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UCL Environment Institute Climate Change and Complexity.

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Presentation on theme: "UCL Environment Institute Climate Change and Complexity."— Presentation transcript:

1 UCL Environment Institute Climate Change and Complexity

2 UCL Environment Institute 21 st C Challenges: Climate Change and Global Poverty

3 UCL Environment Institute 10 million children starve to death each year

4 UCL Environment Institute Communicate the basic science – it is simple physics

5 UCL Environment Institute Stored Sunlight COAL and Oil

6 UCL Environment Institute 80% from industry and 20% from deforestation but half is absorbed by the biosphere and oceans

7 UCL Environment Institute




11 2005 Hacking into scientists emails does not make the evidence go away!

12 UCL Environment Institute

13 Depends on the data you put In the model. Cooling and warming factors Science is good, but predictions concerning society are not … Think 1910 or even 1980? How ‘super’ are the models?

14 UCL Environment Institute General Circulation models

15 UCL Environment Institute B1B2 A2 A1 B: balanced Fi: fossil-intensive T: non-fossil More economic More globalMore regional More environmental Society is the biggest unknown - so we build scenarios

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17 UN Predictions of global population in billions

18 UCL Environment Institute 6 o C warming and 1 metre sea level rise by 2100

19 UCL Environment Institute Coping Range Current Climate Changed Climate

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21 Stott et al., 2004 Nature Summer 2003: Not Anomalous by 2040

22 UCL Environment Institute Flood risk Change in storm surge height Height for 50yr return period; 2080s A2 emissions

23 UCL Environment Institute Sea Level Rise

24 UCL Environment Institute more extreme storms, floods, drought, heat waves - may leading to food and water insecurity, - may leading to food and water insecurity, - may leading to migration and conflict What are the effects of climate change

25 UCL Environment Institute How can we deal with uncertain climate change? Twin Approaches What ever we do now, there will still be climate change So we need to 1. Mitigate (reduce our carbon foot-print) 2. Adapt (protect our people)

26 UCL Environment Institute Exeter Meeting Feb 2005 G8 9 July 2009 Agreed at Copenhagen 2°C What is dangerous climate change?

27 UCL Environment Institute Source: Hadley Centre CLIMATE SENSITIVITY

28 UCL Environment Institute Contraction and Convergence Business as usual Global Deal?

29 UCL Environment Institute Total and per capita emissions – target is 2 tons/capita

30 UCL Environment Institute What is the UK plan 1.Decarbonise electricity generation 2.Increase energy efficiency 3. Move to electric dominate transport 4. Adapt to predicted climate change

31 UCL Environment Institute 31 UK possible path to 80% cut by 2050 20102020203020402050 2010 Services Residential Transport Hydrogen Electricity Upstream & non- sector Industry Agriculture Domestic fossil fuel & industry process CO 2 emissions (MtCO 2 per year) 100 200 300 400 500

32 UCL Environment Institute 32 Growth in UK living standards: with 80% emissions cut GDP per capita 2006=100 250 100 0.5 – 2.0% lower Business as usual 80% emissions cut 0 150 200 20062020203020402050

33 UCL Environment Institute GOOD NEWS 1 70% of the World Energy requirements for 2030 has yet to be built

34 UCL Environment Institute GOOD NEWS 2: Carbon Trading - ETS and Future US systems

35 UCL Environment Institute UCL Carbon Auditors Limited US Patent for calculating annual carbon flux at a 250m resolution for Greenhouse Gas Monitoring Grid for Terrestrial Carbon Credits Annual Carbon Flux

36 UCL Environment Institute Example of Gabon Customers obtain: Certainty of carbon stock and carbon stock changes, which are: 1. Assessed and monitored against international standards and procedures, providing – 2. Confidence in the accuracy of the data obtained, underpinned by – 3. Highly reputable expertise from the CAL team based at UCL Gabon Annual Carbon Flux UN REDD+ we need to make a tree worth more standing up and being cut down

37 UCL Environment Institute Adaptation – aim for 2˚C but plan for 4˚C Adaptation essential to protect the people Science can give broad picture of what the future may hold to design policy

38 UCL Environment Institute Some thoughts 1.Policy makers need to understand uncertainties in the science so they can make informed decisions 2. Climate change is just one of many problems that must be tackled, but it can make other problems worse 3. Alternative Energy.. essential as development needs power and we must alleviate global poverty 4. Natural resources such as forest need to commodified to finance development 5. Global deal must include Developing countries – can not fail again like Copenhagen

39 UCL Environment Institute “The poorest and those who have contributed least to climate change will be first affected” Ethics and morals “The carbon footprint of the poorest 1 billion people is around 3% of the world’s total footprint……loss of life will be 500 times greater in Africa”

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