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Predicting our Climate Future

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Presentation on theme: "Predicting our Climate Future"— Presentation transcript:

1 Predicting our Climate Future
Human Activities and Lifestyles Climate Change Model Predicted climate changes (Precipitation, Temp. etc.) GHG Emissions Social Science Oriented Social influences Human behavior Affluence Diet/food, geography influences Political aspects Isolation/globalization Economic drivers Environmental regulations Technology and its implementation Energy efficiency Alternative energy sources Earth Science Oriented Physics Chemistry Earth, Ocean & Atmospheric processes Want to be able to predict changes in climate Have great models for all of the physical and chemical processes on earth, including oceans and the atmosphere

2 Emission scenarios Need to define GHG emission “scenarios” to project what our lives and activities will be for the next century. What are the possible economic scenarios? What changes will we have in our society? How do these changes influence emissions? Prepared by Susan E. Powers, Clarkson University, Potsdam NY for NASA GCCE grant. Review basic modeling approach Inputs  model  outputs Inputs include initial conditions and temporal changes Ocean salinity and temp GHG concentrations GHG emissions (variablility) Vegetation Need to really understand what future emissions might look like over the next hundred years Need to predict energy use, especially fossil fuels, agriculture, cement production Need therefore to predict the economy and how that might impact the economy (recall that the past couple of years CO2 emissions down, but largely related to lowered economic activity). Need to also consider cultural and societal changes

3 IPCC SRES Special Report on Emissions Scenarios
Developed “stories” that would define the range of possible social systems that we may develop through the 21st century Economic growth Population growth Technology development and adoption Commitment to the environment Globalization Key attributes about our future that get integrated into the stories about our future

4 Scenarios have stayed same for several years to keep constant input to models
Key differences – regional vs global Economically oriented vs environmentally oriented  4 extreme choices for which scenarios have been developed and GHG emissions predicted

5 A: Economic Focus A1: Global, Economically Oriented
Population growth and decline Technological advances applied globally Equity in economic development among regions Extensive fossil fuel use in A1FI scenario Rapid technology development to reduce fossil fuels (A1T) by 2100: 7 billion population $550 trillion GDP ~970 ppm CO2 (A1FI), (720 ppm for A1B) A2: Regional, Economically oriented Population growth Technological advances, resource consumption and cultural differences among regions 15 billion population $250 trillion GDP ~850 ppm CO2 F.I – fuel intensive – we do not replace our current fossil fuels with alternative renewables. A1T – technologically focused (CO2 conc lower than for A1FI) A1B – balanced – in between A1FI and A1T

6 B: Environmental Focus
B1: Global, Environmentally oriented global solutions to economic, social, and environmental sustainability no additional climate initiatives service and information oriented economy reductions in material intensity clean and resource-efficient technologies by 2100: 7 billion population $350 trillion GDP estimated 550 ppm CO2 B2: Regional, Environmentally oriented local solutions to economic, social, and environmental sustainability economic equity within regions, but not between regions less rapid and more diverse technological changes global policies for climate change mitigation 10 billion population, $250 trillion GDP ~600 PPM CO2

7 Emissions profiles for IPCC scenarios
Scenarios provide inputs to models A1T and B1 – technology advancement and environmentally focus can both accomplish the same reductions in emissions. Harder to meet goals with a regional focus

8 Climate Modeling Results for IPCC Scenarios
A1B A1FI A1T A2 B1 B2 B1 best – global, env focus – but still will result in ~2 deg C (next slide) Some of other scenarios predict T changes as high as 5 deg C. These are average annual temperature. In some areas, especially northern hemisphere changes in temperature wil be even greater. Much of this is because we already have so many GHGs in the atmosphere and they are long lived.

9 Climate Modeling Results for IPCC Scenarios
A1B A1FI A1T A2 B1 B2

10 Model predictions

11 Different models predict different extents of climate changes, but the trends are consistent in terms of which scenario is better or worse

12 IPCC scenarios 2100


14 IPCC scenarios

15 IPCC Data Visualization of IPCC climate model results

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