Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Accounting for short-lived forcers in carbon budgets

15.07.2015

New IIASA research shows how measures to reduce emissions of short-lived climate forcers can impact global carbon budgets for limiting climate change to below 2°C over pre-industrial levels.

Limiting warming to any level requires CO2 emissions to be kept to within a certain limit known as a carbon budget. Can reducing shorter-lived climate forcers influence the size of this budget? A new IIASA study published in the journal Environmental Research Letters analyzes the impact of short-lived air pollutant and greenhouse gas reductions on carbon budgets compatible with the 2°C climate target.

Short-lived greenhouse gases and atmospheric pollutants—including methane, hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), black carbon or soot, and sulfates— are emitted by human activities and also contribute to climate change, but remain in the atmosphere for a much shorter time than carbon dioxide (CO2).

Some of these emissions, such as methane have a strong warming effect, while others act to cool the atmosphere, making their role in climate change mitigation complicated to nail down.

“To limit global warming to any level, the total amount of carbon-dioxide emissions needs to be limited to a certain budget,” says Rogelj. “We knew that warming from non-CO2 gases like methane or some air pollutants, can influence the size of this carbon budget. The question was, how much?”

The study examines how stringently reducing each climate forcer separately would affect the size of the carbon budget. The researchers found that reducing methane emissions stringently in the second half of the century could increase the size of the carbon budget for meeting the 2°C target by 2100 by about 20%. In the long term, CO2 emissions thus still need to reach net zero. Strict controls on pollutants such as black carbon, by contrast, had only a small impact on the carbon budget of around 5%.

The new study is the first to quantify the influence of non-CO2 emissions reductions for future global carbon budgets.

“Our findings are important from a policy perspective. The pressure on the 2°C compatible CO2 budget will be extremely high if we are not successful in mitigating non-CO2 emissions for example from meat and rice production,” says IIASA Energy Program Director Keywan Riahi, a co-author on the study. “Hedging against these risks requires us to not put all of our eggs into one basket, and instead to pursue stringent reductions of CO2 in combination with efforts to limit non-CO2 emissions.”

IIASA research has shown that climate and air pollution are closely linked from an economic and policy standpoint, and addressing both together could bring joint benefits for health and environment at a fraction of the cost. For example, a recent study led by

Rogelj quantified how actions to reduce CO2 emissions would also lead to reduced SLCP emissions, because CO2 and some SLCPs are emitted by the same sources, for example diesel engines which emit both CO2 and black carbon. Yet, the other way around, air pollution measures alone would not reduce carbon dioxide emissions.

The new study takes that research a step further and applies it to carbon budgets. It provides a quantitative scenario analysis of how reductions of black carbon, methane, HFCs, sulfur dioxide and nitrogen dioxide can complement and help the transition to a zero-carbon future.

Reference
Joeri Rogelj, Malte Meinshausen, Michiel Schaeffer, Reto Knutti, and Keywan Riahi, 2015. Impact of short-lived non-CO2 mitigation on carbon budgets for stabilizing global warming Environ. Res. Lett. 10 075001 doi:10.1088/1748-9326/10/7/075001

Background: IIASA research on air pollution and climate change
IASA research has shown that climate and air pollution are closely linked from an economic and policy standpoint, and addressing both together could bring joint benefits for health and environment at a lower cost than addressing these issues separately.

See the references below for more on the topic:
Joeri Rogelj, Andy Reisinger, David L. McCollum, Reto Knutti, Keywan Riahi, Malte Meinshausen, 2015. Mitigation choices impact carbon budget size compatible with low temperature goals. Environ. Res. Lett. 10 075003 doi:10.1088/1748-9326/10/7/075003

Joeri Rogelj, Michiel Schaeffer, Malte Meinshausen, Drew T. Shindell, William Hare, Zbigniew Klimont, Guus J. Velders, Markus Amann, John Schellnhuber, 2014. Disentangling the effects of CO2 and short-lived climate forcer mitigation. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 111 16325-16330 doi:10.1073/pnas.1415631111

Drew T. Shindell, et al., 2012. Simultaneously Mitigating Near-Term Climate Change and Improving Human Health and Food Security. Science 335 183-189 doi:10.1126/science.1210026

For more information contact:

Joeri Rogelj
Research Scholar
IIASA Energy Program
+43(0) 2236 807 393
rogelj@iiasa.ac.at

Keywan Riahi
Program Director
IIASA Energy Program
+43(0) 2236 807 491
riahi@iiasa.ac.at

Katherine Leitzell
IIASA Press Office
Tel: +43 2236 807 316
Mob: +43 676 83 807 316
leitzell@iiasa.ac.at

About IIASA:
The International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA) is an international scientific institute that conducts research into the critical issues of global environmental, economic, technological, and social change that we face in the twenty-first century. Our findings provide valuable options to policy makers to shape the future of our changing world. IIASA is independent and funded by scientific institutions in Africa, the Americas, Asia, Oceania, and Europe. www.iiasa.ac.at

Weitere Informationen:

http://iopscience.iop.org/1748-9326/10/7/075001/

MSc Katherine Leitzell | idw - Informationsdienst Wissenschaft
Further information:
http://www.iiasa.ac.at

Further reports about: CO2 CO2 emissions IIASA Reto atmosphere black carbon carbon dioxide environment global warming

More articles from Studies and Analyses:

nachricht Win-win strategies for climate and food security
02.10.2017 | International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA)

nachricht The personality factor: How to foster the sharing of research data
06.09.2017 | ZBW – Leibniz-Informationszentrum Wirtschaft

All articles from Studies and Analyses >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Neutron star merger directly observed for the first time

University of Maryland researchers contribute to historic detection of gravitational waves and light created by event

On August 17, 2017, at 12:41:04 UTC, scientists made the first direct observation of a merger between two neutron stars--the dense, collapsed cores that remain...

Im Focus: Breaking: the first light from two neutron stars merging

Seven new papers describe the first-ever detection of light from a gravitational wave source. The event, caused by two neutron stars colliding and merging together, was dubbed GW170817 because it sent ripples through space-time that reached Earth on 2017 August 17. Around the world, hundreds of excited astronomers mobilized quickly and were able to observe the event using numerous telescopes, providing a wealth of new data.

Previous detections of gravitational waves have all involved the merger of two black holes, a feat that won the 2017 Nobel Prize in Physics earlier this month....

Im Focus: Smart sensors for efficient processes

Material defects in end products can quickly result in failures in many areas of industry, and have a massive impact on the safe use of their products. This is why, in the field of quality assurance, intelligent, nondestructive sensor systems play a key role. They allow testing components and parts in a rapid and cost-efficient manner without destroying the actual product or changing its surface. Experts from the Fraunhofer IZFP in Saarbrücken will be presenting two exhibits at the Blechexpo in Stuttgart from 7–10 November 2017 that allow fast, reliable, and automated characterization of materials and detection of defects (Hall 5, Booth 5306).

When quality testing uses time-consuming destructive test methods, it can result in enormous costs due to damaging or destroying the products. And given that...

Im Focus: Cold molecules on collision course

Using a new cooling technique MPQ scientists succeed at observing collisions in a dense beam of cold and slow dipolar molecules.

How do chemical reactions proceed at extremely low temperatures? The answer requires the investigation of molecular samples that are cold, dense, and slow at...

Im Focus: Shrinking the proton again!

Scientists from the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics, using high precision laser spectroscopy of atomic hydrogen, confirm the surprisingly small value of the proton radius determined from muonic hydrogen.

It was one of the breakthroughs of the year 2010: Laser spectroscopy of muonic hydrogen resulted in a value for the proton charge radius that was significantly...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

ASEAN Member States discuss the future role of renewable energy

17.10.2017 | Event News

World Health Summit 2017: International experts set the course for the future of Global Health

10.10.2017 | Event News

Climate Engineering Conference 2017 Opens in Berlin

10.10.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Terahertz spectroscopy goes nano

20.10.2017 | Information Technology

Strange but true: Turning a material upside down can sometimes make it softer

20.10.2017 | Materials Sciences

NRL clarifies valley polarization for electronic and optoelectronic technologies

20.10.2017 | Interdisciplinary Research

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>