IPCC Fourth Assessment Report: Climate Change 2007
Climate Change 2007: Working Group II: Impacts, Adaptation and Vulnerability

Non-climate scenarios

While the CCIAV studies reported in the TAR typically applied one or more climate scenarios, very few applied contemporaneous scenarios of socio-economic, land-use or other environmental changes. Those that did used a range of sources to develop them. In contrast, AR4 studies which include SRES assumptions may now have several estimates, taking into account different storylines. The role of non-climate drivers such as technological change and regional land-use policy is shown in some studies to be more important in determining outcomes than climate change [2.4.6].

Scenarios of CO2 concentration are required in some studies, as elevated concentrations can affect the acidity of the oceans and the growth and water use of many terrestrial plants. The observed CO2 concentration in 2005 was about 380 ppm and was projected in the TAR using the Bern-CC model to rise to the following levels by the year 2100 for the SRES marker scenarios – B1: 540 ppm (range 486-681 ppm); A1T: 575 (506-735); B2: 611 (544-769); A1B: 703 (617-918); A2: 836 (735-1,080); A1FI: 958 (824-1,248) ppm. Values similar to these reference levels are commonly adopted in SRES-based impact studies []. Moreover, a multi-stressor approach can reveal important regional dependencies between drivers and their impacts (e.g., the combined effects of extreme weather and air-pollution events on human health). This expansion of scenario scope and application has brought into focus the wide range of potential future impacts and their associated uncertainties [2.2.5, 2.5].