Contributions of carbon cycle uncertainty to future climate projection spread

Huntingford, C.; Lowe, J. A.; Booth, B. B. B.; Jones, C. D.; Harris, G. R.; Gohar, L. K.; Meir, P. (2011)
Tellus B
English
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We have characterized the relative contributions to uncertainty in predictions of global warming amount by year 2100 in the C4MIP model ensemble (Friedlingstein et al., 2006) due to both carbon cycle process uncertainty and uncertainty in the physical climate properties of the Earth system. We find carbon cycle uncertainty to be important. On average the spread in transient climate response is around 40% of that due to the more frequently debated uncertainties in equilibrium climate sensitivity and global heat capacity. This result is derived by characterizing the influence of different parameters in a global climate-carbon cycle ‘box’ model that has been calibrated against the 11 General Circulation models (GCMs) and Earth system Models of Intermediate Complexity (EMICs) in the C4MIP ensemble; a collection of current state-of-the-art climate models that include an explicit representation of the global carbon cycle.DOI: 10.1111/j.1600-0889.2009.00414.x

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