Researchers at PSI, in collaboration with international colleagues, have conducted a groundbreaking study using an extensive computer simulation to analyze strategies for mitigating climate change. The study focuses on the global energy system and the economy, aiming to identify effective measures to achieve Switzerland’s net-zero emissions target.
With human-related CO2 emissions reaching 42 billion tonnes annually, the IPCC warns that only an additional 300 to 600 billion tonnes can be emitted after 2020 to prevent exceeding the 1.5 degrees Celsius global warming limit. According to Evangelos Panos from PSI, 70% of scenarios predict surpassing the 1.5°C mark within the next five years.
The study’s integrated assessment models consider uncertainties inherent in the models, setting it apart from previous research. By combining climate and economic models with 1,200 energy technologies, the researchers analyzed 4,000 scenarios for 15 regions up to 2100. The generated data, a massive 700 gigabytes, calls for sophisticated analysis and visualization techniques.
The study incorporates 18 uncertainty factors and 72,000 variables using the Monte Carlo method to create decision pathways. By considering national parameters, policymakers can tailor strategies for energy system transformation. The research provides a solid basis for customized national analyses and the transition to a zero-carbon economy.
PSI, Switzerland’s largest research institute, focuses on future technologies, energy and climate, health innovation, and nature’s fundamentals. It plays a crucial role in training future generations and advancing scientific understanding.