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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2008 Oct 7;105(40):15258-62. doi: 10.1073/pnas.0711129105. Epub 2008 Oct 6.

Temperature increase of 21st century mitigation scenarios.

Author information

1
Global Sustainability and Climate, Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency, P.O. Box 303, 3720 AH Bilthoven, The Netherlands. detlef.vanvuuren@pbl.nl

Abstract

Estimates of 21st Century global-mean surface temperature increase have generally been based on scenarios that do not include climate policies. Newly developed multigas mitigation scenarios, based on a wide range of modeling approaches and socioeconomic assumptions, now allow the assessment of possible impacts of climate policies on projected warming ranges. This article assesses the atmospheric CO(2) concentrations, radiative forcing, and temperature increase for these new scenarios using two reduced-complexity climate models. These scenarios result in temperature increase of 0.5-4.4 degrees C over 1990 levels or 0.3-3.4 degrees C less than the no-policy cases. The range results from differences in the assumed stringency of climate policy and uncertainty in our understanding of the climate system. Notably, an average minimum warming of approximately 1.4 degrees C (with a full range of 0.5-2.8 degrees C) remains for even the most stringent stabilization scenarios analyzed here. This value is substantially above previously estimated committed warming based on climate system inertia alone. The results show that, although ambitious mitigation efforts can significantly reduce global warming, adaptation measures will be needed in addition to mitigation to reduce the impact of the residual warming.

PMID:
18838680
PMCID:
PMC2562414
DOI:
10.1073/pnas.0711129105
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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