SRES: Scenarios That Shaped Energy Policy in 1998 For Our Economic Future Had Greenpeace Input

Posted: March 14, 2013 by tallbloke in alarmism, FOI, Incompetence, Politics, propaganda

From the all.7z archive:  908478104 and 908487579. This is the tip of a massive iceberg. I have bolded a couple of interesting snippets. If you’ve been wondering why our country continues to be carpeted with useless windmills while the poor and old work out whether they should heat or eat today, this is where we start finding out. I believe it is in the public interest that this material is made publicly available and make no apologies for revealing it.

date: Thu, 15 Oct 1998 14:17:15 +0200
from: Arnulf GRUBLER <>
subject: SRES emissions scenarios for WGI
to: {IPCC authors and others]

Subject: Interim SRES emission profiles for use of WGI

Introduction: An ad-hoc SRES working group consisting of Arnulf Gruebler,
Tom Kram, Sascha van Rooijen and Steve Smith drafted this proposal based on
the extensive
discussions of the whole SRES writing team during the last meeting held in
Beijing, 7-9 Oct. 1998 in response to comments received from the WGI
electronic disscusion group on emissions
scenarios and from a meeting on this topic organized on the occasion of the
IPCC plenary meeting in Vienna, 30 Sept to
3 Oct 1998.

Background to SRES:

The IPCC terms of reference for development of SRES scenarios explicitly
request to abstain from the use of a single “official” model. Consequently,
a number of models are used to quantify different SRES scenarios. While
this procedure enables to reflect more appropriately scientific and
methodological uncertainty, it results also in a range of values reported
for the years 1990 and 2000 in the SRES website. (As different models have
different sectorial coverage, global emissions reported for the 4 draft
marker scenarios have also not yet been fully standardized and harmonized
for the interim results reported on the SRES website, a source of confusion
for which the SRES team apologizes.) The SRES terms of reference also
request that the scenario be subjected to an “open process” before being
finalized and subject to the customary IPCC review process. This implies
that the current SRES scenarios have to be considered as tentative until
the results of the open process that ends in December 1998 have been

The WGI electronic discussion group on the SRES scenarios
requested from the SRES writing team:

1. A comprehensive, consolidated set of preliminary global GHG emissions
trajectories in 10 year time steps for all anthropogenic GHGs of the draft
4 SRES marker scenarios.
2. Regionalized/gridded sulfur emissions data
3. Standardized emission profiles for the year 1990 and 2000, allowing the
SRES scenarios to diverge only after that date.

At the SRES lead authors meeting in Beijing these requests
were discussed and the following procedure was proposed:

1. the four modeling teams will report their estimates of
GHG emissions in 10 year time steps and broken down into the following
CO2, energy and industrial sources
CO2, land use changes,
CH4, (all anthropogenic sources, aas)
N2O, (aas)
NOx, (aas)
VOCs, (aas)
CO, (aas)
Sulfur, (aas)

For models that do not cover a particular GHG species/source
emission estimates will be taken from another model that estimates these
GHGs/sources for the same marker scenario and which the respective modeling
group feels most appropriate and close to their own quantification. (For
instance the IIASA model estimates for energy and industrial sources will
be complemented by the AIM model quantifications of land-use change and
agricultural emissions sources for the B2 scenario). Currently only one
model covers all CFCs and HFCs but not PFCs and SF6. Tentative scenarios
have been prepared by the SRES lead author Jurgen Fenham drawing on the
draft UNEP (ozone assessment) as well as other literature sources. Draft
numbers are expected to become available before October 21 in which case
they will be included in the draft emission scenarios supplied to WG I.

2. Sulfur emissions will be reported by each modeling group at the level of
6 world regions:
EEFSU (FCCC Annex I minus Annex-II)
China and CP Asia
other Asia
Latin America
“Rest of World”
These six regional emission profiles are a “minimum joint set” across all
models used in SRES and also a minimum regional disaggregation to reflect
differences in regional sulfur emission patterns. These regional scenarios
will be translated into gridded sulfur emission data for the 4 marker
scenario based on a simple regional scaling methodology proposed by Steve
Smith at NCAR (based on the EDGAR gridded emission inventory).

3. 1990 and 2000 values will be standardized for all 4 marker scenarios.
Preliminary 1990 and 2000 emission estimates are listed below for review
and critique. The final numbers will be used to determine model specific
“offsets” to dervive consistent 1990 and 2000 values across all 4 draft
marker scenarios.

1990 2000
CO2, GtC 6.2 7.0
CO2, GtC
(land-use,..) 1.2 1.75
CH4, Mt 325 340
N2O, MtN 5.2 5.6
SOx, MtS * *
NOx, MtN 29 31
VOCs, Mt ** **

* SOx emission will be harmonized for each of the 6 regions separately and
then added to new global totals. Currently the
mean 1990 global sulfur emissions across the 4 marker scenarios are 75 MtS
(identical to IS92a).
** not yet available (deadline: October 21).

Note that these preliminary emission estimates are NOT to be considered new
IPCC emission estimates for 1990 and 2000. These estimates are only to be
used as “synthetic” base
year estimates for the preliminary SRES emission scenarios to be reported
to WG I. The estimates were determined by combining results from all models
contributing to the SRES report. Energy and industrial CO2 emissions are
short-term forecasts based on CDIAC data between 1990 and 1997 and linear
trend extrapolation to 2000 following the methodology proposed by Wigley,
1997 (Nature 390).

Emission estimates from different models will be harmonized with the
tentative 1990 and 2000 emission values by a constant year 2000 additive
“offset” that will be maintained also for the post 2000 period. I.e. if a
particular model calculates CH4 emissions for the year 2000 that are 10 Tg
above the tentative harmonized year 2000 value, an “offset” of -10 Tg will
be added to 1990 to 2100 emission values of that particular model.

Comments and suggestions on above proposal are highly appreciated. The
deadline for feedback is October 21, in order to enable to perform the
calculation and distribute revised draft SRES emissions scenarios in time
for the WGI-SRES meeting in Paris November 30 – December 2.

International Institute for
Applied Systems Analysis | Phone: +43
A-2361 Laxenburg, Austria | Fax: +43

date: Thu, 15 Oct 1998 18:05:48 +0200
from: Arnulf GRUBLER
subject: Re: Comments on SRES scenarios
to: Bill Hare <>

Dear Bill

A few answers to your questions.

1. As stated in the minutes of both the Washington and Laxenburg SRES
meetings the A1 marker is represented by the “balanced” technology variant.
Oil/Gas, clean coal, as well as “bio-nuc” are alternative equally plausible
scenario variants
in which technological change and resource accessabiliy go in alternative
mutually exclusive directions. Indeed the clean coal and oil/gas intensive
variants have much higher emissions
than the “balanced” scenario A1, and the non-fossil-intensive scenario have
lower emissions. While the final report will preserve this scenario
bifurcation, the entire writing team felt it to be a too complex story to
be put on the website for a single scenario. Hence, the Washington
agreement to develop a “balanced” scenario (progress in clean coal,
oil/gas, renewables as well as nuclear). In terms of emissions this results
in moderating tendencies. Progress in oil/gas means no C-intensive
large-scale synfuels are required. Progress in clean-coal mean that coal
can be used without too adverse impacts on local and regional environments.
Progress in nuclear and renewables alike result in a regionally/global
diversified fuel mix, not requiring overreliance on coal.

2. Variant A1 4 (“bionuc”) is entirely plausible because there resource
availability is precisely NOT high as in the two fossil-rich alternatives
(cf. the storyline text on this). Instead, conventional oil and gas are
scarce, clean coal technologies do not get developed, which induces
technological change into a post-fossil technological direction. Some might
say this is only possible with policies.
I would answer that we have left a coal-based steam economy behind us
entirely without policy intervention. Hence, I consider the “bionuc”
scenario as plausible as the fossil alternatives or the “balanced” marker

3. I cannot comment in detail on the low sulfur emissions in A2 (perhaps
Alex would like to answer you in detail). By looking at the fuel mix some
regions go out of fossils which means low sulfur emissions. Other regions
stay in coal or fossils which would mean high sulfur emissions. However, A2
is a highly populated world. Food security therefore will be on the top
policy agenda. Any environmental impacts like acidification that threatens
food security is unlikely to pass unchecked in a 16 billion world. So to me
low sulfur emissions appear entirely plausible and consistent.

4. Nuclear in B1. In fact Bert [Bolin] forcefully argued at our Beijing meeting
that he and his model are not prepared to forecast nuclear. In fact he uses
a generic zero-carbon
electricity “backstop” in modeling the B1 marker scenario. This could
include anything from wind, PVs, geothermal, nuclear, etc. So your comment
points indeed to a reporting problem. Any specific suggestions are welcome.

5. Nuclear in B2. Given that B2 assumes more modest dynamics in both
technology (compared to A1) and social and lifestyle patterns (compared to
B1) means that:
1. demand is higher than in B1
2. technological change is less radical than in A1 (and B1).

This translates into market growth largely for established technologies
which means clean coal, and (wether you like it or not) nuclear. It might
not seem intuitive, but in all the scenario literature I am aware of,
“muddling through” scenarios have generally always the highest nuclear shares.
This simply because resource depletion sets in earlier and
renewables and other alternative sources are not improving fast enough that
they can compete with coal and nuclear.
With modest dynamics the choice is therefore largely between coal and
nuclear. Evidently this can play out differently in various regions and
that’s what the scenarios actually assumes. Regions with high population
and energy densities and no indiginous coal (all the countries outside US,
Canada, Australia, South Africa, Russia, China and India) tilt rather
towards nuclear, and the coal-rich regions rather tilt towards coal based
technologies. The emphasis on regional self-reliance and environmental
protection precludes gigantomanic coal trade in the B2 scenario. So there
is not much choice left.

6. You may recall, the repeated staements of the SRES writing team in its
discussion and in its minutes, that in view of an unpredictable future we
consider a priori all scenarios as equally likely. We may have different
personal opinions. But there is no scientific way of assigning relative
to a whole complex of interacting developments that characterizes one
particular scenario. Therefore it is in my viewpoint not productive to
always try to give probability
rankings to the scenarios. If you feel that B1 does not look likely from
today’s perspective, try to imagine yourself in the year 2020. Try to
imagine a scenario with an FCCC and COP-4 back in 1980! You would have been
hard pressed even in Greenpeace to suggest this as a “most likely”
scenario. Still it all happened. So who can decide? Perhaps we all will
think in 10 years B1 as most likely, or A1, or B2. The useful answer is not
to decide now, but to explore the implications of alternative futures.
That’s what SRES is all about and that’s what we want to recommend to the
scenario users: stay away from the use of a single scenario!

7. I conclude with a personal note. As you are member of the writing team I
feel it would have been more productive if you could have provided the
Greenpeace view in our meetings in Washington, Laxenburg, and more recently
in Beijing.
If you are too busy, nominate a colleague to substitute you.
But I find it a bit funny to conduct the very function of a scenario
writing team only in batch, electronic and fax mode.
To me it looks a bit unfair to try to be at the same time within and
outside the process and to interpret work burden sharing in a very one
sided way. We have to respond to your questions, but you are never present
to answer some of ours too.

Yours truly, Arnulf.

International Institute for
Applied Systems Analysis |

  1. tallbloke says:

    I wonder how many electrical engineers with gridwide planning capability Greenpeace have in their ranks?

  2. It is worthwhile to dig a bit further for Bill Hare. Here he shows himself as a climate campaign director of Greenpeace International.

    Mr Hare was later detached to the Potsdam Institute for Climate Change Impact Research, the home of Schellnhuber, Rahmstorff and Edenhofer. Detached is the proper term: Hare was on the payroll of Greenpeace for all the years he spent at PIK.

    During those years, Mr Hare was active in the IPCC as an author of chapters and summaries. He also regularly appeared in the media, typically presented as a scientist and often referred to as Dr Hare.

    Hare left PIK (and I guess Greenpeace) to found Climate Analytics, a company perhaps best known for writing the World Bank report that was released just before the Doha 2012 negotiations.

    Mr Hare is the father of the children of Ursula Fuentes Hutfilter, a senior civil servant in the climate division of the German Federal Ministry for Environmental Protection.

  3. Barry Woods says:

    are you waiting for a knock on the door? … again..

  4. Kon Dealer says:

    “As you are member of the writing team I feel it would have been more productive if you could have provided the Greenpeace view in our meetings in Washington, Laxenburg, and more recently
    in Beijing.”

    Crystal clear who is pulling the strings here. Greenpeace.

  5. tallbloke says:

    Richard Tol at 9.40 am Thanks for dropping by. You know more about SRES than anyone here. I know from your tweet you don’t have much time to spare, so this comment is doubly appreciated.

  6. tallbloke says:

    Barry, posted this to a similar query on WUWT:

    tallbloke says:
    March 14, 2013 at 12:44 am

    Connolly says:
    March 13, 2013 at 9:37 pm

    Perhaps with the inevitable witch hunt about to be launched – hopefully Tallbloke has his pyjamas and toothbrush packed – we can all say “I am FOIA”. Whoever you are mate – the poor, the dissenters and scientists of integrity are forever in your debt.

    Bring it on! If the authorities harass me again, my lawyer will make me a moderately rich man. I am acting within the law, as I was last time.

    The password is no longer on my computer
    The email account it came through was at an independent ISP and has since been deleted
    The decrypted archive has been stored on an external and protected drive.

  7. The problems with SRES are well-documented.

    The most prominent critiques are by Castles and Henderson, who showed that the models messed up their economic accounting, and by Pielke Jr and co, who showed that the scenarios make implausible assumptions about the rate of technological progress in energy use and supply.

    Others have argued that the population scenarios are unrealistic (zero migration after 2020, rapid fall in fertility in Africa), and that the economic scenarios exclude the possibility of continued economic stagnation in Africa.

    A bit of googling would quickly reveal that.

    One could dismiss this as ancient history. SRES was used in IPCC AR3 and formed the basis of IPCC AR4.

    Shortly after AR3, however, a decision was made. Instead of overhauling the models that were used for SRES or chucking them out altogether, scenarios would be relabeled for AR5.

    IPCC AR5 of Working Group 1 will therefore be based on scenarios-formerly-known-as-SRES. They’re now called RCP.

    RCPs are about emissions only. The corresponding SSPs have population, income, energy use etc. The SSPs have yet to be released.

    Therefore, IPCC AR5 of Working Groups 2 and 3 will still be dominated by SRES. There is a good chance that AR6 will be dominated by the SSPs, the scenarios-formerly-known-as-SRES.

  8. michael hart says:

    Beware the Ides of March 🙂

  9. Doug Proctor says:

    At this point, 3 1/2 years after Climategate I, the warmists will argue that all these e-mails are irrelevant, history, taken out of context of their personal, private communications, and, besides, the process has been fixed and items corrected. What we have left, they will say, is petty gossip and boys-talk in the locker room.

    Which is partly true. What could be left,however, is revelations of this sort:

    1. that NGOs like Greenpeace, the WWF, have caused assumptions in the models to be tweaked to give the benefit of all doubts to AGW (the “benefit of the doubt” issue, I argue, is extremely important to create the “C” in CAGW),

    2. that internally the IPCC writers worked to exclude dissent from the chosen narrative,

    3. that other “tricks” of presentation are present and encouraged to enhance the message and alarm,

    4) that insiders conspired to restrict the knowledge or access to publication of opposition outsiders (beyond the Hans JCR thing), and

    5) that insiders have chosen to exlude data or papers based on their non-conformity with CAGW narrative.

    (I’m sure there are other issues.)

    In order to be pertinent today wrt fighting the bad science and socio-political agenda behind the promotion of CO2-hysteria, what is in the final e-mail release will have to address structural elements of either the narrative or the conclusion-making process. We’ll have to see that non-consensus data, as well as opinion, has been avoided. We’ll have to see that the “ends justifies the means” philosophy has been embraced wrt determining certainty and presentation. We’ll have to see that alarm is a goal of the process.

    The financial conflict-of-interest of various key personnel is already known but appears to have no weight, so that aspect is not going to have too much value except as additional mud. Anything out-and-out that explains how some decision is perceived as being of direct economic or political benefit to someone or some group would be beyond this, however.

    Jones, Mann, Trenberth and Briffa must be squirming today. They won’t remember what they said, but they will suspect there are some gold nuggets in that pile of dirt. Tamino, McKibben, Hansen and Gore must be grinding their teeth, thinking of the “unnecessary” attention given to the behind-the-scenes action to their well-orchestrated story.

    What the Wizards of Cause don’t want is people peeking behind the curtain.

  10. michael hart says:

    Doug, I think some things might have more effect than you suggest, because it takes time and patience. Other sensible people do take notice of such things over time, but the remedies don’t always come in the form we would most like.

    But Greenpeace et. al. have been at this for decades, and not just rattling tins on the high street, pontificating in front of captive school audiences, and insinuating quasi-religious views into mainstream politics via Trojan-horse “charities”.

    As to “Jones, Mann, Trenberth and Briffa must be squirming today. They won’t remember what they said, but they will suspect there are some gold nuggets in that pile of dirt.”
    -I find that not telling lies and steering away from duplicity and deception means I rarely have to worry about what I have said, even if I can’t remember it.

    Of course I sometimes make foolish mistakes, but I don’t think any of the above mentioned have demonstrated a capacity to lose sleep over such trivial things as subverting the economic basis of much of the industrialized world and prolonging the poverty of a few billion others in the name of science. It appears to be part of their job description.

  11. hro001 says:

    Hi Tallbloke,

    Just for the record, the Grubler to Hare part of this string was included in CG2 See 1930.txt

    The Saint (as I still prefer to call FOIA) did an awful lot of work for us, so perhaps we should be revisiting CG1/CG2 to see what else we might have missed.

    And my guess is s/he probably had very good reasons for telling us:

    I don’t expect these remaining emails to hold big surprises. Yet it’s possible that the most important pieces are among them. Nobody on the planet has held the archive in plaintext since CG2..[emphasis added -hro]