6,592 research outputs found

    The Ocean and Cryosphere in a Changing Climate

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    This IPCC Special Report provides the latest comprehensive assessment of the ocean and cryosphere in a changing climate. It serves policymakers, decision makers, stakeholders, and all interested parties with unbiased, up-to-date, policy-relevant information. This title is also available as Open Access on Cambridge Core

    Uncertainty and climate change policy

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    The paper consists of a summary of the main sources of uncertainty about climate change, and a discussion of the major implications for economic analysis and the formulation of climate policy. Uncertainty typically implies that the optimal policy is more risk-averse than otherwise, and therefore enhances the case for action to mitigate climate change

    Counteracting the climate effects of volcanic eruptions using short-lived greenhouse gases

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    A large volcanic eruption might constitute a climate emergency, significantly altering global temperature and precipitation for several years. Major future eruptions will occur, but their size or timing cannot be predicted. We show, for the first time, that it may be possible to counteract these climate effects through deliberate emissions of short-lived greenhouse gases, dampening the abrupt impact of an eruption. We estimate an emission pathway countering a hypothetical eruption 3 times the size of Mount Pinatubo in 1991. We use a global climate model to evaluate global and regional responses to the eruption, with and without counteremissions. We then raise practical, financial, and ethical questions related to such a strategy. Unlike the more commonly discussed geoengineering to mitigate warming from long-lived greenhouse gases, designed emissions to counter temporary cooling would not have the disadvantage of needing to be sustained over long periods. Nevertheless, implementation would still face significant challenges

    Chapter 14: 2022: North America

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    The Naturalist's Journals of Gilbert White: exploring the roots of accounting for biodiversity and extinction accounting

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    Purpose This paper explores the historical roots of accounting for biodiversity and extinction accounting by analysing the 18th-century Naturalist's Journals of Gilbert White and interpreting them as biodiversity accounts produced by an interested party. The authors aim to contribute to the accounting history literature by extending the form of accounting studied to include nature diaries as well as by exploring historical ecological accounts, as well as contributing to the burgeoning literature on accounting for biodiversity and extinction accounting. Design/methodology/approach The authors’ method involves analysing the content of Gilbert White's Naturalist's Journals by producing an 18th-century biodiversity account of species of flora and fauna and then interpretively drawing out themes from the Journals. The authors then provide a Whitean extinction account by comparing current species' status with White's biodiversity account from 250 years ago. Findings This paper uses Gilbert White's Naturalist's Journals as a basis for comparing biodiversity and natural capital 250 years ago with current species' status according to extinction threat and conservation status. Further the paper shows how early nature diary recording represents early (and probably the only) forms of accounting for biodiversity and extinction. The authors also highlight themes within White's accounts including social emancipation, problematisation, aesthetic elements and an example of an early audit of biodiversity accounting. Research limitations/implications There are limitations to analysing Gilbert White's Naturalist's Journals given that the only available source is an edited version. The authors therefore interpret their data as accounts which are indicative of biodiversity and species abundance rather than an exactly accurate account. Practical implications From the authors’ analysis and reflections, the authors suggest that contemporary biodiversity accounting needs to incorporate a combination of narrative, data accounting and pictorial/aesthetic representation if it is to provide a rich and accurate report of biodiversity and nature. The authors also suggest that extinction accounting should draw on historical data in order to demonstrate change in natural capital over time. Social implications Social implications include the understanding gleaned from the authors’ analysis of the role of Gilbert White as a nature diarist in society and the contribution made over time by his Journals and other writings to the development of nature accounting and recording, as well as to one’s understanding and knowledge of species of flora and fauna. Originality/value To the authors’ knowledge this is the first attempt to analyse and interpret nature diaries as accounts of biodiversity and extinction

    Implications of "peak oil" for atmospheric CO2 and climate

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    Unconstrained CO2 emission from fossil fuel burning has been the dominant cause of observed anthropogenic global warming. The amounts of "proven" and potential fossil fuel reserves are uncertain and debated. Regardless of the true values, society has flexibility in the degree to which it chooses to exploit these reserves, especially unconventional fossil fuels and those located in extreme or pristine environments. If conventional oil production peaks within the next few decades, it may have a large effect on future atmospheric CO2 and climate change, depending upon subsequent energy choices. Assuming that proven oil and gas reserves do not greatly exceed estimates of the Energy Information Administration, and recent trends are toward lower estimates, we show that it is feasible to keep atmospheric CO2 from exceeding about 450 ppm by 2100, provided that emissions from coal, unconventional fossil fuels, and land use are constrained. Coal-fired power plants without sequestration must be phased out before mid-century to achieve this CO2 limit. It is also important to "stretch" conventional oil reserves via energy conservation and efficiency, thus averting strong pressures to extract liquid fuels from coal or unconventional fossil fuels while clean technologies are being developed for the era "beyond fossil fuels". We argue that a rising price on carbon emissions is needed to discourage conversion of the vast fossil resources into usable reserves, and to keep CO2 beneath the 450 ppm ceiling.Comment: (22 pages, 7 figures; final version accepted by Global Biogeochemical Cycles
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