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on the different options and combinations of options for
mitigation and adaptation that corresponds to varying levels
of climate change and average global surface temperature
increases (see section \u2018Exploration of the Entire Solution
Space\u2019). As such, the traditional models of the science/policy
interface may not adequately encompass the environment of
exchange in which the IPCC functions. To best capture this,
a model that incorporates an evaluation of the means to a
political end in an exchange between scientists, the public, and
policymakers may be best suited.
The AR5 \u2013 Current Challenges
The 5th assessment cycle of the IPCC is ongoing \u2013 the final
plenaries are scheduled for 2014. As was the case for each of the
52 Climate Change and Policy | Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC)
previous assessment reports, the AR5 faces a unique set of
challenges, unprecedented in the IPCC processes. These chal-
lenges span across working groups and also apply to individual
working groups and their respective topical focus. The first
challenge is especially pertinent to working groups II and III \u2013
an exploration of the entire solution space relevant to the
mitigation of and adaptation to climate change, respectively,
and the tradeoffs therein. The second is modification of the
scenario process across working groups that ensure consistent,
comparable scenarios across climate models, impact models,
and integrated assessment models (IAM). Finally, a common
use of calibrated uncertainty language across working groups
will be implemented for the first time in the AR5 with the aim
of a consistent, unified communication of uncertainty.
Exploration of the Entire Solution Space
Some of the most policy relevant and challenging questions
posed to the IPCC in the 5th assessment cycle concern the
available options for adaptation and mitigation with a 2, 3,
or 4 \ufffdCþglobal temperature increase and the tradeoffs, costs,
and risks of each of these options.
Mitigation options include a reduction of CO2 emissions
(increasing energy efficiency, increasing nonfossil-fuel-based
energy production, and the use of carbon capture and storage),
non-CO2 mitigation, CO2 removal (CDR), and solar radiation
management (SRM; see Figure 3). The amount of adaptation
necessary depends on the success and levels of deployment of
the different mitigation strategies.
Taking each of the mitigation options individually and in
concert and pairing them with the related adaptation require-
ments constitute the so-called solution space. A challenge for
the AR5 will be to explore the entire solution space and to do
so in an integrative way that allows a clear explanation of the
tradeoffs and benefits of selecting a given option over another,
including considerations of technology, institutions, and pol-
icy. The goal of AR5 is to provide a complete picture of all the
options, costs, risks, and benefits of different combinations of
mitigation and adaptation strategies for different levels of
global temperature increase or climate change. This would
include the assessment of multiple scenarios that describe
different plausible future pathways for mitigation and also
include so-called second best scenarios, which consider sub-
optimal conditions such as the limited availability of technol-
ogies and fragmented carbonmarkets. In order to achieve these
goals, a consistent set of scenarios across scientific communi-
ties and across the three IPCC working groups is necessary.
A Consistent Scenario Process
A set of consistent, comparable scenarios across climate models,
models assessing impacts, adaptation, and vulnerability (IAV) to
climate change, and IAM is necessary to provide stakeholders
relevant and reliable information on differential impacts, costs,
and risks. The challenge in the AR5 is an interdisciplinary
challenge, bringing together communities that originated inde-
pendently, creating a framework for cooperation inwhich results
will remain meaningful to individual research communities but
CO2 emissions
CO2 mitigation
CO2 capture
at plant (CCS)
Fraction CO2
CO2 / E
Per capita
GDP / Pop
Carbon cycle
Climate change
Direct ecosystem
impacts, ocean
Industrial CO2
Other GHG
Figure 3 Schematic visualization of the solutions space relative to the mitigation of and adaptation to climate change (developed by Elmar Kriegler
and Ottmar Edenhofer at the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research).
Climate Change and Policy | Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) 53
will also be more broadly comparable and consistent, thereby
providing more sound information to policymakers.
Scenarios provide useful information to policymakers on
possible, plausible pathways in the future, addressing uncer-
tainties in the ways inwhich future eventsmay unfold. Scenarios
pertinent to the IPCC and climate change research are generated
by models that can be grouped into three overarching fields: (1)
climate models that examine future climate conditions (related
to temperature, precipitation, etc.), that is, the climate\u2019s response
to both natural and human-induced changes; (2) IAV to climate
change in scenarios that may include changes in land cover and
use, water availability, and atmospheric conditions, as well as
demographics, economics, culture, policy, etc. Additional infor-
mation in this research field may be provided by other assess-
ment techniques such as decision analysis and economic
evaluation methods, and (3) IAM that consider socioeconomic
inputs such as population growth, GDP, and technology devel-
opment to create emission scenarios that provide information
on discharge of greenhouse gases or aerosols into the Earth\u2019s
atmosphere as well as estimates of the costs and benefits of
mitigation, the potential economic impacts of climate change,
and evaluation of uncertainties. These three fields of models are
increasingly interlinked, often including or covering similar
information (e.g., agriculture and forestry, ecosystems, the ter-
restrial carbon cycle, and human settlements and infrastructure)
and exchanging relevant information (see Figure 4).
The IPCC uses scenarios to inform its work assessing the
different aspects of climate change. In the past, the IPCC was
intimately involved in the development of emission scenarios,
commissioning a plenary-approved set for use in its reports in a
process that took several years. The 2000 IPCC SRES comple-
mented emission scenarios with storylines \u2013 or narratives of
the future \u2013 to facilitate interpretation. These scenarios were
used as a basis for the IPCC\u2019s 3rd and 4th assessment report, the
latter of which was able to providemore information on related
climate scenarios, impact, adaptation, and vulnerability.
In 2006, the IPCC process was amended, shifting the re-
sponsibility for the development of emission scenarios entirely
to the research community. To accompany this and to address
the challenges with the historical, linear approach to informa-
tion exchange across climate change research communities, a
new, \u2018parallel\u2019 process to develop scenarios has emerged that
has shortened the development time across modeling commu-
nities and includes socioeconomic scenarios capable of sup-
porting the analysis of vulnerability