Publication Abstracts

Hansen et al. 2013

Hansen, J., P. Kharecha, M. Sato, V. Masson-Delmotte, F. Ackerman, D. Beerling, P.J. Hearty, O. Hoegh-Guldberg, S.-L. Hsu, C. Parmesan, J. Rockstrom, E.J. Rohling, J. Sachs, P. Smith, K. Steffen, L. Van Susteren, K. von Schuckmann, and J.C. Zachos, 2013: Assessing "dangerous climate change": Required reduction of carbon emissions to protect young people, future generations and nature. PLOS ONE, 8, e81648, doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0081648.

We assess climate impacts of global warming using ongoing observations and paleoclimate data. We use Earth's measured energy imbalance, paleoclimate data, and simple representations of the global carbon cycle and temperature to define emission reductions needed to stabilize climate and avoid potentially disastrous impacts on today's young people, future generations, and nature. A cumulative industrial-era limit of ∼500 GtC fossil fuel emissions and 100 GtC storage in the biosphere and soil would keep climate close to the Holocene range to which humanity and other species are adapted. Cumulative emissions of ∼1000 GtC, sometimes associated with 2°C global warming, would spur "slow" feedbacks and eventual warming of 3-4°C with disastrous consequences. Rapid emissions reduction is required to restore Earth's energy balance and avoid ocean heat uptake that would practically guarantee irreversible effects. Continuation of high fossil fuel emissions, given current knowledge of the consequences, would be an act of extraordinary witting intergenerational injustice. Responsible policymaking requires a rising price on carbon emissions that would preclude emissions from most remaining coal and unconventional fossil fuels and phase down emissions from conventional fossil fuels.

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  • Reprinted in Pollution and the Atmosphere: Designs for Reduced Emissions, ed. M. Ragazzi, doi:10.1201/9781315365633.

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BibTeX Citation

@article{ha08510t,
  author={Hansen, J. and Kharecha, P. and Sato, M. and Masson-Delmotte, V. and Ackerman, F. and Beerling, D. and Hearty, P. J. and Hoegh-Guldberg, O. and Hsu, S.-L. and Parmesan, C. and Rockstrom, J. and Rohling, E. J. and Sachs, J. and Smith, P. and Steffen, K. and Van Susteren, L. and von Schuckmann, K. and Zachos, J. C.},
  title={Assessing "dangerous climate change": Required reduction of carbon emissions to protect young people, future generations and nature},
  year={2013},
  journal={PLOS ONE},
  volume={8},
  pages={e81648},
  doi={10.1371/journal.pone.0081648},
}

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RIS Citation

TY  - JOUR
ID  - ha08510t
AU  - Hansen, J.
AU  - Kharecha, P.
AU  - Sato, M.
AU  - Masson-Delmotte, V.
AU  - Ackerman, F.
AU  - Beerling, D.
AU  - Hearty, P. J.
AU  - Hoegh-Guldberg, O.
AU  - Hsu, S.-L.
AU  - Parmesan, C.
AU  - Rockstrom, J.
AU  - Rohling, E. J.
AU  - Sachs, J.
AU  - Smith, P.
AU  - Steffen, K.
AU  - Van Susteren, L.
AU  - von Schuckmann, K.
AU  - Zachos, J. C.
PY  - 2013
TI  - Assessing "dangerous climate change": Required reduction of carbon emissions to protect young people, future generations and nature
JA  - PLOS ONE
VL  - 8
SP  - e81648
DO  - 10.1371/journal.pone.0081648
ER  -

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