Climate prediction for robust policy making
This Working Group developed and analysed alternatives to the prevailing narrative-based scenario approach to modelling alternative futures of the global environment. The overarching aim was to provide clear information relevant to carbon and energy policy based on current understanding of the carbon cycle and climate, taking into account the relevant uncertainties about climate sensitivity and carbon-climate feedbacks. The activity explored the space of future emissions trajectories that is physically consistent with stabilization of climate. It considered overshoot and peaking scenarios that lead ultimately to stabilization, and multi-gas strategies.
Reduced-form carbon cycle models were used to examine stabilization scenarios, including overshoot scenarios, and adaptive emissions policies. A subgroup has already considered implications of the Stern Review and G8 scenarios of emissions reductions and their implications for climate stabilization (House et al. submitted.)
Leader: Jo House, Jason Lowe (Met Office)
QUEST links: Theme 1 (QUERCC, CCMAP), Theme 3 (QUEST-GSI)
Other UK links: NCEO, CEH, climateprediction.net, Met Office, Defra
International links: IGBP Analysis Integration and Modelling of the Earth System (AIMES), WCRP Working Group on Coupled Models (WCRP), Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC)
- QUEST Overshoot Scenarios: Working Group Report 1, Defra, 13 Feb 2007
Summary: Defra described the urgent policy need for information on how to achieve targets such as the EU target of 2 degree C temperature stabilisation and the Stern Review, and what the implications would be of overshooting temperature, concentration or indeed emissions targets. We can use simple models to explore the possibilities, and run some of the scenarios through more complex GCMs (global Climate models) and even IAMs (integrated assessment models).
- House, JI et al. What do recent advances in quantifying climate and carbon cycle uncertainties mean for climate policy? Environmental Research Letters, 3 (2008) 044002
- High-profile synthesis article
- Briefing paper