Young People's Burden: Requirement of Negative CO2 Emissions

Global temperature is a useful metric for global climate that helps define the potential amplitude of slow climate feedbacks, such as ice sheet melt and sea level rise. Annual temperature in 2016, enhanced by the 2015-2016 El Nino, was +1.3 degC relative to 1880-1920. The underlying trend since 1970 is +0.18 degC/decade, and current temperature excluding short-term variability has reached +1 degC relative to 1880-1920, as warm as estimated for the Eemian interglacial, when sea level reached 6-9 meters higher than today. If temperature remains at this or a higher level, slow amplifying feedbacks will lead to greater climate change and consequences, on time scales that are difficult to predict but are dependent on the magnitude of warming. Targets for limiting global warming thus should aim to avoid leaving temperature at Eemian or higher levels for centuries. Such targets require negative emissions, extraction of CO2 from the air. If phasedown of fossil fuel emissions begins soon, improved agricultural and forestry practices, may provide much of the necessary CO2 extraction. In that case, the magnitude and duration of temperature excursion above the natural range of the current interglacial could be limited and irreversible climate impacts minimized. In contrast, continued high fossil fuel emissions place a burden on young people to undertake massive technological CO2 extraction if they are to limit climate change. Proposed methods of extraction such as bioenergy with carbon capture and storage or air capture of CO2 would have minimal estimated costs of 89-535 trillion dollars this century and also have large risks and uncertain feasibility. Continued high emissions sentence young people to a massive, implausible cleanup or growing deleterious climate impacts or both. These scenarios should provide incentive and obligation for governments to alter energy policies without further delay.

Comments: 55 pages, 20 figures

Similar Publications

This study investigates short-crested wave breaking over a planar beach by using the mesh-free Smoothed Particle Hydrodynamics model, GPUSPH. The short-crested waves are created by generating intersecting wave trains in a numerical wave basin. We examine the influence of beach slope, incident wave height, and incident wave angle on the generated short-crested waves. Read More

Rotationally coherent Lagrangian vortices (RCLVs) are identified from satellite-derived surface geostrophic velocities in the Eastern Pacific (180$^\circ$-130$^\circ$ W) using the objective (frame-invariant) finite-time Lagrangian-coherent-structure detection method of Haller et al. (2016) based on the Lagrangian-averaged vorticity deviation. RCLVs are identified for 30, 90, and 270 day intervals over the entire satellite dataset, beginning in 1993. Read More

Local bifurcations of stationary points and limit cycles have successfully been characterized in terms of the critical exponents of these solutions. Lyapunov exponents and their associated covariant Lyapunov vectors have been proposed as tools for supporting the understanding of critical transitions in chaotic dynamical systems. However, it is in general not clear how the statistical properties of dynamical systems change across a boundary crisis during which a chaotic attractor collides with a saddle. Read More

The emergence of oscillations in models of the El-Ni\~no effect is of utmost relevance. Here we investigate a coupled nonlinear delay differential system modeling theEl-Ni\~no/ Southern Oscillation (ENSO) phenomenon, which arises through the strong coupling of the ocean-atmosphere system. In particular, we study the temporal patterns of the sea surface temperature anomaly of the two sub-regions. Read More

Observations from the Odin/Sub-Millimetre Radiometer (SMR) instrument have been assimilated into the DIAMOND model (Dynamic Isentropic Assimilation Model for OdiN Data), in order to estimate the chemical ozone (O$_{3}$) loss in the stratosphere. This data assimilation technique is described in Sagi and Murtagh (2016), in which it was used to study the inter-annual variability in ozone depletion during the entire Odin operational time and in both hemispheres. Our study focuses on the Arctic region, where two O$_{3}$ destruction mechanisms play an important role, involving halogen and nitrogen chemical families (i. Read More

The high-resolution echelle spectrograph UVES of the Very Large Telescope at Cerro Paranal in Chile has been regularly operated since April 2000. Thus, UVES archival data originally taken for astronomical projects but also including sky emission can be used to study airglow variations on a time scale longer than a solar cycle. Focusing on OH emission and observations until March 2015, we considered about 3,000 high-quality spectra from two instrumental set-ups centred on 760 and 860 nm, which cover about 380 nm each. Read More

A system of stochastic differential equations is formulated describing the heat and salt content of a two-box ocean. Variability in the heat and salt content and in the thermohaline circulation between the boxes is driven by fast Gaussian atmospheric forcing and by ocean-intrinsic, eddy-driven variability. The inclusion of eddy effects selects one of two stable equilibria of the circulation in the sense that one of the stable equilibria is essentially eliminated by the eddy dynamics. Read More

Authors: R. U. Abbasi, T. Abu-Zayyad, M. Allen, R. Azuma, E. Barcikowski, J. W. Belz, D. R. Bergman, S. A. Blake, M. Byrne, R. Cady, B. G. Cheon, J. Chiba, M. Chikawa, T. Fujii, M. Fukushima, T. Goto, W. Hanlon, Y. Hayashi, N. Hayashida, K. Hibino, K. Honda, D. Ikeda, N. Inoue, T. Ishii, R. Ishimori, H. Ito, D. Ivanov, S. Jeong, C. C. H. Jui, K. Kadota, F. Kakimoto, O. Kalashev, K. Kasahara, H. Kawai, S. Kawakami, S. Kawana, K. Kawata, E. Kido, H. B. Kim, J. H. Kim, J. H. Kim, S. S. Kishigami, S. Kitamura, Y. Kitamura, P. R. Krehbiel, V. Kuzmin, Y. J. Kwon, J. Lan, R. LeVon, J. P. Lundquist, K. Machida, K. Martens, T. Matsuda, T. Matsuyama, J. N. Matthews, M. Minamino, K. Mukai, I. Myers, K. Nagasawa, S. Nagataki, R. Nakamura, T. Nakamura, T. Nonaka, S. Ogio, J. Ogura, M. Ohnishi, H. Ohoka, K. Oki, T. Okuda, M. Ono, R. Onogi, A. Oshima, S. Ozawa, I. H. Park, M. S. Pshirkov, J. Remington, W. Rison, D. Rodeheffer, D. C. Rodriguez, G. Rubtsov, D. Ryu, H. Sagawa, K. Saito, N. Sakaki, N. Sakurai, T. Seki, K. Sekino, P. D. Shah, F. Shibata, T. Shibata, H. Shimodaira, B. K. Shin, H. S. Shin, J. D. Smith, P. Sokolsky, R. W. Springer, B. T. Stokes, T. A. Stroman, T. Suzawa, H. Takai, M. Takeda, R. Takeishi, A. Taketa, M. Takita, Y. Tameda, H. Tanaka, K. Tanaka, M. Tanaka, R. J. Thomas, S. B. Thomas, G. B. Thomson, P. Tinyakov, I. Tkachev, H. Tokuno, T. Tomida, S. Troitsky, Y. Tsunesada, K. Tsutsumi, Y. Uchihori, S. Udo, F. Urban, G. Vasiloff, T. Wong, M. Yamamoto, R. Yamane, H. Yamaoka, K. Yamazaki, J. Yang, K. Yashiro, Y. Yoneda, S. Yoshida, H. Yoshii, Z. Zundel

Bursts of energetic particle showers have been observed in coincidence with downward propagating negative leaders in lightning flashes by the Telescope Array Surface Detector (TASD). The TASD is a 700 square kilometer cosmic ray observatory located in western Utah. Lightning position, time, and electric field information was collected by a lightning mapping array and slow antenna colocated with the TASD. Read More

We develop a theory of three-dimensional slow Rossby waves in rotating spherical density stratified convection. The excited by a non-axisymmetric instability, slow Rossby waves with frequency that is much smaller than the rotating frequency, interact with the density stratified convection and the inertial waves. The density stratification is taken into account using the anelastic approximation for very low-Mach-number flows. Read More

In 2013, the US National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Agency refined the historical rainfall estimates over the African Continent and produced the African Rainfall Climate version 2.0 (ARC2) estimator. ARC2 offers a nearly complete record of daily rainfall estimates since 1983 at 0. Read More