GCAM RCP Scenario Results

GCAM simulations of the Representative Concentration Pathway (RCP) radiative forcing targets

The GCAM model was one of four Integrated Assessment Models selected by the scientific community to generate a Representative Concentration Pathway. The RCPs are new scenarios for climate change modeling and research (Moss et al, 2008, 2010). Each of the four models was responsible for one pathway; GCAM produced the official RCP4.5.

The RCPs were produced by the Integrated Assessment Modeling Consortium (IAMC) and delivered to the climate modeling community in 2009. Climate model intercomparison runs for CMIP5 were initiated in 2010. In parallel to CMIP5, the IAMC is conducting additional scenario research based on the RCP radiative forcing targets. As a part of this activity, the GCAM group at JGCRI has simulated all four RCP radiative forcing targets and a corresponding reference scenario.

The data provided here are the GCAM representations of the RCP radiative forcing targets. Official, harmonized RCP data as used in CMIP5 must be downloaded from the official RCP database (http://www.iiasa.ac.at/web-apps/tnt/RcpDb).

The GCAM data from the RCP4.5 and the GCAM representation of RCP forcing levels 2.6, 6.0 and 8.5, along with a companion GCAM reference (no climate policy/no specified radiative forcing target case) are being made available to interested researchers for scenario analysis and comparison. These scenarios should be referred to as RCP4.5, GCAM2.6, GCAM6.0, GCAM8.5 and GCAMReference. Users are encouraged to review the references below.

Link to available data: GCAM RCP4.5 and RCP replication data

Allison Thomson
Kate Calvin

GCAM and RCP4.5 References
Thomson, Calvin, Smith, Kyle, Volke, Patel, Delgado Arias, Bond-Lamberty, Wise, Clarke, Edmonds. 2011. RCP4.5: A Pathway for Stabilization of Radiative Forcing by 2100. Climatic Change. 109:1-2, p77-94. DOI 10.1007/s10584-011-0151-4.

Calvin KV, JA Edmonds, B Bond-Lamberty, LE Clarke, SH Kim, GP Kyle, SJ Smith, AM Thomson, and MA Wise. 2009. 2.6: Limiting Climate Change to 450 ppm CO2 Equivalent in the 21st Century. Energy Economics. 31(2): S107-S120.

Clarke, L., J. Edmonds, H. Jacoby, H. Pitcher, J. Reilly, R. Richels, 2007. Scenarios of Greenhouse Gas Emissions and Atmospheric Concentrations. Sub-report 2.1A of Synthesis and Assessment Product 2.1 by the U.S. Climate Change Science Program and the Subcommittee on Global Change Research. Department of Energy, Office of Biological & Environmental Research, Washington, D.C., USA, 154 pp.

Smith, S.J. and T.M.L. Wigley, 2006. Multi-Gas Forcing Stabilization with the MiniCAM. Energy Journal (Special Issue #3) pp 373-391.

Wise, MA, KV Calvin, AM Thomson, LE Clarke, B Bond-Lamberty, RD Sands, SJ Smith, AC Janetos, JA Edmonds. 2009. Implications of Limiting CO2 Concentrations for Land Use and Energy. Science. 324:1183-1186.

Descriptions of the New Scenarios process and the RCPs
van Vuuren, Edmonds, Kainuma, Riahi, Thomson, Hibbard, Hurtt, Kram, Krey, Lamarque, Matsui, Meinshausen, Nakicenovic, Smith, Rose. 2011. The Representative Concentratrion Pathways: An Overview. Climatic Change 109:1-2, p5-31. DOI 10.1007/s10584-011-0148-z

Meinshausen, Smith, Calvin, Daniel, Lamarque, Matsumoto, Montzka, Raper, Riahi, Thomson, Velders, Van Vuuren. 2011. The RCP Greenhouse Gas Concentrations and their Extensions from 1765 to 2500. Climatic Change 109:1-2, p213-241. DOI 10.1007/s10584-011-0156-z

Moss, R.H., et al., 2008. Towards New Scenarios for Analysis of Emissions, Climate Change, Impacts, and Response Strategies. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, Geneva, 132 pp.

Moss, R.H. et al., 2010. The next generation of scenarios for climate change research and assessment. Nature 463: 747-756. doi:10.1038/nature08823

van Vuuren, D.P. et al. 2008. “Work Plan for Data Exchange Between the Integrated Assessment and Climate Modeling Community in Support of Phase-0 of Scenario Analysis for Climate Change Assessment (Representative Community Pathways).” See http://www.aimes.ucar.edu/docs/RCP_handshake.pdf

Weyant et al., 2009. “Report of 2.6 vs. 2.9 Watts/m2 RCP Evaluation Panel” Integrated Assessment Modeling Consortium, 80 pp. Available at http://www.iamconsortium.org.

Name Radiative Forcing Target Model Reference
RCP8.5 Rising radiative forcing pathway leading to 8.5 W/m2 in 2100 MESSAGE Riahi et al. (2007)
Rao & Riahi (2006)
RCP6 Stabilization without overshoot at 6 W/m2 stabilization after 2100 AIM Fujino et al. (2006)
Hijioka et al. (2008)
RCP4.5 Stabilization without overshoot at 4.5 W/m2 stabilization after 2100 GCAM Clarke et al. (2007)
Smith and Wigley (2006)
Wise et al. (2009)
RCP2.6 Peak in radiative forcing at ~3 W/m2 before 2100 and decline IMAGE van Vuuren et al. (2006, 2007)

van Vuuren et al., 2011. RCP2.6: exploring the possibility to keep global mean temperature increase below 2°C.Climatic Change 109:1-2, p 95-116. DOI: 10.1007/s10584-011-0152-3

van Vuuren, D. P., Eickhout, B., Lucas, P. L. & den Elzen, M. G. J. Long-term multi-gas scenarios to stabilise radiative forcing — Exploring costs and benefits within an integrated assessment framework. Multigas mitigation and climate policy. Energy Journal. 3 (Special Issue), 201–234 (2006).

van Vuuren, D., M. den Elzen, P. Lucas, B. Eickhout, B. Strengers, B. van Ruijven, S. Wonink, R. van Houdt, 2007. Stabilizing greenhouse gas concentrations at low levels: an assessment of reduction strategies and costs. Climatic Change, doi:10.1007/s/10584-006-9172-9.

Masui et al., 2011. An emission pathway for stabilization at 6 Wm-2 radiative forcing. Climatic Change. 109:1-2, p 59-76. DOI: 10.1007/s10584-011-0150-5

Fujino, J., R. Nair, M. Kainuma, T. Masui, Y. Matsuoka, 2006. Multi-gas mitigation analysis on stabilization scenarios using AIM global model. Multigas Mitigation and Climate Policy. The Energy Journal Special Issue.

Hijioka, Y., Y. Matsuoka, H. Nishimoto, M. Masui, and M. Kainuma, 2008. Global GHG emissions scenarios under GHG concentration stabilization targets. Journal of Global Environmental Engineering 13, 97-108.

Riahi et al, 2011. RCP8.5 – A scenario of comparatively high greenhouse gas emissions. Climatic Change. 109:1-2 p33-57. DOI: 10.1007/s10584-011-0149-y

Rao, S. & Riahi, K. The role of non-CO2 greenhouse gases in climate change mitigation: Long-term scenarios for the 21st century. Multigas mitigation and climate policy. Energy J. 3 (Special Issue), 177–200 (2006).

Riahi, K. Gruebler, A. and Nakicenovic N.: 2007. Scenarios of long-term socio-economic and environmental development under climate stabilization. Technological Forecasting and Social Change 74, 7, 887-935.

RCP Land-Use Harmonization
Hurtt, Chini, Frolking, Betts, Feddema, Fischer, Fisk, Hibbard, Houghton, Janetos, Jones, Kindermann, Kinoshita, Klein Goldewijk, Riahi, Shevliakova, Smith, Stehfest, Thomson, Thornton, van Vuuren, Wang. 2011. Harmonization of Land-Use Scenarios for the Period 1500-2100: 600 Years of Global Gridded Annual Land-Use Transitions, Wood Harvest, and Resulting Secondary Lands. Climatic Change 109:1-2, p117-161. DOI 10.1007/s10584-011-0153-2

Hurtt, G.C., Chini, L.P., Frolking, S., Betts, R., Feddema, J., Fischer, G., Goldewijk, K.K., Hibbard, K., Janetos, A., Jones, C., Kinderman, G., Kinoshita, T., Riahi, K., Shevliakova, E., Smith, S., Stehfest, E., Thomson, A., Thornton, P., vanVuuren, D., and Y.P. Wang. 2009. Harmonization of global land-use scenarios for the period 1500-2100 for IPCC-AR5. iLEAPS Newsletter 7:6-8. http://www.ileaps.org/index.php?option=com_docman&Itemid=186

RCP Historical Emissions
Lamarque, J. F; Bond, Tami C; Eyring, Veronika; Granier, Claire; Heil, Angelika; Klimont, Z; Lee, David S; Liousse, Catherine; Mieville, Aude; Owen, Bethan; Schultz, Martin; Shindell, Drew; Smith, Steven J; Stehfest, Eike; van Aardenne, John; Cooper, Owen; Kainuma, M; Mahowald, Natalie; McConnell, J.R.; Riahi, Keywan; Van Vuuren, Detlef  (2010) Historical (1850-2000) gridded anthropogenic and biomass burning emissions of reactive gases and aerosols: methodology and application Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics 10 pp. 7017–7039.’

Granier, Bessagnet, Bond, D’Angiolaa, Denier van der Gon, Frost, Heil, Kaiser, Kinne, Zbignew, Kloster, Lamarque, Liousse, Toshihiko, Meleux, Mieville, Ohara, Raul, Riahi, Schultz, Smith, Thomson, van Ardenne, van Ardenne, van Vuuren 2011. Evolution of anthropogenic and biomass burning emissions at global and regional scales during the 1980-2010 period. Climatic Change 109:1-2, p163-190. DOI 10.1007/s10584-011-0154-1

Lamarque, J-F., Granier, C., Bond, T., Eyrling, V., Heil, A., Kainuma, M., Lee, D., Liousse, C., Mieville, A., Riahi, K., Schultz, M., Sith, S., Stehfest, E., Stevenson, D., Thomson, A., vanAardenne, J., and D. vanVuuren. 2009. Gridded emissions in support of IPCC AR5. IGAC Newsletter 41: 12-18. http://www.igac.noaa.gov/newsletter/index.php