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 Smart Data Transformation – Surfing the Big Wave
02.12.2016 | Fraunhofer-Institut für Angewandte Informationstechnik FIT

nachricht Climate change could outpace EPA Lake Champlain protections
18.11.2016 | University of Vermont

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: Electron highway inside crystal

Physicists of the University of Würzburg have made an astonishing discovery in a specific type of topological insulators. The effect is due to the structure of the materials used. The researchers have now published their work in the journal Science.

Topological insulators are currently the hot topic in physics according to the newspaper Neue Zürcher Zeitung. Only a few weeks ago, their importance was...

Im Focus: Significantly more productivity in USP lasers

In recent years, lasers with ultrashort pulses (USP) down to the femtosecond range have become established on an industrial scale. They could advance some applications with the much-lauded “cold ablation” – if that meant they would then achieve more throughput. A new generation of process engineering that will address this issue in particular will be discussed at the “4th UKP Workshop – Ultrafast Laser Technology” in April 2017.

Even back in the 1990s, scientists were comparing materials processing with nanosecond, picosecond and femtosesecond pulses. The result was surprising:...

Im Focus: Shape matters when light meets atom

Mapping the interaction of a single atom with a single photon may inform design of quantum devices

Have you ever wondered how you see the world? Vision is about photons of light, which are packets of energy, interacting with the atoms or molecules in what...

Im Focus: Novel silicon etching technique crafts 3-D gradient refractive index micro-optics

A multi-institutional research collaboration has created a novel approach for fabricating three-dimensional micro-optics through the shape-defined formation of porous silicon (PSi), with broad impacts in integrated optoelectronics, imaging, and photovoltaics.

Working with colleagues at Stanford and The Dow Chemical Company, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign fabricated 3-D birefringent...

Im Focus: Quantum Particles Form Droplets

In experiments with magnetic atoms conducted at extremely low temperatures, scientists have demonstrated a unique phase of matter: The atoms form a new type of quantum liquid or quantum droplet state. These so called quantum droplets may preserve their form in absence of external confinement because of quantum effects. The joint team of experimental physicists from Innsbruck and theoretical physicists from Hannover report on their findings in the journal Physical Review X.

“Our Quantum droplets are in the gas phase but they still drop like a rock,” explains experimental physicist Francesca Ferlaino when talking about the...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

ICTM Conference 2017: Production technology for turbomachine manufacturing of the future

16.11.2016 | Event News

Innovation Day Laser Technology – Laser Additive Manufacturing

01.11.2016 | Event News

#IC2S2: When Social Science meets Computer Science - GESIS will host the IC2S2 conference 2017

14.10.2016 | Event News

 
Latest News

Researchers identify potentially druggable mutant p53 proteins that promote cancer growth

09.12.2016 | Life Sciences

Scientists produce a new roadmap for guiding development & conservation in the Amazon

09.12.2016 | Ecology, The Environment and Conservation

Satellites, airport visibility readings shed light on troops' exposure to air pollution

09.12.2016 | Health and Medicine

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>