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Title: Climate and carbon budget implications of linked future changes in CO 2 and non-CO 2 forcing

Abstract

The approximate proportional relationship between cumulative carbon emissions and instantaneous global temperature rise (the carbon budget approximation) has proven to be a useful concept to translate policy-relevant temperature objectives into CO 2 emissions pathways. However, when non-CO 2 forcing is changing along with CO 2 forcing, errors in the approximation increases. Using the GCAM model to produce an ensemble of ~3000 scenarios, we show that linked changes in CO 2 forcing, aerosol forcing, and non-CO 2 greenhouse gas (GHG) forcing lead to an increase in total non-CO 2 forcing over the 21st century across mitigation scenarios. This increase causes the relationship between instantaneous temperature and cumulative CO 2 emissions to become more complex than the proportional approximation often assumed, particularly for low temperature objectives such as 1.5 °C. The same linked changes in emissions also contribute to a near-term increase in aerosol forcing that effectively places a limit on how low peak temperature could be constrained through GHG mitigation alone. In particular, we find that 23% of scenarios that include CCS (but only 1% of scenarios that do not include CCS) achieve a temperature objective of 1.5 °C without temperature overshoot.

Authors:
ORCiD logo [1];  [2];  [2];  [3];  [3];  [3]
  1. Pontifical Catholic Univ. of Valparaiso (Chile). School of Industrial Engineering; Pacific Northwest National Lab. (PNNL), College Park, MD (United States). Joint Global Change Research Inst.
  2. ExxonMobil Research and Engineering Company, Annandale, NJ (United States)
  3. Pacific Northwest National Lab. (PNNL), College Park, MD (United States). Joint Global Change Research Inst.
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Pacific Northwest National Lab. (PNNL), College Park, MD (United States); ExxonMobil Research and Engineering Company, Annandale, NJ (United States); Pontifical Catholic Univ. of Valparaiso (Chile)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE; ExxonMobil Research and Engineering Company (United States); National Fund for Scientific and Technological Development (FONDECYT) (Chile)
OSTI Identifier:
1511178
Report Number(s):
PNNL-ACT-SA-10335
Journal ID: ISSN 1748-9326
Grant/Contract Number:  
AC05-76RL01830; 11181176
Resource Type:
Journal Article: Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Environmental Research Letters
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 14; Journal Issue: 4; Journal ID: ISSN 1748-9326
Publisher:
IOP Publishing
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
54 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES; carbon budget; non-CO2; cumulative carbon emissions; global temperature; radiative forcing

Citation Formats

Feijoo, Felipe, Mignone, Bryan K., Kheshgi, Haroon S., Hartin, Corinne, McJeon, Haewon, and Edmonds, Jae. Climate and carbon budget implications of linked future changes in CO2 and non-CO2 forcing. United States: N. p., 2019. Web. doi:10.1088/1748-9326/ab08a9.
Feijoo, Felipe, Mignone, Bryan K., Kheshgi, Haroon S., Hartin, Corinne, McJeon, Haewon, & Edmonds, Jae. Climate and carbon budget implications of linked future changes in CO2 and non-CO2 forcing. United States. doi:10.1088/1748-9326/ab08a9.
Feijoo, Felipe, Mignone, Bryan K., Kheshgi, Haroon S., Hartin, Corinne, McJeon, Haewon, and Edmonds, Jae. Wed . "Climate and carbon budget implications of linked future changes in CO2 and non-CO2 forcing". United States. doi:10.1088/1748-9326/ab08a9. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/1511178.
@article{osti_1511178,
title = {Climate and carbon budget implications of linked future changes in CO2 and non-CO2 forcing},
author = {Feijoo, Felipe and Mignone, Bryan K. and Kheshgi, Haroon S. and Hartin, Corinne and McJeon, Haewon and Edmonds, Jae},
abstractNote = {The approximate proportional relationship between cumulative carbon emissions and instantaneous global temperature rise (the carbon budget approximation) has proven to be a useful concept to translate policy-relevant temperature objectives into CO2 emissions pathways. However, when non-CO2 forcing is changing along with CO2 forcing, errors in the approximation increases. Using the GCAM model to produce an ensemble of ~3000 scenarios, we show that linked changes in CO2 forcing, aerosol forcing, and non-CO2 greenhouse gas (GHG) forcing lead to an increase in total non-CO2 forcing over the 21st century across mitigation scenarios. This increase causes the relationship between instantaneous temperature and cumulative CO2 emissions to become more complex than the proportional approximation often assumed, particularly for low temperature objectives such as 1.5 °C. The same linked changes in emissions also contribute to a near-term increase in aerosol forcing that effectively places a limit on how low peak temperature could be constrained through GHG mitigation alone. In particular, we find that 23% of scenarios that include CCS (but only 1% of scenarios that do not include CCS) achieve a temperature objective of 1.5 °C without temperature overshoot.},
doi = {10.1088/1748-9326/ab08a9},
journal = {Environmental Research Letters},
issn = {1748-9326},
number = 4,
volume = 14,
place = {United States},
year = {2019},
month = {2}
}

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