Annex D. Scientific, Technical, and Socio-Economic Questions Selected by the
What can scientific, technical, and socio-economic analyses contribute
to the determination of what constitutes dangerous anthropogenic interference
with the climate system as referred to in Article 2 of the Framework Convention
on Climate Change?
What is the evidence for, causes of, and consequences of changes in the
Earth's climate since the pre-industrial era?
||Has the Earth's climate changed since the pre-industrial era at the regional
and/or global scale? If so, what part, if any, of the observed changes can
be attributed to human influence and what part, if any, can be attributed
to natural phenomena? What is the basis for that attribution?
||What is known about the environmental, social, and economic consequences
of climate changes since the preindustrial era with an emphasis on the last
What is known about the regional and global climatic, environmental, and socio-economic
consequences in the next 25, 50, and 100 years associated with a range of greenhouse
gas emissions arising from scenarios used in the TAR (projections which involve
no climate policy intervention)?
- To the extent possible evaluate the:
- Projected changes in atmospheric concentrations, climate, and sea level
- Impacts and economic costs and benefits of changes in climate and atmospheric
composition on human health, diversity and productivity of ecological systems,
and socioeconomic sectors (particularly agriculture and water)
- The range of options for adaptation, including the costs, benefits, and
- Development, sustainability, and equity issues associated with impacts and
adaptation at a regional and global level.
What is known about the influence of the increasing atmospheric concentrations
of greenhouse gases and aerosols, and the projected human-induced change in
climate regionally and globally on:
||The frequency and magnitude of climate fluctuations, including daily,
seasonal, inter-annual, and decadal variability, such as the El Niņo Southern
Oscillation cycles and others?
||The duration, location, frequency, and intensity of extreme events such
as heat waves, droughts, floods, heavy precipitation, avalanches, storms,
tornadoes, and tropical cyclones?
||The risk of abrupt/non-linear changes in, among others, the sources and
sinks of greenhouse gases, ocean circulation, and the extent of polar ice
and permafrost? If so, can the risk be quantified?
||The risk of abrupt or non-linear changes in ecological systems?
What is known about the inertia and time scales associated with the changes
in the climate system, ecological systems, and socio-economic sectors and their
||How does the extent and timing of the introduction of a range of emissions
reduction actions determine and affect the rate, magnitude, and impacts
of climate change, and affect the global and regional economy, taking into
account the historical and current emissions?
What is known from sensitivity studies about regional and global climatic,
environmental, and socio-economic consequences of stabilizing the atmospheric
concentrations of greenhouse gases (in carbon dioxide equivalents), at
a range of levels from today's to double that level or more, taking into
account to the extent possible the effects of aerosols? For each stabilization
scenario, including different pathways to stabilization, evaluate the
range of costs and benefits, relative to the range of scenarios considered
in Question 3, in terms of:
- Projected changes in atmospheric concentrations, climate, and sea
level, including changes beyond 100 years
- Impacts and economic costs and benefits of changes in climate and
atmospheric composition on human health, diversity and productivity
of ecological systems, and socio-economic sectors (particularly agriculture
- The range of options for adaptation, including the costs, benefits,
- The range of technologies, policies, and practices that could be used
to achieve each of the stabilization levels, with an evaluation of the
national and global costs and benefits, and an assessment of how these
costs and benefits would compare, either qualitatively or quantitatively,
to the avoided environmental harm that would be achieved by the emissions
- Development, sustainability, and equity issues associated with impacts,
adaptation, and mitigation at a regional and global level.
What is known about the potential for, and costs and benefits of, and time frame
for reducing greenhouse gas emissions?
- What would be the economic and social costs and benefits and equity implications
of options for policies and measures, and the mechanisms of the Kyoto Protocol,
that might be considered to address climate change regionally and globally?
- What portfolios of options of research and development, investments, and
other policies might be considered that would be most effective to enhance
the development and deployment of technologies that address climate change?
- What kind of economic and other policy options might be considered to remove
existing and potential barriers and to stimulate private- and public-sector
technology transfer and deployment among countries, and what effect might
these have on projected emissions?
- How does the timing of the options contained in the above affect associated
economic costs and benefits, and the
- atmospheric concentrations of greenhouse gases over the next century and
What is known about the interactions between projected human-induced changes
in climate and other environmental issues (e.g., urban air pollution, regional
acid deposition, loss of biological diversity, stratospheric ozone depletion,
and desertification and land degradation)? What is known about environmental,
social, and economic costs and benefits and implications of these interactions
for integrating climate change response strategies in an equitable manner into
broad sustainable development strategies at the local, regional, and global
What are the most robust findings and key uncertainties regarding attribution
of climate change and regarding model projections of:
- Future emissions of greenhouse gases and aerosols?
- Future concentrations of greenhouse gases and aerosols?
- Future changes in regional and global climate?
- Regional and global impacts of climate change?
- Costs and benefits of mitigation and adaptation options?