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    Potential and costs of carbon dioxide removal by enhanced weathering of rocks
    (Bristol : IOP Publishing, 2018) Strefler, Jessica; Amann, Thorben; Bauer, Nico; Kriegler, Elmar; Hartmann, Jens
    The chemical weathering of rocks currently absorbs about 1.1 Gt CO2 a−1 being mainly stored as bicarbonate in the ocean. An enhancement of this slow natural process could remove substantial amounts of CO2 from the atmosphere, aiming to offset some unavoidable anthropogenic emissions in order to comply with the Paris Agreement, while at the same time it may decrease ocean acidification. We provide the first comprehensive assessment of economic costs, energy requirements, technical parameterization, and global and regional carbon removal potential. The crucial parameters defining this potential are the grain size and weathering rates. The main uncertainties about the potential relate to weathering rates and rock mass that can be integrated into the soil. The discussed results do not specifically address the enhancement of weathering through microbial processes, feedback of geogenic nutrient release, and bioturbation. We do not only assess dunite rock, predominantly bearing olivine (in the form of forsterite) as the mineral that has been previously proposed to be best suited for carbon removal, but focus also on basaltic rock to minimize potential negative side effects. Our results show that enhanced weathering is an option for carbon dioxide removal that could be competitive already at 60 US $ t−1 CO2 removed for dunite, but only at 200 US $ t−1 CO2 removed for basalt. The potential carbon removal on cropland areas could be as large as 95 Gt CO2 a−1 for dunite and 4.9 Gt CO2 a−1 for basalt. The best suited locations are warm and humid areas, particularly in India, Brazil, South-East Asia and China, where almost 75% of the global potential can be realized. This work presents a techno-economic assessment framework, which also allows for the incorporation of further processes.
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    The role of storage dynamics in annual wheat prices
    (Bristol : IOP Publishing, 2017) Schewe, Jacob; Otto, Christian; Frieler, Katja; Bodirsky, Benjamin Leo; Kriegler, Elmar; Lotze-Campen, Hermann; Popp, Alexander
    Identifying the drivers of global crop price fluctuations is essential for estimating the risks of unexpected weather-induced production shortfalls and for designing optimal response measures. Here we show that with a consistent representation of storage dynamics, a simple supply–demand model can explain most of the observed variations in wheat prices over the last 40 yr solely based on time series of annual production and long term demand trends. Even the most recent price peaks in 2007/08 and 2010/11 can be explained by additionally accounting for documented changes in countries' trade policies and storage strategies, without the need for external drivers such as oil prices or speculation across different commodity or stock markets. This underlines the critical sensitivity of global prices to fluctuations in production. The consistent inclusion of storage into a dynamic supply-demand model closes an important gap when it comes to exploring potential responses to future crop yield variability under climate and land-use change.
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    Between Scylla and Charybdis: Delayed mitigation narrows the passage between large-scale CDR and high costs
    (Bristol : IOP Publishing, 2018) Strefler, Jessica; Bauer, Nico; Kriegler, Elmar; Popp, Alexander; Giannousakis, Anastasis; Edenhofer, Ottmar
    There are major concerns about the sustainability of large-scale deployment of carbon dioxide removal (CDR) technologies. It is therefore an urgent question to what extent CDR will be needed to implement the long term ambition of the Paris Agreement. Here we show that ambitious near term mitigation significantly decreases CDR requirements to keep the Paris climate targets within reach. Following the nationally determined contributions (NDCs) until 2030 makes 2 °C unachievable without CDR. Reducing 2030 emissions by 20% below NDC levels alleviates the trade-off between high transitional challenges and high CDR deployment. Nevertheless, transitional challenges increase significantly if CDR is constrained to less than 5 Gt CO2 a−1 in any year. At least 8 Gt CO2 a−1 CDR are necessary in the long term to achieve 1.5 °C and more than 15 Gt CO2 a−1 to keep transitional challenges in bounds.