Calculate temperature pathways

The CCAC Temperature Pathway Tool is an easy-to-use tool for translating emissions scenarios into temperature pathways. The tool allows users to quickly assess the global temperature response of emissions scenarios using national, regional or city level-data.

Because it can calculate temperature pathways for multiple greenhouse gases and pollutants over both short and long time scales, the tool is a highly effective tool for determining the impacts of mitigation actions on temperature change and informing action.

The tool is a key component of the Coalition's toolkit for the Multiple Benefits Pathway Framework, which helps countries and regions analyze and compare the climate and clean air benefits of greenhouse gas and air pollution mitigation strategies, and track their impacts over multiple timescales.


Why consider short and long time scales?

To reach the long-term Paris Agreement temperature targets, countries must choose a path that will slow the rate of global warming in the near term. This requires integrated action on all pollutants contributing to climate change: long-lived greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide and short-lived climate pollutants.

Since each pollutant affects global temperature differently over time, it is important to look at the benefits and trade-offs of mitigation actions separately as well as over short and long time scales in order to determine which combination of actions will deliver the greatest impact.

How to use the tool

The CCAC Temperature Pathway tool has two functions. The first function shows temperature pathways based on the IIASA Shared Socioeconomic Pathways (SSPs) and provides detailed analysis by sector and pollutant. The second function allows users to upload their own baseline and mitigation scenarios to generate temperature pathways. These pathways can be viewed in the tool or downloaded.

CCAC Pathway Temperature Tool: Cumulative temperature pathways from 2016 to 2056 for BAU and mitigation scenarios

Pollutants measured

The tool calculates multiple pollutants: 

  • Carbon dioxide (CO2)
  • Methane (CH4)
  • Black carbon
  • Sulphur dioxide (SO2)
  • Carbon monoxide (CO)
  • Organic carbon (OC)
  • Nitrous oxide (N2O)
  • Nitrogen oxides (NOX)
  • Ammonia (NH3)
  • Hydrofluorocarbons (HFC): HFC-134a, HFC-143, HFC-32, HFC-143a, HFC-152a, HFC-227ea, HFC-23, HFC-236fa, HFC-245fa, HFC-365mfc, HFC-507, HFC-125
  • Hydro-chlorofluorocarbons (HCFC): HCFC-141b, HCFC-22, HCFC-225ca, HCFC-225cb
  • Other F-gases: C2F6, C3F8, C4F10, CF4, Halon-1211, Halon-1301

How are temperature changes measured?

The tool uses the widely-accepted Average Global Temperature Potential (AGTP) climate metric developed by the Coalition’s Scientific Advisory Panel Chair, Prof. Drew Shindell, and published in the IPCC Fifth Assessment Report.

The AGTP provides estimates of the temperature change for a given year for a given emission profile. These metrics incorporate the radiative efficiency and lifetime of emitted substances (or climate drivers produced from those substances) and the time-dependent response of the climate system to estimate the surface temperature response to a tonne of emission over time.  The AGTP represents the global temperature change without comparison to a reference gas. 

The AGTP is used to calculate the progression of temperature change in annual time steps and thus compare the influence of different emission scenarios on regional and global temperature change over a short or long time period. This means that the AGTP takes into consideration timescale and continuity of emissions reduction actions and how such actions contribute to achieving warming targets at any timescale (e.g. near-term or long-term temperature targets). 

The AGTP can provide an estimate of temperature change from emission increase or reduction over the course of the century if the emissions over this time frame for all required substances are available. It also does not compare the climate impacts of different substances but provide the warming impacts of each substance separately. 

Related tools and links

The Pathway Calculator is a key component of the Coalition’s Multiple Benefits Pathway Framework, which helps countries and regions analyze the climate and clean air benefits of greenhouse gas and air pollution mitigation strategies and track their impacts over multiple time scales.

The Temperature Pathway Calculator is an easy-to-use tool for determining temperature impacts of mitigation strategies. The Stockholm Environment Institute’s LEAP-IBC tool to can be used to develop a comprehensive account of the potential near- and long-term temperature reductions as well as social and economic benefits that will accrue from mitigation measures in the country taking action.

Temperature Pathway Tool

CCAC Temperature Pathway Tool

More info

Daniel Benefor: The Multiple Benefits Pathway Approach: The Ghana Experience.
Daniel Benefor discusses Ghana's experience at an integrated approach to air pollution and climate change
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