Our bottom line conclusion on the Wigley paper, then, is as follows:In any case, a monumental and global dash for gas appears to be coming whatever these various academic studies say.
- Sulfates, which are mainly produced by burning coal, are certainly cooling the planet; removing them will result in warming. However, sulfate removal has been and will be driven by air quality concerns and not by retiring coal plants and replacing them with natural gas.
- The greenhouse gas footprint of coal is still worse than that of natural gas, even when the harmful methane emissions from natural gas wells and pipelines are factored in.
11 October 2011
CATF on Wigley on Gas
The Clean Air Task Force has posted up a convincing critique of Tom Wigley's recent paper which discussed the global-average effects of a large switch to gas generation from coal. In a nutshell: