Scientists tackle the question: 'What will it really take to stop global warming?'

New York, NY -- A team of researchers, led by Martin Hoffert, professor of physics at New York University, has conducted what may be the first comprehensive study of non-carbon-dioxide-producing energy sources to evaluate how to stabilize the Earth's climate while meeting the world's energy needs. The study, which was published in the November 1 issue of Science, found that no existing alternative energy source, nor combination of sources, currently exists that could adequately replace the energy produced by fossil fuels. The study concluded that massive research commitments are needed to develop these technologies in order to effectively slow global warming and adverse regional climactic changes from the fossil fuel greenhouse effect.

The study's call for prompt and aggressive energy research and development distinguishes it from the Bush administration's Energy Plan, which focuses on domestic oil exploration, and the recent United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change "Mitigation" report, which indicates that existing technologies can stabilize human-induced adverse climate change.

The research team, which also included Tyler Volk, associate professor of biology at New York University, focused on the following alternative energy sources: terrestrial solar, wind, and solar power satellites, biomass, nuclear fission, nuclear fusion, fission-fusion hybrids and fossil fuels from which carbon has been removed or "sequestered". Scientists evaluated the different technologies for their capability to supply mass amounts of carbon-emission-free energy required to satisfy current world energy consumption (estimated at 10 terawatts of power), their ability to meet future energy consumption (estimated at 30 terawatts of power) and their potential for large-scale commercialization. The team also explored non-primary power technologies that could contribute to climate stability and slow down global warming, such as conservation, efficiency improve

Contact: Shonna Keogan
New York University

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