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Title: Simulating the Earth system response to negative emissions
Contributor(s): Jones, C D (author); Ciais, P (author); Jackson, R B (author); Jonas, M (author); Kriegler, E (author); Littleton, E (author); Lowe, J A (author); Milne, J (author); Shrestha, G (author); Smith, P (author); Torvanger, A (author); Wiltshire, A (author); Davis, S J (author); Friedlingstein, P (author); Gasser, T (author); Peters, G P (author); Rogelj, J (author); van Vuuren, D P (author); Canadell, J G (author); Cowie, Annette  (author)
Publication Date: 2016
Open Access: Yes
DOI: 10.1088/1748-9326/11/9/095012Open Access Link
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Abstract: Natural carbon sinks currently absorb approximately half of the anthropogenic CO² emitted by fossil fuel burning, cement production and land-use change.However, this airborne fraction may change in the future depending on the emissions scenario.An important issue in developing carbon budgets to achieve climate stabilisation targets is the behaviour of natural carbon sinks, particularly under low emissions mitigation scenarios as required to meet the goals of the Paris Agreement. A key requirement for low carbon pathways is to quantify the effectiveness of negative emissions technologies which will be strongly affected by carbon cycle feedbacks.Here we find that Earth system models suggest significant weakening, even potential reversal, of the ocean and land sinks under future low emission scenarios. For theRCP2.6 concentration pathway,models project land and ocean sinks to weaken to 0.8 ± 0.9 and 1.1 ± 0.3GtCyr⁻¹ respectively for the second half of the 21st century and to−0.4 ± 0.4 and 0.1 ± 0.2 GtCyr⁻¹ respectively for the second half of the 23rd century. Weakening of natural carbon sinks will hinder the effectiveness of negative emissions technologies and therefore increase their required deployment to achieve a given climate stabilisation target.We introduce a new metric, the perturbation airborne fraction, to measure and assess the effectiveness of negative emissions.
Publication Type: Journal Article
Source of Publication: Environmental Research Letters, 11(9), p. 1748-9326
Publisher: Institute of Physics Publishing
Place of Publication: United Kingdom
ISSN: 1748-9326
Field of Research (FOR): 050205 Environmental Management
040104 Climate Change Processes
Socio-Economic Outcome Codes: 850501 Biofuel (Biomass) Energy
Peer Reviewed: Yes
HERDC Category Description: C1 Refereed Article in a Scholarly Journal
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