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Mind the gap – the case for medium level emission scenarios

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  • Bas J. van Ruijven

    () (National Center for Atmospheric Research)

Abstract

In this essay I argue that the research on emission scenarios over the past few years has focused on low emission scenarios while producing few medium level emission scenarios. As a consequence, there is a gap in the literature on emission scenarios which prohibits answering several basic questions. This relative lack of medium emission scenarios is problematic for three reasons. First, scientific integrity, as the research community should produce scenarios along the full range of future options. Second, there is currently a very limited number of scenarios that describe real-world conditions of imperfect climate policy combined with technology restrictions. Finally, I observe a growing mismatch between the mitigation research focus on low emission scenarios and research to impacts and adaptation on medium and high emission scenarios. If this trend continues, it will be difficult to draw overarching conclusions from mitigation and impacts research in IPCCs 6th Assessment Report. Therefore, this essay ends with several recommendations for the mitigation research community to stimulate production and publication of medium level emission scenarios.

Suggested Citation

  • Bas J. van Ruijven, 2016. "Mind the gap – the case for medium level emission scenarios," Climatic Change, Springer, vol. 138(3), pages 361-367, October.
  • Handle: RePEc:spr:climat:v:138:y:2016:i:3:d:10.1007_s10584-016-1744-8
    DOI: 10.1007/s10584-016-1744-8
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    3. Volker Krey & Leon Clarke, 2011. "Role of renewable energy in climate mitigation: a synthesis of recent scenarios," Climate Policy, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 11(4), pages 1131-1158, July.
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