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Now showing 1 - 10 of 13
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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.
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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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    Contrasting and interacting changes in simulated spring and summer carbon cycle extremes in European ecosystems
    (Bristol : IOP Publishing, 2017) Sippel, Sebastian; Forkel, Matthias; Rammig, Anja; Thonicke, Kirsten; Flach, Milan; Heimann, Martin; Otto, Friederike E.L.; Reichstein, Markus; Mahecha, Miguel D.
    Climate extremes have the potential to cause extreme responses of terrestrial ecosystem functioning. However, it is neither straightforward to quantify and predict extreme ecosystem responses, nor to attribute these responses to specific climate drivers. Here, we construct a factorial experiment based on a large ensemble of process-oriented ecosystem model simulations driven by a regional climate model (12 500 model years in 1985–2010) in six European regions. Our aims are to (1) attribute changes in the intensity and frequency of simulated ecosystem productivity extremes (EPEs) to recent changes in climate extremes, CO2 concentration, and land use, and to (2) assess the effect of timing and seasonal interaction on the intensity of EPEs. Evaluating the ensemble simulations reveals that (1) recent trends in EPEs are seasonally contrasting: spring EPEs show consistent trends towards increased carbon uptake, while trends in summer EPEs are predominantly negative in net ecosystem productivity (i.e. higher net carbon release under drought and heat in summer) and close-to-neutral in gross productivity. While changes in climate and its extremes (mainly warming) and changes in CO2 increase spring productivity, changes in climate extremes decrease summer productivity neutralizing positive effects of CO2. Furthermore, we find that (2) drought or heat wave induced carbon losses in summer (i.e. negative EPEs) can be partly compensated by a higher uptake in the preceding spring in temperate regions. Conversely, however, carry-over effects from spring to summer that arise from depleted soil moisture exacerbate the carbon losses caused by climate extremes in summer, and are thus undoing spring compensatory effects. While the spring-compensation effect is increasing over time, the carry-over effect shows no trend between 1985–2010. The ensemble ecosystem model simulations provide a process-based interpretation and generalization for spring-summer interacting carbon cycle effects caused by climate extremes (i.e. compensatory and carry-over effects). In summary, the ensemble ecosystem modelling approach presented in this paper offers a novel route to scrutinize ecosystem responses to changing climate extremes in a probabilistic framework, and to pinpoint the underlying eco-physiological mechanisms.
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    Benchmarking carbon fluxes of the ISIMIP2a biome models
    (Bristol : IOP Publishing, 2017) Chang, Jinfeng; Ciais, Philippe; Wang, Xuhui; Piao, Shilong; Asrar, Ghassem; Betts, Richard; Chevallier, Frédéric; Dury, Marie; François, Louis; Frieler, Katja; Ros, Anselmo García Cantú; Henrot, Alexandra-Jane; Hickler, Thomas; Ito, Akihiko; Morfopoulos, Catherine; Munhoven, Guy; Nishina, Kazuya; Ostberg, Sebastian; Pan, Shufen; Peng, Shushi; Rafique, Rashid; Reyer, Christopher; Rödenbeck, Christian; Schaphoff, Sibyll; Steinkamp, Jörg; Tian, Hanqin; Viovy, Nicolas; Yang, Jia; Zeng, Ning; Zhao, Fang
    The purpose of this study is to evaluate the eight ISIMIP2a biome models against independent estimates of long-term net carbon fluxes (i.e. Net Biome Productivity, NBP) over terrestrial ecosystems for the recent four decades (1971–2010). We evaluate modeled global NBP against 1) the updated global residual land sink (RLS) plus land use emissions (E LUC) from the Global Carbon Project (GCP), presented as R + L in this study by Le Quéré et al (2015), and 2) the land CO2 fluxes from two atmospheric inversion systems: Jena CarboScope s81_v3.8 and CAMS v15r2, referred to as F Jena and F CAMS respectively. The model ensemble-mean NBP (that includes seven models with land-use change) is higher than but within the uncertainty of R + L, while the simulated positive NBP trend over the last 30 yr is lower than that from R + L and from the two inversion systems. ISIMIP2a biome models well capture the interannual variation of global net terrestrial ecosystem carbon fluxes. Tropical NBP represents 31 ± 17% of global total NBP during the past decades, and the year-to-year variation of tropical NBP contributes most of the interannual variation of global NBP. According to the models, increasing Net Primary Productivity (NPP) was the main cause for the generally increasing NBP. Significant global NBP anomalies from the long-term mean between the two phases of El Niño Southern Oscillation (ENSO) events are simulated by all models (p < 0.05), which is consistent with the R + L estimate (p = 0.06), also mainly attributed to NPP anomalies, rather than to changes in heterotrophic respiration (Rh). The global NPP and NBP anomalies during ENSO events are dominated by their anomalies in tropical regions impacted by tropical climate variability. Multiple regressions between R + L, F Jena and F CAMS interannual variations and tropical climate variations reveal a significant negative response of global net terrestrial ecosystem carbon fluxes to tropical mean annual temperature variation, and a non-significant response to tropical annual precipitation variation. According to the models, tropical precipitation is a more important driver, suggesting that some models do not capture the roles of precipitation and temperature changes adequately.
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    A statistically predictive model for future monsoon failure in India
    (Bristol : IOP Publishing, 2012) Schewe, Jacob; Levermann, Anders
    Indian monsoon rainfall is vital for a large share of the world's population. Both reliably projecting India's future precipitation and unraveling abrupt cessations of monsoon rainfall found in paleorecords require improved understanding of its stability properties. While details of monsoon circulations and the associated rainfall are complex, full-season failure is dominated by large-scale positive feedbacks within the region. Here we find that in a comprehensive climate model, monsoon failure is possible but very rare under pre-industrial conditions, while under future warming it becomes much more frequent. We identify the fundamental intraseasonal feedbacks that are responsible for monsoon failure in the climate model, relate these to observational data, and build a statistically predictive model for such failure. This model provides a simple dynamical explanation for future changes in the frequency distribution of seasonal mean all-Indian rainfall. Forced only by global mean temperature and the strength of the Pacific Walker circulation in spring, it reproduces the trend as well as the multidecadal variability in the mean and skewness of the distribution, as found in the climate model. The approach offers an alternative perspective on large-scale monsoon variability as the result of internal instabilities modulated by pre-seasonal ambient climate conditions.
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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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    Linking sea level rise and socioeconomic indicators under the Shared Socioeconomic Pathways
    (Bristol : IOP Publishing, 2017) Nauels, Alexander; Rogelj, Joeri; Schleussner, Carl-Friedrich; Meinshausen, Malte; Mengel, Matthias
    In order to assess future sea level rise and its societal impacts, we need to study climate change pathways combined with different scenarios of socioeconomic development. Here, we present sea level rise (SLR) projections for the Shared Socioeconomic Pathway (SSP) storylines and different year-2100 radiative forcing targets (FTs). Future SLR is estimated with a comprehensive SLR emulator that accounts for Antarctic rapid discharge from hydrofracturing and ice cliff instability. Across all baseline scenario realizations (no dedicated climate mitigation), we find 2100 median SLR relative to 1986–2005 of 89 cm (likely range: 57–130 cm) for SSP1, 105 cm (73–150 cm) for SSP2, 105 cm (75–147 cm) for SSP3, 93 cm (63–133 cm) for SSP4, and 132 cm (95–189 cm) for SSP5. The 2100 sea level responses for combined SSP-FT scenarios are dominated by the mitigation targets and yield median estimates of 52 cm (34–75 cm) for FT 2.6 Wm−2, 62 cm (40–96 cm) for FT 3.4 Wm−2, 75 cm (47–113 cm) for FT 4.5 Wm−2, and 91 cm (61–132 cm) for FT 6.0 Wm−2. Average 2081–2100 annual SLR rates are 5 mm yr−1 and 19 mm yr−1 for FT 2.6 Wm−2 and the baseline scenarios, respectively. Our model setup allows linking scenario-specific emission and socioeconomic indicators to projected SLR. We find that 2100 median SSP SLR projections could be limited to around 50 cm if 2050 cumulative CO2 emissions since pre-industrial stay below 850 GtC, with a global coal phase-out nearly completed by that time. For SSP mitigation scenarios, a 2050 carbon price of 100 US$2005 tCO2 −1 would correspond to a median 2100 SLR of around 65 cm. Our results confirm that rapid and early emission reductions are essential for limiting 2100 SLR.
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    Implications of climate mitigation for future agricultural production
    (Bristol : IOP Publishing, 2015) Müller, Christoph; Elliott, Joshua; Chryssanthacopoulos, James; Deryng, Delphine; Folberth, Christian; Pugh, Thomas A.M.; Schmid, Erwin
    Climate change is projected to negatively impact biophysical agricultural productivity in much of the world. Actions taken to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and mitigate future climate changes, are thus of central importance for agricultural production. Climate impacts are, however, not unidirectional; some crops in some regions (primarily higher latitudes) are projected to benefit, particularly if increased atmospheric carbon dioxide is assumed to strongly increase crop productivity at large spatial and temporal scales. Climate mitigation measures that are implemented by reducing atmospheric carbon dioxide concentrations lead to reductions both in the strength of climate change and in the benefits of carbon dioxide fertilization. Consequently, analysis of the effects of climate mitigation on agricultural productivity must address not only regions for which mitigation is likely to reduce or even reverse climate damages. There are also regions that are likely to see increased crop yields due to climate change, which may lose these added potentials under mitigation action. Comparing data from the most comprehensive archive of crop yield projections publicly available, we find that climate mitigation leads to overall benefits from avoided damages at the global scale and especially in many regions that are already at risk of food insecurity today. Ignoring controversial carbon dioxide fertilization effects on crop productivity, we find that for the median projection aggressive mitigation could eliminate ~81% of the negative impacts of climate change on biophysical agricultural productivity globally by the end of the century. In this case, the benefits of mitigation typically extend well into temperate regions, but vary by crop and underlying climate model projections. Should large benefits to crop yields from carbon dioxide fertilization be realized, the effects of mitigation become much more mixed, though still positive globally and beneficial in many food insecure countries.
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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.