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Global Climate Change Digest

A Guide to Information on Greenhouse Gases and Ozone Depletion
Published July 1988 through June 1999

FROM VOLUME 10, NUMBER 2, FEBRUARY 1997

PROFESSIONAL PUBLICATIONS...
INTEGRATED SCENARIOS OF GLOBAL CHANGE

Special Issue: Global Environ. Change, 6(4), Sep. 1996. Guest editors: J. Alcamo, E. Kreileman, R. Leemans. Contains the following six papers with results from the IMAGE (Integrated Model to Assess the Greenhouse Effect). A series of workshops, organized in 1995 by the Dutch National Institute of Public Health and the Environment (RIVM) and Delft Technical University, brought together modelers and climate policy advisors to investigate how the IMAGE model could assist in the negotiations for a 1997 climate protocol.


Item #d97feb9

"Global Models Meet Global Policy. How Can Global and Regional Modellers Connect with Environmental Policy Makers? What has Hindered Them? What Has Helped?" J. Alcamo (Ctr. Environ. Systems Res., Univ. Kassel, Kurt-Wolters-Str. 3, D-34109 Kassel, Ger.), E. Kreileman, R. Leemans, 255-259.

An essay on the development of global assessment models since the 1970s, culminating with the RAINS model of regional acidification, and the IMAGE model of global climate change. Summarizes factors that have led to their success, which strongly depends on the interaction of model developers with policy makers and their advisors.


Item #d97feb10

"Baseline Scenarios of Global Environmental Change," J. Alcamo (address above), G.J.J. Kreileman et al., 261-303.

Presents three baseline scenarios of no policy action computed by the IMAGE 2 model, covering a wide range of coupled global change indicators. By giving insight into trends, they may point out where policy intervention may be especially important. They suggest that the coming decades could be a period of relatively rapid global environmental change as compared to the period before and after. Natural vegetation in industrialized regions could be threatened by climate change, but abandonment of agricultural lands could open new areas for reforestation. The opposite holds for most of Asia and Africa, where the impacts of climate change on vegetation may be less, but the demand for food will lead to a significant expansion of agricultural lands at the expense of remaining forests and other natural areas.


Item #d97feb11

"Emission Scenarios and Global Climate Protection," J. Alcamo (address above), E. Kreileman, 305-334.

Evaluates the effectiveness of different emissions pathways in achieving both short- and long-term goals for climate protection, and identifies the allowable range of emissions in the near term that would achieve these goals. Impacts observed under the baseline scenario are substantially reduced only when emissions are controlled in both industrialized and developing countries, and when both CO2 and non-CO2 emissions are controlled. Defines the concept of "safe emission corridors," or the allowable range of near-term global emissions that complies with climate goals.


Item #d97feb12

"The Land Cover and Carbon Cycle Consequences of Large-Scale Utilizations of Biomass as an Energy Source," R. Leemans (Natl. Inst. Public Health & Environ.-RIVM, POB 1, NL-3720 BA Bilthoven, Neth.), A. van Amstel et al., 335-357.

Uses the IMAGE model to investigate a revised scenario, "Low CO2 Emissions Energy Supply Systems" (LESS), developed for the IPCC second assessment. Simulations show that 45% more land is required than the 550 million hectares on which the original LESS scenario is based. Such expansion of agricultural land will influence deforestation patterns and have significant consequences for environmental issues, such as biodiversity. Concludes from this and other results that the cultivation of large quantities of modern biomass is feasible, but that its effectiveness to reduce emissions of greenhouse gases has to be evaluated in combination with many other environmental, land use, and socioeconomic factors.


Item #d97feb13

"Evaluating Cost-Effective Strategies for Meeting Regional CO2 Targets," J.C. Bollen (Natl. Inst. Public Health & Environ.-RIVM, POB 1, NL-3720 BA Bilthoven, Neth.), A.M.C. Toet, H.J.M. de Vries, 359-373.

In principle, the total costs of meeting emission reduction targets proposed for industrialized countries could be greatly reduced if cut backs are implemented in regions with low marginal costs for CO2 reduction. However, this saving has been difficult to quantify because of the lack of models with suitable regional and economic sectoral detail. This study makes such an estimate with the IMAGE 2 model, finding that it is very important for such cost comparisons to use a well-defined baseline scenario and clearly formulated targets. Concludes that large economic benefits, on the order of 35-65%, can accrue from joint implementation agreements involving non-industrialized regions which allocate investments on the basis of net marginal costs of CO2 emission reduction.


Item #d97feb14

"Integrated Scenarios of Acidification and Climate Change in Asia and Europe," M. Posch (Natl. Inst. Public Health & Environ.-RIVM, POB 1, NL-3720 BA Bilthoven, Neth.), 375-394.

Links two integrated assessment models, IMAGE 2 for global-scale climate change, and RAINS for regional acidifying deposition. Examines the trade-off involved in reducing deposition in Asia and Europe, which also reduces the global level of sulfate aerosols that counteract warming by greenhouse gases. In general, the effects of reducing sulfur emissions and thus enhancing climate change would about balance for the Asian region, whereas for Europe the desirable impact of sulfur reductions would greatly outweigh the climatic effects.

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