Science and policy applicability of the transient climate response to cumulative emissions of carbon

Tuesday, 16 December 2014: 10:20 AM
Joeri Rogelj, ETH Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Zurich, Zurich, Switzerland; IIASA International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis, Laxenburg, Austria
The Transient Climate Response to cumulative Carbon Emissions (TCRE) provides a quantification of the near-linear relationship between cumulative emissions of carbon and global-mean temperature increase. For its most recent report, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change bases its assessment on a large body of literature which encompasses multiple lines of evidence. In this session I will look at the literature basis that was available for TCRE at the time of the IPCC Fifth Assessment Report, providing an easy-to-access introduction into the TCRE concept. Building on this basis and summarizing my own recent work on this, I will discuss the strengths and weaknesses of the use of TCRE for climate policy. While the TCRE concept provides a clear long-term view of what is required to stabilize global-mean temperature increase, I will explore how TCRE uncertainties might pose problems for using TCRE as the only policy guidance in near-term policy decisions.