Posted: November 9th, 2015

Climate change

Section I. What would happen to CO2 in the atmosphere if all countries stopped their emissions growth this year (2015)? That is, what if all countries kept their emissions at today’s levels into the future?

To find out, follow these steps:

1. First set the “Reduction Start Year” to 2015 for all 3 country groups (Developed, Developing A, and Developing B).

2. Then set the “Stop Growth Year” to 2015 for all 3 country groups.

3. Then click “Run.”

Answer these questions:

I.1 What happens to CO2 Concentration in the Atmosphere?

I.2 What is the ending value of CO2 concentration in 2100?

I.3 What happens to Temperature change?

Section II. What would it take to get CO2 concentrations down to 450 parts per million or below by 2100?

To explore the possibilities, follow these steps:

1. First set the “Reduction Start Year” to 2015 for all 3 country groups (Developed, Developing A, and Developing B).

2. Then set the “Stop Growth Year” to 2015 for all 3 country groups.

3. For one of the country groups, then set the “Percent Annual Reduction” to some number between 1 and 10. This the percent by which the countries in that group would have to reduce their emissions each year. One way to think about this is that if fuel efficiency stayed the same, people in the US would have to reduce the total amount of miles they drive in the year by that percent or more (since the population keeps growing) per year. Or, fuel efficiency would have to increase by that percent or more each year. A number closer to 1% is probably more realistic than a number closer to 10% per year.

4. Then click “Run.”

5. What happens to the CO2 concentration?

6. If it isn’t where you want it, try something else, either a different Percent Reduction or adding reductions for other country groups.

7. Experiment with changing the Deforestation and Afforestation rates. How do these affect the CO2 concentration?

Find at least two different ways to get the CO2 Concentration in the Atmosphere down to 450 ppm or below by 2100.

II.1 Explain what you did for the first scenario and the result you got. Discuss how realistic you think this would be.

II.2 Explain what you did for the second scenario and the result you got. Discuss how realistic you think this would be.

Section III. In a paragraph or so, describe the overall message you got from this exercise.

III.1 Describe the overall message you got from this exercise.

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