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Joint Program on the Science and Policy of Global Change Reports

Mostrando recursos 1 - 20 de 318

  1. Probabilistic projections of the future climate for the world and the continental USA

    Sokolov, A.; Gao, X.; Paltsev, S.; Monier, E.; Chen, H.; Kicklighter, D.; Prinn, R.; Reilly, J.; Schlosser, A.
    In this paper, we study possible impacts of anthropogenic greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions on the 21st century climate on the continental USA using the MIT Integrated Global System Model (IGSM) framework. Climate change simulations use an emissions scenario developed with the IGSM’s Economic Projection and Policy Analysis (EPPA) Model. The scenario represents a global emission path consistent with the current view on the trajectories of technological and economic development. The estimates of possible changes in climate are based on an ensemble of 400 simulations with the IGSM’s MIT Earth System Model (MESM), a model of intermediate complexity. Regional changes over...

  2. Estimating the potential of U.S. urban infrastructure albedo enhancement as climate mitigation in the face of climate variability

    Xu, L.; Monier, E.; Schlosser, A.; Kirchain, R.; Gregory, J.
    The climate mitigation potential of U.S. urban infrastructure albedo enhancement is explored using multidecadal regional climate simulations. Increasing albedo from 0.2 to 0.4 results in summer daytime surface temperature decreases of 1.5°C, substantial reductions in health-related heat (50% decrease in days with danger heat advisory) and decreases in energy demand for air conditioning (15% decrease in cooling degree days) over the U.S. urban areas. No significant impact is found outside urban areas. Most regional modeling studies rely on short simulations; here, we use multidecadal simulations to extract the forced signal from the noise of climate variability. Achieving a ±0.5°C margin...

  3. A Win-Win Solution to Abate Aviation CO2 Emissions

    Winchester, N.
    We outline a benchmark carbon dioxide (CO2) intensity system with tradable permits for the aviation industry that will incent in-sector emission abatement opportunities that cost less than the social cost of carbon (SCC). The system sets benchmark emission intensities (CO2 emissions per revenue ton kilometer) by route group and facilitates flexibility in meeting the benchmarks by allowing airlines to sell permits if they operate more efficiently than the benchmarks, and buy permits if they do not meet the benchmarks. The CO2 benchmark system could operate concurrently with existing measures to mitigate aviation CO2 emissions, will reduce the number of offsets...

  4. Application of the Analogue Method to Modeling Heat Waves: A Case Study With Power Transformers

    Gao, X.; Schlosser, C.A.; Morgan, E.
    Large power transformers (LPTs) are critical yet increasingly vulnerable components of the power grid. More frequent and intense heat waves or high temperatures can degrade their operational lifetime and thereby increase the premature failure risk. Without adequate preparedness, a widespread situation would ultimately lead to prolonged grid disruption and incur excessive economic costs. In this study, we investigate the impact of climate warming and corresponding shifts in heat waves on a selected LPT located in the Northeast corridor of the United States. We apply an analogue method, which detects the occurrence of heat waves based on the salient, associated large-scale...

  5. The Revenue Implications of a Carbon Tax

    Yuan, M.; Metcalf, G.E.; Reilly, J.; Paltsev, S.
    A primary reason for implementing a carbon or greenhouse gas tax is to reduce emissions, but in recent years there has been increased interest in a carbon tax’s revenue potential. This revenue could be used for federal deficit reduction, to help finance tax reform, support new spending priorities such as infrastructure spending, offset the burden of the tax on households, or other purposes. With an environmental goal to reduce emissions to very low levels, programs that become dependent on the revenue may come up short when and if carbon revenue begins to decline. To date, the revenue potential of a...

  6. The Future Water Risks Under Global Change in Southern and Eastern Asia: Implications of Mitigation

    Gao, X.; Schlosser, C.A.; Fant, C.; Strzepek, K.
    Understanding and predicting the future vulnerability of freshwater resources is a major challenge with important societal implications. Many studies have identified Asia as a hotspot of severe water stress in the coming decades, and also highlighted the large uncertainty associated with water resource assessment based on limited multi-model projections. Here we provide a more comprehensive risk-based assessment of water use and availability in response to future climate change, socioeconomic growth, and their combination in Southern and Eastern Asia. We employ a large ensemble of scenarios that capture the spectrum of regional climate response as well as a range of economic...

  7. Modeling the Income Dependence of Household Energy Consumption and its Implications for Climate Policy in China

    Caron, J.; Karplus, V.J.; Schwarz, G.A.
    We estimate Engel Curves based on Chinese household microdata and show in general equilibrium simulations that they imply substantially lower energy demand and CO2 emissions, relative to projections based on standard assumptions of unitary income elasticity. Income-driven shifts in consumption reduce the average welfare cost of emissions pricing by more than half. Climate policy is also less regressive, as rising income leads to rapid convergence in the energy intensity of consumption baskets and more evenly distributed welfare loss across households. Our findings underscore the importance of correctly accounting for the relationship between income and energy demand in high-growth economies.

  8. Global economic growth and agricultural land conversion under uncertain productivity improvements in agriculture

    Lanz, B.; Dietz, S.; Swanson, T.
    We study how stochasticity in the evolution of agricultural productivity interacts with economic and population growth at the global level. We use a two-sector Schumpeterian model of growth, in which a manufacturing sector produces the traditional consumption good and an agricultural sector produces food to sustain contemporaneous population. Agriculture demands land as an input, itself treated as a scarce form of capital. In our model both population and sectoral technological progress are endogenously determined, and key technological parameters of the model are structurally estimated using 1960–2010 data on world GDP, population, cropland and technological progress. Introducing random shocks to the...

  9. Can Tariffs be Used to Enforce Paris Climate Commitments?

    Winchester, N.
    We evaluate the potential for using border carbon adjustments (BCAs) and welfare-maximizing tariffs to compel non-compliant countries to meet emissions reduction targets pledged under the Paris Climate Agreement. Our analysis employs a numerical economy-wide model with energy sector detail and, given recent actions by the new US administration, considers BCAs on US exports. We find that BCAs result in small reductions in US emissions and welfare. Consequently, the US is better off when it does not restrict emissions and faces BCAs on its exports than when it implements policies consistent with the Paris Agreement. However, targeted welfare-maximizing tariffs could inflict...

  10. A Review of and Perspectives on Global Change Modeling for Northern Eurasia

    Monier, E.; Kicklighter, D.; Sokolov, A.; Zhuang, Q.; Sokolik, I.; Lawford, R.; Kappas, M.; Paltsev, S.; Groisman, P.
    Northern Eurasia is made up of a complex and diverse set of physical, ecological, climatic and human systems, which provide important ecosystem services including the storage of substantial stocks of carbon in its terrestrial ecosystems. At the same time, the region has experienced dramatic climate change, natural disturbances and changes in land management practices over the past century. For these reasons, Northern Eurasia is both a critical region to understand and a complex system with substantial challenges for the modeling community. This review is designed to highlight the state of past and ongoing efforts of the research community to understand...

  11. The Future of Coal in China

    Zhang, X.; Winchester, N.; Zhang, X.
    As the world’s largest consumer of total primary energy and energy from coal, and the largest emitter of carbon dioxide (CO2), China is now taking an active role in controlling CO2 emissions. Given current coal use in China, and the urgent need to cut emissions, ‘clean coal’ technologies are regarded as a promising solution for China to meet its carbon reduction targets while still obtaining a considerable share of energy from coal. Using an economy-wide model, this paper evaluates the impact of two existing advanced coal technologies—coal upgrading and ultra-supercritical (USC) coal power generation—on economic, energy and emissions outcomes when...

  12. Climate Stabilization at 2°C and Net Zero Carbon Emissions

    Sokolov, A.; Paltsev, S.; Chen, H.; Haigh, M.; Prinn, R.; Monier, E.
    The goal to stabilize global average surface temperature at lower than 2°C above pre-industrial level has been extensively discussed in climate negotiations. A number of publications state that achieving this goal will require net anthropogenic carbon emissions (defined as anthropogenic emissions minus anthropogenic sinks such as carbon capture and sequestration and reforestation) to be reduced to zero between years 2050 and 2100. At the same time, it is also shown in the literature that decreases of non-CO2 emissions can significantly affect the allowable carbon budget. In this study, we explore possible emission pathways under which surface warming will not exceed...

  13. Transparency in the Paris Agreement

    Jacoby, H.D.; Chen, Y.-H.H.; Flannery, B.P.
    Establishing a credible and effective transparency system will be both crucial and challenging for the climate regime based on the pledge and review process established in the Paris Agreement. The Agreement provides for review of achievements under national pledges (Nationally Determined Contributions, or NDCs), but much of this information will become available only well after key steps in the launch of this latest attempt to control human influence on the climate. Still, in these early years, information and understanding of individual and collective performance, and of relative national burdens under the NDCs, will play an important role in the success...

  14. Economic Projection with Non-homothetic Preferences: The Performance and Application of a CDE Demand System

    Chen, Y.-H.H.
    In computable general equilibrium modeling, whether the simulation results are consistent to a set of valid own-price and income demand elasticities that are observed empirically remains a key challenge in many modeling exercises. To address this issue, the Constant Difference of Elasticities (CDE) demand system has been adopted by some models since the 1990s. However, perhaps due to complexities of the system, the applications of CDE systems in other models are less common. Furthermore, how well the system can represent the given elasticities is rarely discussed or examined in existing literature. The study aims at bridging these gaps by revisiting...

  15. A Drought Indicator based on Ecosystem Responses to Water Availability: The Normalized Ecosystem Drought Index

    Chang, K.-Y.; Paw U, K.T.; Xu, L.
    Drought is one of the most destructive natural disasters causing serious damages to human society, and studies have projected more severe and widespread droughts in the coming decades associated with the warming climate. Although several drought indices have been developed for drought monitoring, most of them were based on large scale environmental conditions rather than ecosystem transitional patterns to drought. Here, we propose using the ecosystem function oriented Normalized Ecosystem Drought Index (NEDI) to quantify drought severity, loosely related to Sprengel’s and Liebig’s Law of the Minimum for plant nutrition. Extensive eddy covariance measurements from 60 AmeriFlux sites across 8...

  16. Is Current Irrigation Sustainable in the United States? An Integrated Assessment of Climate Change Impact on Water Resources and Irrigated Crop Yields

    Blanc, É.; Caron, J.; Fant, C.; Monier, E.
    While the impact of climate change on crop yields has been extensively studied, the quantification of water shortages on irrigated crop yields has been regarded as more challenging due to the complexity of the water resources management system. To investigate this issue, we integrate a crop yield reduction module and a water resources model into the MIT Integrated Global System Modeling (IGSM) framework, an integrated assessment model that links a model of the global economy to an Earth system model. While accounting for uncertainty in climate change, we assess the effects of climate and socio-economic changes on the competition for...

  17. The Impact of Oil Prices on Bioenergy, Emissions and Land Use

    Winchester, N.; Ledvina, K.
    We evaluate how alternative future oil prices will influence the penetration of biofuels, energy production, greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, land use and other outcomes. Our analysis employs a global economy wide model and simulates alternative oil prices out to 2050 with and without a price on GHG emissions. In one case considered, based on estimates of available resources, technological progress and energy demand, the reference oil price rises to $124 by 2050. Other cases separately consider constant reference oil prices of $50, $75 and $100, which are targeted by adjusting the quantity of oil resources. In our simulations, higher oil...

  18. Scaling Compliance with Coverage? Firm-level Performance in China’s Industrial Energy Conservation Program

    Karplus, V.J.; Shen, X.; Zhang, D.
    Industrial energy conservation programs in China form a cornerstone of China’s energy and environmental management efforts, engaging thousands of major energy-using enterprises, and targeting hundreds of million tons of annual coal-equivalent energy savings during the Eleventh and Twelfth Five-Year Plans (2006 to 2015). An important question in China and other developing countries is to understand how compliance systems develop and perform, especially in settings where regulators have limited prior experience and resources to support evaluation and enforcement. We use detailed, newly-released compliance reports, combined with industrial census data on participating firms, to identify the drivers of compliance at the firm...

  19. 21st Century Changes in U.S. Heavy Precipitation Frequency Based on Resolved Atmospheric Patterns

    Gao, X.; Schlosser, C.A.; O'Gorman, P.; Monier, E.; Entekhabi, D.
    Gridded precipitation-gauge observations and global atmospheric reanalysis are combined to develop an analogue method for detecting the occurrence of heavy precipitation events based on the prevailing large-scale atmospheric conditions. Combinations of different atmospheric variables for circulation features (geopotential height and wind vector) and moisture plumes (surface specific humidity, column precipitable water, and precipitable water up to 500hPa) are examined to construct the analogue schemes for the winter (DJF) of the Pacific Coast California (PCCA) and the summer (JJA) of the Midwestern United States (MWST). The detection diagnostics of various analogue schemes are calibrated with 27-yr (1979–2005) and then validated with...

  20. Combining Price and Quantity Controls under Partitioned Environmental Regulation

    Abrell, J.; Rausch, S.
    This paper analyzes hybrid emissions trading systems (ETS) under partitioned environmental regulation when firms’ abatement costs and future emissions are uncertain. We show that hybrid policies that introduce bounds on the price or the quantity of abatement provide a way to hedge against differences in marginal abatement costs across partitions. Price bounds are more efficient than abatement bounds as they also use information on firms’ abatement technologies while abatement bounds can only address emissions uncertainty. Using a numerical stochastic optimization model with equilibrium constraints for the European carbon market, we find that introducing hybrid policies in EU ETS reduces expected...

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