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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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    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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    Adaptive responses of animals to climate change are most likely insufficient
    ([London] : Nature Publishing Group UK, 2019) Radchuk, Viktoriia; Reed, Thomas; Teplitsky, Céline; van de Pol, Martijn; Charmantier, Anne; Hassall, Christopher; Adamík, Peter; Adriaensen, Frank; Ahola, Markus P.; Arcese, Peter; Avilés, Jesús Miguel; Balbontin, Javier; Berg, Karl S.; Borras, Antoni; Burthe, Sarah; Clobert, Jean; Dehnhard, Nina; de Lope, Florentino; Dhondt, André A.; Dingemanse, Niels J.; Doi, Hideyuki; Eeva, Tapio; Fickel, Joerns; Filella, Iolanda; Fossøy, Frode; Goodenough, Anne E.; Hall, Stephen J. G.; Hansson, Bengt; Harris, Michael; Hasselquist, Dennis; Hickler, Thomas; Joshi, Jasmin; Kharouba, Heather; Martínez, Juan Gabriel; Mihoub, Jean-Baptiste; Mills, James A.; Molina-Morales, Mercedes; Moksnes, Arne; Ozgul, Arpat; Parejo, Deseada; Pilard, Philippe; Poisbleau, Maud; Rousset, Francois; Rödel, Mark-Oliver; Scott, David; Senar, Juan Carlos; Stefanescu, Constanti; Stokke, Bård G.; Kusano, Tamotsu; Tarka, Maja; Tarwater, Corey E.; Thonicke, Kirsten; Thorley, Jack; Wilting, Andreas; Tryjanowski, Piotr; Merilä, Juha; Sheldon, Ben C.; Pape Møller, Anders; Matthysen, Erik; Janzen, Fredric; Dobson, F. Stephen; Visser, Marcel E.; Beissinger, Steven R.; Courtiol, Alexandre; Kramer-Schadt, Stephanie
    Biological responses to climate change have been widely documented across taxa and regions, but it remains unclear whether species are maintaining a good match between phenotype and environment, i.e. whether observed trait changes are adaptive. Here we reviewed 10,090 abstracts and extracted data from 71 studies reported in 58 relevant publications, to assess quantitatively whether phenotypic trait changes associated with climate change are adaptive in animals. A meta-analysis focussing on birds, the taxon best represented in our dataset, suggests that global warming has not systematically affected morphological traits, but has advanced phenological traits. We demonstrate that these advances are adaptive for some species, but imperfect as evidenced by the observed consistent selection for earlier timing. Application of a theoretical model indicates that the evolutionary load imposed by incomplete adaptive responses to ongoing climate change may already be threatening the persistence of species. © 2019, The Author(s).
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    Diverging importance of drought stress for maize and winter wheat in Europe
    ([London] : Nature Publishing Group UK, 2018) Webber, Heidi; Ewert, Frank; Olesen, Jørgen E.; Müller, Christoph; Fronzek, Stefan; Ruane, Alex C.; Bourgault, Maryse; Martre, Pierre; Ababaei, Behnam; Bindi, Marco; Ferrise, Roberto; Finger, Robert; Fodor, Nándor; Gabaldón-Leal, Clara; Gaiser, Thomas; Jabloun, Mohamed; Kersebaum, Kurt-Christian; Lizaso, Jon I.; Lorite, Ignacio J.; Manceau, Loic; Moriondo, Marco; Nendel, Claas; Rodríguez, Alfredo; Ruiz-Ramos, Margarita; Semenov, Mikhail A.; Siebert, Stefan; Stella, Tommaso; Stratonovitch, Pierre; Trombi, Giacomo; Wallach, Daniel
    Understanding the drivers of yield levels under climate change is required to support adaptation planning and respond to changing production risks. This study uses an ensemble of crop models applied on a spatial grid to quantify the contributions of various climatic drivers to past yield variability in grain maize and winter wheat of European cropping systems (1984–2009) and drivers of climate change impacts to 2050. Results reveal that for the current genotypes and mix of irrigated and rainfed production, climate change would lead to yield losses for grain maize and gains for winter wheat. Across Europe, on average heat stress does not increase for either crop in rainfed systems, while drought stress intensifies for maize only. In low-yielding years, drought stress persists as the main driver of losses for both crops, with elevated CO2 offering no yield benefit in these years.
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    State-of-the-art global models underestimate impacts from climate extremes
    ([London] : Nature Publishing Group UK, 2019) Schewe, Jacob; Gosling, Simon N.; Reyer, Christopher; Zhao, Fang; Ciais, Philippe; Elliott, Joshua; Francois, Louis; Huber, Veronika; Lotze, Heike K.; Seneviratne, Sonia I.; van Vliet, Michelle T. H.; Vautard, Robert; Wada, Yoshihide; Breuer, Lutz; Büchner, Matthias; Carozza, David A.; Chang, Jinfeng; Coll, Marta; Deryng, Delphine; de Wit, Allard; Eddy, Tyler D.; Folberth, Christian; Frieler, Katja; Friend, Andrew D.; Gerten, Dieter; Gudmundsson, Lukas; Hanasaki, Naota; Ito, Akihiko; Khabarov, Nikolay; Kim, Hyungjun; Lawrence, Peter; Morfopoulos, Catherine; Müller, Christoph; Müller Schmied, Hannes; Orth, René; Ostberg, Sebastian; Pokhrel, Yadu; Pugh, Thomas A. M.; Sakurai, Gen; Satoh, Yusuke; Schmid, Erwin; Stacke, Tobias; Steenbeek, Jeroen; Steinkamp, Jörg; Tang, Qiuhong; Tian, Hanqin; Tittensor, Derek P.; Volkholz, Jan; Wang, Xuhui; Warszawski, Lila
    Global impact models represent process-level understanding of how natural and human systems may be affected by climate change. Their projections are used in integrated assessments of climate change. Here we test, for the first time, systematically across many important systems, how well such impact models capture the impacts of extreme climate conditions. Using the 2003 European heat wave and drought as a historical analogue for comparable events in the future, we find that a majority of models underestimate the extremeness of impacts in important sectors such as agriculture, terrestrial ecosystems, and heat-related human mortality, while impacts on water resources and hydropower are overestimated in some river basins; and the spread across models is often large. This has important implications for economic assessments of climate change impacts that rely on these models. It also means that societal risks from future extreme events may be greater than previously thought.