• The implications of fossil fuel supply constraints on climate change projections: a supply-side analysis

      Wang, Jianliang; Feng, Lianyong; Tang, Xu; Bentley, Yongmei; Höök, Mikael; China University of Petroleum; University of Bedfordshire; Uppsala University (Elsevier Ltd, 2016-05-17)
      Climate projections are based on emission scenarios. The emission scenarios used by the IPCC and by mainstream climate scientists are largely derived from the predicted demand for fossil fuels, and in our view take insufficient consideration of the constrained emissions that are likely due to the depletion of these fuels. This paper, by contrast, takes a supply-side view of CO emission, and generates two supply-driven emission scenarios based on a comprehensive investigation of likely long-term pathways of fossil fuel production drawn from peer-reviewed literature published since 2000. The potential rapid increases in the supply of the non-conventional fossil fuels are also investigated. Climate projections calculated in this paper indicate that the future atmospheric CO concentration will not exceed 610ppm in this century; and that the increase in global surface temperature will be lower than 2.6°C compared to pre-industrial level even if there is a significant increase in the production of non-conventional fossil fuels. Our results indicate therefore that the IPCC's climate projections overestimate the upper-bound of climate change. Furthermore, this paper shows that different production pathways of fossil fuels use, and different climate models, are the two main reasons for the significant differences in current literature on the topic.