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Delay-induced rebounds in CO_{2} emissions and critical time-scales to meet global warming targets

Manoli, G; Katul, GG; Marani, M; (2016) Delay-induced rebounds in CO_{2} emissions and critical time-scales to meet global warming targets. Earth's Future , 4 (12) pp. 636-643. 10.1002/2016EF000431. Green open access

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Abstract

While climate science debates are focused on the attainment of peak anthropogenic CO2 emissions and policy tools to reduce peak temperatures, the human‐energy‐climate system can hold “rebound” surprises beyond this peak. Following the second industrial revolution, global per capita CO_{2} emissions (c_{c}) experienced a punctuated growth of about 100% every 60 years, mainly attributable to technological development and its global spread. A model of the human‐energy‐climate system capable of reproducing past punctuated dynamics shows that rebounds in global CO_{2} emissions emerge due to delays intrinsic to the diffusion of innovations. Such intrinsic delays in the adoption and spread of low‐carbon emitting technologies, together with projected population growth, upset the warming target set by the Paris Agreement. To avoid rebounds and their negative climate effects, model calculations show that the diffusion of climate‐friendly technologies must occur with lags one‐order of magnitude shorter (i.e., ∼6 years) than the characteristic timescale of past punctuated growth in c_{c}. Radically new strategies to globally implement the technological advances at unprecedented rates are needed if the current emission goals are to be achieved.

Type: Article
Title: Delay-induced rebounds in CO_{2} emissions and critical time-scales to meet global warming targets
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1002/2016EF000431
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1002/2016EF000431
Language: English
Additional information: © 2016 The Authors. This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution‐NonCommercial‐NoDerivs License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/).
Keywords: CO_{2} emissions, climate change, delay, rebounds, human‐energy‐climate system, climate mitigation
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Engineering Science
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Engineering Science > Dept of Civil, Environ and Geomatic Eng
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10086401
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