Projecting the impacts of climate change

Air pollution in Bangladesh and Northern India
Air pollution in Bangladesh and Northern India. Photo: Jacques Descloitres, MODIS Rapid Response Team, NASA/GSFC

Projecting the impacts of climate change

Joint Program researchers advocate for improved modeling approach.

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To overcome these drawbacks, researchers at the MIT Joint Program on the Science and Policy of Global Change propose an alternative method that only a handful of other groups are now pursuing: a self-consistent modeling framework to assess climate impacts across multiple regions and sectors. They describe the Joint Program’s implementation of this method and provide illustrative examples in a new study published in Nature Communications

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"The IGSM framework makes it possible to do multisectoral climate impact assessment within a single modeling framework within a single group," says Erwan Monier, lead author of the study and a principal research scientist at the Joint Program. "It’s responsive to changes in environmental policies, internally consistent, and much more flexible than multimodel international exercises."

In the study, Monier and his co-authors applied the IGSM framework to assess climate impacts under different climate-change scenarios — "Paris Forever," a scenario in which Paris Agreement pledges are carried out through 2030, and then maintained at that level through 2100; and "2C," a scenario with a global carbon tax-driven emissions reduction policy designed to cap global warming at 2 degrees Celsius by 2100. The assessments show that "Paris Forever" would lead to a wide range of projected climate impacts around the world, evidenced by different levels of ocean acidification, air quality, water scarcity, and agricultural productivity in different regions. The "2C" scenario, however, would mitigate a substantial portion of these impacts. The researchers also explored additional scenarios developed by Shell International regarding the potential development of low-carbon energy technologies.

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Source: MIT News

Also covered by: Phys.org, "Projecting the impacts of climate change"

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