Near-Term Climate Change: Projections and Mitigation

5 Sep
Atmospheric Sciences Seminar
Steven Smith
Friday, September 5, 2014 - 12:00pm to 1:00pm
Pierce Hall 100F


While anthropogenic climate change is a long-term phenomena, anthropogenic influences on climate will also be felt in the near-term. New work examining the near-term rate of climate change will be presented showing that the rate of global and regional changes will soon be increasing to well above background levels. The talk will then examine the potential for short-lived climate forcers (SLCFs) to reduce near-term climate change. Forcing agents with relatively short atmospheric lifetimes, short-lived climate forcers (SLCFs), are a potentially attractive mitigation target since they offer the prospect of reducing near-term anthropogenic climate change. Much of the work in this area has focused on black carbon and methane. The potential for near-term climate mitigation by SLCFs was analyzed and shown to be smaller than previously estimated. Climate and atmospheric inertia reduce the near-term SLCF mitigation potential well below equilibrium values. SLCF mitigation potential has a high uncertainty, which was also assessed. A large portion is due to uncertainty in carbonaceous aerosol emissions and aerosol forcing in general.

Xi Lu