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Uncertain Pathways to a Future Safe Climate
  • +12
  • Steven Sherwood,
  • Bette L Otto-Bliesner,
  • Elisabeth Holland,
  • Gabriele Hegerl,
  • James Arthur Renwick,
  • Kevin A. Reed,
  • Hyungjun Kim,
  • Neil Harris,
  • Pascale Bracconot,
  • Paulo Nobre,
  • Pierre Friedlingstein,
  • Heiko Goelzer,
  • Narelle van der Wel,
  • Molly Mitchell,
  • Tim Naish
Steven Sherwood
University of New South Wales

Corresponding Author:[email protected]

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Bette L Otto-Bliesner
National Center for Atmospheric Research (UCAR)
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Elisabeth Holland
National Center for Atmospheric Research (UCAR)
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Gabriele Hegerl
University of Edinburgh
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James Arthur Renwick
Victoria University of Wellington
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Kevin A. Reed
Stony Brook University
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Hyungjun Kim
Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology
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Neil Harris
Cranfield University, Cranfield UK
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Pascale Bracconot
Lab. de Modélisation du Climat & de l'Environ. CEA-CNRS
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Paulo Nobre
Center for Weather Forecast and Climate Studies INPE
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Pierre Friedlingstein
University of Exeter
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Heiko Goelzer
NORCE Norwegian Research Centre, Bjerknes Centre for Climate Research, Bergen, Norway
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Narelle van der Wel
World Climate Research Programme
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Molly Mitchell
Virginia Institute of Marine Science
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Tim Naish
Victoria University of Wellington
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Global climate change is often thought of as a steady and approximately predictable physical response to increasing forcings, which then requires commensurate adaptation. But adaptation has practical, cultural and biological limits, and climate change may pose unanticipated global hazards, sudden changes or other surprises, as may societal adaptation and mitigation responses. We outline a strategy for better accommodating these challenges by making climate science more integrative, in order to identify and quantify known and novel physical risks even–or especially–when they are highly uncertain, and to explore risks and opportunities associated with mitigation and adaptation responses by engaging across disciplines. This improves the chances of anticipating potential surprises and identifying and communicating “safe landing” pathways that meet UN Sustainable Development Goals and guide humanity toward a better future.
11 Dec 2023Submitted to ESS Open Archive
11 Dec 2023Published in ESS Open Archive