The intensification of the carbon cycle and requirements for climate stabilization (10353)
Atmospheric concentrations of greenhouse gases continue to increase due to human activities, now at levels higher that any other time during the last 800,000 years. Anthropogenic carbon dioxide emissions have now passed the mark of 10 billion tons of carbon per year and growing at 2.5% per year. This global anthropogenic CO2 perturbation has also led to the creation of carbon sinks in the ocean and on land, which slow down climate change. The future dynamics of these sinks are paramount in determining the level of climate change. Current declining efficiency in the ocean sinks and higher inter-annual variability in the lands sinks provide insights in their future dynamics.
Pathways to climate stabilization require both an understanding of emissions and sink. The Representative Concentration Pathways are the basis for IPCC to explore plausible futures. Compatible emissions for the various pathways provide the overarching framework for assessing the volume of carbon mitigation required for a given target. Special emphasis will be given for the mitigation requirements to keep global temperatures below 2°C (above pre-industrial).