Natural Resources Research

, Volume 19, Issue 2, pp 63–81 | Cite as

Validity of the Fossil Fuel Production Outlooks in the IPCC Emission Scenarios

  • Mikael HöökEmail author
  • Anders Sivertsson
  • Kjell Aleklett


Anthropogenic global warming caused by CO2 emissions is strongly and fundamentally linked to future energy production. The Special Report on Emission Scenarios (SRES) from 2000 contains 40 scenarios for future fossil fuel production and is used by the IPCC to assess future climate change. Previous scenarios were withdrawn after exaggerating one or several trends. This study investigates underlying assumptions on resource availability and future production expectations to determine whether exaggerations can be found in the present set of emission scenarios as well. It is found that the SRES unnecessarily takes an overoptimistic stance and that future production expectations are leaning toward spectacular increases from present output levels. In summary, we can only encourage the IPCC to involve more resource experts and natural science in future emission scenarios. The current set, SRES, is biased toward exaggerated resource availability and unrealistic expectations on future production outputs from fossil fuels.


SRES emission scenarios future fossil fuel production 



The authors thank Dr. Herbert West for valuable inspiration, as well as Dave Rutledge for good and constructive discussions. Larry Hughes has our sincerest appreciation for proofreading.


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Copyright information

© International Association for Mathematical Geology 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Mikael Höök
    • 1
    Email author
  • Anders Sivertsson
    • 1
  • Kjell Aleklett
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Physics and Astronomy, Global Energy SystemsUppsala UniversityUppsalaSweden

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