The Contribution of Non-CO2 Greenhouse Gas Mitigation to Achieving Long-Term Temperature Goals
- First, to demonstrate how an integrated assessment model (TIAM-Grantham) representing CO2 emissions (and their mitigation) from the energy and industrial sectors is coupled with a model covering non-CO2 emissions (GAINS) in order to provide a complete picture of GHG emissions in a reference scenario in which there is no mitigation of either CO2 or non-CO2 gases, as well as in scenarios in which both CO2 and non-CO2 gases are mitigated in order to achieve different LTTGs.
- Second, to demonstrate the degree of indirect mitigation of non-CO2 gases that results from mitigation of CO2 sources. This principally applies to methane (CH4) emission reductions which result from reduced extraction and distribution of fossil fuels in CO2 mitigation scenarios which see a shift from fossil fuel energy sources to renewables and nuclear.
- Third, to analyse the costs associated with mitigating non-CO2 GHGs to varying degrees, by considering different levels of CO2e prices applied to the non-CO2 GHG-emitting sectors, relative to the CO2 prices that result from the CO2 mitigation scenarios. This provides a picture of the marginal impact (in terms of temperature change in 2100) of varying the relative degree of effort in mitigating non-CO2 gases when compared to CO2 mitigation effort.
2. Materials and Methods
- For each LTTG (in this study 2100 temperature change levels of 2, 2.5 and 4 °C are assessed) a cumulative 2000–2100 global CO2 budget for the fossil fuel and industrial (FFI) sectors has been estimated from a simple interpolation of the budget from the Representative Concentration Pathways (RCPs) and projections of their corresponding global temperature change when simulated with a probabilistic version of the Model for Greenhouse gas Induced Climate Change (MAGICC) (as detailed in ) using a distribution of equilibrium climate sensitivity from the Fifth Coupled Model inter-comparison Project (CMIP5), as detailed in ;
- The TIAM-Grantham model has been used to produce an unmitigated reference scenario, as well as mitigation scenarios based on these estimated CO2 budgets, using a standard set of socio-economic drivers, specifically the OECD variant of the Shared Socio-Economic Pathways 2 (SSP2), which has been used in order to represent a future world in which recent socio-economic trends continue ;
- The GAINS model, also using SSP2 socio-economic inputs, as well as energy price and fossil fuel supply and demand outputs from the TIAM-Grantham model scenarios, has been used to produce a “baseline” level of non-CO2 emissions for each TIAM-Grantham scenario, as well as marginal abatement cost (MAC) curves for each ten-year time point (2020, 2030, 2040, etc.) for each non-CO2 GHG species (Methane (CH4), Nitrous Oxide (N2O), Fluorinated gases (F-gases, which are perfluorocarbons, PFCs, Sulphur hexafluoride, SF6, and hydrofluorocarbons, HFCs));
- For each scenario, the 2100 temperature when mitigating non-CO2 GHGs to different prices (on a GWP100 basis, with prices relative to the CO2 price for each TIAM-Grantham scenario) has been calculated, using the same version of the MAGICC used to estimate the initial CO2 budgets;
- Where the non-CO2 and CO2 prices are equal, if there is a major (in this case, greater than 0.1 °C) difference in the calculated 2100 temperature change relative to the initially-intended LTTG, a revision to the initial CO2 budget has been made and the process repeated.
3.1. Mitigation of Non-CO2 Emissions
3.2. Costs of Mitigation Considering Non-CO2 Gases
- For CH4, increased recycling and energy recovery of biodegradable solid waste instead of landfill, reduced leakage from gas pipelines in Russia and Eastern Europe, extended recovery of associated waste gas from gas and oil production, and farm-scale anaerobic digestion of manure on large pig farms;
- For N2O, reduced emissions from nitric acid production through improved technologies and catalytic reduction, as well as optimised wastewater treatment practices and improved fertiliser application regimes in agriculture;
- For F-gases, reduction of leakage of HFCs from refrigeration, as well as replacement of HFCs with low-GWP alternatives in refrigeration and air conditioning.
Conflicts of Interest
Appendix A. Source and Mitigation Options for non-CO2 Greenhouse Gases
|Non-CO2 Gas||% of Total GHG Emissions in 2010||Major Sources||Mitigation Options for Each Major Source|
GWP100: 34 (Reference , Table 8.7, p 714)
|20%||Livestock (enteric fermentation and manure management)||Anaerobic digestion of manure with biogas capture and utilization;|
Animal diet changes
|Rice cultivation||Field water management|
|Crop residue burning||Baling/mulching of crop residue|
|Source separation, recycling and treatment of biodegradable waste instead of landfill;|
Extending wastewater treatment from primary to secondary/tertiary
|Fugitive emissions from coal, oil and gas extraction, transmission and distribution||Reduced venting of associated waste gas from oil and gas production;|
Leakage control at oil and gas wells and from gas transmission and distribution networks;
Pre-mining degasification of coal mines;
Ventilation air methane oxidation on underground coal mine shafts
|Nitrous oxide (N2O)|
GWP100: 298 (Reference , Table 8.7, p 714)
|6%||Agricultural soils||Improved N use efficiency;|
Precision nitrogen application
|Combustion stationary sources||Modified fluidized bed combustion|
|Nitric and adipic acid production||Catalytic reduction;|
Twin reduction technology
|Fluorinated Gases (F-gases) (Hydro-fluorcarbons: HFCs, Perfluorocarbons: PFCs and Sulphur hexafluoride: SF6)|
GWP100: as presented in Reference , Supplementary material, Table 8.SM.16, p 8SM-24.
|2%||Perfluorocarbons (CF4 and C2F6) from primary aluminium production;|
Perfluorocarbons (PFCs) from semiconductor industry
|Conversion to point-feeder prebake technology;|
Retrofit of aluminium plants with new anode materials;
Replace PFCs with NF3 in semiconductor industry
|Sulphur hexafluoride (SF6) from insulation for medium and high voltage switchgear||Good practice leak control and SF6 recycling|
|SF6 from magnesium casting||Replacement with SO2|
|SF6 from soundproof windows||Ban on use of SF6 in soundproof windows|
|Hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) from: ||Replacing HFC with low-GWP alternatives;|
Ban on use of HFCs;
Incineration of HFC-23 emissions from HCFC-22 production
Appendix B. Deriving Temperature Goal-Consistent 21st Century CO2 Budgets and Emissions Profiles
- Projections of global temperature change for the four RCPs is made using emissions relating to the RCPs . Emissions are used rather than concentrations as this takes fuller account of uncertainty carbon cycle feedbacks. Following Bernie and Lowe , probabilistic projections are made using values of equilibrium climate sensitivity from models in the fifth Coupled Model Inter-comparison Project (CMIP5)  along with uncertainty distributions of ocean mixing and carbon cycle feedbacks.
- In each year land use emissions of CO2 are linearly interpolated from the RCPs on the basis of each RCP’s median 2100 projected temperature and the intended LTTG of the scenario.
- Initial estimates of 21st century cumulative CO2 emissions from the FFI sectors are also linearly interpolated from the RCPs on the basis of future temperature projections and the new scenario’s LTTG.
- The cumulative CO2 FFI budget thus derived from the RCP projections is then used to calculate emissions of CO2 from FFI, CH4, N2O and F-gases:
- time profile of CO2 emissions from FFI is then calculated from the cumulative CO2 FFI along with a carbon price profile;
- The CO2 FFI emissions profile and aspects of the underlying energy system structure (in particular the fossil fuel energy mix) are then passed to GAINS to calculate non-CO2 GHG no-mitigation scenarios and corresponding MAC curves;
- The CO2 FFI profile from TIAM-Grantham and the non-CO2 GHG no-mitigation scenarios and MAC curves from GAINS are then used to calculate the emissions of CH4, N2O and total F-Gas emissions, at different levels of CO2e price applied to the non-CO2 GHGs (using GWP100 values).
- Individual F-gas emissions are then needed, but the constituent F-gases in the categories used by GAINS do not exactly match those used by MAGICC. Whilst this has a very small influence on the overall CO2e emissions, the individual gas species are needed by MAGICC. To estimate emissions of individual F-gases it is assumed that the relative emissions rate of each F-gas to the total F-gas emissions will change with time in line with the “unmitigated” RCP 8.5 scenario. Based on this assumption the emissions of each F-gas in RCP 8.5 are scaled by a ratio of the total F-gas emissions from GAINS to the total F-gas emissions in the unmitigated reference scenario. So for example if the F-gas emissions from GAINS are 20% of the unmitigated F-gas emissions for that scenario, then this factor is applied to emissions of each individual F-gas from RCP 8.5. This approach circumvents the issue of different gases being included in the calculation by GAINS and those needed by MAGICC. While other assumptions are possible, given the relatively small effect of differences in F-gas emissions between the RCPs, this is an appropriate level of detail for the scope of the current study.
- The emissions of non-Kyoto GHG and other gases needed by MAGICC (principally NOx, CO, NMVOC, SO2) are all based on the ratio of the emissions of each gas to the emissions of CO2 from the FFI sector in the RCPs being applied to the CO2 FFI emissions from TIAM-Grantham. For example if the CO2 FFI emissions from GAINS in a given year where 80% of the way between RCP 4.5 and RCP 6.0, the SO2 emissions would be the product of the CO2 FFI from TIAM-Grantham multiplied by a weighted mean of the ratio of SO2 to CO2 FFI in those two RCPs, with four times more weight given to the ratio from RCP 6.0.
- Projected median 2100 temperature change is then calculated and if within 0.1 °C of the original LTTG, the CO2 FFI budget is accepted, or else the CO2 budget for the scenario is re-estimated, before repeating the above procedure to re-calculate 2100 median temperature change.
Appendix C. Decomposition of CO2 Emissions in (Unmitigated) Reference Scenario
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|Scenario||CO2 Cumulative Budget Estimate (2000–2100), GtCO2||Subsequent Calculation of 2100 Median Temperature Change in MAGICC, °C|
|Baseline||No budget constraint—results in cumulative CO2 of 6000 GtCO2||4.62|
|2 °C with delayed action to 2020||1340||2.00|
|2.5 °C with delayed action to 2020||2260||2.45|
|4 °C with delayed action to 2020||5280||3.88|
|N2O||Nitrification inhibitors in agriculture|
|PFCs||-||Replace PFCs with NF3 in semiconductor industry||-||Inert anodes in primary aluminium production|
|SF6||Leakage control of SF6 in mid-high voltage switches||-||-||-|
|HFCs||End-of-life recollection of HFCs in domestic refrigeration||Replace HFCs with CO2 in refrigeration in industry and transport||Replace HFCs with CO2 in ground source heat pumps, air conditioning and commercial refrigeration|
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Gambhir, A.; Napp, T.; Hawkes, A.; Höglund-Isaksson, L.; Winiwarter, W.; Purohit, P.; Wagner, F.; Bernie, D.; Lowe, J. The Contribution of Non-CO2 Greenhouse Gas Mitigation to Achieving Long-Term Temperature Goals. Energies 2017, 10, 602. https://doi.org/10.3390/en10050602
Gambhir A, Napp T, Hawkes A, Höglund-Isaksson L, Winiwarter W, Purohit P, Wagner F, Bernie D, Lowe J. The Contribution of Non-CO2 Greenhouse Gas Mitigation to Achieving Long-Term Temperature Goals. Energies. 2017; 10(5):602. https://doi.org/10.3390/en10050602Chicago/Turabian Style
Gambhir, Ajay, Tamaryn Napp, Adam Hawkes, Lena Höglund-Isaksson, Wilfried Winiwarter, Pallav Purohit, Fabian Wagner, Dan Bernie, and Jason Lowe. 2017. "The Contribution of Non-CO2 Greenhouse Gas Mitigation to Achieving Long-Term Temperature Goals" Energies 10, no. 5: 602. https://doi.org/10.3390/en10050602