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Now showing 1 - 10 of 12
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    Early retirement of power plants in climate mitigation scenarios
    (Bristol : IOP Publ., 2020) Fofrich, Robert; Tong, Dan; Calvin, Katherine; De Boer, Harmen Sytze; Emmerling, Johannes; Fricko, Oliver; Fujimori, Shinichiro; Luderer, Gunnar; Rogelj, Joeri; Davis, Steven J.
    International efforts to avoid dangerous climate change aim for large and rapid reductions of fossil fuel CO2 emissions worldwide, including nearly complete decarbonization of the electric power sector. However, achieving such rapid reductions may depend on early retirement of coal- and natural gas-fired power plants. Here, we analyze future fossil fuel electricity demand in 171 energy-emissions scenarios from Integrated Assessment Models (IAMs), evaluating the implicit retirements and/or reduced operation of generating infrastructure. Although IAMs calculate retirements endogenously, the structure and methods of each model differ; we use a standard approach to infer retirements in outputs from all six major IAMs and—unlike the IAMs themselves—we begin with the age distribution and region-specific operating capacities of the existing power fleet. We find that coal-fired power plants in scenarios consistent with international climate targets (i.e. keeping global warming well-below 2 °C or 1.5 °C) retire one to three decades earlier than historically has been the case. If plants are built to meet projected fossil electricity demand and instead allowed to operate at the level and over the lifetimes they have historically, the roughly 200 Gt CO2 of additional emissions this century would be incompatible with keeping global warming well-below 2 °C. Thus, ambitious climate mitigation scenarios entail drastic, and perhaps un-appreciated, changes in the operating and/or retirement schedules of power infrastructure.
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    Implications of non-linearities between cumulative CO2 emissions and CO2-induced warming for assessing the remaining carbon budget
    (Bristol : IOP Publ., 2020) Nicholls, Z.R.J.; Gieseke, R.; Lewis, J.; Nauels, A.; Meinshausen, M.
    To determine the remaining carbon budget, a new framework was introduced in the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change's Special Report on Global Warming of 1.5 °C (SR1.5). We refer to this as a 'segmented' framework because it considers the various components of the carbon budget derivation independently from one another. Whilst implementing this segmented framework, in SR1.5 the assumption was that there is a strictly linear relationship between cumulative CO2 emissions and CO2-induced warming i.e. the TCRE is constant and can be applied to a range of emissions scenarios. Here we test whether such an approach is able to replicate results from model simulations that take the climate system's internal feedbacks and non-linearities into account. Within our modelling framework, following the SR1.5's choices leads to smaller carbon budgets than using simulations with interacting climate components. For 1.5 °C and 2 °C warming targets, the differences are 50 GtCO2 (or 10%) and 260 GtCO2 (or 17%), respectively. However, by relaxing the assumption of strict linearity, we find that this difference can be reduced to around 0 GtCO2 for 1.5 °C of warming and 80 GtCO2 (or 5%) for 2.0 °C of warming (for middle of the range estimates of the carbon cycle and warming response to anthropogenic emissions). We propose an updated implementation of the segmented framework that allows for the consideration of non-linearities between cumulative CO2 emissions and CO2-induced warming.
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    Magnitude and robustness associated with the climate change impacts on global hydrological variables for transient and stabilized climate states
    (Bristol : IOP Publ., 2018) Boulange, Julien; Hanasaki, Naota; Veldkamp, Ted; Schewe, Jacob; Shiogama, Hideo
    Recent studies have assessed the impacts of climate change at specific global temperature targets using relatively short (30 year ) transient time-slice periods which are characterized by a steady increase in global mean temperature with time. The Inter-Sectoral Impacts Model Intercomparison Project Phase 2b (ISIMIP2b) provides trend-preserving bias-corrected climate model datasets over six centuries for four global climate models (GCMs) which therefore can be used to evaluate the potential effects of using time-slice periods from stabilized climate state rather than time-slice periods from transient climate state on climate change impacts. Using the H08 global hydrological model, the impacts of climate change, quantified as the deviation from the pre-industrial era, and the signal-to-noise (SN) ratios were computed for five hydrological variables, namely evapotranspiration (EVA), precipitation (PCP), snow water equivalent (SNW), surface temperature (TAR), and total discharge (TOQ) over 20 regions comprising the global land area. A significant difference in EVA for the transient and stabilized climate states was systematically detected for all four GCMs. In addition, three out of the four GCMs indicated that significant differences in PCP, TAR, and TOQ for the transient and stabilized climate states could also be detected over a small fraction of the globe. For most regions, the impacts of climate change toward EVA, PCP, and TOQ are indicated to be underestimated using the transient climate state simulations. The transient climate state was also identified to underestimate the SN ratios compared to the stabilized climate state. For both the global and regional scales, however, there was no indication that surface areas associated with the different classes of SN ratios changed depending on the two climate states (t-test, p > 0.01). Transient time slices may be considered a good approximation of the stabilized climate state, for large-scale hydrological studies and many regions and variables, as: (1) impacts of climate change were only significantly different from those of the stabilized climate state for a small fraction of the globe, and (2) these differences were not indicated to alter the robustness of the impacts of climate change.
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    The role of beliefs, expectations and values in decision-making favoring climate change adaptation—implications for communications with European forest professionals
    (Bristol : IOP Publ., 2020) Blennow, K.; Persson, J.; Gonçalves, L.M.S.; Borys, A.; Dutcă, I.; Hynynen, J.; Janeczko, E.; Lyubenova, M.; Merganič, J.; Merganičová, K.; Peltoniemi, M.; Petr, M.; Reboredo, F.; Vacchiano, G.; Reyer, C.P.O.
    Beliefs, expectations and values are often assumed to drive decisions about climate change adaptation. We tested hypotheses based on this assumption using survey responses from 508 European forest professionals in ten countries. We used the survey results to identify communication needs and the decision strategies at play, and to develop guidelines on adequate communications about climate change adaptation. We observed polarization in the positive and negative values associated with climate change impacts accepted by survey respondents. We identified a mechanism creating the polarization that we call the 'blocked belief' effect. We found that polarized values did not correlate with decisions about climate change adaptation. Strong belief in the local impacts of climate change on the forest was, however, a prerequisite of decision-making favoring adaptation. Decision-making in favor of adaptation to climate change also correlated with net values of expected specific impacts on the forest and generally increased with the absolute value of these in the absence of 'tipping point' behavior. Tipping point behavior occurs when adaptation is not pursued in spite of the strongly negative or positive net value of expected climate change impacts. We observed negative and positive tipping point behavior, mainly in SW Europe and N-NE Europe, respectively. In addition we found that advice on effective adaptation may inhibit adaptation when the receiver is aware of effective adaptation measures unless it is balanced with information explaining how climate change leads to negative impacts. Forest professionals with weak expectations of impacts require communications on climate change and its impacts on forests before any advice on adaptation measures can be effective. We develop evidence-based guidelines on communications using a new methodology which includes Bayesian machine learning modeling of the equivalent of an expected utility function for the adaptation decision problem.
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    International comparison of health care carbon footprints
    (Bristol : IOP Publ., 2019) Pichler, Peter-Paul; Jaccard, Ingram S.; Weisz, Ulli; Weisz, Helga
    Climate change confronts the health care sector with a dual challenge. Accumulating climate impacts are putting an increased burden on the service provision of already stressed health care systems in many regions of the world. At the same time, the Paris agreement requires rapid emission reductions in all sectors of the global economy to stay well below the 2 °C target. This study shows that in OECD countries, China, and India, health care on average accounts for 5% of the national CO2 footprint making the sector comparable in importance to the food sector. Some countries have seen reduced CO2 emissions related to health care despite growing expenditures since 2000, mirroring their economy wide emission trends. The average per capita health carbon footprint across the country sample in 2014 was 0.6 tCO2, varying between 1.51 tCO2/cap in the US and 0.06 tCO2/cap in India. A statistical analysis shows that the carbon intensity of the domestic energy system, the energy intensity of the domestic economy, and health care expenditure together explain half of the variance in per capita health carbon footprints. Our results indicate that important leverage points exist inside and outside the health sector. We discuss our findings in the context of the existing literature on the potentials and challenges of reducing GHG emissions in the health and energy sector.
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    Robust changes in tropical rainy season length at 1.5 °C and 2 °C
    (Bristol : IOP Publ., 2018) Saeed, Fahad; Bethke, Ingo; Fischer, Erich; Legutke, Stephanie; Shiogama, Hideo; Stone, Dáithí A.; Schleussner, Carl-Friedrich
    Changes in the hydrological cycle are among the aspects of climate change most relevant for human systems and ecosystems. Besides trends in overall wetting or drying, changes in temporal characteristics of wetting and drying are of crucial importance in determining the climate hazard posed by such changes. This is particularly the case for tropical regions, where most precipitation occurs during the rainy season and changes in rainy season onset and length have substantial consequences. Here we present projections for changes in tropical rainy season lengths for mean temperature increase of 1.5 °C and 2 °C above pre-industrial levels. Based on multi-ensemble quasi-stationary simulations at these warming levels, our analysis indicates robust changes in rainy season characteristics in large parts of the tropics despite substantial natural variability. Specifically, we report a robust shortening of the rainy season for all of tropical Africa as well as north-east Brazil. About 27% of West Africa is projected to experience robust changes in the rainy season length with a mean shortening of about 7 days under 1.5 °C. We find that changes in the temporal characteristics are largely unrelated to changes in overall precipitation, highlighting the importance of investigating both separately.
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    Multimodel assessment of flood characteristics in four large river basins at global warming of 1.5, 2.0 and 3.0 K above the pre-industrial level
    (Bristol : IOP Publ., 2018) Huang, Shaochun; Kumar, Rohini; Rakovec, Oldrich; Aich, Valentin; Wang, Xiaoyan; Samaniego, Luis; Liersch, Stefan; Krysanova, Valentina
    This study assesses the flood characteristics (timing, magnitude and frequency) in the pre-industrial and historical periods, and analyzes climate change impacts on floods at the warming levels of 1.5, 2.0 and 3.0 K above the pre-industrial level in four large river basins as required by the Paris agreement. Three well-established hydrological models (HMs) were forced with bias-corrected outputs from four global climate models (GCMs) for the pre-industrial, historical and future periods until 2100. The long pre-industrial and historical periods were subdivided into multiple 31-year subperiods to investigate the natural variability. The mean flood characteristics in the pre-industrial period were derived from the large ensemble based on all GCMs, HMs and 31-year subperiods, and compared to the ensemble means in the historical and future periods. In general, the variance of simulated flood characteristics is quite large in the pre-industrial and historical periods. Mostly GCMs and HMs contribute to the variance, especially for flood timing and magnitude, while the selection of 31-year subperiods is an important source of variance for flood frequency. The comparison between the ensemble means shows that there are already some changes in flood characteristics between the pre-industrial and historical periods. There is a clear shift towards earlier flooding for the Rhine (1.5 K scenario) and Upper Mississippi (3.0 K scenario). The flood magnitudes show a substantial increase in the Rhine and Upper Yellow only under the 3.0 K scenario. The floods are projected to occur more frequently in the Rhine under the 1.5 and 2.0 K scenarios, and less frequently in the Upper Mississippi under all scenarios.
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    Integrate health into decision-making to foster climate action
    (Bristol : IOP Publ., 2021-4-8) Vandyck, Toon; Rauner, Sebastian; Sampedro, Jon; Lanzi, Elisa; Reis, Lara Aleluia; Springmann, Marco; Dingenen, Rita Van
    The COVID-19 pandemic reveals that societies place a high value on healthy lives. Leveraging this momentum to establish a more central role for human health in the policy process will provide further impetus to a sustainable transformation of energy and food systems.
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    First process-based simulations of climate change impacts on global tea production indicate large effects in the World’s major producer countries
    (Bristol : IOP Publ., 2020) Beringer, Tim; Kulak, Michal; Müller, Christoph; Schaphoff, Sibyll; Jans, Yvonne
    Modeling of climate change impacts have mainly been focused on a small number of annual staple crops that provide most of the world's calories. Crop models typically do not represent perennial crops despite their high economic, nutritional, or cultural value. Here we assess climate change impacts on global tea production, chosen because of its high importance in culture and livelihoods of people around the world. We extended the dynamic global vegetation model with managed land, LPJmL4, global crop model to simulate the cultivation of tea plants. Simulated tea yields were validated and found in good agreement with historical observations as well as experiments on the effects of increasing CO2 concentrations. We then projected yields into the future under a range of climate scenarios from the Inter-Sectoral Impact Model Intercomparison Project. Under current irrigation levels and lowest climate change scenarios, tea yields are expected to decrease in major producing countries. In most climate scenarios, we project that tea yields are set to increase in China, India, and Vietnam. However, yield losses are expected to affect Kenya, Indonesia, and Sri Lanka. If abundant water supply and full irrigation is assumed for all tea cultivation areas, yields are projected to increase in all regions.
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    Freshwater requirements of large-scale bioenergy plantations for limiting global warming to 1.5 °C
    (Bristol : IOP Publ., 2019) Stenzel, Fabian; Gerten, Dieter; Werner, Constanze; Jägermeyr, Jonas
    Limiting mean global warming to well below 2 °C will probably require substantial negative emissions (NEs) within the 21st century. To achieve these, bioenergy plantations with subsequent carbon capture and storage (BECCS) may have to be implemented at a large scale. Irrigation of these plantations might be necessary to increase the yield, which is likely to put further pressure on already stressed freshwater systems. Conversely, the potential of bioenergy plantations (BPs) dedicated to achieving NEs through CO2 assimilation may be limited in regions with low freshwater availability. This paper provides a first-order quantification of the biophysical potentials of BECCS as a negative emission technology contribution to reaching the 1.5 °C warming target, as constrained by associated water availabilities and requirements. Using a global biosphere model, we analyze the availability of freshwater for irrigation of BPs designed to meet the projected NEs to fulfill the 1.5 °C target, spatially explicitly on areas not reserved for ecosystem conservation or agriculture. We take account of the simultaneous water demands for agriculture, industries, and households and also account for environmental flow requirements (EFRs) needed to safeguard aquatic ecosystems. Furthermore, we assess to what extent different forms of improved water management on the suggested BPs and on cropland may help to reduce the freshwater abstractions. Results indicate that global water withdrawals for irrigation of BPs range between ∼400 and ∼3000 km3 yr−1, depending on the scenario and the conversion efficiency of the carbon capture and storage process. Consideration of EFRs reduces the NE potential significantly, but can partly be compensated for by improved on-field water management.