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Development of climate tipping damage metric for life-cycle assessment-the influence of increased warming from the tipping

Fabbri, Serena; Owsianiak, Mikolaj; Newbold, Tim; Hauschild, Michael Z; (2022) Development of climate tipping damage metric for life-cycle assessment-the influence of increased warming from the tipping. The International Journal of Life Cycle Assessment , 27 pp. 1199-1212. 10.1007/s11367-022-02096-z. Green open access

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Abstract

Purpose: The multiple climate tipping points potential (MCTP) is a novel metric in life-cycle assessment (LCA). It addresses the contribution of greenhouse gas emissions to disturb those processes in the Earth system, which could pass a tipping point and thereby trigger large, abrupt and potentially irreversible changes. The MCTP, however, does not represent ecosystems damage. Here, we further develop this midpoint metric by linking it to losses of terrestrial species biodiversity at either local or global scales. Method: A mathematical framework was developed to translate midpoint impacts to temperature increase, first, and then to potential loss of species resulting from the temperature increase, using available data on the potentially disappeared fraction of species due to a unit change in global average temperature. Results and discussion: The resulting damage MCTP expresses the impacts on ecosystems quality in terms of potential loss of terrestrial species resulting from the contribution of GHG emissions to cross climatic tipping points. The MCTP values range from 2.3·10–17 to 1.1·10–15 PDF (potentially disappeared fraction of species) for the global scale and from 2.7·10–17 to 1.1·10–15 PDF per 1 kg of CO2 emitted for the local scale. They are time-dependent, and the largest values are found for emissions occurring between 2030 and 2045, generally declining for emissions occurring toward the end of the century. Conclusions: The developed metric complements existing damage-level metrics used in LCA, and its application is expected to be especially relevant for products where time-differentiation of emissions is possible. To enable direct comparisons between our damage MCTP and the damage caused by other environmental impacts or other climate-related impact categories, further efforts are needed to harmonize MCTP units with those of the compared damage metrics.

Type: Article
Title: Development of climate tipping damage metric for life-cycle assessment-the influence of increased warming from the tipping
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1007/s11367-022-02096-z
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1007/s11367-022-02096-z
Language: English
Additional information: This version is the author accepted manuscript. For information on re-use, please refer to the publisher’s terms and conditions.
Keywords: Science & Technology, Technology, Life Sciences & Biomedicine, Engineering, Environmental, Environmental Sciences, Engineering, Environmental Sciences & Ecology, Ecosystems' damage modeling, Climate tipping points, Life-cycle impact assessment, Global species losses, Local species losses, Potential disappeared fraction, BIODIVERSITY, EXTINCTIONS, IMPACTS, POINTS
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Life Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Life Sciences > Div of Biosciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Life Sciences > Div of Biosciences > Genetics, Evolution and Environment
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10159250
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