Annualmeeting:2017 CSDMS meeting-102


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A top-down modeling approach to the global climate stabilization

Katsumasa Tanaka, National Institute for Environmental Studies Tsukuba, Ibaraki , Japan.

[[Image:|300px|right|link=File:]]This poster shows a top-down modeling work using a simple climate and economy model to examine pathways to achieve the climate stabilization targets stipulated in the Paris Agreement. A motivation for this presentation is to seek a possibility to complement this type of work with a bottom-up approach such as agent-based modeling so that climate mitigation pathways can be investigated from different angles.

In this work, we raise two issues: 1) Negative emission technologies such as Bioenergy with Carbon dioxide Capture and Storage (BioCCS) play an ever more crucial role in meeting the 2°C stabilization target. However, such technologies are currently at their infancy and their future penetrations may fall short of the scale required to stabilize the warming. 2) The overshoot in the mid-century prior to a full realization of negative emissions would give rise to a risk because such a temporal but excessive warming above 2°C might amplify itself by strengthening climate-carbon cycle feedbacks. It has not been extensively assessed yet how carbon cycle feedbacks might play out during the overshoot in the context of negative emissions.

This study explores how 2°C stabilization pathways, in particular those which undergo overshoot, can be influenced by carbon cycle feedbacks and asks their climatic and economic consequences. We compute 2°C stabilization emissions scenarios under a cost-effectiveness principle, in which the total abatement costs are minimized such that the global warming is capped at 2°C. We employ a reduced-complexity model, the Aggregated Carbon Cycle, Atmospheric Chemistry, and Climate model (ACC2), which comprises a box model of the global carbon cycle, simple parameterizations of the atmospheric chemistry, and a land-ocean energy balance model. The total abatement costs are estimated from the marginal abatement cost functions for CO2, CH4, N2O, and BC.

Our results show that, if carbon cycle feedbacks turn out to be stronger than what is known today, it would incur substantial abatement costs to keep up with the 2°C stabilization goal. Our results also suggest that it would be less expensive in the long run to plan for a 2°C stabilization pathway by considering strong carbon cycle feedbacks because it would cost more if we correct the emission pathway in the mid-century to adjust for unexpectedly large carbon cycle feedbacks during overshoot. Furthermore, our tentative results point to a key policy message: do not rely on negative emissions to achieve the 2°C target. It would make more sense to gear climate mitigation actions toward the stabilization target without betting on negative emissions because negative emissions might create large overshoot in case of strong feedbacks.