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Some six years ago it became evident, given new knowledge and rapid change in the world’s economy and technology, that a new set of scenarios would be required to meet the emerging needs of different scientific communities and the resulting IPCC assessments.In addition, a broad consensus arose across climate change communities that a new approach for developing these scenarios was needed to enhance interactions among the three primary research communities (CM, IAV and IAM) and to adequately address the complexity of the interactions of human decisions about mitigation and adaptation, and about the climate system and climate impacts.
) has been used widely for well over a decade, as the standard for impacts, mitigation and adaptation studies.
The SRES process began with a literature review focused on understanding the range of driving forces affecting emissions of GHGs and other radiatively active substances.
The Aspen Workshop in 2006 (Meehl and Hibbard ) formulated the basic framework that includes the SSPs that are the focus of this special issue.
This new process includes at least two novel features.
This volume reports on a novel and central component of this effort – the development of shared socio-economic development pathways (SSPs).
Emissions scenarios, a precursor of today’s SSPs, have described future emissions of greenhouse gases (GHGs) and other short-lived and long-lived forcings of the physical climate system.
This article is part of the Special Issue on “A Framework for the Development of New Socio-economic Scenarios for Climate Change Research” edited by Nebojsa Nakicenovic, Robert Lempert, and Anthony Janetos.
Historically, scenarios have served multiple uses for climate-related research and decision-making.
All RCPs implicitly include mitigation actions in their formulation that are sufficient to stabilize radiative forcing at the end of the 21st century at different levels, including “overshoot” pathways and net “negative” emissions.
These accomplishments suggest initial success towards the goals of more and faster interactions among the various climate research communities.