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The use of scenarios as the basis for combined assessment of climate change mitigation and adaptation

The use of scenarios as the basis for combined assessment of climate change mitigation and adaptation

van Vuuren, Detlef P., Isaac, Morna, Kundzewicz, Zbigniew W., Arnell, Nigel, Barker, Terry, Criqui, Patrick, Berkhout, Frans, Hilderink, Henk, Hinkel, Jochen, Hof, Andries, Kitous, Alban, Kram, Tom, Mechler, Reinhard and Scrieciu, Şerban (2010) The use of scenarios as the basis for combined assessment of climate change mitigation and adaptation. Global Environmental Change Part A, 21 (2). pp. 575-591. ISSN 0959-3780 (doi:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.gloenvcha.2010.11.003)

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Abstract

Scenarios are used to explore the consequences of different adaptation and mitigation strategies under
uncertainty. In this paper, two scenarios are used to explore developments with (1) no mitigation leading
to an increase of global mean temperature of 4 8C by 2100 and (2) an ambitious mitigation strategy
leading to 2 8C increase by 2100. For the second scenario, uncertainties in the climate system imply that a
global mean temperature increase of 3 8C or more cannot be ruled out. Our analysis shows that, in many
cases, adaptation and mitigation are not trade-offs but supplements. For example, the number of people
exposed to increased water resource stress due to climate change can be substantially reduced in the
mitigation scenario, but adaptation will still be required for the remaining large numbers of people
exposed to increased stress. Another example is sea level rise, for which, from a global and purely
monetary perspective, adaptation (up to 2100) seems more effective than mitigation. From the
perspective of poorer and small island countries, however, stringent mitigation is necessary to keep risks
at manageable levels. For agriculture, only a scenario based on a combination of adaptation and
mitigation is able to avoid serious climate change impacts.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Scenarios, Integrated assessment, Climate change, Mitigation, Adaptation, Climate impacts
Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GE Environmental Sciences
Faculty / Department / Research Group: Faculty of Engineering & Science > Natural Resources Institute
Last Modified: 08 Oct 2013 14:04
Selected for GREAT 2016: None
Selected for GREAT 2017: None
Selected for GREAT 2018: None
Selected for GREAT 2019: None
URI: http://gala.gre.ac.uk/id/eprint/9855

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