Climatic Change

, Volume 123, Issue 3–4, pp 511–525

Non-Kyoto radiative forcing in long-run greenhouse gas emissions and climate change scenarios

  • Steven K. Rose
  • Richard Richels
  • Steve Smith
  • Keywan Riahi
  • Jessica Strefler
  • Detlef P. van Vuuren


Climate policies must consider radiative forcing from Kyoto greenhouse gases, as well as other forcing constituents, such as aerosols and tropospheric ozone that result from air pollutants. Non-Kyoto forcing constituents contribute negative, as well as positive forcing, and overall increases in total forcing result in increases in global average temperature. Non-Kyoto forcing modeling is a relatively new component of climate management scenarios. This paper describes and assesses current non-Kyoto radiative forcing modeling within five integrated assessment models. The study finds negative forcing from aerosols masking (offsetting) approximately 25 % of positive forcing in the near-term in reference non-climate policy projections. However, masking is projected to decline rapidly to 5–10 % by 2100 with increasing Kyoto emissions and assumed reductions in air pollution—with the later declining to as much as 50 % and 80 % below today’s levels by 2050 and 2100 respectively. Together they imply declining importance of non-Kyoto forcing over time. There are however significant uncertainties and large differences across models in projected non-Kyoto emissions and forcing. A look into the modeling reveals differences in base conditions, relationships between Kyoto and non-Kyoto emissions, pollution control assumptions, and other fundamental modeling. In addition, under climate policy scenarios, we find air pollution and resulting non-Kyoto forcing reduced to levels below those produced by air pollution policies alone—e.g., China sulfur emissions fall an additional 45–85 % by 2050. None of the models actively manage non-Kyoto forcing for climate implications. Nonetheless, non-Kyoto forcing may be influencing mitigation results, including allowable carbon dioxide emissions, and further evaluation is merited.

Supplementary material

10584_2013_955_MOESM1_ESM.pdf (438 kb)
ESM 1(PDF 438 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Steven K. Rose
    • 1
  • Richard Richels
    • 1
  • Steve Smith
    • 2
  • Keywan Riahi
    • 3
  • Jessica Strefler
    • 4
  • Detlef P. van Vuuren
    • 5
    • 6
  1. 1.Energy and Environmental Analysis Research GroupElectric Power Research InstituteWashingtonUSA
  2. 2.Pacific Northwest National LaboratoryJoint Global Change Research InstituteCollege ParkUSA
  3. 3.International Institute for Applied Systems AnalysisLaxenburgAustria
  4. 4.Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact ResearchPotsdamGermany
  5. 5.PBL Netherlands Environmental Assessment AgencyBilthovenThe Netherlands
  6. 6.Copernicus Institute, Department of GeosciencesUtrecht UniversityUtrechtThe Netherlands

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