Home / Feature / Climate science and physics connection.

Climate science and physics connection.

Fatema Miah:

Earlier I wrote in an article that climate science Is interlinking to every subject from physics to society and faith. Also it is justice matter too.  Now, eventually our climate concern beings have managed to encourage and drew the attention of our  physics specialists to climate science and come with acknowledgement of co2  contribution from radioactivity,  power emission and chemicals and working together to tackle the co2.

The emission of greenhouse gases by human activities was not the first example of global harm. In the late 1980s the world recognised the harm being done to the atmospheric ozone layer by various chemicals used in refrigeration equipment and aerosol propellants. The Montreal Protocol (1987) resulted in these harmful chemicals being replaced by more benign alternatives.

This success gave people hope: surely a similar internationally binding agreement would fix the greenhouse gas problem? Sadly, that was not the case. The Kyoto process of the early 1990s and all subsequent developments have so far failed to decrease the global emission of harmful greenhouse gases, especially carbon dioxide. In fact, carbon dioxide in the atmosphere continues to grow (US Department of Commerce, 2016). Policy pressure is growing, especially in the more developed economies, that something significant must be done.

Nuclear power is potentially a helpful technology as it is mature and well understood and capable of delivering large quantities of reliable power with negligible greenhouse gas emissions. It is clear that both nuclear power and renewable electricity have very low carbon emissions. This is largely as a consequence of a lack of smokestack emissions associated with the combustion of carbonacious fossil fuels. Coal is particularly bad and in a world of modern technologies lignite (brown coal) is the worst of all.

What most people not aware of and needs to  know that UK was one of the first advanced economies to engage seriously with the issues of greenhouse gas emissions from the energy sector. In the late 1980s Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher was an advocate of the importance of the issues, perhaps as a consequence of her training in chemistry. As she was stepping down, Britain started on a journey known as the ‘dash for gas’ which saw a replacement of aging coal fired generation with less polluting natural gas fuelled combined cycle gas turbine power plants (CCGT). The dash for gas gave Britain impressive credentials in emissions reduction in the years following the Kyoto Protocol, thus it would be wrong to suggest that Britain had its impressive reductions because of a concern for climate change.

The dash for gas arose as a consequence of Margaret Thatcher’s defeat of the main coal mining union in the 1980s, and a liberalisation (privatisation and introduction of competition) of the UK energy economy that favoured the building of new efficient CCGT (combined-cycle gas-turbine) power plants, which were smaller (in power output and capital cost) than the large coal-fired power plants that the state had previously favoured.

Coal burning  is  the prime highest global warming threat and the source vastly contributed to greenhouse gas in the atmosphere.   With the physics advancement and expertisesm  improved power sources been discovered and produced. At present,  UK is well on its way to eliminate coal (or at least coal combustion without carbon capture and storage) from its electricity system. As a result, new electricity generation investments are a three way choice between renewables, natural-gas-fuelled CCGTs and new nuclear build (DECC, 2015).

There, the nuclear power has been in use for over a century now.  At the time of writing the UK government asserts that it remains committed to new nuclear build, so let’s take a look at the technical issues. Perhaps the most straightforward way to explore these is to consider the journey of nuclear fission from the laboratory to commercial power generation, starting with the underlying physics and the discovery of fission.

The fission together with radioactivity had been a century long matter. Power plants had been functioned and their radioactive waste material has been handled. On the recent past, our climate scientists have highlighted on the radioactive waste’s lifeline and the effect to our climate  in the future, hence lately, our physicists’ with policy makers have come up with solution of renewable energy and to recycle the waste material.

About the energy sources; the gas is a natural source of prpduct. The electricity is generated from radioactive atoms. The both sources are way  better for climate than the coal, thus they are connected to climate issue because gas burns chemical and radioactive waste created from power generators. Meanwhile, our physicists are on quest and attempting for better and improved energy sources, ie, trying fusion instead of fission and working on new discovered thorium in attempt to replace old type uranium.

Fatema Miah, Solihull, uk. fatemamiah@mail.com