Investigating geoengineering solutions to meet the 2ºc target

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Investigating geoengineering solutions to meet the 2ºc target

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Title: Investigating geoengineering solutions to meet the 2ºc target
Author: Iglesias Suarez, Fernando
Abstract: The international community have adopted a global warming limit of 2ºC or below relative pre-industrial levels as a goal for mitigation efforts to avoid dangerous climate risks. Attempts of deliberate large-scale intervention of the environment to moderate global warming, the so-called geoengineering, have been proposed as complementary solution due to the significant probabilities of exceeding the target. Furthermore, the warming relative to a specified greenhouse gas emissions are not well constraint currently owing to uncertainties in the climate response and the carbon cycle. This research uses a simple climate model to quantify the degree of geoengineering intervention that might be required to meet the 2ºC target under the ‘representative concentration pathways’ (RCP) emission scenarios, and to probabilistically assess the different combined strategies resulted. The results show that deploying carbon dioxide removal options to neutralise the cumulative emissions under RCP3-PD (~400 PgC), global surface temperature could be restored to pre-industrial levels by approximately 2500. Removing 1200, 800, 400, and 0 PgC from the atmosphere might require a reduction in the solar constant from 0.7% to 0.99% for RCP45, and from 1.55% to 2.23% for RCP6. The different strategies leave from 56.6% to 78.8% of probability (90% probability interval) to avoid exceeding the 2ºC limit. Substantial amounts of research is needed into geoengineering, particularly the climate response to those activities that counteract the radiative forcing imbalance by reducing the solar constant.
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10437/7942
Date: 2014


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