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Samset B.H.,CICERO Center for International Climate and Environmental Research | Myhre G.,CICERO Center for International Climate and Environmental Research
Geophysical Research Letters | Year: 2011

A global radiative transfer model is used to calculate the vertical profile of shortwave radiative forcing from a prescribed amount of aerosols. We study black carbon (BC), sulphate (SO 4) and a black and organic carbon mixture typical of biomass burning (BIO), by prescribing aerosol burdens in layers between 1000 hPa and 20 hPa and calculating the resulting direct radiative forcing divided by the burden (NDRF). We find a strong sensitivity in the NDRF for BC with altitude, with a tenfold increase between BC close to the surface and the lower part of the stratosphere. Clouds are a major contributor to this dependence with altitude, but other factors also contribute. We break down and explain the different physical contributors to this strong sensitivity. The results show a modest regional dependence of the altitudinal dependence of BC NDRF between industrial regions, while for regions with properties deviating from the global mean NDRF variability is significant. Variations due to seasons and interannual changes in cloud conditions are found to be small. We explore the effect that large altitudinal variation in NDRF may have on model estimates of BC radiative forcing when vertical aerosol distributions are insufficiently constrained, and discuss possible applications of the present results for reducing inter-model differences. Copyright 2011 by the American Geophysical Union.


Ericson T.,CICERO Center for International Climate and Environmental Research
Applied Energy | Year: 2011

Offering electricity consumers time-differentiated tariffs may reduce peak consumption if consumers choosing the tariffs are demand responsive. However, one concern is that time-differentiated tariffs may attract consumers who benefit without responding to the price, simply because they have a favourable consumption pattern. It is thus important to understand on which basis consumers choose between tariffs. We model the choice as a function of compensating welfare measures, and use a discrete choice model on data from a residential dynamic pricing experiment. The results indicate that higher demand flexibility will tend to increase the propensity to select dynamic tariffs, while consumption patterns do not influence tariff choice significantly. © 2011 Elsevier Ltd.


Gullberg A.T.,CICERO Center for International Climate and Environmental Research
Energy Policy | Year: 2013

Norway has great potential for producing pumped-storage hydropower, and the European Union (EU) hope Norway can contribute to Europe's transition to a renewable energy system by serving as a 'green battery'. This is certainly technically feasible. However, this paper asks whether the green battery idea is politically feasible. The paper analyses four scenarios, three of which Norway serves as a green battery and one domestic. It focuses on decision-makers' and interest groups' positions on new interconnectors from Norway to continental Europe and the United Kingdom (UK), pumped-storage hydropower, and new renewable energy production in Norway. The paper argues that the present policy is characterised by incremental change-decisions about new interconnectors are made on an individual basis. Moreover the paper argues there is little reason to believe that this status quo policy will change based on any of the green battery scenarios in the near term. Still, decision-makers and interest groups are positive, in principle, towards new interconnectors and pumped-storage hydropower. Hence, Norway might become a green battery in the longer term. In the short term, however, a politically feasible contribution from Norway is balancing power through already existing hydropower capacity. © 2013 Elsevier Ltd.


Bang G.,CICERO Center for International Climate and Environmental Research
Energy Policy | Year: 2010

Why is it so difficult to change the energy policy status quo away from dependence on fossil fuels when the need to become less dependent on imported oil seems to be generally accepted by US politicians? In recent energy debates in the House and Senate, references to climate change and energy security were frequently used as a rationale for the need for energy policy change. But policymakers were not in agreement about what policy programs would be the best alternative or what goals the programs were to achieve in terms of addressing energy security or climate change, or both at the same time. The paper explores whether putting energy security and climate change on the decision making agenda simultaneously helped craft a political compromise in the 110th Congress-the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007, and points out how the political institutions of the US structured interaction and affected policy outcome, and ultimately the chance of changing the energy policy status quo. © 2009 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.


Kelman I.,CICERO Center for International Climate and Environmental Research
Geographical Journal | Year: 2014

Climate change is frequently touted as the biggest development challenge that faces humanity. Such rhetoric may be distracting from other development challenges which need to be addressed simultaneously with climate change. This paper uses the case study of small island developing states (SIDS) affected by climate change to explore how focusing on climate change can depoliticise the challenges that they face. Three linked points of depoliticisation through climate change are exemplified: emphasising the hazard, avoiding other long-term development challenges, and shifting focus away from opportunities for reducing vulnerability, including during community reconstruction. Examples cover scientific and policy discussions, from inside and external to SIDS. Links are made with migration narratives, especially learning from the past and the importance of not rebuilding communities with the same vulnerabilities as before. The fundamental challenge is not so much addressing the hazard of climate change per se, but why SIDS peoples often do not have the resources or options to address climate change and other development challenges themselves. In this regard, climate change brings little that is new to SIDS which continue to be marginalised. © 2013 The Author. The Geographical Journal © 2013 Royal Geographical Society (with the Institute of British Geographers).


Amundsen H.,CICERO Center for International Climate and Environmental Research
Ecology and Society | Year: 2012

This article contributes to our understanding of community resilience. Community resilience is the ability of a community to cope and adjust to stresses caused by social, political, and environmental change and to engage community resources to overcome adversity and take advantage of opportunities in response to change. Through an analysis of local responses to multiple challenges, six dimensions of community resilience were found in one village in northern Norway. These dimensions; community resources, community networks, institutions and services, people-place connections, active agents, and learning; are activated in processes and activities in the village to respond to current challenges. Although this corroborates findings from other community resilience research, this research suggests that community resilience is both complex and dynamic over time. Although communities may consider themselves resilient to today's challenges, the rate and magnitude of expected systemic global changes, especially climate change, means that future resilience cannot be taken for granted. This work concludes that there is a risk that community resilience may be an illusion, leading to complacency about the need for adaption to multiple factors of change. Hence, the ability of communities to actively engage in reflexive learning processes is of importance for both adaptation and future resilience. © 2012 by the author(s).


Mideksa T.K.,CICERO Center for International Climate and Environmental Research
Journal of Environmental Economics and Management | Year: 2013

This paper explores the economic impact of natural resource endowment using quantitative comparative - case - study. Focusing on the Norwegian economy, due to availability of good quality data, the paper thoroughly examines the impact of petroleum endowment. Although the result suggests that the impact varies from year to year, it remains positive and very large. On average, about 20% of the annual GDP per capita increase is due to the endowment of petroleum resources such as oil, natural gas, natural gas liquids, and condensate. Examinations based on sensitivity test, robustness test, dose-response test, and various falsification tests suggest that the finding is robust to alternative explanations. © 2012 Elsevier Inc.


Peters G.P.,CICERO Center for International Climate and Environmental Research
Current Opinion in Environmental Sustainability | Year: 2010

Carbon footprints and embodied carbon have a strong methodological foundation and provide valuable input into policy formation. The widespread use of carbon footprints using existing knowledge needs to be encouraged and even regulated. At the product level, carbon footprints can empower consumers to shape their own climate friendly behaviour and help governments design policies that do not give the wrong incentives. Companies can use carbon footprints to reduce exposure to carbon prices or highlight the positive actions they have taken. Cities and regions can use carbon footprints to implement local policies that help meet overarching national objectives. National carbon footprints can help design equitable and efficient climate agreements that avoid shifting problems to other administrative territories. Further advances can provide strong interdisciplinary links between the physical carbon-cycle, emission drivers, and policy at a variety of scales. © 2010 Elsevier B.V.


Wei T.,CICERO Center for International Climate and Environmental Research
Ecological Economics | Year: 2011

In the literature on the application of STIRPAT to environmental impacts of population and affluence, the parameter estimates differ from study to study. One example is the effect of population size on CO 2 emissions, which is concluded to be very close to 1 in some studies (e.g., York et al., 2003) while far from 1 in others (e.g., Shi, 2003). What can explain these differences in results? In the present paper, I offer an alternative model equivalent to STIRPAT, which explicitly specifies the different role of technology (T) in STIRPAT from IPAT. By the alternative model, I conclude that different functional forms of STIRPAT can be one explanation for the difference among estimates in the studies on environmental impacts of population and affluence. The alternative model can also help to determine which factors to be added in STIRPAT. © 2011 Elsevier B.V.


Hodnebrog O.,CICERO Center for International Climate and Environmental Research | Myhre G.,CICERO Center for International Climate and Environmental Research | Samset B.H.,CICERO Center for International Climate and Environmental Research
Nature Communications | Year: 2015

Black carbon (BC), unlike most aerosol types, absorbs solar radiation. However, the quantification of its climate impact is uncertain and presently under debate. Recently, attention has been drawn both to a likely underestimation of global BC emissions in climate models, and an overestimation of BC at high altitudes. Here we show that doubling present day BC emissions in a model simulation, while reducing BC lifetime based on observational evidence, leaves the direct aerosol effect of BC virtually unchanged. Increased emissions, together with increased wet removal that reduces the lifetime, yields modelled BC vertical profiles that are in strongly improved agreement with recent aircraft observations. Furthermore, we explore the consequences of an altered BC profile in a global circulation model, and show that both the vertical profile of BC and rapid climate adjustments need to be taken into account in order to assess the total climate impact of BC. © 2014 Macmillan Publishers Limited. All rights reserved.

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