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Selection: with tag rcp85 [32 articles] 


Emission budgets and pathways consistent with limiting warming to 1.5[thinsp][deg]C

Nature Geoscience, Vol. advance online publication (18 September 2017),


The Paris Agreement has opened debate on whether limiting warming to 1.5 °C is compatible with current emission pledges and warming of about 0.9 °C from the mid-nineteenth century to the present decade. We show that limiting cumulative post-2015 CO2 emissions to about 200 GtC would limit post-2015 warming to less than 0.6 °C in 66% of Earth system model members of the CMIP5 ensemble with no mitigation of other climate drivers, increasing to 240 GtC with ambitious non-CO2 mitigation. We combine a simple climate–carbon-cycle model ...


Continued increase of extreme El Niño frequency long after 1.5 °C warming stabilization

Nature Climate Change, Vol. 7, No. 8. (24 July 2017), pp. 568-572,


The Paris Agreement aims to constrain global mean temperature (GMT) increases to 2 °C above pre-industrial levels, with an aspirational target of 1.5 °C. However, the pathway to these targets and the impacts of a 1.5 °C and 2 °C warming on extreme El Niño and La Niña events—which severely influence weather patterns, agriculture, ecosystems, public health and economies—is little known. Here, by analysing climate models participating in the Climate Model Intercomparison Project’s Phase 5 (CMIP5; ref. 17) under a most likely emission scenario, we ...


Emerging role of wetland methane emissions in driving 21st century climate change

Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Vol. 114, No. 36. (05 September 2017), pp. 9647-9652,


[Significance] Conventional greenhouse gas mitigation policies ignore the role of global wetlands in emitting methane (CH4) from feedbacks associated with changing climate. Here we investigate wetland feedbacks and whether, and to what degree, wetlands will exceed anthropogenic 21st century CH4 emissions using an ensemble of climate projections and a biogeochemical methane model with dynamic wetland area and permafrost. Our results reveal an emerging contribution of global wetland CH4 emissions due to processes mainly related to the sensitivity of methane emissions to temperature ...


Less than 2 °C warming by 2100 unlikely

Nature Climate Change (31 July 2017),


The recently published Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) projections to 2100 give likely ranges of global temperature increase in four scenarios for population, economic growth and carbon use1. However, these projections are not based on a fully statistical approach. Here we use a country-specific version of Kaya’s identity to develop a statistically based probabilistic forecast of CO2 emissions and temperature change to 2100. Using data for 1960–2010, including the UN’s probabilistic population projections for all countries2, 3, 4, we develop ...


Global risk of deadly heat

Nature Climate Change, Vol. 7, No. 7. (19 June 2017), pp. 501-506,


Climate change can increase the risk of conditions that exceed human thermoregulatory capacity. Although numerous studies report increased mortality associated with extreme heat events, quantifying the global risk of heat-related mortality remains challenging due to a lack of comparable data on heat-related deaths. Here we conducted a global analysis of documented lethal heat events to identify the climatic conditions associated with human death and then quantified the current and projected occurrence of such deadly climatic conditions worldwide. We reviewed papers published ...


Risk of large-scale fires in boreal forests of Finland under changing climate

Natural Hazards and Earth System Sciences, Vol. 16, No. 1. (21 January 2016), pp. 239-253,


The target of this work was to assess the impact of projected climate change on forest-fire activity in Finland with special emphasis on large-scale fires. In addition, we were particularly interested to examine the inter-model variability of the projected change of fire danger. For this purpose, we utilized fire statistics covering the period 1996–2014 and consisting of almost 20 000 forest fires, as well as daily meteorological data from five global climate models under representative concentration pathway RCP4.5 and RCP8.5 scenarios. The ...


Annex III: glossary

In Climate Change 2013: the physical science basis - Contribution of Working Group I to the Fifth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (2013), pp. 1447-1465


[Excerpt] This glossary defines some specific terms as the Lead Authors intend them to be interpreted in the context of this report. Red, italicized words indicate that the term is defined in the Glossary. [\n] [...] ...


Is robustness really robust? How different definitions of robustness impact decision-making under climate change

Climatic Change, Vol. 135, No. 3-4. (2016), pp. 409-424,


Robust decision-making is being increasingly used to support environmental resources decisions and policy analysis under changing climate and society. In this context, a robust decision is a decision that is as much as possible insensitive to a large degree of uncertainty and ensures certain performance across multiple plausible futures. Yet, the concept of robustness is neither unique nor static. Multiple robustness metrics, such as maximin, optimism-pessimism, max regret, have been proposed in the literature, reflecting diverse optimistic/pessimistic attitudes by the decision ...


Mediterranean habitat loss under future climate conditions: assessing impacts on the Natura 2000 protected area network

Applied Geography, Vol. 75 (2016), pp. 83-92,


[Highlights] [::] The Mediterranean climate domain is projected to loss 11–25% of its current extent. [::] Projected losses of the Mediterranean climate are due to shifts of the arid domain. [::] The Mediterranean domain is projected to shift by 53–121% of its current size. [::] These changes are projected to affect 15–23% of the Mediterranean Natura 2000 sites. [Abstract] The Mediterranean basin is a global hotspot of biological diversity and the most rich biodiversity region in Europe. Nevertheless, climate-driven habitat loss is one of the most serious ...


Terrestrial ecosystems, soil and forests

In Climate change, impacts and vulnerability in Europe 2016 - An indicator-based report, Vol. 1/2017 (January 2017), pp. 153-182,


[Excerpt: Key messages] [::] Observed climate change has had many impacts on terrestrial ecosystems, such as changes in soil conditions, advances in phenological stages, altitudinal and latitudinal migration of plant and animal species (generally northwards and upwards), and changes in species interactions and species composition in communities, including local extinctions. [::] The relative importance of climate change as a major driver of biodiversity and ecosystem change is projected to increase further in the future. In addition to climate change, human efforts to mitigate and adapt to ...


  1. Alkemade, R., Bakkenes, M., Eickhout, B., 2011. Towards a general relationship between climate change and biodiversity: An example for plant species in Europe. Regional Environmental Change 11, 143–150. .
  2. Allen, C. D., Macalady, A. K., Chenchouni, H., Bachelet, D., McDowell, N., Vennetier, M., Kitzberger, T., Rigling, A., Breshears, D. D., Hogg, E. H. (Ted), Gonzalez, P., Fensham, R., Zhang, Z., Castro, J., Demidova, N., Lim, J.-H., Allard, G., Running, S. W., Semerci, A.,

Executive summary

In Climate change, impacts and vulnerability in Europe 2016 - An indicator-based report, Vol. 1/2017 (January 2017), pp. 12-30,


[Excerpt: Key messages] [::] All of the key findings from the 2012 European Environment Agency (EEA) report on climate change, impacts and vulnerability in Europe are still valid. [::] Climate change is continuing globally and in Europe. Land and sea temperatures are increasing; precipitation patterns are changing, generally making wet regions in Europe wetter, particularly in winter, and dry regions drier, particularly in summer; sea ice extent, glacier volume and snow cover are decreasing; sea levels are rising; and climate-related extremes such as heat waves, heavy precipitation ...


  1. Ciscar, J.-C., Feyen, L., Soria, A., Lavalle, C., Raes, F., Perry, M., Nemry, F., Demirel, H., Rozsai, M., Dosio, A., Donatelli, M., Srivastava, A. K., Fumagalli, D., Niemeyer, S., Shrestha, S., Ciaian, P., Himics, M., Van Doorslaer, B., Barrios, S., Ibáñez, N., Forzieri, G., Rojas, R., Bianchi, A., Dowling, P., Camia, A., Libertà, G., San-Miguel-Ayanz, J., de Rigo, D., Caudullo, G., Barredo, J. I., Paci, D., Pycroft, J., Saveyn, B., Van Regemorter, D., Revesz, T., Vandyck, T.,

Climate change, impacts and vulnerability in Europe 2016 - An indicator-based report

Vol. 1/2017 (January 2017),


[Excerpt: Executive summary] Key messages [::] All of the key findings from the 2012 European Environment Agency (EEA) report on climate change, impacts and vulnerability in Europe are still valid. [::] Climate change is continuing globally and in Europe. Land and sea temperatures are increasing; precipitation patterns are changing, generally making wet regions in Europe wetter, particularly in winter, and dry regions drier, particularly in summer; sea ice extent, glacier volume and snow cover are decreasing; sea levels are rising; and climate-related extremes such as heat waves, heavy ...


Sensitivity of burned area in Europe to climate change, atmospheric CO2 levels, and demography: a comparison of two fire-vegetation models

Journal of Geophysical Research: Biogeosciences, Vol. 120, No. 11. (1 November 2015), pp. 2256-2272,


Global environmental changes and human activity influence wildland fires worldwide, but the relative importance of the individual factors varies regionally and their interplay can be difficult to disentangle. Here we evaluate projected future changes in burned area at the European and sub-European scale, and we investigate uncertainties in the relative importance of the determining factors. We simulated future burned area with LPJ-GUESS-SIMFIRE, a patch-dynamic global vegetation model with a semi-empirical fire model, and LPJmL-SPITFIRE, a dynamic global vegetation model with a ...


Risk of multiple interacting tipping points should encourage rapid CO2 emission reduction

Nature Climate Change, Vol. 6, No. 5. (21 March 2016), pp. 520-525,


Evidence suggests that several elements of the climate system could be tipped into a different state by global warming, causing irreversible economic damages. To address their policy implications, we incorporated five interacting climate tipping points into a stochastic-dynamic integrated assessment model, calibrating their likelihoods and interactions on results from an existing expert elicitation. Here we show that combining realistic assumptions about policymakers’ preferences under uncertainty, with the prospect of multiple future interacting climate tipping points, increases the present social cost of ...


US exposure to multiple landscape stressors and climate change

Regional Environmental Change, Vol. 16, No. 7. (2016), pp. 2129-2140,


We examined landscape exposure to wildfire potential, insects and disease risk, and urban and exurban development for the conterminous US (CONUS). Our analysis relied on spatial data used by federal agencies to evaluate these stressors nationally. We combined stressor data with a climate change exposure metric to identify when temperature is likely to depart from historical conditions and become “unprecedented.” We used a neighborhood analysis procedure based on key stressor thresholds within a geographic information system to examine the extent of ...


Uncertainties in projecting future changes in atmospheric rivers and their impacts on heavy precipitation over Europe

Journal of Climate, Vol. 29, No. 18. (24 June 2016), pp. 6711-6726,


This study investigates the North Atlantic atmospheric rivers (ARs) making landfall over western Europe in the present and future climate from the multimodel ensemble of phase 5 of the Coupled Model Intercomparison Project (CMIP5). Overall, CMIP5 captures the seasonal and spatial variations of historical landfalling AR days, with the large intermodel variability strongly correlated with the intermodel spread of historical near-surface westerly jet position. Under representative concentration pathway 8.5 (RCP8.5), AR frequency is projected to increase significantly by the end of ...


Projected changes in intense precipitation over Europe at the daily and subdaily time scales

Journal of Climate, Vol. 28, No. 15. (19 May 2015), pp. 6193-6203,


Heavy precipitation is a major hazard over Europe. It is well established that climate model projections indicate a tendency toward more extreme daily rainfall events. It is still uncertain, however, how this changing intensity translates at the subdaily time scales. The main goal of the present study is to examine possible differences in projected changes in intense precipitation events over Europe at the daily and subdaily (3-hourly) time scales using a state-of-the-science climate model. The focus will be on one representative ...


Magnitude of extreme heat waves in present climate and their projection in a warming world

J. Geophys. Res. Atmos., Vol. 119, No. 22. (27 November 2014), pp. 12,500-12,512,


An extreme heat wave occurred in Russia in the summer of 2010. It had serious impacts on humans and natural ecosystems, it was the strongest recorded globally in recent decades and exceeded in amplitude and spatial extent the previous hottest European summer in 2003. Earlier studies have not succeeded in comparing the magnitude of heat waves across continents and in time. This study introduces a new Heat Wave Magnitude Index that can be compared over space and time. The index is ...


The challenge to keep global warming below 2 °C

Nature Climate Change, Vol. 3, No. 1. (2 December 2012), pp. 4-6,


The latest carbon dioxide emissions continue to track the high end of emission scenarios, making it even less likely global warming will stay below 2 °C. A shift to a 2 °C pathway requires immediate significant and sustained global mitigation, with a probable reliance on net negative emissions in the longer term. ...


Climate, CO2 and human population impacts on global wildfire emissions

Biogeosciences, Vol. 13, No. 1. (15 January 2016), pp. 267-282,


Wildfires are by far the largest contributor to global biomass burning and constitute a large global source of atmospheric traces gases and aerosols. Such emissions have a considerable impact on air quality and constitute a major health hazard. Biomass burning also influences the radiative balance of the atmosphere and is thus not only of societal, but also of significant scientific interest. There is a common perception that climate change will lead to an increase in emissions as hot and dry weather ...


Interactions of landscape disturbances and climate change dictate ecological pattern and process: spatial modeling of wildfire, insect, and disease dynamics under future climates

Landscape Ecology (2016), pp. 1-13,


[Context] Interactions among disturbances, climate, and vegetation influence landscape patterns and ecosystem processes. Climate changes, exotic invasions, beetle outbreaks, altered fire regimes, and human activities may interact to produce landscapes that appear and function beyond historical analogs. [Objectives] We used the mechanistic ecosystem-fire process model FireBGCv2 to model interactions of wildland fire, mountain pine beetle (Dendroctonus ponderosae), and white pine blister rust (Cronartium ribicola) under current and future climates, across three diverse study areas. [Methods] We assessed changes in tree basal area as a measure of ...


RCP 8.5 - A scenario of comparatively high greenhouse gas emissions

Climatic Change In Climatic Change, Vol. 109, No. 1-2. (1 November 2011), pp. 33-57,


This paper summarizes the main characteristics of the RCP8.5 scenario. The RCP8.5 combines assumptions about high population and relatively slow income growth with modest rates of technological change and energy intensity improvements, leading in the long term to high energy demand and GHG emissions in absence of climate change policies. Compared to the total set of Representative Concentration Pathways (RCPs), RCP8.5 thus corresponds to the pathway with the highest greenhouse gas emissions. Using the IIASA Integrated Assessment Framework and the MESSAGE ...


Wildfires in a warmer climate: emission fluxes, emission heights, and black carbon concentrations in 2090-2099

Journal of Geophysical Research: Atmospheres, Vol. 121, No. 7. (16 April 2016), pp. 3195-3223,


Global warming is expected to considerably impact wildfire activity and aerosol emission release in the future. Due to their complexity, the future interactions between climate change, wildfire activity, emission release, and atmospheric aerosol processes are still uncertain. Here we use the process-based fire model SPITFIRE within the global vegetation model JSBACH to simulate wildfire activity for present-day climate conditions and future Representative Concentration Pathways (RCPs). The modeled fire emission fluxes and fire radiative power serve as input for the aerosol-climate model ...


Towards new scenarios for analysis of emissions, climate change, impacts and response strategies



[Excerpt: Conclusion] This section summarizes the ways in which the parallel process for development of climate change scenarios described in this report relates to the six general questions introduced in Section I. [::1. Can new integrated scenarios that meet user needs be produced with the available resources and completed in time for consideration in a possible future IPCC assessment?] Earlier approaches to the use of scenarios in climate change science have followed the sequence of development of a complete set of emissions scenarios, development of the corresponding ...


High chance that current atmospheric greenhouse concentrations commit to warmings greater than 1.5 °C over land

Scientific Reports, Vol. 6 (27 July 2016), 30294,


The recent Paris UNFCCC climate meeting discussed the possibility of limiting global warming to 2 °C since pre-industrial times, or possibly even 1.5 °C, which would require major future emissions reductions. However, even if climate is stabilised at current atmospheric greenhouse gas (GHG) concentrations, those warming targets would almost certainly be surpassed in the context of mean temperature increases over land only. The reason for this is two-fold. First, current transient warming lags significantly below equilibrium or “committed” warming. Second, almost all climate ...


The sensitivity of global wildfires to simulated past, present, and future lightning frequency

Journal of Geophysical Research: Biogeosciences, Vol. 119, No. 3. (March 2014), pp. 312-322,


In this study, components of the Max Planck Institute Earth System Model were used to explore how changes in lightning induced by climate change alter wildfire activity. To investigate how climate change alters global flash frequency, simulations with the atmospheric general circulation model ECHAM6 were performed for the time periods preindustrial, present-day, and three future scenarios. The effect of changes in lightning activity on fire occurrence was derived from simulations with the land surface vegetation model JSBACH. Global cloud-to-ground lightning activity ...


The climate policy narrative for a dangerously warming world

Nature Climate Change, Vol. 4, No. 3. (26 February 2014), pp. 164-166,


It is time to acknowledge that global average temperatures are likely to rise above the 2 °C policy target and consider how that deeply troubling prospect should affect priorities for communicating and managing the risks of a dangerously warming climate. ...


Wildfire suppression costs for Canada under a changing climate

PLoS ONE, Vol. 11, No. 8. (11 August 2016), e0157425,


Climate-influenced changes in fire regimes in northern temperate and boreal regions will have both ecological and economic ramifications. We examine possible future wildfire area burned and suppression costs using a recently compiled historical (i.e., 1980–2009) fire management cost database for Canada and several Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) climate projections. Area burned was modelled as a function of a climate moisture index (CMI), and fire suppression costs then estimated as a function of area burned. Future estimates of area burned ...


Increasing daily wildfire risk in the Acadian Forest Region of Nova Scotia, Canada, under future climate change

Regional Environmental Change, Vol. 15, No. 7. (2015), pp. 1447-1459,


A conceptual system dynamic model of the impact of future climate change on fire risk in the Nova Scotian Acadian Forest Region (NS AFR) was developed, clarifying the influence of positive and negative drivers of future fire risk. Weights of relative importance for seven wildfire risk drivers identified in the conceptual model were elicited through an analytical hierarchy process. Expert participants identified precipitation, temperature, and local tree species composition as the most important determinants of future fire risk. Fire weather variables ...


Climate change presents increased potential for very large fires in the contiguous United States

International Journal of Wildland Fire, Vol. 24, No. 7. (2015), pp. 892-899,


Very large fires (VLFs) have important implications for communities, ecosystems, air quality and fire suppression expenditures. VLFs over the contiguous US have been strongly linked with meteorological and climatological variability. Building on prior modelling of VLFs (>5000 ha), an ensemble of 17 global climate models were statistically downscaled over the US for climate experiments covering the historic and mid-21st-century periods to estimate potential changes in VLF occurrence arising from anthropogenic climate change. Increased VLF potential was projected across most historically fire-prone ...


Allowable CO2 emissions based on regional and impact-related climate targets

Nature, Vol. 529, No. 7587. (20 January 2016), pp. 477-483,


Targets for reducing atmospheric carbon dioxide are related to regional changes in climate extremes rather than to changes in global mean temperature, in order to convey their urgency better to individual countries. ...


Climate Change 2013: the physical science basis - Contribution of Working Group I to the Fifth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change



[Excerpt: Preface] The Working Group I contribution to the Fifth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) provides a comprehensive assessment of the physical science basis of climate change. It builds upon the Working Group I contribution to the IPCC’s Fourth Assessment Report in 2007 and incorporates subsequent new findings from the Special Report on Managing the Risks of Extreme Events and Disasters to Advance Climate Change Adaptation, as well as from research published in the extensive ...

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