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Tracing the climate signal : mitigation of anthropogenic methane emissions can outweigh a large Arctic natural emission increase

Christensen, Torben Røjle LU ; Arora, Vivek K.; Gauss, Michael; Höglund-Isaksson, Lena and Parmentier, Frans Jan W. LU (2019) In Scientific Reports 9(1).
Abstract

Natural methane emissions are noticeably influenced by warming of cold arctic ecosystems and permafrost. An evaluation specifically of Arctic natural methane emissions in relation to our ability to mitigate anthropogenic methane emissions is needed. Here we use empirical scenarios of increases in natural emissions together with maximum technically feasible reductions in anthropogenic emissions to evaluate their potential influence on future atmospheric methane concentrations and associated radiative forcing (RF). The largest amplification of natural emissions yields up to 42% higher atmospheric methane concentrations by the year 2100 compared with no change in natural emissions. The most likely scenarios are lower than this, while... (More)

Natural methane emissions are noticeably influenced by warming of cold arctic ecosystems and permafrost. An evaluation specifically of Arctic natural methane emissions in relation to our ability to mitigate anthropogenic methane emissions is needed. Here we use empirical scenarios of increases in natural emissions together with maximum technically feasible reductions in anthropogenic emissions to evaluate their potential influence on future atmospheric methane concentrations and associated radiative forcing (RF). The largest amplification of natural emissions yields up to 42% higher atmospheric methane concentrations by the year 2100 compared with no change in natural emissions. The most likely scenarios are lower than this, while anthropogenic emission reductions may have a much greater yielding effect, with the potential of halving atmospheric methane concentrations by 2100 compared to when anthropogenic emissions continue to increase as in a business-as-usual case. In a broader perspective, it is shown that man-made emissions can be reduced sufficiently to limit methane-caused climate warming by 2100 even in the case of an uncontrolled natural Arctic methane emission feedback, but this requires a committed, global effort towards maximum feasible reductions.

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author
organization
publishing date
type
Contribution to journal
publication status
published
subject
in
Scientific Reports
volume
9
issue
1
publisher
Nature Publishing Group
external identifiers
  • scopus:85061050514
ISSN
2045-2322
DOI
10.1038/s41598-018-37719-9
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
43dcd68f-2765-4747-8948-3ee13af26632
date added to LUP
2019-02-11 10:01:19
date last changed
2019-02-12 03:00:11
@article{43dcd68f-2765-4747-8948-3ee13af26632,
  abstract     = {<p>Natural methane emissions are noticeably influenced by warming of cold arctic ecosystems and permafrost. An evaluation specifically of Arctic natural methane emissions in relation to our ability to mitigate anthropogenic methane emissions is needed. Here we use empirical scenarios of increases in natural emissions together with maximum technically feasible reductions in anthropogenic emissions to evaluate their potential influence on future atmospheric methane concentrations and associated radiative forcing (RF). The largest amplification of natural emissions yields up to 42% higher atmospheric methane concentrations by the year 2100 compared with no change in natural emissions. The most likely scenarios are lower than this, while anthropogenic emission reductions may have a much greater yielding effect, with the potential of halving atmospheric methane concentrations by 2100 compared to when anthropogenic emissions continue to increase as in a business-as-usual case. In a broader perspective, it is shown that man-made emissions can be reduced sufficiently to limit methane-caused climate warming by 2100 even in the case of an uncontrolled natural Arctic methane emission feedback, but this requires a committed, global effort towards maximum feasible reductions.</p>},
  articleno    = {1146},
  author       = {Christensen, Torben Røjle and Arora, Vivek K. and Gauss, Michael and Höglund-Isaksson, Lena and Parmentier, Frans Jan W.},
  issn         = {2045-2322},
  language     = {eng},
  month        = {12},
  number       = {1},
  publisher    = {Nature Publishing Group},
  series       = {Scientific Reports},
  title        = {Tracing the climate signal : mitigation of anthropogenic methane emissions can outweigh a large Arctic natural emission increase},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41598-018-37719-9},
  volume       = {9},
  year         = {2019},
}