Saturday, 5 November 2016

What we know we don’t know, and what we don’t know we don’t know

GHG data from UNFCCC

In accordance with Articles 4 and 12 of the Climate Change Convention, and the relevant decisions of the Conference of the Parties, countries that are Parties to the Convention submit national greenhouse gas (GHG) inventories to the Climate Change secretariat. These submissions are made in accordance with the reporting requirements adopted under the Convention, such as The UNFCCC Reporting Guidelines on Annex I Inventories (document FCCC/SBSTA/2004/8) for Annex I Parties and Guidelines for the preparation of national communications for non-Annex I Parites (decision 17/CP.8). The inventory data are provided in the annual GHG inventory submissions by Annex I Parties and in the national communications under the Convention by non-Annex I Parties.
The GHG data reported by Parties contain estimates for direct greenhouse gases, such as:
CO2 - Carbon dioxide
CH4 - Methane
N2O - Nitrous oxide
PFCs - Perfluorocarbons
HFCs - Hydrofluorocarbons
SF6 - Sulphur hexafluoride

as well as for the indrect greenhouse gases such as SO2, NOx, CO and NMVOC.


Thanks to the IPCC, this is what we know:
From 1880 to 2012, average global temperature increased by 0.85°C. To put this into perspective, for each 1 degree of temperature increase, grain yields decline by about 5 per cent. Maize, wheat and other major crops have experienced significant yield reductions at the global level of 40 megatonnes per year between 1981 and 2002 due to a warmer climate.
Oceans have warmed, the amounts of snow and ice have diminished and sea level has risen. From 1901 to 2010, the global average sea level rose by 19 cm as oceans expanded due to warming and ice melted. The Arctic’s sea ice extent has shrunk in every successive decade since 1979, with 1.07 million km² of ice loss every decade.
Given current concentrations and on-going emissions of greenhouse gases, it is likely that by the end of this century, the increase in global temperature will exceed 1.5°C compared to 1850 to 1900 for all but one scenario. The world’s oceans will warm and ice melt will continue. Average sea level rise is predicted as 24 - 30cm by 2065 and 40-63cm by 2100. Most aspects of climate change will persist for many centuries even if emissions are stopped.



What we know we don’t know, and what we don’t know we don’t know
Right now, coal, oil and natural gas power the economies of the world; almost all modern human endeavour produces carbon dioxide. This makes climate change extremely complex, tied up in other difficult issues such as poverty, economic development and population growth. Clearly, dealing with climate change is not easy. It is not about to get any easier. But ignoring it would be worse.
But, these days, it is what we don’t know that is the most worrying— because you can’t properly prepare for what you can’t foresee. Knock-on effects of even small changes in many natural systems show just how delicate a balance nature strikes.
Scientists talk about “tipping points”, where a gradual change suddenly moves into a self-fuelling spiral. How much methane is trapped in the melting permafrost and in sea-beds in a warming ocean, and, if some or all of that methane is released, what effect will it have on the global temperature and climate? If the ice cover in the poles keeps shrinking so that there is less bright white surface and more dark liquid sea surface, how much more heat from the sun will the dark surface trap, and how much less can the ice packs reflect back into space? Sea mass expands when warm— how much will this add to sea level rise?
Each of these is among the simplest examples of potential vicious cycles identified by scientists.
There is also another unknown. At some point, bright children ask questions about electricity, light and heat, and, inevitably, "where does oil come from?". The simple answer is that, hundreds of thousands of years ago, before humans, the animals and plants that died accumulated on the bottom of water bodies, mixing with sand and mud. Sediment kept piling over the top of that, and the heat and pressure eventually transformed into oil, petroleum or natural gas. These are trapped in porous layers in the earth, prevented from escaping by a non-porous layer of rock.
That's the leading scientific theory on that, in any case. And no one has the definite answer on whether the world's oil reserves will, eventually, run out.


Thanks to the IPCC, this is what we know:
From 1880 to 2012, average global temperature increased by 0.85°C. To put this into perspective, for each 1 degree of temperature increase, grain yields decline by about 5 per cent. Maize, wheat and other major crops have experienced significant yield reductions at the global level of 40 megatonnes per year between 1981 and 2002 due to a warmer climate.
Oceans have warmed, the amounts of snow and ice have diminished and sea level has risen. From 1901 to 2010, the global average sea level rose by 19 cm as oceans expanded due to warming and ice melted. The Arctic’s sea ice extent has shrunk in every successive decade since 1979, with 1.07 million km² of ice loss every decade.
Given current concentrations and on-going emissions of greenhouse gases, it is likely that by the end of this century, the increase in global temperature will exceed 1.5°C compared to 1850 to 1900 for all but one scenario. The world’s oceans will warm and ice melt will continue. Average sea level rise is predicted as 24 - 30cm by 2065 and 40-63cm by 2100. Most aspects of climate change will persist for many centuries even if emissions are stopped.



This time line detailing the international response to climate change provides a contextual entry point to the Essential Backgr...
dramarnathgiri.blogspot.com


http://dramarnathgiri.blogspot.in/…/background-on-unfccc-in… In 1992, countries joined an international treaty, the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, as a framework for international cooperation to combat climate change by limiting average global temperature increases and the resulting climate change, and coping with impacts that were, by then, inevitable.

How many staff are there at the Secretariat?495 at last count, (July 2013).

On the Convention
When was the Convention adopted? 1992.
When did the Convention come into force?1994.
How many countries are Party to the Convention?194 (+ the EU)
On the Kyoto Protocol
How many Convention Parties are Party to the Kyoto Protocol?192.
When was the Kyoto Protocol adopted?1997.
When did the Kyoto Protocol come into force?2005.
When and where was the amendment to the Kyoto Protocol for the second commitment period adopted?2012 in Doha, Qatar.
On flexible mechanisms of the Kyoto Protocol
The latest facts and figures on the Kyoto Protocol's clean development mechanism (CDM), including information about CERs and graphics and related downloadable data for project activities, can be found here.  
On greenhouse gas emissions
Do you have estimates for historical and projected global GHG emissions, i.e., emissions for the whole world?We don't collect or estimate GHG emissions for the world in total. The reason is that, according to the reporting requirements under the Climate Change Convention (UNFCCC) and the Kyoto Protocol, the format and coverage of GHG data are different for Annex I Parties to the Convention ("industrialized" countries) and non-Annex I Parties ("developing" countries), and so we are not able to calculate a value for the world total accurately. Estimates for global emissions are made by some other organizations (such as the International Energy Agency) and they can be found at their websites.
What is "CO2 equivalent"?GHG emissions/removals can be expressed either in physical units (such as grams, tonnes, etc.) or in terms of CO2 equivalent (grams CO2 equivalent, tonnes CO2 equivalent, etc.). The conversion factor from physical units to CO2 equivalent is the Global Warming Potential (GWP) of the corresponding GHG. If X Gg of CH4 is to be expressed in terms of CO2 equivalent, then it is multiplied by 21, which is GWP of CH4 over 100 years timescale.
On the Bali Road Map and Cancun Agreements
When was the Bali Road Map agreed on?2007.
When were the Cancun Agreements created and agreed on?2010.
What is this 2 degrees C goal?A 2 degrees Celsius/Centigrade rise in global temperatures from pre-industrial levels is the highest rise we can afford if we want a 50% chance of avoiding the worst effects of climate change.
What is concentration of carbon dioxide equivalent in the atmosphere that the world must stay at or under to stay true to the 2 degrees Celsius goal?450 parts per million.
What's the current concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere?398.58 parts per million.
What was the base from which it grew, and when?Before the Industrial Revolution, concentrations were fairly stable at 280 parts per million. This has gone up 41% from then till now.
On the negotiating sessions
How many journalists attend the negotiating sessions?Up to 4000 media representatives have attended the annual Conferences of the Parties and Conferences of the Parties serving as the Meeting of the Parties to the Kyoto Protocol(COP/CMP).
How many representatives of observer organizations attend the negotiating sessions?2,000 on average at smaller negotiating sessions.
7,000 on average at Conferences of the Parties and Conferences of the Parties serving as the Meeting of the Parties to the Kyoto Protocol. The decisions at COPs are taken by governments. On average, 40% and 60% of the overall number of participants at UNFCCC meetings are representatives of the UNFCCC's over 1,500 admitted observer organisations.
How many negotiating sessions are there per year?4 a year, on average, in recent years. The Rules of Procedure provide for two sessional periods per year. Ordinary sessions of the COP are held once every year, and the SBSTA and the SBI usually meet twice a year, once in conjunction with sessions of the COP. If countries feel they need more time to complete their mandated work before a COP, they request and agree on additional sessions.
Which COP is this year's COP?20th. In December 2014, Peru will host COP20 in Lima.
Which CMP is this year's CMP?10th. The meeting of the Parties to the Kyoto Protocol takes place simultaneously with the meeting of the COP.

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