Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Success of climate talks vital for 2°C target

15.11.2013
Achieving a global climate agreement soon could be crucial for the objective to keep global mean temperature rise below 2 degrees Celsius.

The challenges of meeting the long-term target will otherwise increase drastically both in terms of the required emissions reductions and economic impacts.

This is shown by the first comprehensive multi-model-based assessment of so-called Durban Platform scenarios, conducted by a team of international scientists led by the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK) and the Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei (FEEM) in Italy.

The Durban Platform is the current negotiation track at the Warsaw climate talks that aims to reach a global climate agreement by 2015 to come into effect in 2020.

“The negotiations in Warsaw represent an important step in the negotiation process towards a climate agreement by 2015,” lead author Elmar Kriegler from PIK says. “While there are legitimate doubts about whether the Durban Platform negotiations can deliver on their promise, our analysis shows the importance of meaningful reductions in global emissions by 2020 to keep the 2 degree target within reach.” The later emissions get cut, the greater the necessary reduction rates to avoid more than 2 degrees warming, and hence the greater the impact on energy prices and economic growth.

“Even a delay of just 10 years of a climate agreement coming into effect would raise the economic challenges substantially, if emissions reduction efforts remained at their currently moderate level,” Kriegler says. The results are part of the comprehensive LIMITS project (Low Climate lmpact Scenarios and the lmplications of Required Tight Emission Control Strategies) on the implementation of 2 degree strategies in the major economies and will be published in a special issue of the journal Climate Change Economics. The scientists investigated a set of different outcomes of the Durban Platform negotiations process and their implications for reaching the 2 degree target with seven integrated assessment and energy-economy models to ensure the robustness of results.

Carbon dioxide removal could be key technology

Nonetheless there might be some flexibility for policy makers in implementing a global climate agreement towards the 2 degree target, according to the study. Translating the 2 degree target into emissions reductions requires choosing a maximum likelihood of temporarily overshooting 2 degrees that would still be tolerated. The choice of this tolerance level was found to have a significant effect on longer term emissions reduction requirements and economic impacts. However, the near term requirement of strengthening global climate policy was unchanged, as global emissions declined after 2020 in any scenario of global climate action coming into effect by 2020. In addition, taking CO2 out of the atmosphere in the 2nd half of the century could be a key element of implementing the emission pathways in the Durban Platform scenarios, for instance through technologies using energy from biomass combined with Carbon Capture and Storage. Plants absorb CO2 to grow and could be processed in biogas plants, with emissions captured and being stored underground.

This could be an option to compensate higher short term emissions with deeper emissions cuts in the long run, but at the expense of a higher likelihood of temporarily overshooting 2 degrees. At the same time, it would raise a number of concerns, because the CCS technology is not yet available for large-scale use and scaling up bio-energy comes with considerable risks by increasing the competition for arable land. “It is very risky to rely too much on removing CO2 from the atmosphere in the second half of the century,“ says Kriegler. “While we may need carbon dioxide removal even if global climate action is implemented in 2020, we would need much more of it if action is delayed further. Despite all these complexities, the message is fairly simple,” adds Kriegler. “In the longer term, there are a number of options to get to 2 degrees. But those will only remain on the table, if global climate action is substantially strengthened over the coming decade, so that global emissions decline after 2020.”

“This shows that the Durban Platform negotiations can still deliver an outcome consistent with the 2 degree target, but only if they can successfully implement global climate action on a long term target by 2020,” adds co-author Massimo Tavoni of FEEM. “Further delays in reaching an agreement would require much higher emission decline rates and would lead to much larger economic costs”.

Article: E. Kriegler, M. Tavoni, T. Aboumahboub, G. Luderer, K. Calvin, G. De Maere, V. Krey, K. Riahi, H. Rosler, M. Schaeffer, D. van Vuuren: What does the 2°C target imply for a global climate agreement in 2020? The LIMITS study on Durban Platform scenarios. To be published in a special issue of Climate Change Economics in early 2014.

More information on the LIMITS project:
http://www.feem-project.net/limits/index.html
More information to the special issue:
http://www.feem-project.net/limits/03_outreach_01_02.html
For further information please contact:
PIK press office
Phone: +49 331 288 25 07
E-Mail: press@pik-potsdam.de
Twitter: @PIK_Climate

Jonas Viering | PIK Pressestelle
Further information:
http://www.pik-potsdam.de
http://www.feem-project.net/limits/index.html
http://www.feem-project.net/limits/03_outreach_01_02.html

More articles from Ecology, The Environment and Conservation:

nachricht Conservationists are sounding the alarm: parrots much more threatened than assumed
15.09.2017 | Justus-Liebig-Universität Gießen

nachricht A new indicator for marine ecosystem changes: the diatom/dinoflagellate index
21.08.2017 | Leibniz-Institut für Ostseeforschung Warnemünde

All articles from Ecology, The Environment and Conservation >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: LaserTAB: More efficient and precise contacts thanks to human-robot collaboration

At the productronica trade fair in Munich this November, the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT will be presenting Laser-Based Tape-Automated Bonding, LaserTAB for short. The experts from Aachen will be demonstrating how new battery cells and power electronics can be micro-welded more efficiently and precisely than ever before thanks to new optics and robot support.

Fraunhofer ILT from Aachen relies on a clever combination of robotics and a laser scanner with new optics as well as process monitoring, which it has developed...

Im Focus: The pyrenoid is a carbon-fixing liquid droplet

Plants and algae use the enzyme Rubisco to fix carbon dioxide, removing it from the atmosphere and converting it into biomass. Algae have figured out a way to increase the efficiency of carbon fixation. They gather most of their Rubisco into a ball-shaped microcompartment called the pyrenoid, which they flood with a high local concentration of carbon dioxide. A team of scientists at Princeton University, the Carnegie Institution for Science, Stanford University and the Max Plank Institute of Biochemistry have unravelled the mysteries of how the pyrenoid is assembled. These insights can help to engineer crops that remove more carbon dioxide from the atmosphere while producing more food.

A warming planet

Im Focus: Highly precise wiring in the Cerebral Cortex

Our brains house extremely complex neuronal circuits, whose detailed structures are still largely unknown. This is especially true for the so-called cerebral cortex of mammals, where among other things vision, thoughts or spatial orientation are being computed. Here the rules by which nerve cells are connected to each other are only partly understood. A team of scientists around Moritz Helmstaedter at the Frankfiurt Max Planck Institute for Brain Research and Helene Schmidt (Humboldt University in Berlin) have now discovered a surprisingly precise nerve cell connectivity pattern in the part of the cerebral cortex that is responsible for orienting the individual animal or human in space.

The researchers report online in Nature (Schmidt et al., 2017. Axonal synapse sorting in medial entorhinal cortex, DOI: 10.1038/nature24005) that synapses in...

Im Focus: Tiny lasers from a gallery of whispers

New technique promises tunable laser devices

Whispering gallery mode (WGM) resonators are used to make tiny micro-lasers, sensors, switches, routers and other devices. These tiny structures rely on a...

Im Focus: Ultrafast snapshots of relaxing electrons in solids

Using ultrafast flashes of laser and x-ray radiation, scientists at the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics (Garching, Germany) took snapshots of the briefest electron motion inside a solid material to date. The electron motion lasted only 750 billionths of the billionth of a second before it fainted, setting a new record of human capability to capture ultrafast processes inside solids!

When x-rays shine onto solid materials or large molecules, an electron is pushed away from its original place near the nucleus of the atom, leaving a hole...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

“Lasers in Composites Symposium” in Aachen – from Science to Application

19.09.2017 | Event News

I-ESA 2018 – Call for Papers

12.09.2017 | Event News

EMBO at Basel Life, a new conference on current and emerging life science research

06.09.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Fraunhofer ISE Pushes World Record for Multicrystalline Silicon Solar Cells to 22.3 Percent

25.09.2017 | Power and Electrical Engineering

Usher syndrome: Gene therapy restores hearing and balance

25.09.2017 | Health and Medicine

An international team of physicists a coherent amplification effect in laser excited dielectrics

25.09.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>