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Title: Climate policy implications of nonlinear decline of Arctic land permafrost and other cryosphere elements

Abstract

Arctic feedbacks accelerate climate change through carbon releases from thawing permafrost and higher solar absorption from reductions in the surface albedo, following loss of sea ice and land snow. Here, we include dynamic emulators of complex physical models in the integrated assessment model PAGE-ICE to explore nonlinear transitions in the Arctic feedbacks and their subsequent impacts on the global climate and economy under the Paris Agreement scenarios. The permafrost feedback is increasingly positive in warmer climates, while the albedo feedback weakens as the ice and snow melt. Combined, these two factors lead to significant increases in the mean discounted economic effect of climate change: +4.0% (24.8 trillion) under the 1.5 °C scenario, +5.5% ($33.8 trillion) under the 2 °C scenario, and +4.8% (66.9 trillion) under mitigation levels consistent with the current national pledges. Considering the nonlinear Arctic feedbacks makes the 1.5 °C target marginally more economically attractive than the 2 °C target, although both are statistically equivalent.

Authors:
ORCiD logo [1];  [2]; ORCiD logo [3]; ORCiD logo [4];  [5]; ORCiD logo [6]; ORCiD logo [7]; ORCiD logo [1];  [8];  [1]
  1. Lancaster Univ., Lancaster (United Kingdom)
  2. Univ. of Cambridge, Cambridge (United Kingdom)
  3. Univ. of Colorado, Boulder, CO (United States)
  4. Helmholtz Zentrum für Polar- und Meeresforschung, Bremerhaven (Germany)
  5. Lancaster Univ., Lancaster (United Kingdom); Inst. of Physical Chemistry Rocasolano, Madrid (Spain)
  6. Univ. of Colorado, Boulder, CO (United States); Los Alamos National Lab. (LANL), Los Alamos, NM (United States)
  7. UK Met Office, Exeter (United Kingdom)
  8. Univ. of South Florida, St. Petersburg, FL (United States)
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Los Alamos National Lab. (LANL), Los Alamos, NM (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
National Science Foundation (NSF); USDOE
OSTI Identifier:
1512741
Report Number(s):
LA-UR-18-25654
Journal ID: ISSN 2041-1723
Grant/Contract Number:  
89233218CNA000001
Resource Type:
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Nature Communications
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 10; Journal Issue: 1; Journal ID: ISSN 2041-1723
Publisher:
Nature Publishing Group
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
54 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES; Earth Sciences

Citation Formats

Yumashev, Dmitry, Hope, Chris, Schaefer, Kevin, Riemann-Campe, Kathrin, Iglesias-Suarez, Fernando, Jafarov, Elchin, Burke, Eleanor J., Young, Paul J., Elshorbany, Yasin, and Whiteman, Gail. Climate policy implications of nonlinear decline of Arctic land permafrost and other cryosphere elements. United States: N. p., 2019. Web. doi:10.1038/s41467-019-09863-x.
Yumashev, Dmitry, Hope, Chris, Schaefer, Kevin, Riemann-Campe, Kathrin, Iglesias-Suarez, Fernando, Jafarov, Elchin, Burke, Eleanor J., Young, Paul J., Elshorbany, Yasin, & Whiteman, Gail. Climate policy implications of nonlinear decline of Arctic land permafrost and other cryosphere elements. United States. doi:10.1038/s41467-019-09863-x.
Yumashev, Dmitry, Hope, Chris, Schaefer, Kevin, Riemann-Campe, Kathrin, Iglesias-Suarez, Fernando, Jafarov, Elchin, Burke, Eleanor J., Young, Paul J., Elshorbany, Yasin, and Whiteman, Gail. Tue . "Climate policy implications of nonlinear decline of Arctic land permafrost and other cryosphere elements". United States. doi:10.1038/s41467-019-09863-x. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/1512741.
@article{osti_1512741,
title = {Climate policy implications of nonlinear decline of Arctic land permafrost and other cryosphere elements},
author = {Yumashev, Dmitry and Hope, Chris and Schaefer, Kevin and Riemann-Campe, Kathrin and Iglesias-Suarez, Fernando and Jafarov, Elchin and Burke, Eleanor J. and Young, Paul J. and Elshorbany, Yasin and Whiteman, Gail},
abstractNote = {Arctic feedbacks accelerate climate change through carbon releases from thawing permafrost and higher solar absorption from reductions in the surface albedo, following loss of sea ice and land snow. Here, we include dynamic emulators of complex physical models in the integrated assessment model PAGE-ICE to explore nonlinear transitions in the Arctic feedbacks and their subsequent impacts on the global climate and economy under the Paris Agreement scenarios. The permafrost feedback is increasingly positive in warmer climates, while the albedo feedback weakens as the ice and snow melt. Combined, these two factors lead to significant increases in the mean discounted economic effect of climate change: +4.0% (24.8 trillion) under the 1.5 °C scenario, +5.5% ($33.8 trillion) under the 2 °C scenario, and +4.8% (66.9 trillion) under mitigation levels consistent with the current national pledges. Considering the nonlinear Arctic feedbacks makes the 1.5 °C target marginally more economically attractive than the 2 °C target, although both are statistically equivalent.},
doi = {10.1038/s41467-019-09863-x},
journal = {Nature Communications},
number = 1,
volume = 10,
place = {United States},
year = {2019},
month = {4}
}

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Cited by: 6 works
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Figures / Tables:

Fig. 1 Fig. 1: Cumulative carbon emissions from thawing land permafrost simulated using specialised land surface models. CO2 component of cumulative emissions of carbon from thawing land permafrost, obtained from a SiBCASA and b JULES LSMs forced by multiple climate models (GCMs) under a range of climate scenarios out to 2300. Thickmore » lines: multi-GCM means; shaded areas: multi-GCM spread between the lowest and the highest values; thin black lines: SiBCASA runs with individual GCMs. Horizontal black dashed lines: legacy zero permafrost emissions currently assumed in IAMs. Units: GtC. Source data are provided as a Source Data file« less

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