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How China’s Options Will Determine Global Warming
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Department of Nuclear, Plasma, and Radiological Engineering, MC-234, Urbana, IL 61801, USA
Knox Interactive, 11523 State Highway 37, Benton, IL 62812, USA
National University of Singapore, Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy, 469C Bukit Timah Road, Singapore 259772, Singapore
* Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 25 October 2013; in revised form: 12 December 2013 / Accepted: 13 December 2013 / Published: 30 December 2013
Abstract: Carbon dioxide emissions, global average temperature, atmospheric CO2 concentrations, and surface ocean mixed layer acidity are extrapolated using analyses calibrated against extensive time series data for nine global regions. Extrapolation of historical trends without policy-driven limitations has China responsible for about half of global CO2 emissions by the middle of the twenty-first century. Results are presented for three possible actions taken by China to limit global average temperature increase to levels it considers to be to its advantage: (1) Help develop low-carbon energy technology broadly competitive with unbridled carbon emissions from burning fossil fuels; (2) Entice other countries to join in limiting use of what would otherwise be economically competitive fossil fuels; (3) Apply geo-engineering techniques such as stratospheric sulfur injection to limit global average temperature increase, without a major global reduction in carbon emissions. Taking into account China’s expected influence and approach to limiting the impact of anthropogenic climate change allows for a narrower range of possible outcomes than for a set of scenarios that are not constrained by analysis of likely policy-driven limitations. While China could hold back on implementing geoengineering given a remarkable amount of international cooperation on limiting fossil carbon burning, an outcome where geoengineering is used to delay the perceived need to limit the atmospheric CO2 concentration may be difficult to avoid.
Keywords: China; carbon emissions; geo-engineering
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Cite This Article
MDPI and ACS Style
Singer, C.; Milligan, T.; Rethinaraj, T.G. How China’s Options Will Determine Global Warming. Challenges 2014, 5, 1-25.
Singer C, Milligan T, Rethinaraj TG. How China’s Options Will Determine Global Warming. Challenges. 2014; 5(1):1-25.
Singer, Clifford; Milligan, Timothy; Rethinaraj, T.S. G. 2014. "How China’s Options Will Determine Global Warming." Challenges 5, no. 1: 1-25.