Climate policy implications of nonlinear decline of Arctic land permafrost and other cryosphere elements
Burke, Eleanor J
Young, Paul J
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Yumashev, D., Hope, C., Schaefer, K., Riemann-Campe, K., Iglesias-Suarez, F., Jafarov, E., Burke, E. J., et al. (2019). Climate policy implications of nonlinear decline of Arctic land permafrost and other cryosphere elements. Nature Communications, 10 (1. 1900)https://doi.org/10.1038/s41467-019-09863-x
Arctic feedbacks accelerate climate change through carbon releases from thawing permafrost and higher solar absorption from reductions in the surface albedo, following loss of sea ice and land snow. Here, we include dynamic emulators of complex physical models in the integrated assessment model PAGE-ICE to explore nonlinear transitions in the Arctic feedbacks and their subsequent impacts on the global climate and economy under the Paris Agreement scenarios. The permafrost feedback is increasingly positive in warmer climates, while the albedo feedback weakens as the ice and snow melt. Combined, these two factors lead to significant increases in the mean discounted economic effect of climate change: +4.0% ($24.8 trillion) under the 1.5 °C scenario, +5.5% ($33.8 trillion) under the 2 °C scenario, and +4.8% ($66.9 trillion) under mitigation levels consistent with the current national pledges. Considering the nonlinear Arctic feedbacks makes the 1.5 °C target marginally more economically attractive than the 2 °C target, although both are statistically equivalent.
This work is part of the ICE-ARC project funded by the European Union’s 7th Framework Programme, (grant 603887, contribution 006). D.Y. received additional funding from ERIM, Erasmus University Rotterdam, and Paul Ekins at the ISR, University College London. K.S. was funded by NSF (grant 1503559) and NASA (grants NNX14A154G, NNX17AC59A). E.J. was funded by the NGEE Arctic project supported by the BER Office of Science at the U.S. DOE. Y.E. was funded by the NSF (grant 1900795). E.B. was supported by the UK Met Office Hadley Centre Climate Programme funded by BEIS and DEFRA.
EC FP7 CP (603887)
External DOI: https://doi.org/10.1038/s41467-019-09863-x
This record's URL: https://www.repository.cam.ac.uk/handle/1810/292552
Attribution 4.0 International
Licence URL: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/