School Seminars and Colloquia

Attribution of Responsibility for Climate Change: The Mathematics Behind the Brazilian Proposal.


by Professor Ian Enting

Institution: MASCOS, The University of Melbourne / CSIRO
Date: Fri 2nd March 2007
Time: 3:15 PM
Location: Theatre 3, Level 2, 111 Barry Street, Carlton

Abstract: During the negotiations that led to the Kyoto Protocol, Brazil proposed that targets for emission reductions should be set in proportion to the extent that each nation was responsible for global warming. This was perceived as technically complex and was referred to the Subsidiary Body for Scientific and Technical Advice (SBSTA), under the UN FCCC (Framework Convention on Climate Change).

This talk covers the basis on which such attribution can be made, in terms of the causal sequence from emissions to warming. It then reviews the sensitivity relations to show how a single function can help collapse much of the complexity of the analysis. This is expressed as an adjoint sensitivity or Frechet derivative. Practical means of calculating such sensitivities are outlined, using automatic differentiation based on operator overloading.

Finally, some initial attribution results are presented.

For More Information: Emma Lockwood Tel: +61 3 8344 1617