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Now showing 1 - 10 of 42
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    The Scenario Model Intercomparison Project (ScenarioMIP) for CMIP6
    (München : European Geopyhsical Union, 2016) O'Neill, Brian C.; Tebaldi, Claudia; van Vuuren, Detlef P.; Eyring, Veronika; Friedlingstein, Pierre; Hurtt, George; Knutti, Reto; Kriegler, Elmar; Lamarque, Jean-Francois; Lowe, Jason; Meehl, Gerald A.; Moss, Richard; Riahi, Keywan; Sanderson, Benjamin M.
    Projections of future climate change play a fundamental role in improving understanding of the climate system as well as characterizing societal risks and response options. The Scenario Model Intercomparison Project (ScenarioMIP) is the primary activity within Phase 6 of the Coupled Model Intercomparison Project (CMIP6) that will provide multi-model climate projections based on alternative scenarios of future emissions and land use changes produced with integrated assessment models. In this paper, we describe ScenarioMIP's objectives, experimental design, and its relation to other activities within CMIP6. The ScenarioMIP design is one component of a larger scenario process that aims to facilitate a wide range of integrated studies across the climate science, integrated assessment modeling, and impacts, adaptation, and vulnerability communities, and will form an important part of the evidence base in the forthcoming Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) assessments. At the same time, it will provide the basis for investigating a number of targeted science and policy questions that are especially relevant to scenario-based analysis, including the role of specific forcings such as land use and aerosols, the effect of a peak and decline in forcing, the consequences of scenarios that limit warming to below 2°C, the relative contributions to uncertainty from scenarios, climate models, and internal variability, and long-term climate system outcomes beyond the 21st century. To serve this wide range of scientific communities and address these questions, a design has been identified consisting of eight alternative 21st century scenarios plus one large initial condition ensemble and a set of long-term extensions, divided into two tiers defined by relative priority. Some of these scenarios will also provide a basis for variants planned to be run in other CMIP6-Endorsed MIPs to investigate questions related to specific forcings. Harmonized, spatially explicit emissions and land use scenarios generated with integrated assessment models will be provided to participating climate modeling groups by late 2016, with the climate model simulations run within the 2017–2018 time frame, and output from the climate model projections made available and analyses performed over the 2018–2020 period.
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    Ocean warming and acidification may drag down the commercial Arctic cod fishery by 2100
    (San Francisco, California, US : PLOS, 2020) Hänsel, Martin C.; Schmidt, Jörn O.; Stiasny, Martina H.; Stöven, Max T.; Voss, Rudi; Quaas, Martin F.
    The Arctic Ocean is an early warning system for indicators and effects of climate change. We use a novel combination of experimental and time-series data on effects of ocean warming and acidification on the commercially important Northeast Arctic cod (Gadus morhua) to incorporate these physiological processes into the recruitment model of the fish population. By running an ecological-economic optimization model, we investigate how the interaction of ocean warming, acidification and fishing pressure affects the sustainability of the fishery in terms of ecological, economic, social and consumer-related indicators, ranging from present day conditions up to future climate change scenarios. We find that near-term climate change will benefit the fishery, but under likely future warming and acidification this large fishery is at risk of collapse by the end of the century, even with the best adaptation effort in terms of reduced fishing pressure.
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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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    Modeling of two different water uptake approaches for mono-and mixed-species forest stands
    (Basel : MDPI, 2015) Gutsch, Martin; Lasch-Born, Petra; Suckow, Felicitas; Reyer, Christopher P.O.
    To assess how the effects of drought could be better captured in process-based models, this study simulated and contrasted two water uptake approaches in Scots pine and Scots pine-Sessile oak stands. The first approach consisted of an empirical function for root water uptake (WU1). The second approach was based on differences of soil water potential along a soil-plant-atmosphere continuum (WU2) with total root resistance varying at low, medium and high total root resistance levels. Three data sets on different time scales relevant for tree growth were used for model evaluation: Two short-term datasets on daily transpiration and soil water content as well as a long-term dataset on annual tree ring increments. Except WU2 with high total root resistance, all transpiration outputs exceeded observed values. The strongest correlation between simulated and observed annual tree ring width occurred with WU2 and high total root resistance. The findings highlighted the importance of severe drought as a main reason for small diameter increment. However, if all three data sets were taken into account, no approach was superior to the other. We conclude that accurate projections of future forest productivity depend largely on the realistic representation of root water uptake in forest model simulations.
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    Record Balkan floods of 2014 linked to planetary wave resonance
    (Washington, DC : American Association for the Advancement of Science, 2016) Stadtherr, Lisa; Coumou, Dim; Petoukhov, Vladimir; Petri, Stefan; Rahmstorf, Stefan
    In May 2014, the Balkans were hit by a Vb-type cyclone that brought disastrous flooding and severe damage to Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia, and Croatia. Vb cyclones migrate from the Mediterranean, where they absorb warm and moist air, to the north, often causing flooding in central/eastern Europe. Extreme rainfall events are increasing on a global scale, and both thermodynamic and dynamical mechanisms play a role. Where thermodynamic aspects are generally well understood, there is large uncertainty associated with current and future changes in dynamics. We study the climatic and meteorological factors that influenced the catastrophic flooding in the Balkans, where we focus on large-scale circulation. We show that the Vb cyclone was unusually stationary, bringing extreme rainfall for several consecutive days, and that this situation was likely linked to a quasi-stationary circumglobal Rossby wave train. We provide evidence that this quasi-stationary wave was amplified by wave resonance. Statistical analysis of daily spring rainfall over the Balkan region reveals significant upward trends over 1950–2014, especially in the high quantiles relevant for flooding events. These changes cannot be explained by simple thermodynamic arguments, and we thus argue that dynamical processes likely played a role in increasing flood risks over the Balkans.
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    Europe’s renewable energy directive poised to harm global forests
    ([London] : Nature Publishing Group UK, 2018) Searchinger, Timothy D.; Beringer, Tim; Holtsmark, Bjart; Kammen, Daniel M.; Lambin, Eric F.; Lucht, Wolfgang; Raven, Peter; van Ypersele, Jean-Pascal
    This comment raises concerns regarding the way in which a new European directive, aimed at reaching higher renewable energy targets, treats wood harvested directly for bioenergy use as a carbon-free fuel. The result could consume quantities of wood equal to all Europe’s wood harvests, greatly increase carbon in the air for decades, and set a dangerous global example.
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    Alternative carbon price trajectories can avoid excessive carbon removal
    ([London] : Nature Publishing Group UK, 2021) Strefler, Jessica; Kriegler, Elmar; Bauer, Nico; Luderer, Gunnar; Pietzcker, Robert C.; Giannousakis, Anastasis; Edenhofer, Ottmar
    The large majority of climate change mitigation scenarios that hold warming below 2 °C show high deployment of carbon dioxide removal (CDR), resulting in a peak-and-decline behavior in global temperature. This is driven by the assumption of an exponentially increasing carbon price trajectory which is perceived to be economically optimal for meeting a carbon budget. However, this optimality relies on the assumption that a finite carbon budget associated with a temperature target is filled up steadily over time. The availability of net carbon removals invalidates this assumption and therefore a different carbon price trajectory should be chosen. We show how the optimal carbon price path for remaining well below 2 °C limits CDR demand and analyze requirements for constructing alternatives, which may be easier to implement in reality. We show that warming can be held at well below 2 °C at much lower long-term economic effort and lower CDR deployment and therefore lower risks if carbon prices are high enough in the beginning to ensure target compliance, but increase at a lower rate after carbon neutrality has been reached.
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    Social tipping dynamics for stabilizing Earth's climate by 2050
    (2020) Otto, Ilona M.; Donges, Jonathan F.; Cremades, Roger; Bhowmik, Avit; Hewitt, Richard J.; Lucht, Wolfgang; Rockström, Johan; Allerberger, Franziska; McCaffrey, Mark; Doe, Sylvanus S.P.; Lenferna, Alex; Morán, Nerea; van Vuuren, Detlef P.; Schellnhuber, Hans Joachim
    Safely achieving the goals of the Paris Climate Agreement requires a worldwide transformation to carbon-neutral societies within the next 30 y. Accelerated technological progress and policy implementations are required to deliver emissions reductions at rates sufficiently fast to avoid crossing dangerous tipping points in the Earth's climate system. Here, we discuss and evaluate the potential of social tipping interventions (STIs) that can activate contagious processes of rapidly spreading technologies, behaviors, social norms, and structural reorganization within their functional domains that we refer to as social tipping elements (STEs). STEs are subdomains of the planetary socioeconomic system where the required disruptive change may take place and lead to a sufficiently fast reduction in anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions. The results are based on online expert elicitation, a subsequent expert workshop, and a literature review. The STIs that could trigger the tipping of STE subsystems include 1) removing fossil-fuel subsidies and incentivizing decentralized energy generation (STE1, energy production and storage systems), 2) building carbon-neutral cities (STE2, human settlements), 3) divesting from assets linked to fossil fuels (STE3, financial markets), 4) revealing the moral implications of fossil fuels (STE4, norms and value systems), 5) strengthening climate education and engagement (STE5, education system), and 6) disclosing information on greenhouse gas emissions (STE6, information feedbacks). Our research reveals important areas of focus for larger-scale empirical and modeling efforts to better understand the potentials of harnessing social tipping dynamics for climate change mitigation.
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    Impacts devalue the potential of large-scale terrestrial CO2 removal through biomass plantations
    (Bristol : IOP Publishing, 2016) Boysen, L.R.; Lucht, W.; Gerten, D.; Heck, V.
    Large-scale biomass plantations (BPs) are often considered a feasible and safe climate engineering proposal for extracting carbon from the atmosphere and, thereby, reducing global mean temperatures. However, the capacity of such terrestrial carbon dioxide removal (tCDR) strategies and their larger Earth system impacts remain to be comprehensively studied—even more so under higher carbon emissions and progressing climate change. Here, we use a spatially explicit process-based biosphere model to systematically quantify the potentials and trade-offs of a range of BP scenarios dedicated to tCDR, representing different assumptions about which areas are convertible. Based on a moderate CO2 concentration pathway resulting in a global mean warming of 2.5 °C above preindustrial level by the end of this century—similar to the Representative Concentration Pathway (RCP) 4.5—we assume tCDR to be implemented when a warming of 1.5 °C is reached in year 2038. Our results show that BPs can slow down the progression of increasing cumulative carbon in the atmosphere only sufficiently if emissions are reduced simultaneously like in the underlying RCP4.5 trajectory. The potential of tCDR to balance additional, unabated emissions leading towards a business-as-usual pathway alike RCP8.5 is therefore very limited. Furthermore, in the required large-scale applications, these plantations would induce significant trade-offs with food production and biodiversity and exert impacts on forest extent, biogeochemical cycles and biogeophysical properties.
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    Decomposing the effects of ocean warming on chlorophyll a concentrations into physically and biologically driven contributions
    (Bristol : IOP Publishing, 2013) Olonscheck, D.; Hofmann, M.; Worm, B.; Schellnhuber, H.J.
    Recently compiled observational data suggest a substantial decline in the global median chlorophyll a concentration over the 20th century, a trend that appears to be linked to ocean warming. Several modelling studies have considered changes in the ocean's physical structure as a possible cause, while experimental work supports a biological mechanism, namely an observed increase in zooplankton grazing rate that outpaces phytoplankton production at higher temperatures. Here, we present transient simulations derived from a coupled ocean general circulation and carbon cycle model forced by atmospheric fields under unabated anthropogenic global warming (IPCC SRES A1FI scenario). The simulations account for both physical and biological mechanisms, and can reproduce about one quarter of the observed chlorophyll a decline during the 20th century, when using realistically parameterized temperature sensitivity of zooplankton metabolism (Q10 between 2 and 4) and phytoplankton growth (Q10 ~ 1.9). Therefore, we have employed and re-calibrated the standard ecosystem model which assumes a lower temperature sensitivity of zooplankton grazing (Q10 = 1.1049) by re-scaling phytoplankton growth rates and zooplankton grazing rates. Our model projects a global chlorophyll a decline of >50% by the end of the 21st century. While phytoplankton abundance and chlorophyll a experience pronounced negative effects, primary production and zooplankton concentrations are less sensitive to ocean warming. Although changes in physical structure play an important role, much of the simulated change in chlorophyll a and productivity is related to the uneven temperature sensitivity of the marine ecosystem.