Center for Studies in Demography and Ecology

Probabilistic Projection of Carbon Emissions, Adrian Raftery (CSSS Seminar, 01/09/2019)

Posted: 1/7/2019 (Local Events)

Wednesday, 9 January | 12:30–1:30pm | Savery (SAV) 409

Probabilistic Projection of Carbon Emissions

Adrian Raftery

Boeing International Professor, Departments of Statistics and Sociology, University of Washington

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) recently published climate change projections to 2100, giving likely ranges of global temperature increase for each of four possible scenarios for population, economic growth and carbon use. We develop a probabilistic forecast of carbon emissions to 2100, using a country-specific version of Kaya’s identity, which expresses carbon emissions as a product of population, GDP per capita and carbon intensity (carbon per unit of GDP). We use the UN’s probabilistic population projections for all countries, based on methods from our group, and develop a joint Bayesian hierarchical model for GDP per capita and carbon intensity in most countries. In contrast with opinion-based scenarios, our findings are statistically based using data for 1960–2010. We find that our likely range (90% interval) for cumulative carbon emissions to 2100 includes the IPCC’s two middle scenarios but not the lowest or highest ones. We combine our results with the ensemble of climate models used by the IPCC to obtain a predictive distribution of global temperature increase to 2100.

This is joint work with Dargan Frierson (UW Atmospheric Science), Richard Startz (UCSB Economics), Alec Zimmer (Upstart), and Peiran Liu (UW Statistics).

About the Series

The weekly Center for Statistics and the Social Sciences (CSSS) seminar provides a forum for local and visiting scholars to present current research at the interface of statistics and the social sciences. Talks range in their level of technical detail and substantive motivation, and often result in spirited discussion. Students may receive credit for attending the seminar by enrolling in CS&SS 590 All seminars are held at 12:30 on Wednesdays in Savery (SAV) 409 unless otherwise noted, and we will aim to conclude by 1:30. We provide coffee and light refreshments; attendees are also welcome to bring their lunch. For information or questions about the CSSS Seminars, please contact our Seminar Organizers, Darryl Holman ( or Will Brown ( You can receive updates via a mailing list or calendar.

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Date: 01/09/2019

Time: 12:30-1:30 PM

Location: Savery 409