Mission 2018: Our Energy Future

Challenge: devise a global energy production portfolio for the next fifty years that will reduce the rate of increase in human produced greenhouse gases and attempt to maintain a constant atmospheric concentration. A crucial aspect of your Mission is to decide whether our future will be dominated by continued consumption of Carbon fuels or whether we will transition to nuclear power and to explore the relative costs of change and/or inaction.

Background: While there is debate over “natural variability” in temperatures caused by volcanic eruptions, astronomically driven climate variability, and even fluctuations in solar output, there is little question that the rapidly rising level of CO2 in our atmosphere is causing major environmental changes, from a reduction in glacial ice in mountains and the polar regions, to warming of the oceans. The demand for coal, oil, and gas continues to increase and despite intense efforts at reducing emissions, CO2 concentrations alone are now flirting with the 400 ppm level.
Student Presentation