Impact of delay in reducing carbon dioxide emissions

Allen, Myles R.; Stocker, Thomas F. (2014). Impact of delay in reducing carbon dioxide emissions. Nature climate change, 4(1), pp. 23-26. Nature Publishing Group 10.1038/nclimate2077

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Recent downward revisions in the climate response to rising CO2 levels, and opportunities for reducing non-CO2 climate warming, have both been cited as evidence that the case for reducing CO2 emissions is less urgent than previously thought. Evaluating the impact of delay is complicated by the fact that CO2 emissions accumulate over time, so what happens after they peak is as relevant for long-term warming as the size and timing of the peak itself. Previous discussions have focused on how the rate of reduction required to meet any given temperature target rises asymptotically the later the emissions peak. Here we focus on a complementary question: how fast is peak CO2-induced warming increasing while mitigation is delayed, assuming no increase in rates of reduction after the emissions peak? We show that this peak-committed warming is increasing at the same rate as cumulative CO2 emissions, about 2% per year, much faster than observed warming, independent of the climate response.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)

Division/Institute:

08 Faculty of Science > Physics Institute > Climate and Environmental Physics
10 Strategic Research Centers > Oeschger Centre for Climate Change Research (OCCR)

UniBE Contributor:

Stocker, Thomas

Subjects:

500 Science > 530 Physics

ISSN:

1758-678X

Publisher:

Nature Publishing Group

Language:

English

Submitter:

Doris Rätz

Date Deposited:

19 Jun 2014 10:36

Last Modified:

15 Sep 2017 19:53

Publisher DOI:

10.1038/nclimate2077

BORIS DOI:

10.7892/boris.47370

URI:

https://boris.unibe.ch/id/eprint/47370

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