Updated dynamic GWP and GTP: an essential tool to consider temporal effects on climate change

Main Presenter:    Cyrille François 

Co-Authors:   Guillaume Batot     Fatima El Amrani      Anne Ventura                                    

Dynamic LCA (dLCA) makes temporality explicit in LCA. It is still a methodological approach at the research stage and is not routinely applied partly due to a lack of a methodological consensus. dLCA is generally considered as the combination of a dynamic LCI (dLCI), and a dynamic impact assessment (dLCIA) (Sohn et al. 2020). Analyzing the temporality of emissions and their effects is important when both system changes and environmental impacts, are time dependent. In today’s climate emergency, knowing the temporal behavior of systems, inventories and their effects on the climate can be seen as a mean of monitoring the climate effects over time and potentially avoiding exceeding the IPCC’s irreversibility thresholds through spreading strategies. In the current state of knowledge, how to generate a dLCI, and how to assess a dLCIA, are two different research questions. This presentation is dedicated only to dLCIA.
Climate change dynamic impact has firstly been applied to the Global Warming Potential (GWP) indicator by (Benoist 2009), and then developed with a more generic approach (Levasseur et al. 2010). A dynamic approach was also developed on the Global Temperature Potential (GTP) indicator (Cherubini et al. 2013). Recently, a criticism of the existing dynamic GWP modelling was published (Ventura 2023): by failing to distinguish the temporality of the impact from that of the inventory or the system, it leads to possible exclusion of flows and to an underestimation of the effects of emissions emitted after time zero. A new equation for dynamic GWP was proposed, distinguishing the temporality of the system and inventory called Life Cycle Duration (LCD), and the temporality of the impact called Time Horizon of the Impact (THI) (Ventura 2023).
The purpose of this presentation is twofold: to explain why existing approaches do not account for the full effect of greenhouse gas emissions, and how to resolve this issue. The method is presented for both GWP and GTP: an equation is expressed as a relation of the static indicators and a dynamic delay factor defined by the dynamic inventory and the chosen THI. The calculations are provided in a fully transparent and comprehensive Excel®️ tool, updated according to the last IPCC 6th report, allowing to plot greenhouse gases concentrations, cumulated radiative efficiency, dGWP and dGTP evolutions over time on a yearly basis and providing users with the detailed physico-chemical parameters used in the calculation.

Keywords: LCIA, tool

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