Re: salvation from tar pits?

From: Howard J. Van Till <>
Date: Mon Jun 28 2004 - 08:52:42 EDT

On 6/28/04 8:11 AM, "Glenn Morton" <> wrote:

> "The fossil fuels burned in 1997 were created from organic matter
> containing 44 x 10^18 g C, which is >400 times the net primary
> productivity (NPP) of the planet's current biota. As stores of ancient
> solar energy decline, humans are likely to use an increasing share of
> modern solar resources. I conservatively estimate that replacing the
> energy humans derive from fossil fuels with energy from modern biomass
> would require 22% of terrestrial NPP, increasing the human appropriation
> of this resource by ~50%." Jeffrey S. Dukes, "burning Buried Sunshine:
> Human Consumption of Ancient Solar Energy," Climatic Change
> 61(2003):31-44, p. 31
> We are using each year 400 x the net planetary productivity according to
> this. WOW! This alone says why oil from Turkey guts won't work.


Thanks for the note, but I am having difficulty putting together two items
of info.

1. In 1997 we burned fossil fuels at the rate of 400 times modern NNP.

2. Replacing energy humans now derive from fossil fuels with energy from
modern biomass would require 0.22 modern NNP.

At first glance this implies that 400 = 0.22. Obviously I'm reading this
incorrectly. Does 400 NNP of biomass translate to 0.22 NNP in the conversion
of biomass to fossil fuels (in place of direct use)?

Received on Mon Jun 28 09:08:49 2004

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