Climate Change 2001:
Synthesis Report
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Figure 1-1: Climate change- an integrated framework. Schematic and simplified representation of an integrated assessment framework for considering anthropogenic climate change. The yellow arrows show a full clockwise cycle of cause and effect among the four quadrants shown in the figure, while the blue arrow indicates the societal response to climate change impacts. For both developed and developing countries, each socio-economic development path explored in the Special Report on Emissions Scenarios has driving forces which give rise to emissions of greenhouse gases, aerosols, and precursors -- with carbon dioxide (CO2 ) being the most important. The greenhouse gas emissions accumulate in the atmosphere, changing concentrations and disturbing the natural balances, depending on physical processes such as solar radiation, cloud formation, and rainfall. The aerosols also give rise to air pollution (e.g., acid rain) that damage human and the natural systems (not shown). The enhanced greenhouse effect will initiate climate changes well into the future with associated impacts on the natural and human systems. There is a possibility of some feedback between the changes in these systems and the climate (not shown), such as albedo effects from changing land use, and other, perhaps larger, interactions between the systems and atmospheric emissions (e.g., effects of changes in land use (again not shown)). These changes will ultimately have effects on socio-economic development paths. The development paths also have direct effects on the natural systems (shown by the anti-clockwise arrow from the development box) such as changes in land use leading to deforestation. This figure illustrates that the various dimensions of the climate change issue exist in a dynamic cycle, characterized by significant time delays. Both emissions and impacts, for example, are linked in complex ways to underlying socio-economic and technological development paths. A major contribution of the TAR has been to explicitly consider the bottom righthand domain (shown as a rectangle) by examining the relationships between greenhouse gas emissions and development paths (in SRES), and by assessing preliminary work on the linkage between adaptation, mitigation, and development paths (WGII and WGIII). However, the TAR does not achieve a fully integrated assessment of climate change, since not all components of the cycle were able to be linked dynamically. Adaptation and mitigation are shown as modifying the effects shown in the figure.

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