Carbon dioxide emission pathways avoiding dangerous ocean impacts

Kvale K, Zickfeld K, Bruckner T, Meissner KJ, Tanaka K, & Weaver AJ (2012). Carbon dioxide emission pathways avoiding dangerous ocean impacts. Weather, Climate, and Society 4 (3): 212-229. DOI:10.1175/WCAS-D-11-00030.1.

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Abstract

Anthropogenic emissions of greenhouse gases could lead to undesirable effects on oceans in coming centuries. Drawing on recommendations published by the German Advisory Council on Global Change, levels of unacceptable global marine change (so-called guardrails) are defined in terms of global mean temperature, sea level rise, and ocean acidification. A global-mean climate model [the Aggregated Carbon Cycle, Atmospheric Chemistry and Climate Model (ACC2)] is coupled with an economic module [taken from the Dynamic Integrated Climate-Economy Model (DICE)] to conduct a cost-effectiveness analysis to derive CO2 emission pathways that both minimize abatement costs and are compatible with these guardrails. Additionally, the .tolerable windows approach. is used to calculate a range of CO2 emissions paths that obey the guardrails as well as a restriction on mitigation rate. Prospects of meeting the global mean temperature change guardrail (2 and 0.2 degrees C per decade relative to preindustrial) depend strongly on assumed values for climate sensitivity: at climate sensitivities >3 degrees C the guardrail cannot be attained under any CO2 emissions reduction strategy without mitigation of non-CO2 greenhouse gases. The ocean acidification guardrail (0.2 unit pH decline relative to preindustrial) is less restrictive than the absolute temperature guardrail at climate sensitivities >2.5 degrees C but becomes more constraining at lower climate sensitivities. The sea level rise and rate of rise guardrails (1m and 5cm per decade) are substantially less stringent for ice sheet sensitivities derived in the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Fourth Assessment Report, but they may already be committed to violation if ice sheet sensitivities consistent with semiempirical sea level rise projections are assumed.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Anthropogenic effects; Carbon dioxide; Climate change
Research Programs: General Research (GEN)
Population and Climate Change (PCC)
Bibliographic Reference: Weather, Climate, and Society; 4(3):212-229 (July 2012)
Depositing User: IIASA Import
Date Deposited: 15 Jan 2016 08:46
Last Modified: 12 Sep 2016 13:04
URI: http://pure.iiasa.ac.at/9864

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