Tony Abbott plans to nationalise the carbon credits farmers could earn for storing carbon in soils in the same way the Howard Government nationalised the carbon that farmers were forced to store by the native vegetation laws. "Tony wants farmers to help the government meet its 2020 target for free," says Michael Kiely from the Carbon Farming & Trading Association. At a public forum in Tamworth a farmer asked Tony what the deal would be for soil carbon. He must have been astonished to hear Tony say that not all landholders are motivated by financial incentives. "A lot of people are doing it without any payment from government," he said. Maybe, but only people with significant off-farm income. "I was on Jock Laurie's property near Walcha," says Tony. "Jock is increasing the carbon content of his soil and again he's doing it because he thinks it's worth doing without any additional incentive from government." Nationals Senator Barnaby Joyce stood by while Tony Abbott gave his answer to the question: Can farmers get a square deal from the Opposition? Tony Abbott: "So we're going to go to the market and we're going to spend as little as we need to to get the result we want." Can the price get lower than $0?
The A1FI scenario, considered in the most recent report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), represents the upper bound of predicted carbon emissions. The researchers, from the National Centre for Atmospheric Research, Colorado, and the Institute for Atmospheric and Climate Science, Zurich, created two hypothetical high carbon emission scenarios and compared their effects to the existing emission scenarios. The first scenario created, CurrentMix, assumed that global energy behaviour would remain constant but that the global population would rise to 11 billion by 2100. The increase in carbon emissions envisaged in the A1FI scenario would be doubled by the end of the century. The second scenario, AllCoal, was designed as a thought experiment to exceed all likely emissions for the remainder of the century. This scenario assumed that the global population would increase to 15 billion by 2100 and that demand for fuel sources would increase, with more demand placed on coal -- the fuel with the highest amount of carbon per unit of energy. This would result in four times the increase in carbon emissions envisaged in the A1FI scenario.
According to the researchers' computer simulations, the major differences between each scenario would begin to materialise towards the end of the 21st century. By 2100, the AllCoal and CurrentMix scenarios would produce a warming of over 12 Kelvin (K) in the Arctic regions, with global sea levels rising by 33 cm and 27 cm respectively due to the thermal expansion of the oceans. The A1FI scenario showed a 21 cm increase in sea levels; however the figures did not account for melting ice-sheets, which could increase sea levels by large amounts. The AllCoal scenario projected a complete loss of summer Arctic sea ice by 2070. Each of the scenarios showed the typical pattern of increased rainfall towards the poles and drying subtropics. For example, the AllCoal scenario showed a 30-80 per cent precipitation reduction in Southern Europe, Central America, and Southern Australia as well as increases of 50-200 per cent in the Arctic and Antarctic regions, Northern Canada and Siberia.
The increase in most regions' maximum temperatures went up by a factor of two in the AllCoal scenario; however some regions showed a considerably larger increase. In particular, the maximum summer temperatures in Northern Europe increased by 6-7 K by 2100. Lead author Dr Ben Sanderson said, "Our study considered a future in which fossil fuel availability is completely unrestricted and climate change is unmitigated, resulting in significant additional warming above the entire range of scenarios considered in the Fourth Assessment Report of the IPCC."
"This study showed us that the model behaves on a global scale largely as we would expect."
Email or share this story:
The above story is reprinted (with editorial adaptations by ScienceDaily staff) from materials provided by Institute of Physics.
- Benjamin M Sanderson et al. The response of the climate system to very high greenhouse gas emission scenarios. Environmental Research Letters, 6 034005, July 5, 2011 DOI: 10.1088/1748-9326/6/3/034005