Publications Published in Avoiding Dangerous Climate Change
An Overview of 'Dangerous' Climate Change. Schneider, Stephen H.; Lane, Janica; Schnellnhuber, Hans Joachim; Cramer, Wolfgang P.; Nakicenovic, Nebojsa; Wigley, Tom.
Cambridge University Press Avoiding Dangerous Climate Change:
This paper briefly outlines the basic science of climate change, as well as the IPCC assessments on emissions scenarios and climate impacts, to provide a context for the topic of key vulnerabilities to climate change. A conceptual overview of ‘dangerous’ climate change issues and the roles of scientists and policy makers in this complex scientific and policy arena is presented, based on literature and recent IPCC work. Literature on assessments of ‘dangerous anthropogenic interference’ with the climate system is summarized, with emphasis on recent probabilistic analyses. Presenting climate modeling results and arguing for the benefits of climate policy should be framed for decision makers in terms of the potential for climate policy to reduce the likelihood of exceeding ‘dangerous’ thresholds.
On the Risk of Overshooting 2°C. Meinshausen, Malte.
Avoiding Dangerous Climate Change:
This article explores different greenhouse gas stabilization levels and their implied risks of overshooting certain temperature targets, such as limiting global mean temperature rise to 2°C above pre-industrial levels. The probabilistic assessment is derived from a compilation of recent estimates of the uncertainties in climate sensitivity, which summarizes the key uncertainties in climate science for long-term temperature projections. The risk of overshooting 2°C equilibrium warming is found to lie between 68% and 99% for stabilization at 550ppm CO2 equivalence. Only at levels around 400ppm CO2 equivalence are the risks of overshooting low enough so that the achievement of a 2°C target can be termed “likely”. Based on characteristics of 54 IPCC SRES and post-SRES scenarios, multi-gas emission pathways are presented that lead to stabilization at 550, 450 and 400ppm CO2eq in order to assess the implications for global emission reductions. Sensitivity studies on delayed global action show that the next 5 to 15 years might determine whether the risk of overshooting 2°C can be limited to a reasonable range.