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Now showing 1 - 10 of 32
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    Combustion of available fossil fuel resources sufficient to eliminate the Antarctic Ice Sheet
    (Washington, DC [u.a.] : Assoc., 2015) Winkelmann, Ricarda; Levermann, Anders; Ridgwell, Andy; Caldeira, Ken
    The Antarctic Ice Sheet stores water equivalent to 58 m in global sea-level rise. We show in simulations using the Parallel Ice Sheet Model that burning the currently attainable fossil fuel resources is sufficient to eliminate the ice sheet. With cumulative fossil fuel emissions of 10,000 gigatonnes of carbon (GtC), Antarctica is projected to become almost ice-free with an average contribution to sea-level rise exceeding 3 m per century during the first millennium. Consistent with recent observations and simulations, the West Antarctic Ice Sheet becomes unstable with 600 to 800 GtC of additional carbon emissions. Beyond this additional carbon release, the destabilization of ice basins in both West and East Antarctica results in a threshold increase in global sea level. Unabated carbon emissions thus threaten the Antarctic Ice Sheet in its entirety with associated sea-level rise that far exceeds that of all other possible sources.
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    Strong impact of wildfires on the abundance and aging of black carbon in the lowermost stratosphere
    (Washington, DC : NAS, 2018) Ditas, Jeannine; Ma, Nan; Zhang, Yuxuan; Assmann, Denise; Neumaier, Marco; Riede, Hella; Karu, Einar; Williams, Jonathan; Scharffe, Dieter; Wang, Qiaoqiao; Saturno, Jorge; Schwarz, Joshua P.; Katich, Joseph M.; McMeeking, Gavin R.; Zahn, Andreas; Hermann, Markus; Brenninkmeijer, Carl A. M.; Andreae, Meinrat O.; Pöschl, Ulrich; Su, Hang; Cheng, Yafang
    Wildfires inject large amounts of black carbon (BC) particles into the atmosphere, which can reach the lowermost stratosphere (LMS) and cause strong radiative forcing. During a 14-month period of observations on board a passenger aircraft flying between Europe and North America, we found frequent and widespread biomass burning (BB) plumes, influencing 16 of 160 flight hours in the LMS. The average BC mass concentrations in these plumes (∼140 ng·m−3, standard temperature and pressure) were over 20 times higher than the background concentration (∼6 ng·m−3) with more than 100-fold enhanced peak values (up to ∼720 ng·m−3). In the LMS, nearly all BC particles were covered with a thick coating. The average mass equivalent diameter of the BC particle cores was ∼120 nm with a mean coating thickness of ∼150 nm in the BB plume and ∼90 nm with a coating of ∼125 nm in the background. In a BB plume that was encountered twice, we also found a high diameter growth rate of ∼1 nm·h−1 due to the BC particle coatings. The observed high concentrations and thick coatings of BC particles demonstrate that wildfires can induce strong local heating in the LMS and may have a significant influence on the regional radiative forcing of climate.
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    Trajectories of the Earth System in the Anthropocene
    (Washington, DC : NAS, 2018) Steffen, Will; Rockström, Johan; Richardson, Katherine; Lenton, Timothy M.; Folke, Carl; Liverman, Diana; Summerhayes, Colin P.; Barnosky, Anthony D.; Cornell, Sarah E.; Crucifix, Michel; Donges, Jonathan F.; Fetzer, Ingo; Lade, Steven J.; Scheffer, Marten; Winkelmann, Ricarda; Schellnhuber, Hans Joachim
    We explore the risk that self-reinforcing feedbacks could push the Earth System toward a planetary threshold that, if crossed, could prevent stabilization of the climate at intermediate temperature rises and cause continued warming on a “Hothouse Earth” pathway even as human emissions are reduced. Crossing the threshold would lead to a much higher global average temperature than any interglacial in the past 1.2 million years and to sea levels significantly higher than at any time in the Holocene. We examine the evidence that such a threshold might exist and where it might be. If the threshold is crossed, the resulting trajectory would likely cause serious disruptions to ecosystems, society, and economies. Collective human action is required to steer the Earth System away from a potential threshold and stabilize it in a habitable interglacial-like state. Such action entails stewardship of the entire Earth System—biosphere, climate, and societies—and could include decarbonization of the global economy, enhancement of biosphere carbon sinks, behavioral changes, technological innovations, new governance arrangements, and transformed social values.
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    Enhanced economic connectivity to foster heat stress-related losses
    (Washington, DC : American Association for the Advancement of Science, 2016) Wenz, Leonie; Levermann, Anders
    Assessing global impacts of unexpected meteorological events in an increasingly connected world economy is important for estimating the costs of climate change. We show that since the beginning of the 21st century, the structural evolution of the global supply network has been such as to foster an increase of climate-related production losses. We compute first- and higher-order losses from heat stress–induced reductions in productivity under changing economic and climatic conditions between 1991 and 2011. Since 2001, the economic connectivity has augmented in such a way as to facilitate the cascading of production loss. The influence of this structural change has dominated over the effect of the comparably weak climate warming during this decade. Thus, particularly under future warming, the intensification of international trade has the potential to amplify climate losses if no adaptation measures are taken.
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    Low-cost adaptation options to support green growth in agriculture, water resources, and coastal zones
    ([London] : Macmillan Publishers Limited, part of Springer Nature, 2022) Salack, Seyni; Sanfo, Safiétou; Sidibe, Moussa; Daku, Elidaa K.; Camara, Ibrahima; Dieng, Mame Diarra Bousso; Hien, Koufanou; Torou, Bio Mohamadou; Ogunjobi, Kehinde O.; Sangare, Sheick Ahmed Khalil S. B.; Kouame, Konan Raoul; Koffi, Yao Bernard; Liersch, Stefan; Savadogo, Moumini; Giannini, Alessandra
    The regional climate as it is now and in the future will put pressure on investments in sub-Saharan Africa in water resource management, fisheries, and other crop and livestock production systems. Changes in oceanic characteristics across the Atlantic Ocean will result in remarkable vulnerability of coastal ecology, littorals, and mangroves in the middle of the twenty-first century and beyond. In line with the countries' objectives of creating a green economy that allows reduced greenhouse gas emissions, improved resource efficiency, and prevention of biodiversity loss, we identify the most pressing needs for adaptation and the best adaptation choices that are also clean and affordable. According to empirical data from the field and customized model simulation designs, the cost of these adaptation measures will likely decrease and benefit sustainable green growth in agriculture, water resource management, and coastal ecosystems, as hydroclimatic hazards such as pluviometric and thermal extremes become more common in West Africa. Most of these adaptation options are local and need to be scaled up and operationalized for sustainable development. Governmental sovereign wealth funds, investments from the private sector, and funding from global climate funds can be used to operationalize these adaptation measures. Effective legislation, knowledge transfer, and pertinent collaborations are necessary for their success.
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    Potential impacts of climate change on agriculture and fisheries production in 72 tropical coastal communities
    (London : Nature Publishing Group, 2022) Cinner, Joshua E; Caldwell, Iain R; Thiault, Lauric; Ben, John; Blanchard, Julia L; Coll, Marta; Diedrich, Amy; Eddy, Tyler D; Everett, Jason D; Folberth, Christian; Gascuel, Didier; Guiet, Jerome; Gurney, Georgina G; Heneghan, Ryan F; Jägermeyr, Jonas; Jiddawi, Narriman; Lahari, Rachael; Kuange, John; Liu, Wenfeng; Maury, Olivier; Müller, Christoph; Novaglio, Camilla; Palacios-Abrantes, Juliano; Petrik, Colleen M; Rabearisoa, Ando; Tittensor, Derek P; Wamukota, Andrew; Pollnac, Richard
    Climate change is expected to profoundly affect key food production sectors, including fisheries and agriculture. However, the potential impacts of climate change on these sectors are rarely considered jointly, especially below national scales, which can mask substantial variability in how communities will be affected. Here, we combine socioeconomic surveys of 3,008 households and intersectoral multi-model simulation outputs to conduct a sub-national analysis of the potential impacts of climate change on fisheries and agriculture in 72 coastal communities across five Indo-Pacific countries (Indonesia, Madagascar, Papua New Guinea, Philippines, and Tanzania). Our study reveals three key findings: First, overall potential losses to fisheries are higher than potential losses to agriculture. Second, while most locations (> 2/3) will experience potential losses to both fisheries and agriculture simultaneously, climate change mitigation could reduce the proportion of places facing that double burden. Third, potential impacts are more likely in communities with lower socioeconomic status.
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    The Vulnerability, Impacts, Adaptation and Climate Services Advisory Board (VIACS AB v1.0) contribution to CMIP6
    (München : European Geopyhsical Union, 2016) Ruane, Alex C.; Teichmann, Claas; Arnell, Nigel W.; Carter, Timothy R.; Ebi, Kristie L.; Frieler, Katja; Goodess, Clare M.; Hewitson, Bruce; Horton, Radley; Kovats, R. Sari; Lotze, Heike K.; Mearns, Linda O.; Navarra, Antonio; Ojima, Dennis S.; Riahi, Keywan; Rosenzweig, Cynthia; Themessl, Matthias; Vincent, Katharine
    This paper describes the motivation for the creation of the Vulnerability, Impacts, Adaptation and Climate Services (VIACS) Advisory Board for the Sixth Phase of the Coupled Model Intercomparison Project (CMIP6), its initial activities, and its plans to serve as a bridge between climate change applications experts and climate modelers. The climate change application community comprises researchers and other specialists who use climate information (alongside socioeconomic and other environmental information) to analyze vulnerability, impacts, and adaptation of natural systems and society in relation to past, ongoing, and projected future climate change. Much of this activity is directed toward the co-development of information needed by decision-makers for managing projected risks. CMIP6 provides a unique opportunity to facilitate a two-way dialog between climate modelers and VIACS experts who are looking to apply CMIP6 results for a wide array of research and climate services objectives. The VIACS Advisory Board convenes leaders of major impact sectors, international programs, and climate services to solicit community feedback that increases the applications relevance of the CMIP6-Endorsed Model Intercomparison Projects (MIPs). As an illustration of its potential, the VIACS community provided CMIP6 leadership with a list of prioritized climate model variables and MIP experiments of the greatest interest to the climate model applications community, indicating the applicability and societal relevance of climate model simulation outputs. The VIACS Advisory Board also recommended an impacts version of Obs4MIPs and indicated user needs for the gridding and processing of model output.
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    Nonlinear climate sensitivity and its implications for future greenhouse warming
    (Washington, DC [u.a.] : Assoc., 2016) Friedrich, Tobias; Timmermann, Axel; Tigchelaar, Michelle; Elison Timm, Oliver; Ganopolski, Andrey
    Global mean surface temperatures are rising in response to anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions. The magnitude of this warming at equilibrium for a given radiative forcing-referred to as specific equilibrium climate sensitivity (S)-is still subject to uncertainties. We estimate global mean temperature variations and S using a 784,000-year-long field reconstruction of sea surface temperatures and a transient paleoclimate model simulation. Our results reveal that S is strongly dependent on the climate background state, with significantly larger values attained during warm phases. Using the Representative Concentration Pathway 8.5 for future greenhouse radiative forcing, we find that the range of paleo-based estimates of Earth's future warming by 2100 CE overlaps with the upper range of climate simulations conducted as part of the Coupled Model Intercomparison Project Phase 5 (CMIP5). Furthermore, we find that within the 21st century, global mean temperatures will very likely exceed maximum levels reconstructed for the last 784,000 years. On the basis of temperature data from eight glacial cycles, our results provide an independent validation of the magnitude of current CMIP5 warming projections.
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    Quantifying uncertainties in soil carbon responses to changes in global mean temperature and precipitation
    (München : European Geopyhsical Union, 2014) Nishina, K.; Ito, A.; Beerling, D.J.; Cadule, P.; Ciais, P.; Clark, D.B.; Friend, A.D.; Kahana, R.; Kato, E.; Keribin, R.; Lucht, W.; Lomas, M.; Rademacher, T.T.; Pavlick, R.; Schaphoff, S.; Vuichard, N.; Warszawaski, L.; Yokohata, T.
    Soil organic carbon (SOC) is the largest carbon pool in terrestrial ecosystems and may play a key role in biospheric feedbacks with elevated atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2) in a warmer future world. We examined the simulation results of seven terrestrial biome models when forced with climate projections from four representative-concentration-pathways (RCPs)-based atmospheric concentration scenarios. The goal was to specify calculated uncertainty in global SOC stock projections from global and regional perspectives and give insight to the improvement of SOC-relevant processes in biome models. SOC stocks among the biome models varied from 1090 to 2650 Pg C even in historical periods (ca. 2000). In a higher forcing scenario (i.e., RCP8.5), inconsistent estimates of impact on the total SOC (2099–2000) were obtained from different biome model simulations, ranging from a net sink of 347 Pg C to a net source of 122 Pg C. In all models, the increasing atmospheric CO2 concentration in the RCP8.5 scenario considerably contributed to carbon accumulation in SOC. However, magnitudes varied from 93 to 264 Pg C by the end of the 21st century across biome models. Using the time-series data of total global SOC simulated by each biome model, we analyzed the sensitivity of the global SOC stock to global mean temperature and global precipitation anomalies (ΔT and ΔP respectively) in each biome model using a state-space model. This analysis suggests that ΔT explained global SOC stock changes in most models with a resolution of 1–2 °C, and the magnitude of global SOC decomposition from a 2 °C rise ranged from almost 0 to 3.53 Pg C yr−1 among the biome models. However, ΔP had a negligible impact on change in the global SOC changes. Spatial heterogeneity was evident and inconsistent among the biome models, especially in boreal to arctic regions. Our study reveals considerable climate uncertainty in SOC decomposition responses to climate and CO2 change among biome models. Further research is required to improve our ability to estimate biospheric feedbacks through both SOC-relevant and vegetation-relevant processes.
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    Decomposing uncertainties in the future terrestrial carbon budget associated with emission scenarios, climate projections, and ecosystem simulations using the ISI-MIP results
    (München : European Geopyhsical Union, 2015) Nishina, K.; Ito, A.; Falloon, P.; Friend, A.D.; Beerling, D.J.; Ciais, P.; Clark, D.B.; Kahana, R.; Kato, E.; Lucht, W.; Lomas, M.; Pavlick, R.; Schaphoff, S.; Warszawaski, L.; Yokohata, T.
    We examined the changes to global net primary production (NPP), vegetation biomass carbon (VegC), and soil organic carbon (SOC) estimated by six global vegetation models (GVMs) obtained from the Inter-Sectoral Impact Model Intercomparison Project. Simulation results were obtained using five global climate models (GCMs) forced with four representative concentration pathway (RCP) scenarios. To clarify which component (i.e., emission scenarios, climate projections, or global vegetation models) contributes the most to uncertainties in projected global terrestrial C cycling by 2100, analysis of variance (ANOVA) and wavelet clustering were applied to 70 projected simulation sets. At the end of the simulation period, changes from the year 2000 in all three variables varied considerably from net negative to positive values. ANOVA revealed that the main sources of uncertainty are different among variables and depend on the projection period. We determined that in the global VegC and SOC projections, GVMs are the main influence on uncertainties (60 % and 90 %, respectively) rather than climate-driving scenarios (RCPs and GCMs). Moreover, the divergence of changes in vegetation carbon residence times is dominated by GVM uncertainty, particularly in the latter half of the 21st century. In addition, we found that the contribution of each uncertainty source is spatiotemporally heterogeneous and it differs among the GVM variables. The dominant uncertainty source for changes in NPP and VegC varies along the climatic gradient. The contribution of GVM to the uncertainty decreases as the climate division becomes cooler (from ca. 80 % in the equatorial division to 40 % in the snow division). Our results suggest that to assess climate change impacts on global ecosystem C cycling among each RCP scenario, the long-term C dynamics within the ecosystems (i.e., vegetation turnover and soil decomposition) are more critical factors than photosynthetic processes. The different trends in the contribution of uncertainty sources in each variable among climate divisions indicate that improvement of GVMs based on climate division or biome type will be effective. On the other hand, in dry regions, GCMs are the dominant uncertainty source in climate impact assessments of vegetation and soil C dynamics.