Guivarch, Céline, Julie Rozenberg, and Vanessa Schweizer. 2016. The diversity of socio-economic pathways and CO2 emissions scenarios: Insights from the investigation of a scenarios database. Environmental Modelling & Software 80, p 336-353.
The new scenario framework developed by the climate change research community rests on the fundamental logic that a diversity of socio-economic pathways can lead to the same radiative forcing, and therefore that a given level of radiative forcing can have very different socio-economic impacts. We propose a methodology that implements a “scenario discovery” cluster analysis and systematically identifies diverse groups of scenarios that share common outcomes among a database of socio-economic scenarios. We demonstrate the methodology with two examples using the Shared Socio-economic Pathways framework. We find that high emissions scenarios can be associated with either high or low per capita GDP growth, and that high productivity growth and catch-up are not necessarily associated with high per capita GDP and high emissions.