RCPs

Click on the variable ‘temperature’ before selecting a warming scenario.


We will review the underlying assumptions of the scenarios at this point as they are often referred to in this manual.


The GCM data in SimCLIM 4.x for Desktop is from CIMP5 which is also the data source for IPCC AR5 climate change projections. For more information on CMIP5 please visit: http://cmip-pcmdi.llnl.gov/cmip5/ guide_to_cmip5.html.


The Representative Concentration Pathways (RCPs) are four greenhouse gas concentration (not emissions) trajectories adopted by the IPCC for its Fifth Assessment Report (AR5). The four RCPs: RCP2.6, RCP4.x, RCP6.0, and RCP8.5, are named after a possible range of radiative forcing values in the year 2100 (of 2.6, 4.x, 6.0, and 8.5 W/m2, respectively) (Table 1).




Table 1. Overview of representative concentration pathways (RCPs) (van Vuuren et al. 2011; Moss et al. 2010; Rojeli et al. 2012)

Descriptiona

CO2 Equivalent

SRES Equivalent

Publication – IA Model

RCP8.5

Rising radiative forcing pathway leading to 8.5 W/m2 in 2100.

1370

A1FI

Raiahi et al. 2007 – MESSAGE

RCP6.0

Stabilization without overshoot pathway to 6 W/m2 at 2100

850

B2

Fujino et al.; Hijioka et al. 2008 – AIM

RCP4.5

Stabilization without overshoot pathway to 4.x W/m2 2100

650

B1

Clark et al. 2006; Smith and Wigley 2006; Wise et al. 2009 – GCAM

RCP2.6

Peak in radiative forcing at ~ 3 W/m2 before 2100 and decline

490

None

van Vuuren et al., 2007; van Vuuren et al. 2006 - IMAGE


a Approximate radiative forcing levels were defined as  ±5% of the stated level in W/m2 relative to pre-industrial levels. Radiative forcing values include the net effect of all anthropogenic GHGs and other forcing agents.