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Comparison of Physically- and Economically-based Co2-equivalences for Methane : Volume 3, Issue 1 (22/05/2012)

By Boucher, O.

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Book Id: WPLBN0004007181
Format Type: PDF Article :
File Size: Pages 13
Reproduction Date: 2015

Title: Comparison of Physically- and Economically-based Co2-equivalences for Methane : Volume 3, Issue 1 (22/05/2012)  
Author: Boucher, O.
Volume: Vol. 3, Issue 1
Language: English
Subject: Science, Earth, System
Collections: Periodicals: Journal and Magazine Collection, Copernicus GmbH
Publication Date:
Publisher: Copernicus Gmbh, Göttingen, Germany
Member Page: Copernicus Publications


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Boucher, O. (2012). Comparison of Physically- and Economically-based Co2-equivalences for Methane : Volume 3, Issue 1 (22/05/2012). Retrieved from

Description: Laboratoire de Météorologie Dynamique, Institut Pierre Simon Laplace, CNRS – UMR8539, Université Pierre et Marie Curie, 4 place Jussieu, 75252 Paris Cedex 05, France. There is a controversy on the role methane (and other short-lived species) should play in climate mitigation policies, and there is no consensus on what an optimal methane CO2-equivalence should be. We revisit this question by discussing some aspects of physically-based (i.e. global- warming potential or GWP and global temperature change potential or GTP) and socio-economically-based climate metrics. To this effect we use a simplified global damage potential (GDP) that was introduced by earlier authors and investigate the uncertainties in the methane CO2-equivalence that arise from physical and socio-economic factors. The median value of the methane GDP comes out very close to the widely used methane 100-yr GWP because of various compensating effects. However, there is a large spread in possible methane CO2-equivalences from this metric (1–99% interval: 10.0–42.5; 5–95% interval: 12.5–38.0) that is essentially due to the choice in some socio-economic parameters (i.e. the damage cost function and the discount rate). The main factor differentiating the methane 100-yr GTP from the methane 100-yr GWP and the GDP is the fact that the former metric is an end-point metric, whereas the latter are cumulative metrics. There is some rationale for an increase in the methane CO2-equivalence in the future as global warming unfolds, as implied by a convex damage function in the case of the GDP metric. We also show that a methane CO2-equivalence based on a pulse emission is sufficient to inform multi-year climate policies and emissions reductions, as long as there is enough visibility on CO2 prices and CO2-equivalences for the stakeholders.

Comparison of physically- and economically-based CO2-equivalences for methane

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