04 Jun 2020

04 Jun 2020

Review status: this preprint is currently under review for the journal ESSD.

Country resolved combined emission and socio-economic pathways based on the RCP and SSP scenarios

Johannes Gütschow1, M. Louise Jeffery1,3, Annika Günther1, and Malte Meinshausen2 Johannes Gütschow et al.
  • 1Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research, Telegraphenberg, Potsdam, Germany
  • 2Climate & Energy College, School of Earth Sciences, The University of Melbourne, Australia
  • 3ewClimate Institute, Berlin, Germany

Abstract. Climate policy analysis needs reference scenarios to assess emissions targets and current trends. When presenting their national climate policies, countries often showcase their target trajectories against fictitious so-called baselines. These counterfactual scenarios are meant to present future Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions in the absence of climate policy. These so-called baselines presented by countries are often of limited use as they can be exaggerated and the methodology used to derive them is usually not transparent. Scenarios created by independent modeling groups using integrated assessment models (IAMs) can provide different interpretations of several socio-economic storylines and can provide a more realistic backdrop against which the projected target emission trajectory can be assessed. However, the IAMs are limited in regional resolution. This resolution is further reduced in intercomparison studies as data for a common set of regions are produced by aggregating the underlying smaller regions. Thus, the data are not readily available for country-specific policy analysis. This gap is closed by downscaling regional IAM scenarios to country-level. The last of such efforts has been performed for the SRES scenarios (Special Report on Emissions Scenarios), which are over a decade old by now. CMIP6 scenarios have been downscaled to a grid, however they cover only a few combinations of forcing levels and SSP storylines with only a single model per combination. Here, we provide up to date country scenarios, downscaled from the full RCP (Representative Concentration Pathways) and SSP (Shared Socio-Economic Pathways) scenario databases, using results from the SSP GDP (Gross Domestic Product) country model results as drivers for the downscaling process. The data is available at (Gütschow et al., 2020).

Johannes Gütschow et al.

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Johannes Gütschow et al.

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Country resolved combined emission and socio-economic pathways based on the RCP and SSP scenarios J. Gütschow, M. L. Jeffery, A. Günther, and M. Meinshausen

Johannes Gütschow et al.


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Short summary
Climate policy analysis needs scenarios of future greenhouse gas emission to assess countries' emissions targets and current trends. The models generating these scenarios work on a regional resolution. Scenarios are often made available only on a very coarse regional resolution. In this paper we use per country projections of gross domestic product (GDP) from the Shared Socioeconomic Pathways (SSPs) to derive country level data from published regional emissions scenarios.