Climate Stabilization Targets: Emissions, Concentrations, And Impacts Over Decades To Millennia
by National Research Council /
2011 / English / PDF
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The book quantifies the outcomes of different stabilization targets for greenhouse gas concentrations using analyses and information drawn from the scientific literature. This new report from the National Research Council concludes that emissions of carbon dioxide from the burning of fossil fuels have ushered in a new epoch where human activities will largely determine the evolution of Earth's climate. Because carbon dioxide in the atmosphere is long lived, it can effectively lock the Earth and future generations into a range of impacts, some of which could become very severe. The report quantifies several future impacts per degree (°C) of global warming. The report also demonstrates that emissions reductions larger than about 80 , relative to whatever peak global emissions rate may be reached, are required to approximately stabilize carbon dioxide concentrations for a century or so at any chosen target level. Although it does not recommend or justify any particular stabilization target, it does provide important scientific insights about the relationships among emissions, greenhouse gas concentrations, temperatures, and impacts.