Climate Change and Energy Supply and Use
This technical report on “Climate Change and Energy Supply and Use” was prepared for the U.S. Department of Energy by the Oak Ridge National Laboratory in support of the U.S. National Climate Assessment (NCA). Prepared on an accelerated schedule to fit time requirements for the NCA, it is a summary of the currently existing knowledge base on its topic, nested within a broader framing of issues and questions that need fur- ther attention in the longer run (also see the on-line version of the report, which includes figures in color: http://www.esd.ornl.gov/eess/NCAEnergySupply.shtml).
The report arrives at a number of “assessment findings,” each associated with an evaluation of the level of consensus on that issue within the expert community, the vol- ume of evidence available to support that judgment, and the section of the report that provides an explanation for the finding.
GCRP, 2009, indicates that the US energy sector is large and complex, with impres- sive financial and management resources, capable of responding to major challenges. It is accustomed to strategy development and operation in the fact of uncertainties and risks, both environmental and political. No sector has better capabilities to respond to challenges posed by climate change impacts.
Current knowledge indicates that such challenges tend to focus on climate-change- related episodic disruptions of energy supply and demand related to extreme weather events at a regional scale, on exposures related to risks in especially vulnerable areas, and on implications of changes in temperature and precipitation patterns – extremes as well as averages – for supply and use systems that are sensitive to climate parameters.