New Scenarios for Assessing Future Climate Change

Sunday, 16 February 2014: 10:00 AM-11:30 AM
Columbus IJ (Hyatt Regency Chicago)
Deciding how best to respond to the challenge of climate change requires anticipating how society might change in the future. Changes in population and economic growth, innovation, technological development, governance, and lifestyles will affect the energy use and land use that drive climate change, as well as society’s capacity to reduce emissions or adapt to climate change impacts. Developing a set of alternative scenarios for societal development is one way to capture and explore the uncertainty in future conditions. The climate change research community is producing a new set of five such scenarios, called Shared Socio-Economic Pathways (SSPs) intended to underpin scientific studies, assessments, and policy dialogues for the next decade or more. This symposium discusses the overarching scenario framework and the main qualitative features of the five SSPs. Speakers will also present newly developed scenarios of greenhouse gas emissions and land use change based on these societal development pathways, a first look at their implications for impacts on the global agricultural system, and thoughts on how best to improve the scenario framework and research base as it is refined over time.
Brian C. O'Neill, National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR)
Peter Backlund, NCAR
James A. Edmonds, Joint Global Change Research Institute
New Scenarios of Future Greenhouse Gas Emissions and Land Use Change
Jerry Nelson, International Food Policy Research Institute
Scenario-Based Assessment of Climate Change Impacts on Agriculture