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A new scenario framework for climate change research: the concept of shared socioeconomic pathways

Author

Listed:
  • Brian O’Neill

    ()

  • Elmar Kriegler
  • Keywan Riahi
  • Kristie Ebi
  • Stephane Hallegatte
  • Timothy Carter
  • Ritu Mathur
  • Detlef Vuuren

Abstract

The new scenario framework for climate change research envisions combining pathways of future radiative forcing and their associated climate changes with alternative pathways of socioeconomic development in order to carry out research on climate change impacts, adaptation, and mitigation. Here we propose a conceptual framework for how to define and develop a set of Shared Socioeconomic Pathways (SSPs) for use within the scenario framework. We define SSPs as reference pathways describing plausible alternative trends in the evolution of society and ecosystems over a century timescale, in the absence of climate change or climate policies. We introduce the concept of a space of challenges to adaptation and to mitigation that should be spanned by the SSPs, and discuss how particular trends in social, economic, and environmental development could be combined to produce such outcomes. A comparison to the narratives from the scenarios developed in the Special Report on Emissions Scenarios (SRES) illustrates how a starting point for developing SSPs can be defined. We suggest initial development of a set of basic SSPs that could then be extended to meet more specific purposes, and envision a process of application of basic and extended SSPs that would be iterative and potentially lead to modification of the original SSPs themselves. Copyright The Author(s) 2014

Suggested Citation

  • Brian O’Neill & Elmar Kriegler & Keywan Riahi & Kristie Ebi & Stephane Hallegatte & Timothy Carter & Ritu Mathur & Detlef Vuuren, 2014. "A new scenario framework for climate change research: the concept of shared socioeconomic pathways," Climatic Change, Springer, vol. 122(3), pages 387-400, February.
  • Handle: RePEc:spr:climat:v:122:y:2014:i:3:p:387-400
    DOI: 10.1007/s10584-013-0905-2
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Julie Rozenberg & Céline Guivarch & R.J. Lempert & Stéphane Hallegatte, 2011. "A scenario elicitation methodology to map the space of possible future mitigative and adaptative capacity," Post-Print halshs-00799494, HAL.
    2. B.C. O'Neill & T Carter & Kl Ebi & J. Edmonds & Stéphane Hallegatte & E. Kemp-Benedict & E. Kriegler & L. Mearns & R. Moss & K. Riahi & B. van Ruijven & D. van Vuuren, 2012. "Meeting Report of the Workshop on The Nature and Use of New Socioeconomic Pathways for Climate Change Research," CIRED Working Papers hal-00801931, HAL.
    3. Elmar Kriegler & Brian-C O'Neill & Stéphane Hallegatte & Tom Kram & Richard-H Moss & Robert Lempert & Thomas J Wilbanks, 2010. "Socio-economic Scenario Development for Climate Change Analysis," Working Papers hal-00866437, HAL.
    4. Elmar Kriegler & Jae Edmonds & Stéphane Hallegatte & Kristie Ebi & Tom Kram & Keywan Riahi & Harald Winkler & Detlef Vuuren, 2014. "A new scenario framework for climate change research: the concept of shared climate policy assumptions," Climatic Change, Springer, vol. 122(3), pages 401-414, February.
    5. Detlef Vuuren & Elmar Kriegler & Brian O’Neill & Kristie Ebi & Keywan Riahi & Timothy Carter & Jae Edmonds & Stephane Hallegatte & Tom Kram & Ritu Mathur & Harald Winkler, 2014. "A new scenario framework for Climate Change Research: scenario matrix architecture," Climatic Change, Springer, vol. 122(3), pages 373-386, February.
    6. Stéphane Hallegatte & Przyluski Valentin & Adrien Vogt-Schilb, 2011. "Building world narratives for climate change impact, adaptation and vulnerability analyses," Post-Print hal-00618688, HAL.
    7. Kristie Ebi & Stephane Hallegatte & Tom Kram & Nigel Arnell & Timothy Carter & Jae Edmonds & Elmar Kriegler & Ritu Mathur & Brian O’Neill & Keywan Riahi & Harald Winkler & Detlef Vuuren & Timm Zwickel, 2014. "A new scenario framework for climate change research: background, process, and future directions," Climatic Change, Springer, vol. 122(3), pages 363-372, February.
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