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Elzen MGJ den , Rotmans J , Vloedbeld M

57 p in Dutch   1991

Toon Nederlands

English Abstract
Within the climate system feedback mechanisms that amplify or damp the climate response to enhanced concentrations of greenhouse gases from anthropogenic pertubations, play a crucial role. Quite a lot of these feedbacks are known, but most of them only potentially. This article evaluates the role of a number of these feedback processes within the climate system. In order to assess their impact the feedbacks which at present can be quantified reasonably are built into the Integrated Model to Assess the Greenhouse Effect: IMAGE. Contrary to previous studies, this study describes the scenario- and time dependent role of biogeochemical feedbacks. A number of simulation experiments are performed with IMAGE to make future projections of climate change. Besides estimates of their absolute importance, also the relative importance of individual biogeochemical feedbacks is considered, by calculating the gain for each feedback process. We focus on the feedback processed in the carbon cycle and the methane (semi-)cycle. With respect to the carbon cycle we use the modelled feedbacks to balance the past and present carbon budget. For atmospheric carbon dioxide this results in substantially lower projections than the IPCC-estimates: for the IPCC 'Business-as-Usual' scenario the difference is about 9%. For the IPCC 'Business-as-usual' scenario the calculated total gain of the feedbacks within the carbon cycle appear to be negative, caused by the dominant role of the fertilization feedback. As to the methane feedbacks, this study shows that, if temperature feedbacks on methane emissions from wetlands, rice paddies and hdyrates do materialize, the methane concentration might be enhanced with 80% in 2100. The total effect of the methane feedbacks and the carbon dioxide feedbacks modelled, can be expressed in the carbon dioxide equivalent concentrations. Our simulated CO2-equivalent concentrations are about the same as the IPCC-estimates. This has to do with the resulting positive gain of the methane feedbacks, counteracting the negative gain of the feedbacks within the carbon cycle at the end of the next century. Over the whole period, however, the total gain of all feedbacks modelled appears to be negative for the IPCC 'Business-as-Usual' scenario.


RIVM - Bilthoven - the Netherlands - www.rivm.nl

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RIVM - Bilthoven - Nederland - www.rivm.nl

( 1991-09-30 )