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2.
Nat Commun ; 11(1): 182, 2020 Jan 10.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-31924775

RESUMO

Urban activities have profound and lasting effects on the global carbon balance. Here we develop a consistent metabolic approach that combines two complementary carbon accounts, the physical carbon balance and the fossil fuel-derived gaseous carbon footprint, to track carbon coming into, being added to urban stocks, and eventually leaving the city. We find that over 88% of the physical carbon in 16 global cities is imported from outside their urban boundaries, and this outsourcing of carbon is notably amplified by virtual emissions from upstream activities that contribute 33-68% to their total carbon inflows. While 13-33% of the carbon appropriated by cities is immediately combusted and released as CO2, between 8 and 24% is stored in durable household goods or becomes part of other urban stocks. Inventorying carbon consumed and stored for urban metabolism should be given more credit for the role it can play in stabilizing future global climate.

3.
Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A ; 117(5): 2354-2365, 2020 02 04.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-31964839

RESUMO

Safely achieving the goals of the Paris Climate Agreement requires a worldwide transformation to carbon-neutral societies within the next 30 y. Accelerated technological progress and policy implementations are required to deliver emissions reductions at rates sufficiently fast to avoid crossing dangerous tipping points in the Earth's climate system. Here, we discuss and evaluate the potential of social tipping interventions (STIs) that can activate contagious processes of rapidly spreading technologies, behaviors, social norms, and structural reorganization within their functional domains that we refer to as social tipping elements (STEs). STEs are subdomains of the planetary socioeconomic system where the required disruptive change may take place and lead to a sufficiently fast reduction in anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions. The results are based on online expert elicitation, a subsequent expert workshop, and a literature review. The STIs that could trigger the tipping of STE subsystems include 1) removing fossil-fuel subsidies and incentivizing decentralized energy generation (STE1, energy production and storage systems), 2) building carbon-neutral cities (STE2, human settlements), 3) divesting from assets linked to fossil fuels (STE3, financial markets), 4) revealing the moral implications of fossil fuels (STE4, norms and value systems), 5) strengthening climate education and engagement (STE5, education system), and 6) disclosing information on greenhouse gas emissions (STE6, information feedbacks). Our research reveals important areas of focus for larger-scale empirical and modeling efforts to better understand the potentials of harnessing social tipping dynamics for climate change mitigation.

4.
Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A ; 117(1): 177-183, 2020 01 07.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-31874928

RESUMO

The El Niño Southern Oscillation (ENSO) is one of the most prominent interannual climate phenomena. Early and reliable ENSO forecasting remains a crucial goal, due to its serious implications for economy, society, and ecosystem. Despite the development of various dynamical and statistical prediction models in the recent decades, the "spring predictability barrier" remains a great challenge for long-lead-time (over 6 mo) forecasting. To overcome this barrier, here we develop an analysis tool, System Sample Entropy (SysSampEn), to measure the complexity (disorder) of the system composed of temperature anomaly time series in the Niño 3.4 region. When applying this tool to several near-surface air temperature and sea surface temperature datasets, we find that in all datasets a strong positive correlation exists between the magnitude of El Niño and the previous calendar year's SysSampEn (complexity). We show that this correlation allows us to forecast the magnitude of an El Niño with a prediction horizon of 1 y and high accuracy (i.e., root-mean-square error = 0.23° C for the average of the individual datasets forecasts). For the 2018 El Niño event, our method forecasted a weak El Niño with a magnitude of 1.11±0.23° C. Our framework presented here not only facilitates long-term forecasting of the El Niño magnitude but can potentially also be used as a measure for the complexity of other natural or engineering complex systems.

7.
Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A ; 116(35): 17193-17200, 2019 Aug 27.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-31405979

RESUMO

In recent years, air pollution has caused more than 1 million deaths per year in China, making it a major focus of public health efforts. However, future climate change may exacerbate such human health impacts by increasing the frequency and duration of weather conditions that enhance air pollution exposure. Here, we use a combination of climate, air quality, and epidemiological models to assess future air pollution deaths in a changing climate under Representative Concentration Pathway 4.5 (RCP4.5). We find that, assuming pollution emissions and population are held constant at current levels, climate change would adversely affect future air quality for >85% of China's population (∼55% of land area) by the middle of the century, and would increase by 3% and 4% the population-weighted average concentrations of fine particulate matter (PM2.5) and ozone, respectively. As a result, we estimate an additional 12,100 and 8,900 Chinese (95% confidence interval: 10,300 to 13,800 and 2,300 to 14,700, respectively) will die per year from PM2.5 and ozone exposure, respectively. The important underlying climate mechanisms are changes in extreme conditions such as atmospheric stagnation and heat waves (contributing 39% and 6%, respectively, to the increase in mortality). Additionally, greater vulnerability of China's aging population will further increase the estimated deaths from PM2.5 and ozone in 2050 by factors of 1 and 3, respectively. Our results indicate that climate change and more intense extremes are likely to increase the risk of severe pollution events in China. Managing air quality in China in a changing climate will thus become more challenging.

8.
Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A ; 115(52): E12128-E12134, 2018 12 26.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-30587552

RESUMO

Global climate warming poses a significant challenge to humanity; it is associated with, e.g., rising sea level and declining Arctic sea ice. Increasing extreme events are also considered to be a result of climate warming, and they may have widespread and diverse effects on health, agriculture, economics, and political conflicts. Still, the detection and quantification of climate change, both in observations and climate models, constitute a main focus of the scientific community. Here, we develop an approach based on network and percolation frameworks to study the impacts of climate changes in the past decades using historical models and reanalysis records, and we analyze the expected upcoming impacts using various future global warming scenarios. We find an abrupt transition during the evolution of the climate network, indicating a consistent poleward expansion of the largest cluster that corresponds to the tropical area, as well as the weakening of the strength of links in the tropic. This is found both in the reanalysis data and in the Coupled Model Intercomparison Project Phase 5 (CMIP5) 21st century climate change simulations. The analysis is based on high-resolution surface (2 m) air temperature field records. We discuss the underlying mechanism for the observed expansion of the tropical cluster and associate it with changes in atmospheric circulation represented by the weakening and expansion of the Hadley cell. Our framework can also be useful for forecasting the extent of the tropical cluster to detect its influence on different areas in response to global warming.


Assuntos
Aquecimento Global , Camada de Gelo/química , Regiões Árticas , Modelos Teóricos , Clima Tropical
9.
Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A ; 115(33): 8252-8259, 2018 08 14.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-30082409

RESUMO

We explore the risk that self-reinforcing feedbacks could push the Earth System toward a planetary threshold that, if crossed, could prevent stabilization of the climate at intermediate temperature rises and cause continued warming on a "Hothouse Earth" pathway even as human emissions are reduced. Crossing the threshold would lead to a much higher global average temperature than any interglacial in the past 1.2 million years and to sea levels significantly higher than at any time in the Holocene. We examine the evidence that such a threshold might exist and where it might be. If the threshold is crossed, the resulting trajectory would likely cause serious disruptions to ecosystems, society, and economies. Collective human action is required to steer the Earth System away from a potential threshold and stabilize it in a habitable interglacial-like state. Such action entails stewardship of the entire Earth System-biosphere, climate, and societies-and could include decarbonization of the global economy, enhancement of biosphere carbon sinks, behavioral changes, technological innovations, new governance arrangements, and transformed social values.

10.
Sci Rep ; 8(1): 12375, 2018 Aug 17.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-30120398

RESUMO

In May-June 2016 the Canadian Province of Alberta suffered one of the most devastating wildfires in its history. Here we show that in mid-April to early May 2016 the large-scale circulation in the mid- and high troposphere of the middle and sub-polar latitudes of the northern hemisphere featured a persistent high-amplitude planetary wave structure dominated by the non-dimensional zonal wave number 4. The strongest anticyclonic wing of this structure was located over western Canada. In combination with a very strong El Niño event in winter 2015/2016 this favored highly anomalous, tinder-dry and high-temperature conditions at the surface in that area, entailing an increased fire hazard there. This critically contributed to the ignition of the Alberta Wildfire in May 2016, appearing to be the costliest disaster in Canadian history thus far.

11.
Sci Adv ; 4(6): eaaq0390, 2018 06.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-29963621

RESUMO

As national efforts to reduce CO2 emissions intensify, policy-makers need increasingly specific, subnational information about the sources of CO2 and the potential reductions and economic implications of different possible policies. This is particularly true in China, a large and economically diverse country that has rapidly industrialized and urbanized and that has pledged under the Paris Agreement that its emissions will peak by 2030. We present new, city-level estimates of CO2 emissions for 182 Chinese cities, decomposed into 17 different fossil fuels, 46 socioeconomic sectors, and 7 industrial processes. We find that more affluent cities have systematically lower emissions per unit of gross domestic product (GDP), supported by imports from less affluent, industrial cities located nearby. In turn, clusters of industrial cities are supported by nearby centers of coal or oil extraction. Whereas policies directly targeting manufacturing and electric power infrastructure would drastically undermine the GDP of industrial cities, consumption-based policies might allow emission reductions to be subsidized by those with greater ability to pay. In particular, sector-based analysis of each city suggests that technological improvements could be a practical and effective means of reducing emissions while maintaining growth and the current economic structure and energy system. We explore city-level emission reductions under three scenarios of technological progress to show that substantial reductions (up to 31%) are possible by updating a disproportionately small fraction of existing infrastructure.


Assuntos
Mudança Climática , Clima , Monitoramento Ambiental , Dióxido de Carbono/análise , China , Cidades , Geografia , Indústrias
12.
Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A ; 114(29): 7543-7548, 2017 07 18.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-28674008

RESUMO

Climatic conditions influence the culture and economy of societies and the performance of economies. Specifically, El Niño as an extreme climate event is known to have notable effects on health, agriculture, industry, and conflict. Here, we construct directed and weighted climate networks based on near-surface air temperature to investigate the global impacts of El Niño and La Niña. We find that regions that are characterized by higher positive/negative network "in"-weighted links are exhibiting stronger correlations with the El Niño basin and are warmer/cooler during El Niño/La Niña periods. In contrast to non-El Niño periods, these stronger in-weighted activities are found to be concentrated in very localized areas, whereas a large fraction of the globe is not influenced by the events. The regions of localized activity vary from one El Niño (La Niña) event to another; still, some El Niño (La Niña) events are more similar to each other. We quantify this similarity using network community structure. The results and methodology reported here may be used to improve the understanding and prediction of El Niño/La Niña events and also may be applied in the investigation of other climate variables.

14.
Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A ; 114(15): E2998-E3003, 2017 04 11.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-28348227

RESUMO

The question whether a seasonal climate trend (e.g., the increase of summer temperatures in Antarctica in the last decades) is of anthropogenic or natural origin is of great importance for mitigation and adaption measures alike. The conventional significance analysis assumes that (i) the seasonal climate trends can be quantified by linear regression, (ii) the different seasonal records can be treated as independent records, and (iii) the persistence in each of these seasonal records can be characterized by short-term memory described by an autoregressive process of first order. Here we show that assumption ii is not valid, due to strong intraannual correlations by which different seasons are correlated. We also show that, even in the absence of correlations, for Gaussian white noise, the conventional analysis leads to a strong overestimation of the significance of the seasonal trends, because multiple testing has not been taken into account. In addition, when the data exhibit long-term memory (which is the case in most climate records), assumption iii leads to a further overestimation of the trend significance. Combining Monte Carlo simulations with the Holm-Bonferroni method, we demonstrate how to obtain reliable estimates of the significance of the seasonal climate trends in long-term correlated records. For an illustration, we apply our method to representative temperature records from West Antarctica, which is one of the fastest-warming places on Earth and belongs to the crucial tipping elements in the Earth system.

16.
Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A ; 113(42): 11726-11731, 2016 10 18.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-27698137

RESUMO

Complex systems, from animal herds to human nations, sometimes crash drastically. Although the growth and evolution of systems have been extensively studied, our understanding of how systems crash is still limited. It remains rather puzzling why some systems, appearing to be doomed to fail, manage to survive for a long time whereas some other systems, which seem to be too big or too strong to fail, crash rapidly. In this contribution, we propose a network-based system dynamics model, where individual actions based on the local information accessible in their respective system structures may lead to the "peculiar" dynamics of system crash mentioned above. Extensive simulations are carried out on synthetic and real-life networks, which further reveal the interesting system evolution leading to the final crash. Applications and possible extensions of the proposed model are discussed.

17.
Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A ; 113(33): 9216-21, 2016 08 16.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-27457927

RESUMO

Social and political tensions keep on fueling armed conflicts around the world. Although each conflict is the result of an individual context-specific mixture of interconnected factors, ethnicity appears to play a prominent and almost ubiquitous role in many of them. This overall state of affairs is likely to be exacerbated by anthropogenic climate change and in particular climate-related natural disasters. Ethnic divides might serve as predetermined conflict lines in case of rapidly emerging societal tensions arising from disruptive events like natural disasters. Here, we hypothesize that climate-related disaster occurrence enhances armed-conflict outbreak risk in ethnically fractionalized countries. Using event coincidence analysis, we test this hypothesis based on data on armed-conflict outbreaks and climate-related natural disasters for the period 1980-2010. Globally, we find a coincidence rate of 9% regarding armed-conflict outbreak and disaster occurrence such as heat waves or droughts. Our analysis also reveals that, during the period in question, about 23% of conflict outbreaks in ethnically highly fractionalized countries robustly coincide with climatic calamities. Although we do not report evidence that climate-related disasters act as direct triggers of armed conflicts, the disruptive nature of these events seems to play out in ethnically fractionalized societies in a particularly tragic way. This observation has important implications for future security policies as several of the world's most conflict-prone regions, including North and Central Africa as well as Central Asia, are both exceptionally vulnerable to anthropogenic climate change and characterized by deep ethnic divides.


Assuntos
Conflitos Armados , Clima , Desastres , Mudança Climática , Países em Desenvolvimento , Produto Interno Bruto , Humanos , Risco
18.
Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A ; 113(25): 6862-7, 2016 06 21.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-27274064

RESUMO

In boreal spring-to-autumn (May-to-September) 2012 and 2013, the Northern Hemisphere (NH) has experienced a large number of severe midlatitude regional weather extremes. Here we show that a considerable part of these extremes were accompanied by highly magnified quasistationary midlatitude planetary waves with zonal wave numbers m = 6, 7, and 8. We further show that resonance conditions for these planetary waves were, in many cases, present before the onset of high-amplitude wave events, with a lead time up to 2 wk, suggesting that quasiresonant amplification (QRA) of these waves had occurred. Our results support earlier findings of an important role of the QRA mechanism in amplifying planetary waves, favoring recent NH weather extremes.

20.
Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A ; 111(46): 16325-30, 2014 Nov 18.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-25368182

RESUMO

Anthropogenic global warming is driven by emissions of a wide variety of radiative forcers ranging from very short-lived climate forcers (SLCFs), like black carbon, to very long-lived, like CO2. These species are often released from common sources and are therefore intricately linked. However, for reasons of simplification, this CO2-SLCF linkage was often disregarded in long-term projections of earlier studies. Here we explicitly account for CO2-SLCF linkages and show that the short- and long-term climate effects of many SLCF measures consistently become smaller in scenarios that keep warming to below 2 °C relative to preindustrial levels. Although long-term mitigation of methane and hydrofluorocarbons are integral parts of 2 °C scenarios, early action on these species mainly influences near-term temperatures and brings small benefits for limiting maximum warming relative to comparable reductions taking place later. Furthermore, we find that maximum 21st-century warming in 2 °C-consistent scenarios is largely unaffected by additional black-carbon-related measures because key emission sources are already phased-out through CO2 mitigation. Our study demonstrates the importance of coherently considering CO2-SLCF coevolutions. Failing to do so leads to strongly and consistently overestimating the effect of SLCF measures in climate stabilization scenarios. Our results reinforce that SLCF measures are to be considered complementary rather than a substitute for early and stringent CO2 mitigation. Near-term SLCF measures do not allow for more time for CO2 mitigation. We disentangle and resolve the distinct benefits across different species and therewith facilitate an integrated strategy for mitigating both short and long-term climate change.

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