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    Climate and air quality impacts due to mitigation of non-methane near-term climate forcers
    (Katlenburg-Lindau : EGU, 2020) Allen, Robert J.; Turnock, Steven; Nabat, Pierre; Neubauer, David; Lohmann, Ulrike; Olivié, Dirk; Oshima, Naga; Michou, Martine; Wu, Tongwen; Zhang, Jie; Takemura, Toshihiko; Schulz, Michael; Tsigaridis, Kostas; Bauer, Susanne E.; Emmons, Louisa; Horowitz, Larry; Naik, Vaishali; van Noije, Twan; Bergman, Tommi; Lamarque, Jean-Francois; Zanis, Prodromos; Tegen, Ina; Westervelt, Daniel M.; Le Sager, Philippe; Good, Peter; Shim, Sungbo; O’Connor, Fiona; Akritidis, Dimitris; Georgoulias, Aristeidis K.; Deushi, Makoto; Sentman, Lori T.; John, Jasmin G.; Fujimori, Shinichiro; Collins, William J.
    It is important to understand how future environmental policies will impact both climate change and air pollution. Although targeting near-term climate forcers (NTCFs), defined here as aerosols, tropospheric ozone, and precursor gases, should improve air quality, NTCF reductions will also impact climate. Prior assessments of the impact of NTCF mitigation on air quality and climate have been limited. This is related to the idealized nature of some prior studies, simplified treatment of aerosols and chemically reactive gases, as well as a lack of a sufficiently large number of models to quantify model diversity and robust responses. Here, we quantify the 2015-2055 climate and air quality effects of non-methane NTCFs using nine state-of-the-art chemistry-climate model simulations conducted for the Aerosol and Chemistry Model Intercomparison Project (AerChemMIP). Simulations are driven by two future scenarios featuring similar increases in greenhouse gases (GHGs) but with weak (SSP3-7.0) versus strong (SSP3-7.0-lowNTCF) levels of air quality control measures. As SSP3-7.0 lacks climate policy and has the highest levels of NTCFs, our results (e.g., surface warming) represent an upper bound. Unsurprisingly, we find significant improvements in air quality under NTCF mitigation (strong versus weak air quality controls). Surface fine particulate matter (PM2:5) and ozone (O3) decrease by 2:20:32 ugm3 and 4:60:88 ppb, respectively (changes quoted here are for the entire 2015-2055 time period; uncertainty represents the 95% confidence interval), over global land surfaces, with larger reductions in some regions including south and southeast Asia. Non-methane NTCF mitigation, however, leads to additional climate change due to the removal of aerosol which causes a net warming effect, including global mean surface temperature and precipitation increases of 0:250:12K and 0:030:012mmd1, respectively. Similarly, increases in extreme weather indices, including the hottest and wettest days, also occur. Regionally, the largest warming and wetting occurs over Asia, including central and north Asia (0:660:20K and 0:030:02mmd1), south Asia (0:470:16K and 0:170:09mmd1), and east Asia (0:460:20K and 0:150:06mmd1). Relatively large warming and wetting of the Arctic also occur at 0:590:36K and 0:040:02mmd1, respectively. Similar surface warming occurs in model simulations with aerosol-only mitigation, implying weak cooling due to ozone reductions. Our findings suggest that future policies that aggressively target non-methane NTCF reductions will improve air quality but will lead to additional surface warming, particularly in Asia and the Arctic. Policies that address other NTCFs including methane, as well as carbon dioxide emissions, must also be adopted to meet climate mitigation goals. © Author(s) 2020. This work is distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
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    Taking stock of national climate policies to evaluate implementation of the Paris Agreement
    ([London] : Nature Publishing Group UK, 2020) Roelfsema, Mark; van Soest, Heleen L.; Harmsen, Mathijs; van Vuuren, Detlef P.; Bertram, Christoph; den Elzen, Michel; Höhne, Niklas; Iacobuta, Gabriela; Krey, Volker; Kriegler, Elmar; Luderer, Gunnar; Riahi, Keywan; Ueckerdt, Falko; Després, Jacques; Drouet, Laurent; Emmerling, Johannes; Frank, Stefan; Fricko, Oliver; Gidden, Matthew; Humpenöder, Florian; Huppmann, Daniel; Fujimori, Shinichiro; Fragkiadakis, Kostas; Gi, Keii; Keramidas, Kimon; Köberle, Alexandre C.; Aleluia Reis, Lara; Rochedo, Pedro; Schaeffer, Roberto; Oshiro, Ken; Vrontisi, Zoi; Chen, Wenying; Iyer, Gokul C.; Edmonds, Jae; Kannavou, Maria; Jiang, Kejun; Mathur, Ritu; Safonov, George; Vishwanathan, Saritha Sudharmma
    Many countries have implemented national climate policies to accomplish pledged Nationally Determined Contributions and to contribute to the temperature objectives of the Paris Agreement on climate change. In 2023, the global stocktake will assess the combined effort of countries. Here, based on a public policy database and a multi-model scenario analysis, we show that implementation of current policies leaves a median emission gap of 22.4 to 28.2 GtCO2eq by 2030 with the optimal pathways to implement the well below 2 °C and 1.5 °C Paris goals. If Nationally Determined Contributions would be fully implemented, this gap would be reduced by a third. Interestingly, the countries evaluated were found to not achieve their pledged contributions with implemented policies (implementation gap), or to have an ambition gap with optimal pathways towards well below 2 °C. This shows that all countries would need to accelerate the implementation of policies for renewable technologies, while efficiency improvements are especially important in emerging countries and fossil-fuel-dependent countries.
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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.