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Quality of geological CO 2 storage to avoid jeopardizing climate targets


  • Asbjørn Torvanger


  • Alv-Arne Grimstad
  • Erik Lindeberg
  • Nathan Rive
  • Kristin Rypdal
  • Ragnhild Skeie
  • Jan Fuglestvedt
  • Petter Tollefsen


We explore allowable leakage for carbon capture and geological storage to be consistent with maximum global warming targets of 2.5 and 3 °C by 2100. Given plausible fossil fuel use and carbon capture and storage scenarios, and based on modeling of time-dependent leakage of CO 2 , we employ a climate model to calculate the long-term temperature response of CO 2 emissions. We assume that half of the stored CO 2 is permanently trapped by fast mechanisms. If 40 % of global CO 2 emissions are stored in the second half of this century, the temperature effect of escaped CO 2 is too small to compromise a 2.5 °C target. If 80 % of CO 2 is captured, escaped CO 2 must peak 300 years or later for consistency with this climate target. Due to much more CO 2 stored for the 3 than the 2.5 °C target, quality of storage becomes more important. Thus for the 3 °C target escaped CO 2 must peak 400 years or later in the 40 % scenario, and 3000 years or later in the 80 % scenario. Consequently CO 2 escaped from geological storage can compromise the less stringent 3 °C target in the long-run if most of global CO 2 emissions have been stored. If less CO 2 is stored only a very high escape scenario can compromise the more stringent 2.5 °C target. For the two remaining combinations of storage scenarios and climate targets, leakage must be high to compromise these climate targets. Copyright Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2012

Suggested Citation

  • Asbjørn Torvanger & Alv-Arne Grimstad & Erik Lindeberg & Nathan Rive & Kristin Rypdal & Ragnhild Skeie & Jan Fuglestvedt & Petter Tollefsen, 2012. "Quality of geological CO 2 storage to avoid jeopardizing climate targets," Climatic Change, Springer, vol. 114(2), pages 245-260, September.
  • Handle: RePEc:spr:climat:v:114:y:2012:i:2:p:245-260
    DOI: 10.1007/s10584-012-0447-z

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