Constraints of fossil fuels depletion on global warming projections
A scientific debate is in progress about the intersection of climate change with the new field of fossil fuels depletion geology. Here, new projections of atmospheric CO2 concentration and global-mean temperature change are presented, should fossil fuels be exploited at a rate limited by geological availability only. The present work starts from the projections of fossil energy use, as obtained from ten independent sources. From such projections an upper bound, a lower bound and an ensemble mean profile for fossil CO2 emissions until 2200 are derived. Using the coupled gas-cycle/climate model MAGICC, the corresponding climatic projections out to 2200 are obtained. We find that CO2 concentration might increase up to about 480Â ppm (445-540Â ppm), while the global-mean temperature increase w.r.t. 2000 might reach 1.2Â Â°C (0.9-1.6Â Â°C). However, future improvements of fossil fuels recovery and discoveries of new resources might lead to higher emissions; hence our climatic projections are likely to be underestimated. In the absence of actions of emissions reduction, a level of dangerous anthropogenic interference with the climate system might be already experienced toward the middle of the 21st century, despite the constraints imposed by the exhaustion of fossil fuels.
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