i.e. a net removal of carbon from the atmosphere. There is furthermore a need to consider how large-scale BECCS deployment might influence the global carbon cycle and feedbacks between the atmosphere and land surface.

    Changing the land cover not only affects the terrestrial store of carbon, but also the physical properties of the land surface; “biophysical forcing”, which leads to important feedbacks in the climate system.

    The 1.5C-BECCSy project is hosted by the Department of Geosciences, University of Oslo, Section for Meteorology and Oceanography (MetOs). The Earth system model NorESM with and interactive carbon cycle is the main tool used in the research.

    Financing

    The project is financed by the Research Council of Norway’s KLIMAFORSK program. Details about the project.

    Project duraction: 01.08.2016 - 30.06.2017.

    Cooperation

    This project is in cooperation with: 

    Published Aug. 9, 2016 7:35 PM - Last modified Aug. 12, 2016 3:43 PM