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Now showing 1 - 7 of 7
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    Environmental co-benefits and adverse side-effects of alternative power sector decarbonization strategies
    ([London] : Nature Publishing Group UK, 2019) Luderer, Gunnar; Pehl, Michaja; Arvesen, Anders; Gibon, Thomas; Bodirsky, Benjamin L.; de Boer, Harmen Sytze; Fricko, Oliver; Hejazi, Mohamad; Humpenöder, Florian; Iyer, Gokul; Mima, Silvana; Mouratiadou, Ioanna; Pietzcker, Robert C.; Popp, Alexander; van den Berg, Maarten; van Vuuren, Detlef; Hertwich, Edgar G.
    A rapid and deep decarbonization of power supply worldwide is required to limit global warming to well below 2 °C. Beyond greenhouse gas emissions, the power sector is also responsible for numerous other environmental impacts. Here we combine scenarios from integrated assessment models with a forward-looking life-cycle assessment to explore how alternative technology choices in power sector decarbonization pathways compare in terms of non-climate environmental impacts at the system level. While all decarbonization pathways yield major environmental co-benefits, we find that the scale of co-benefits as well as profiles of adverse side-effects depend strongly on technology choice. Mitigation scenarios focusing on wind and solar power are more effective in reducing human health impacts compared to those with low renewable energy, while inducing a more pronounced shift away from fossil and toward mineral resource depletion. Conversely, non-climate ecosystem damages are highly uncertain but tend to increase, chiefly due to land requirements for bioenergy.
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    Adaptive responses of animals to climate change are most likely insufficient
    ([London] : Nature Publishing Group UK, 2019) Radchuk, Viktoriia; Reed, Thomas; Teplitsky, Céline; van de Pol, Martijn; Charmantier, Anne; Hassall, Christopher; Adamík, Peter; Adriaensen, Frank; Ahola, Markus P.; Arcese, Peter; Avilés, Jesús Miguel; Balbontin, Javier; Berg, Karl S.; Borras, Antoni; Burthe, Sarah; Clobert, Jean; Dehnhard, Nina; de Lope, Florentino; Dhondt, André A.; Dingemanse, Niels J.; Doi, Hideyuki; Eeva, Tapio; Fickel, Joerns; Filella, Iolanda; Fossøy, Frode; Goodenough, Anne E.; Hall, Stephen J. G.; Hansson, Bengt; Harris, Michael; Hasselquist, Dennis; Hickler, Thomas; Joshi, Jasmin; Kharouba, Heather; Martínez, Juan Gabriel; Mihoub, Jean-Baptiste; Mills, James A.; Molina-Morales, Mercedes; Moksnes, Arne; Ozgul, Arpat; Parejo, Deseada; Pilard, Philippe; Poisbleau, Maud; Rousset, Francois; Rödel, Mark-Oliver; Scott, David; Senar, Juan Carlos; Stefanescu, Constanti; Stokke, Bård G.; Kusano, Tamotsu; Tarka, Maja; Tarwater, Corey E.; Thonicke, Kirsten; Thorley, Jack; Wilting, Andreas; Tryjanowski, Piotr; Merilä, Juha; Sheldon, Ben C.; Pape Møller, Anders; Matthysen, Erik; Janzen, Fredric; Dobson, F. Stephen; Visser, Marcel E.; Beissinger, Steven R.; Courtiol, Alexandre; Kramer-Schadt, Stephanie
    Biological responses to climate change have been widely documented across taxa and regions, but it remains unclear whether species are maintaining a good match between phenotype and environment, i.e. whether observed trait changes are adaptive. Here we reviewed 10,090 abstracts and extracted data from 71 studies reported in 58 relevant publications, to assess quantitatively whether phenotypic trait changes associated with climate change are adaptive in animals. A meta-analysis focussing on birds, the taxon best represented in our dataset, suggests that global warming has not systematically affected morphological traits, but has advanced phenological traits. We demonstrate that these advances are adaptive for some species, but imperfect as evidenced by the observed consistent selection for earlier timing. Application of a theoretical model indicates that the evolutionary load imposed by incomplete adaptive responses to ongoing climate change may already be threatening the persistence of species. © 2019, The Author(s).
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    Inferring causation from time series in Earth system sciences
    ([London] : Nature Publishing Group UK, 2019) Runge, Jakob; Bathiany, Sebastian; Bollt, Erik; Camps-Valls, Gustau; Coumou, Dim; Deyle, Ethan; Glymour, Clark; Kretschmer, Marlene; Mahecha, Miguel D.; Muñoz-Marí, Jordi; van Nes, Egbert H.; Peters, Jonas; Quax, Rick; Reichstein, Markus; Scheffer, Marten; Schölkopf, Bernhard; Spirtes, Peter; Sugihara, George; Sun, Jie; Zhang, Kun; Zscheischler, Jakob
    The heart of the scientific enterprise is a rational effort to understand the causes behind the phenomena we observe. In large-scale complex dynamical systems such as the Earth system, real experiments are rarely feasible. However, a rapidly increasing amount of observational and simulated data opens up the use of novel data-driven causal methods beyond the commonly adopted correlation techniques. Here, we give an overview of causal inference frameworks and identify promising generic application cases common in Earth system sciences and beyond. We discuss challenges and initiate the benchmark platform to close the gap between method users and developers. © 2019, The Author(s).
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    Key determinants of global land-use projections
    ([London] : Nature Publishing Group UK, 2019) Stehfest, Elke; van Zeist, Willem-Jan; Valin, Hugo; Havlik, Petr; Popp, Alexander; Kyle, Page; Tabeau, Andrzej; Mason-D’Croz, Daniel; Hasegawa, Tomoko; Bodirsky, Benjamin L.; Calvin, Katherine; Doelman, Jonathan C.; Fujimori, Shinichiro; Humpenöder, Florian; Lotze-Campen, Hermann; van Meijl, Hans; Wiebe, Keith
    Land use is at the core of various sustainable development goals. Long-term climate foresight studies have structured their recent analyses around five socio-economic pathways (SSPs), with consistent storylines of future macroeconomic and societal developments; however, model quantification of these scenarios shows substantial heterogeneity in land-use projections. Here we build on a recently developed sensitivity approach to identify how future land use depends on six distinct socio-economic drivers (population, wealth, consumption preferences, agricultural productivity, land-use regulation, and trade) and their interactions. Spread across models arises mostly from diverging sensitivities to long-term drivers and from various representations of land-use regulation and trade, calling for reconciliation efforts and more empirical research. Most influential determinants for future cropland and pasture extent are population and agricultural efficiency. Furthermore, land-use regulation and consumption changes can play a key role in reducing both land use and food-security risks, and need to be central elements in sustainable development strategies.
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    Effects of changing population or density on urban carbon dioxide emissions
    ([London] : Nature Publishing Group UK, 2019) Ribeiro, Haroldo V.; Rybski, Diego; Kropp, Jürgen P.
    The question of whether urbanization contributes to increasing carbon dioxide emissions has been mainly investigated via scaling relationships with population or population density. However, these approaches overlook the correlations between population and area, and ignore possible interactions between these quantities. Here, we propose a generalized framework that simultaneously considers the effects of population and area along with possible interactions between these urban metrics. Our results significantly improve the description of emissions and reveal the coupled role between population and density on emissions. These models show that variations in emissions associated with proportionate changes in population or density may not only depend on the magnitude of these changes but also on the initial values of these quantities. For US areas, the larger the city, the higher is the impact of changing its population or density on its emissions; but population changes always have a greater effect on emissions than population density.
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    State-of-the-art global models underestimate impacts from climate extremes
    ([London] : Nature Publishing Group UK, 2019) Schewe, Jacob; Gosling, Simon N.; Reyer, Christopher; Zhao, Fang; Ciais, Philippe; Elliott, Joshua; Francois, Louis; Huber, Veronika; Lotze, Heike K.; Seneviratne, Sonia I.; van Vliet, Michelle T. H.; Vautard, Robert; Wada, Yoshihide; Breuer, Lutz; Büchner, Matthias; Carozza, David A.; Chang, Jinfeng; Coll, Marta; Deryng, Delphine; de Wit, Allard; Eddy, Tyler D.; Folberth, Christian; Frieler, Katja; Friend, Andrew D.; Gerten, Dieter; Gudmundsson, Lukas; Hanasaki, Naota; Ito, Akihiko; Khabarov, Nikolay; Kim, Hyungjun; Lawrence, Peter; Morfopoulos, Catherine; Müller, Christoph; Müller Schmied, Hannes; Orth, René; Ostberg, Sebastian; Pokhrel, Yadu; Pugh, Thomas A. M.; Sakurai, Gen; Satoh, Yusuke; Schmid, Erwin; Stacke, Tobias; Steenbeek, Jeroen; Steinkamp, Jörg; Tang, Qiuhong; Tian, Hanqin; Tittensor, Derek P.; Volkholz, Jan; Wang, Xuhui; Warszawski, Lila
    Global impact models represent process-level understanding of how natural and human systems may be affected by climate change. Their projections are used in integrated assessments of climate change. Here we test, for the first time, systematically across many important systems, how well such impact models capture the impacts of extreme climate conditions. Using the 2003 European heat wave and drought as a historical analogue for comparable events in the future, we find that a majority of models underestimate the extremeness of impacts in important sectors such as agriculture, terrestrial ecosystems, and heat-related human mortality, while impacts on water resources and hydropower are overestimated in some river basins; and the spread across models is often large. This has important implications for economic assessments of climate change impacts that rely on these models. It also means that societal risks from future extreme events may be greater than previously thought.
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    Strong time dependence of ocean acidification mitigation by atmospheric carbon dioxide removal
    ([London] : Nature Publishing Group UK, 2019) Hofmann, M.; Mathesius, S.; Kriegler, E.; van Vuuren, D.P.; Schellnhuber, H.J.
    In Paris in 2015, the global community agreed to limit global warming to well below 2 ∘C, aiming at even 1.5 ∘C. It is still uncertain whether these targets are sufficient to preserve marine ecosystems and prevent a severe alteration of marine biogeochemical cycles. Here, we show that stringent mitigation strategies consistent with the 1.5 ∘C scenario could, indeed, provoke a critical difference for the ocean’s carbon cycle and calcium carbonate saturation states. Favorable conditions for calcifying organisms like tropical corals and polar pteropods, both of major importance for large ecosystems, can only be maintained if CO2 emissions fall rapidly between 2025 and 2050, potentially requiring an early deployment of CO2 removal techniques in addition to drastic emissions reduction. Furthermore, this outcome can only be achieved if the terrestrial biosphere remains a carbon sink during the entire 21st century.