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    ABSTRACT: The Sturtian and Marinoan snowball Earth episodes initiated 720 and 650 million years ago, respectively, are among the most dramatic events in Earth's history. The ultimate causes of these events remain obscure, however, and there is still uncertainty about the critical levels of greenhouse gas concentrations at which the snowball transition occurs. Furthermore, earlier modelling results (with incomplete representations of important boundary conditions) provided conflicting indications for differences between the critical carbon dioxide concentrations for the Marinoan and the Sturtian, reporting either the earlier or the later epoch to be more susceptible to global glaciation. Both the absolute values of and possible differences between these glaciation thresholds have profound implications for scenarios of snowball initiations during the Neoproterozoic. Here, we present coupled climate simulations (using an ocean general circulation model with dynamic/thermodynamic sea ice coupled to a fast atmosphere) focusing on the differences between the Neoproterozoic glaciations. For the first time, our simulations use realistic boundary conditions in terms of changes in solar luminosity between the two epochs and the most recent continental reconstructions. In agreement with previous studies with models including ocean and sea-ice dynamics, we report low values for the critical carbon dioxide concentration during the Neoproterozoic. But in contrast to hints from earlier studies we find very similar values of 100–130 ppm for the snowball bifurcation point during the Sturtian and Marinoan. This highlights the importance of realistic boundary conditions for climate simulations of the Neoproterozoic glaciations.
    Earth and Planetary Science Letters 10/2014; 404:200–205.
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    ABSTRACT: In this paper we analyze the interaction between climate and air pollution policies using the integrated assessment model REMIND coupled to the reduced-form climate model MAGICC. Since overall, aerosols tend to cool the atmosphere, there is a concern that a reduction of pollutant emissions could accelerate global warming and offset the climate benefits of carbon dioxide emission reductions. We investigate scenarios which independently reduce emissions from either large-scale sources, such as power plants, or small-scale sources, such as cooking and heating stoves. Large-scale sources are likely to be easier to control, but their aerosol emissions are characterized by a relatively high sulfur content, which tends to result in atmospheric cooling. Pollution from small-scale sources, by contrast, is characterized by a high share of carbonaceous aerosol, which is an important contributor to global warming. We find that air pollution policies can significantly reduce aerosol emissions when no climate policies are in place. Stringent climate policies lead to a large reduction of fossil fuel use, and therefore result in a concurrent reduction of air pollutant emissions. These reductions partly reduce aerosol masking, thus initially counteracting the reduction of greenhouse gas forcing, however not overcompensating it. If climate policies are in place, air pollution policies have almost no impacts on medium- and long-term radiative forcing. Therefore there is no conflict of objectives between clean air and limiting global warming. We find that the stringency of air pollution policies may influence the rate of global temperature change in the first decade. Afterwards climate change mitigation policies are of greater importance.
    Environmental Science & Policy 08/2014; 41:33–43.
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    ABSTRACT: In our field experiment carried out with stakeholders from the Chinese Haihe River Basin, a group of five players located along an irrigation channel first decide on the amount they would invest in a public fund for channel maintenance. In the next step, they choose the amount of water to withdraw from the channel to irrigate their plots of land. We compare the effects of different rules of water distribution and communication on three types of group participants: farmers, water administrators and students. The power asymmetry in the location along the irrigation channel was the most important factor affecting players' investment and water harvest decisions. The introduction of rules of water distribution only weakly altered the effect of power asymmetry but communication and the ability to modify the rules did reduce the effects. This result was strongest among the students and administrators and weakest among the farmers. In addition, farmers tended to break the rules more frequently and withdraw more water than agreed upon.
    Ecological Economics 03/2014; 99:10–20.

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