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T 


CNERAL - 

^iNTfcS-OFFICE CORRESPONDENCE 


DATE August 18, 1981 

TO 

W. Glass 

REFERENCE 

SUBJECT 


FROM 

R. W. Cohen 




1 


I have looked over the draft of the EED reply to the 
request from O'Loughlin. The only real problem I have is with 
the second clause of the last sentence in the first paragraph': 
"but changes of a magnitude well short of catastrophic...* 

I think that this statement may be too reassuring. Whereas 
I can agree with the statement that our best guess is that 
observable effects in the year 2030 are likely to be "well 
short of catastrophic", it is distinctly possible that the 
CPD scenario will later produce effects which will indeed be 
catastrophic (at least for a substantial fraction of the 
earth's population). This is because the global ecosystem 
in 2030 might still be in a transient, headed for much more 
significant effects after time lags perhaps of the order of 
decades. If this indeed turns out to be case, it is very 
likely that we will unambiguously recognize the threat by 
the year 2000 because of advances in climate modeling and 
the beginning of real experimental confirmation of the CO 2 
effect. The effects of such a recognition on subsequent 
fossil fuel combustion are unpredictable, but one can say 
that predictions based only on our knowledge of availability 
and economics become hazardous. 

I would feel more comfortable if the first para- 
graph concluded with a statement to the effect that future 
developments in global data gathering and analysis, along 
with advances in climate modeling, may provide strong 
evidence for a delayed CO 2 effect of a truly substantial 
magnitude, a possibility which increases the uncertainty 
surrounding the post-2000 CPD scenario. 


ROGER W. COHEN 


RWC : tmw 


Attachment 


cc: H. N. Weinberg 

A. J. Callegari 


■* 154-1. IB 

TER-OFFICE CORRESPONDENCE 

DATE 8/14/81 

a REFERENCE 


See Below subject 

ROM 

W. Glass 


1 J . F . Black 

R. W. Cohen 

S. A. Diamond 
H. Shaw 


Morey O'Loughlin has asked Ed David for ER&E's 
views on the realism of CPD's projections for fossil fuel 
combustion out to 2030 (attached) in view of potential 
"greenhouse" and "acid rain" problems. I have been asked 
to draft a short reply. 

A preliminary draft for EED's reply is attached. 
It is based not on any calculations but on my "under- 
standing" of what I think I've heard you say and write in 
the past. I would appreciate your reviewing this pre- 
liminary draft very critically and letting me know promptly 
of any changes you would like to see. EED wants to get an 
answer back to MEJO ' L by August 21. 

Thank you for your cooperation. 


WG: bl 

Attachments 



c : 


T. K. Kett 


DRAFT 

EED TO MEJO'L 


You asked about our views on possible emission con- 
sequences of the CPD-projected fossil fuel consumption levels 
out to 2030. Much is still unknown about the sources and 
sinks for atmospheric CO 2 > as well as about the climatic 
effect of increasing CO 2 levels in the air, so that pro- 
gnostications remain highly speculative. The models that 
appear most credible (to us) do predict measurable changes 
in temperature, rainfall pattern, and sea-level by the year 
2030 for the postulated fossil fuel combustion rates, but 
changes of a magnitude well short of catastrophic and pro- 
bably below the magnitude that need trigger otherwise non- 
economic responses to the problem of energy supply. 

The fossil fuel contribution to the localized 
problem of acid rain appears handlable by limiting the re- 
lease of S0 X , NO x , and chlorides to the atmosphere — which 
would decrease but by no means eliminate the economic ad- 
vantage of fossil fuels. 

We would be happy to discuss ttfis with you in 


greater detail. 


300 

250 

200 

150 

100 

50 

0 


INITIAL PROJECTION 
WORLD ENERGY SUPPLY 

(EXCLUDES CPE) 
AVERAGE GROWTH. %/YEAR 



1960-1979 

1979-2000 

2000-2030 

CONV. OIL 

5.6 

0.2 

(1.5) .. 

SYNTHETICS 

— 

14.6 

6.3 ^ 

GAS 

4.9 

1.9 

0.7 

COAL 

0.8 

3.6 

1.9 

NUCLEAR 

7.0 

8.9 

4.8 - 

OTHER 

4.0 | 

3.5 

1.0 

TOTAL 

4.3 

2.2 

1.7 . 



CONVENTIONAL OIL 
(VHO IN CL.) 


1960 


1970 


1980 


1990 


2000 


2015 


2030