CCIS 2020 Background

Project Summary

The Paris Agreement, within the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, sets a global temperature increase target of well below 2°C and encourages efforts to limit the increase to 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels. To limit warming to these levels, climate intervention strategies may be necessary in addition to large scale mitigation and adaptation efforts. In July 2019, the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) hosted an internal workshop on climate intervention strategies, including mitigation, greenhouse gas removal, solar radiation management and more. This workshop discussed the current status of activities at NCAR to holistically evaluate the effectiveness of climate intervention strategies, including their intended and unintended impacts and the need for more integrative research. The goals of the first workshop were to increase topical communication across UCAR and NCAR labs, to identify new cross-lab collaborations surrounding climate intervention strategies, and to discuss how best NCAR and UCAR can contribute to this topic within the wider research community. (See NCIS Workshop 2019)

The first workshop concluded that there is an urgent need to explore climate intervention strategies by considering a portfolio of options. This requires a unifying strategy that streamlines and connects the various ongoing research efforts of currently disparate communities. This will enable the creation of end-to-end assessments of proposed scenario approaches, for which a framework is currently missing. We therefore propose to bring experts from different related communities and research groups together, and discuss the development of a unifying framework during the Community Climate Intervention Strategies Workshop from April 15-17, 2020 at NCAR Boulder.

A unifying framework is needed to 1) develop future scenarios that integrate mitigation, greenhouse gas removal and solar radiation management in a way that is informative for policy and social science research purposes, 2) facilitate collaboration on the development of methods for impact analysis—common metrics and shared datasets for the assessment of risks, benefits, limitations and uncertainties of different strategies, and 3) foster communication across communities to ensure that research aims and methodologies balance the priorities of the multiple communities and stakeholders involved. Collaboration with experts in governance, ethics, and end-to-end assessments is vital to ensure that scenario development, proposed modeling efforts, laboratory studies, outdoor experiments, and impact assessments are informed by societal values from the beginning. This includes informing the process from development of initial research questions through to the end of scientific studies, and concludes with communicating outcomes for policy and societal decisions.

This workshop will bring together participants that are explicitly interested in climate interventions. It will include experts from different key areas:

  • Mitigation,
  • Carbon Dioxide Removal (CDR),
  • Solar Radiation Management (SRM),
  • Integrated Assessment Modeling (IAM),
  • Laboratory and Field Tests, and Observations,
  • Impacts on Ecosystems and Society,
  • Governance and Ethics,
  • Communication, Education & Outreach, and
  • End-to-End Assessment.

We want to also include persons with experience in studying, developing and managing interdisciplinary projects that cut across the natural sciences, social sciences, and humanities. The workshop will address these issues from a global perspective, and encourage attendees from multiple nations including developing countries,  and the Global South, and stakeholders from underrepresented groups.

The envisioned outcomes of the workshop include a recommendation for establishing a unifying framework, the development of a draft of such a framework, the initial formation of cross-disciplinary working groups, the definition of long-term goals of the framework, and an initial timeline and milestones. Additional outcomes include the identification of funding needs and possible funding sources, plans for specific project proposals, a meeting report, and publication of workshop proceedings and future plans in a relevant professional journal.




ACOM | Atmospheric Chemistry Observations & Modeling