Emission Scenarios

The future behaviour of humankind with respect to its energy supply system transformation is largely unknown. Therefore, a broad range of emission scenarios has been developed under the assumption of no climate policy going beyond the first emission reduction step, the Kyoto Protocol (IPCC, 2000). These so-called SRES-Scenarios (Special Report on Emission Scenarios) have been used again for the Fourth Assessment Report (FAR) of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) that has been published in 2007. As shown in Table 3.1 their CO2-emissions differ massively, ranging from 29 GtC per year in 2100 to only 4 GtC per year for scenarios A2 and B1, respectively. While scenario A2 assumes a world with strongly differing regional development, continued very high population increase in developing countries and low environmental consciousness, scenario B1 assumes global economic development (convergence), hence with reduced population growth at high environmental consciousness (but still no stringent climate policy) and technological development. Scenario A1B assumes strong economic growth, an energy supply system that has balanced (B) contributions from fossil and renewable energy resources, and a population peaking at 9 billion heads in 2050. For more details on other sub-scenarios of A and B please consult IPCC (2000). The atmospheric CO2 concentration reaches 540 ppmv for B1, 700 ppmv for A1B and 830 ppmv for A2 in 2100.

B1* describes a world with the same population as in the family of scenarios A1 but a more rapid transformation into an information society with lower material fluxes and low emission technologies.

Table 3.1: CO2 and SO2 emissions in the 21st century according to three different scenarios (GtC/a and MtS/a, respectively)

CO2

SO2

Year

A2

A1B

B1*

A2

A1B

B1

2000

8

8

8

69

69

69

2020

12

13

11

100

100

75

CO2

SO2

2040

16

15

12

109

69

79

2060

19

16

10

90

47

56

2080

23

15

7

65

31

36

2100

29

13

4

60

28

25

As shown in figure 3.1 climate models need prescribed trace substance concentrations, typically methane (CH4), nitrous oxide (N2O), chlorofluorocarbons (CFC), ozone (O3) and sulfate particles (SO4) are taken into account. Some recent model configurations have interactive aerosol modules, i.e., they do not prescribe SO4 but accept SO2 emissions and some also can handle soot (black carbon).

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