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Fair Plan 10: Post-Trump Global-Warming Mitigation

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DOI: 10.4236/jep.2017.88056    491 Downloads   1,019 Views  

ABSTRACT

With the election of Donald Trump as President of the United States of America, it appears likely that the initiation of mitigation of human-caused Global-Warming/Climate-Change will be delayed many years. Accordingly, here we calculate the Emission Phaseout Duration, D = YE - YS, where YS and YE are the Start and End Years of the emissions reduction, for YS = 2020, 2025 and 2030, and maximum Global Warming targets, ΔTmax = 2.0°C, 1.9°C, 1.8°C, 1.7°C, 1.6°C and 1.5°C. The 2.0°C and 1.5°C maxima are the “Hard” and “Aspirational” targets of the 2015 Paris Climate Agreement. We find that D decreases with increasing YS from 2020, and with decreasing ΔTmax. In particular, D decreases from: 1) 76 years for YS = 2020 to 53 years for YS = 2030 for ΔTmax = 2.0°C, and 2) 34 years for YS = 2020 to 7 years for YS = 2030 for ΔTmax = 1.5°C. Thus, delaying the initiation of the phaseout of greenhouse-gas emissions from 2020 to 2030 makes it more difficult to achieve ΔTmax = 2.0°C and impossible to achieve ΔTmax = 1.5°C.

1. Introduction

On 28 March 2017, the Trump Administration declared war on: 1) Climate Science, 2) Climate Scientists, 3) the Obama Administration’s program to mitigate Human-Caused Global Warming/Climate Change = the Clean Power Plan, and 4) humanity’s preventing further Human-Caused Global Warming/Climate Change [1] .

On 1 June 2017, the Trump Administration performed a likely coup de gras to the 2015 Paris Climate Agreement by signaled its intention to withdraw therefrom [2] .

In the course of human events, these declarations of war are faux pas of the gravest magnitude.

Herein we explicate why this is so, and we chart a future, post-Trump course of greenhouse-gas emissions reduction to reverse it.

Herein we shall answer the question:

How many years before 2100 do we need to zero the emission of greenhouse gases for every year post 2020 we delay initiating the reduction of greenhouse- gas emissions in order to keep global warming below:

1) the 2˚C maximum Global Warming adopted by the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) in 2010 at the Conference of the Parties 16 (COP16) in Cancun, Mexico, “to prevent dangerous anthropogenic interference with the climate system” of [3] = the “hard” target of the 2015 Paris Climate Agreement [4] , and

2) the 1.5˚C maximum warming adopted by the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) in 2015 at the Conference of the Parties 21 (COP21) in Paris, France, = the “aspirational” target of the 2015 Paris Climate Agreement [4] ?

2. Reference Emission Scenario

As our Reference emission scenario, we take the RCP-8.5 emission scenario [5] developed by the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA) in Laxenburg, Austria, as one of the four emission scenarios for the fifth assessment report (AR5) of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) [6] . RCP-8.5 is the highest of these four emission scenarios and leads to a radiative forcing (the change in the net incoming radiation at the top of the atmosphere) of about 8.5 Wm−2 in 2100. For comparison, a doubling of the preindustrial carbon dioxide (CO2) concentration causes a radiative forcing of 3.7 Wm−2. RCP-8.5 is the way the world would likely emit greenhouse gases if either there were no consequent climate change or if we were completely ignorant of the climate change.

The Reference scenario contains annual emission rates for CO2 and 31 additional greenhouse gases (CH4, N2O, CFC11, CFC12, CFC113, CFC114, CFC115, CCl4, CH3CCl3, HCFC22, HCFC141b, HCFC123, HCFC124, HCFC142b, HCFC225ca, HCFC225cb, HCFC134a, HCFC125, HCFC152a, CF4, C2F6, SF6, H1211, H1301, H2402, CH3Br, HFC23, HFC143a, HFC32, HFC227, HFC245, C6F14, tropospheric O3). It also contains the annual emission rates for three aerosol/precursors (SO2, black carbon, organic carbon). The RCP-8.5 scenario begins in 2000. Before 2000, RCP-8.5 emission rates are the historical emission rates.

The CO2 emission rate for the Reference scenario is shown in Figure 1 for the 21st century alone, the time period of interest herein. The CO2 emission rate rises from about 29 billion tonnes of carbon dioxide per year (Gt CO2/year) in 2000 to 106 Gt CO2/year in 2100, a factor of 3.7 increase across the century.

Figure 1. Annual CO2 emission rate [Gigatonnes of CO2 per year (GtCO2/year)] versus year in the 21st century for the Reference (RCP-8.5) scenario.

3. Reduced-Emission Scenarios

We define our reduced-emission scenarios for each of the above species by

(1)

where

(2)

is emission intensity in year y for Start Year, YS, and End Year, YE.

It should be noted that these linear-in-time emission intensities are applied to the global emissions, not just to the emissions of the Developed Countries, as in our 10 antecedent Fair Plan papers [7] - [16] . In those papers, the emission intensities for the Developing Countries were larger in the beginning years, and smaller in the later years than the linear intensities, this so that:

1) the total cumulative traded-adjusted CO2 emissions of the Developing Countries equaled the total trade-adjusted CO2 emissions of the Developed Countries―the first Fairness, where trade-adjusted emissions are the CO2 emissions generated by the Developing Countries in the production of goods and services for the Developed Countries, which emissions are debited to the Developed Countries, not the Developing Countries―the second Fairness; and

2) the maximum global-mean near-surface air temperature was kept below the 2˚C limit adopted by the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change “to prevent dangerous anthropogenic interference with the climate system” [3] .

Figure 2 presents the emissions intensity versus year in the 21st century for YS = 2020, 2025 and 2030, and YE = 2100, 2090, 2080, 2070, 2060,

Figure 2. Emissions intensity versus year in the 21st century for Start Years Ys = 2020, 2025 and 2030 for End Years YE = 2100, 2090, 2080, 2070, 2060, 2050, 2040, 2030 (2032 for YS = 2030).

2050, 2040, 2030 (2032 for YS = 2030). The resulting reduced annual emission rates for CO2 from Equation (1) are shown in Figure 3 versus year in the 21st century for Start Years YS = 2020, 2025 and 2030, and End Years YE = 2100, 2090, 2080, 2070, 2060, 2050, 2040, 2030 (2032 for YS = 2030), together with the Reference annual emission rate for CO2,. For YE ≤ 2080, the annual CO2 emission rates monotonically decrease from y ≥ YS to zero in YE. For YE = 2090 and 2100, the initial annual CO2 emission rates are respectively flat and slightly increasing before they too decrease to zero in YE.

4. Species Concentrations and Total Radiative Forcing

We have used the model of the Center for International Climate and Environmental Research-Oslo (CICERO) [17] to calculate the species concentrations from their emissions.

It should be noted that the CICERO model does not include the positive ocean-CO2-solubility/temperature feedback whereby the fraction of emitted CO2 removed from the atmosphere by the ocean decreases with increasing temperature. Thus, ceteris paribus, our calculated CO2 concentrations are underestimates

Figure 3. Reduced annual CO2 emission rate scenarios [Gigatonnes of CO2 per year (GtCO2/year)] versus year in the 21st century for Start Years YS = 2020, 2025 and 2030, and End Years YE = 2100, 2090, 2080, 2070, 2060, 2050, 2040, 2030 (2032 for YS = 2030).

of those with this positive feedback included.

Figure 4 presents the CO2 concentrations versus year in the 21st century for the Reference scenario and for the Reduced-emissions scenarios, the latter for Start Years YS = 2020, 2025 and 2030, and End Years YE = 2100, 2090, 2080, 2070, 2060, 2050, 2040, 2030 (2032 for YS = 2030).

The CO2 concentration for the Reference scenario monotonically increases across the 21st century, from 372 ppmv in 2000 to 903 ppmv in 2100, exceeding twice the pre-industrial concentration of 278 ppmv in 2053.

The CO2 concentrations for the Reduced-emissions scenarios peak within the 21st century, with the peak occurring later and being larger the later the Start Year, YS, and for each YS, occurring sooner and being smaller the earlier the End Year, YE. The peak CO2 concentrations exceed twice the pre-industrial CO2 concentration for all YS, for both YE = 2100 and 2090 for YS = 2030, but only for YE = 2100 for YS = 2020 and 2025.

Figure 5 presents the total radiative forcing relative to 1750 [Watts per square meter (Wm−2)] versus year in the 21st century for the Reference scenario and for the Reduced-emissions scenarios, the latter for Start Years YS = 2020, 2025 and

Figure 4. CO2 concentration [parts per million by volume (ppmv)] versus year in the 21st century for Start Years YS = 2020, 2025 and 2030, and End Years YE = 2100, 2090, 2080, 2070, 2060, 2050, 2040, 2030 (2032 for YS = 2030).

2030, and End Years YE = 2100, 2090, 2080, 2070, 2060, 2050, 2040, 2030 (2032 for YS = 2030).

The total radiative forcing relative to 1750 for the Reference scenario increases monotonically across the 21st century, from 2.19 Wm−2 in 2000 to 8.67 Wm−2 in 2100, exceeding the total radiative forcing for twice the pre-industrial CO2 concentration of 3.71 Wm−2 in 2031. This is 22 years earlier than the year when the CO2 concentration first exceeds twice the preindustrial CO2 concentration. This is due to the radiative forcing by the other, non-CO2, greenhouse gases listed in Section 2.

The total radiative forcing relative to 1750 for the Reduced-emissions scenarios peak within the 21st century, with the peak occurring later and being larger the later the Start Year, YS, and for each YS, occurring sooner and being smaller the earlier the End Year, YE. The peak total radiative forcings exceed twice the radiative forcing for twice the pre-industrial CO2 concentration for all YS, for YE ≥ 2070, 2060 and 2040 for YS = 2020, 2025 and 2030, respectively.

Figure 5. Total radiative forcing relative to 1750 [Watts per square meter (Wm−2)] versus year in the 21st century for Start Years YS = 2020, 2025 and 2030, and End Years YE = 2100, 2090, 2080, 2070, 2060, 2050, 2040, 2030 (2032 for YS = 2030).

5. Global Warming

As we have in our 10 antecedent Fair Plan papers [7] [8] [9] [10] [11] [13] [14] [15] [16] , we have used our engineering-type simple climate model [18] to calculate the change in global-mean near-surface air temperature relative to 1750, now for the total radiative forcing shown in Figure 5. In our 10 earlier Fair Plan papers, we performed calculations of Global Warming for the equilibrium climate sensitivity (∆T2x, the change in global-mean near-surface air temperature from 1750 due to the radiative forcing caused by an instantaneous doubling of the preindustrial CO2 concentration) estimated by us from the four observed temperature datasets in our 2012 Causes paper [19] (1.45˚C, 1.61˚C, 1.99˚C and 2.01˚C), and then averaged them. Here, we performed calculations of Global Warming for ∆T2x = 2.0˚C.

Figure 6 presents the change in global-mean near-surface air temperature relative to 1750 [Global Warming, degrees Celsius (˚C)] versus year in the 21st century for Start Years YS = 2020, 2025 and 2030, and End Years YE = 2100, 2090, 2080, 2070, 2060, 2050, 2040, 2030 (2032 for YS = 2030).

Figure 6. Change in global-mean near-surface air temperature relative to 1750 [degrees Celsius (˚C)] versus year in the 21st century for Start Years YS = 2020, 2025 and 2030, and End Years YE = 2100, 2090, 2080, 2070, 2060, 2050, 2040, 2030 (2032 for YS = 2030). The 2.0˚C Hard Limit and 1.5˚C Aspirational Limit of the 2015 Paris Climate Agreement are shown by the brown dashed lines.

The Global Warming for the Reference scenario increases monotonically across the 21st century, from 0.78˚C in 2000 to 3.6˚C in 2100. Global Warming exceeds the 1.5˚C Aspirational Limit and 2.0˚C Hard Limit of the Paris Climate Agreement in 2035 and 2051, respectively

The Global Warmings for the Reduced-emissions scenarios peak within the 21st century, with the peak occurring later and being larger the later the Start Year, YS, and for each YS, occurring sooner and being smaller the earlier the End Year, YE. The peak Global Warmings exceed the 1.5˚C Aspirational Limit for all YS, for YE ≥ 2060 for YS = 2020, YE ≥ 2050 for YS = 2025, and YE ≥ 2040 for YS = 2030. The peak Global Warmings exceed the 2.0˚C Hard Limit for all YS, for YE = 2100 for YS = 2020 and 2025 and YE ≥ 2090 for YS = 2030.

6. Analysis of the Global Warming Results

From the results of Figure 6 we determine the End Years YE for each Start Year YS = 2020, 2025 and 2030 required to keep Global Warming less than ∆Tmax = 2.0˚C, 1.9˚C, 1.8˚C, 1.7˚C, 1.6˚C and 1.5˚C.

Figure 7 shows the maximum temperature ∆Tmax for each of the curves in Figure 6 versus End Year YE for Start Years YS = 2020, 2025 and 2030. We fit each of the three curves in Figure 7 with a quadratic polynomial,

(3)

with coefficients A, B and C presented in Table 1, together with the corresponding coefficients of determination, R2.

6.1. Dependence of Emissions Phaseout Duration D on ∆Tmax

We solved Equation (3) for YE for ∆Tmax = 2.0˚C, 1.9˚C, 1.8˚C, 1.7˚C, 1.6˚C and 1.5˚C for Start Years YS = 2020, 2025 and 2030. The results are shown in Figure 8. We fit each of the three curves therein with a quadratic polynomial,

(4)

with coefficients A, B and C presented in Table 2, together with the corresponding

Figure 7. Maximum change in global-mean near-surface air temperature ∆Tmax relative to 1750 [in degrees Celsius (˚C)] versus End Year YE for Start Years YS = 2020, 2025 and 2030. The quadratic curve fits are shown by the dashed lines.

Table 1. Coefficients of the quadratic fit of maximum global-mean near-surface air temperature change relative to 1750, , on End Year, YE, in Equation (3), for Start Years YS = 2020, 2025 and 2030 from Figure 7.

Figure 8. End Year YE versus ∆Tmax for Start Years YS = 2020, 2025 and 2030. The quadratic curve fits are shown by the dashed lines.

Table 2. Coefficients of the quadratic fit of End Year, , on ∆Tmax in Equation (4) for Start Years YS = 2020, 2025 and 2030 from Figure 8.

coefficients of determination, R2.

We then calculated the duration of the phaseout of emissions as

(5)

for ∆Tmax = 2.0˚C, 1.9˚C, 1.8˚C, 1.7˚C, 1.6˚C and 1.5°C for Start Years YS = 2020, 2025 and 2030. The results are shown in Figure 9. We fit each of the three curves therein with a quadratic polynomial,

(6)

with coefficients A, B and C presented in Table 3, together with the corresponding coefficients of determination, R2.

The Emissions Phaseout Period D decreases with decreasing ∆Tmax, but more rapidly than linearly, this because the curvature A is negative, and increases in magnitude with increasing Start Year, YS. This means that D decreases with decreasing ∆Tmax more the later the Start Year, YS. In particular, for YS = 2020, D decreases from 76 years for ∆Tmax = 2.0˚C to 34 years for ∆Tmax = 1.5˚C, while for YS = 2030, D decreases from 53 years for ∆Tmax = 2.0˚C to 7 years for ∆Tmax = 1.5˚C. This leads to:

Figure 9. Emissions phaseout duration D versus ∆Tmax for Start Years YS = 2020, 2025 and 2030. The quadratic curve fits are shown by the dashed lines.

Table 3. Coefficients of the quadratic fit of Emissions Phaseout Duration, , on ∆Tmax in Equation (6) for Start Years YS = 2020, 2025 and 2030 from Figure 9.

Finding 1: It will be increasingly difficult to phaseout emissions the smaller the temperature target, ∆Tmax, and this difficulty will increase the longer humanity delays the initiation of emissions reductions.

6.2. Dependence of Emissions Phaseout Duration D on Start Year YS

Figure 10 presents the End Year, YE, versus Start Year, YS, for maximum global- mean near-surface air temperature relative to 1750 of ∆Tmax = 2.0˚C, 1.9˚C, 1.8˚C, 1.7˚C, 1.6˚C and 1.5˚C. We fit each of the three curves therein with a quadratic polynomial,

(7)

with coefficients A, B and C presented in Table 4, together with the corresponding coefficients of determination, R2.

Figure 11 presents the Emissions Phaseout Duration D versus Start Year, YS, for maximum global-mean near-surface air temperature change relative to 1750

Figure 10. End Year, YE, versus Start Year, YS, for ∆Tmax = 2.0˚C, 1.9˚C, 1.8˚C, 1.7˚C, 1.6˚C and 1.5˚C. The quadratic curve fits are shown by the dashed lines.

Figure 11. Emissions phaseout duration D versus Start Year, YS, for ∆Tmax = 2.0˚C, 1.9˚C, 1.8˚C. 1.7˚C, 1.6˚C and 1.5˚C. The linear curve fits are shown by the dashed lines.

of ∆Tmax = 2.0˚C, 1.9˚C, 1.8˚C. 1.7˚C, 1.6˚C and 1.5˚C. We fit each of the three curves therein with a straight line,

(8)

with coefficients A and B presented in Table 5, together with the corresponding coefficients of determination, R2.

The emissions phaseout duration D decreases with increasing Start Year, YS,

Table 4. Coefficients of the quadratic fit of End Year on Start Year, , for ∆Tmax = 2.0˚C, 1.9˚C, 1.8˚C, 1.7˚C, 1.6˚C and 1.5˚C from Figure 10.

Table 5. Coefficients of the linear fit of Emissions Phaseout Duration on Start Year, , for ∆Tmax = 2.0˚C, 1.9˚C, 1.8˚C, 1.7˚C, 1.6˚C and 1.5˚C from Figure 11.

because the slope A = ∆D/∆YS is negative, and more so the larger ∆Tmax is. This is shown in Figure 12 which presents A = ∆D/∆YS as a function of the allowed maximum Global Warming relative to 1750, ∆Tmax. This leads to:

Finding 2: It will be increasingly difficult to phaseout emissions the longer humanity delays the initiation of emissions reductions, and this difficulty will increase the smaller the temperature target, ∆Tmax.

Findings 1 and 2 are visually displayed and summarized in Figure 13 which presents the dependences of End Year, YE, and Emissions Phaseout Duration, D, on temperature target, for ∆Tmax = 2.0˚C and 1.5˚C, and on Start Year, for YS = 2020, 2025 and 2030. It is clearly seen that YE and D decrease with increasing Start Year, YS, and decreasing Global Warming target, ∆Tmax.

7. Conclusion

In our 10 antecedent Fair Plan papers, the emissions intensity, which multiplies the Reference emissions to generate Reduced emissions, decreased linearly from unity to zero for the Developed Countries, and more slowly initially for the Developing Countries, this such that the total cumulative trade-adjusted CO2 emissions of the Developed and Developing Countries were equal. In our first paper, the Start Year, YS, of the emissions phaseout was chosen to be 2015 and End Year, YE, was chosen to be 2050. In our second and subsequent papers, we changed YS to 2020 and chose YE such that the Emissions Phaseout Duration, D = YE − YS, was as long as possible, this to minimize economic dislocation,

Figure 12. Change in Emissions Phaseout Duration per change in the Start Year from 2020, ∆D/∆YS, as a function of the allowed maximum Global Warming relative to 1750, ∆Tmax.

Figure 13. End year, YE, required to keep Global Warming below ∆Tmax = 2.0˚C and 1.5˚C relative to 1750 for Start Years Ys = 2020, 2025 and 2030.

while keeping the maximum Global Warming, ∆Tmax = 2.0˚C, the “hard” target of the 2015 Paris Climate Agreement. Here we have used the linear emissions intensity for all countries, and have examined the change in D required to keep ∆Tmax = 2.0˚C caused by a delay in initiating the emissions phaseout from YS = 2020 to YS = 2025 and YS = 2030. Because the 2015 Paris Climate Agreement has an “aspirational” Global Warming target of ∆Tmax = 1.5˚C, we have also examined targets ∆Tmax = 2.0˚C, 1.9˚C, 1.8˚C, 1.7˚C, 1.6˚C and 1.5˚C. We have done this to understand the effect of the likely delay in the initiation of emissions reduction due to the election of Donald Trump as President of the United States and his termination of the U.S.’s Clean Power Program, and the U.S.’s subsequent proposed withdrawal from the 2015 Paris Climate Agreement.

We have found, of course, that D decreases with decreasing ∆Tmax and increasing YS.

For YS = 2020, D decreases from 76 years for ∆Tmax = 2.0˚C to 34 years for ∆Tmax = 1.5˚C. Could humanity zero the emission of greenhouse gases in 34 years? Perhaps, but it would require a heroic technological effort that would dwarf the U.S. Apollo program that took 12 men to the surface of the Moon and returned them safely to Earth.

For YS = 2030, D decreases from 53 years for ∆Tmax = 2.0˚C to 7 years for ∆Tmax = 1.5˚C. Thus, delaying the initiation of emissions reductions by 10 years, from 2020 to 2030, makes achieving ∆Tmax = 2.0˚C more challenging, but likely doable, and makes achieving ∆Tmax = 1.5˚C impossible.

Bottom Line: In order to maximize the likelihood of humanity’s achieving ∆Tmax = 2.0˚C, the initiation of the phaseout of humanity’s emission of greenhouse gases should not be delayed past 2020.

Acknowledgements

We thank Jan Sigurd Fuglestvedt and Ragnhild Bieltvedt Skeie for updating our version of their CICERO model that calculates concentrations and radiative forcing from emissions, and for programming assistance with that model.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.

Cite this paper

Schlesinger, M. and Becker, D. (2017) Fair Plan 10: Post-Trump Global-Warming Mitigation. Journal of Environmental Protection, 8, 898-913. doi: 10.4236/jep.2017.88056.

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