Start Submission Become a Reviewer

Reading: Contributions of carbon cycle uncertainty to future climate projection spread

Download

A- A+
Alt. Display

Original Research Papers

Contributions of carbon cycle uncertainty to future climate projection spread

Authors:

C. Huntingford ,

Centre for Ecology and Hydrology, GB
X close

J. A. Lowe,

Reading Unit, Met Office Hadley Centre, Department of Meteorology, University of Reading, GB
X close

B. B. B. Booth,

Met Office Hadley Centre, GB
X close

C. D. Jones,

Met Office Hadley Centre, GB
X close

G. R. Harris,

Met Office Hadley Centre, GB
X close

L. K. Gohar,

Reading Unit, Met Office Hadley Centre, Department of Meteorology, University of Reading, GB
X close

P. Meir

School of GeoSciences, The University of Edinburgh, GB
X close

Abstract

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.

How to Cite: Huntingford, C., Lowe, J.A., Booth, B.B.B., Jones, C.D., Harris, G.R., Gohar, L.K. and Meir, P., 2009. Contributions of carbon cycle uncertainty to future climate projection spread. Tellus B: Chemical and Physical Meteorology, 61(2), pp.355–360. DOI: http://doi.org/10.1111/j.1600-0889.2008.00414.x
  Published on 01 Jan 2009
 Accepted on 15 Dec 2008            Submitted on 7 Jun 2008

References

  1. Andrews , D. G. and Allen , M. R . 2008 . Diagnosis of climate models in terms of transient climate response and feedback response time . Atmos. Sci. Lett . 9 , 7 – 12 .  

  2. Cox , P. M. , Betts , R. A. , Jones , C. D. , Spall , S. A. and Totterdell , I. J . 2000 . Acceleration of global warming due to carbon-cycle feedbacks in a coupled climate model . Nature 408 , 184 – 187 .  

  3. Cubasch , U. , Meehl , G. A. , Boer , G. J. , Stouffer , R. J. , Dix , M. and co-authors. 2001. Projections of future climate change. In: Climate Change 2001: The Scientific Basis. Contribution to Working Group I to the Third Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (eds. J. T. Houghton , Y. Ding , D. J. Griggs , M. Noguer , P. J. van der Linden , and co-editors ). Cambridge University Press , Cambridge , United Kingdom and New York, NY, USA, 881pp.  

  4. Forest , C. E. , Allen , M. R. , Stone , P. H. and Sokolov , A. P . 2000 . Constraining uncertainties in climate models using climate change detection techniques . Geophys. Res. Lett . 27 , 569 – 572 .  

  5. Forest , C. E. , Stone , P. H. , Sokolov , A. P. , Allen , M. R. and Webster , M. D . 2002 . Quantifying uncertainties in climate system properties with the use of recent climate observations . Science 295 , 113 – 117 .  

  6. Frame , D. J. , Booth , B. B. B. , Kettleborough , J. A. , Stainforth , D. A. , Gregory , J. M. and co-authors. 2005. Constraining climate forecasts: the role of prior assumptions. Geophys. Res. Lett. 32, L09702.  

  7. Friedlingstein , P. , Cox , P. , Betts , R. , Bopp , L. , Von Bloh , W. and co-authors. 2006. Climate-carbon cycle feedback analysis: results from the (CMIP)-M-4 model intercomparison . J. Clim . 19 ( 14 ), 3337-3353 .  

  8. Gregory , J. M. , Stouffer , R. J. , Raper , S. C. B. , Stott , P. A. and Rayner , N. A . 2002 . An observationally based estimate of the climate sensi-tivity . J. Clim . 15 , 3117 – 3121 .  

  9. IPCC 2001. Climate Change 2001: The Scientific Basis. Contribution of Working Group I to the Third Assessment Report of the Intergovern-mental Panel on Climate Change (eds. J. T. Houghton , Y. Ding , D. J. Griggs , M. Noguer , P. J. van der Linden , and co-editors ). Cambridge University Press , Cambridge , United Kingdom and New York, NY, USA, 881pp.  

  10. Jones , C. D. , Cox , P. M. and Huntingford , C. 2006. Climate-carbon cycle feedbacks under stabilization: uncertainty and observational constraints. Tellus 58B, 603 – 613.  

  11. Joos , E , Bruno , M. , Fink , R. , Siegenthaler , U. and Stocker, T. F. 1996. An efficient and accurate representation of complex oceanic and bio-spheric models of anthropogenic carbon uptake. Tellus 48B, 397 – 417.  

  12. Meehl , G. A. , Washington , W. M. , Collins , W. D. , Arblaster , J. M. , Hu , A. X. and co-authors. 2005. How much more global warming and sea level rise? . Science 307 , 1769– 1772 .  

  13. Meinshausen , M . 2006. What does a 2°C target mean for greenhouse gas concentrations? A brief analysis based on multi-gas emission pathways and several climate sensitivity uncertainty estimates. In: Avoiding Dangerous Climate Change (eds. H. J. Schnellhuber , W. Cramer , N. Nalcicenovic , T. Wigley , and G. Yohe ). Cambridge Uni-versity Press, Cambridge, United Kingdom, 392pp.  

  14. Meir , P. , Grace , J. and Cox , P. M. 2006. The influence of terrestrial ecosystems on climate. Trends EcoL Evol. 21, 254 – 260.  

  15. Murphy , J. M. , Sexton , D. M.H. , Barnett , D. N. , Jones , G. S. , Webb , M. J. and co-authors. 2004. Quantification of modelling uncertainties in a large ensemble of climate change simulations. Nature 430, 768 – 772.  

  16. Nakiéenovié , N. and Swart , R. (eds.) 2000 . IPCC Special Report on Emissions Scenarios . Cambridge University Press , Cambridge , UK , 612pp .  

  17. Randall , D. A. , Wood , R. A. , Bony , S. , Colman , R. , Fichefet , T. and co-authors. 2007. Climate models and their evaluation. In: Climate Change 2007: The Physical Science Basis. Contribution of Working Group I to the Fourth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (eds. S. Solomon , D. Qin , M. Manning , M. Marquis , K. Averyt , and co-authors. ). Cambridge University Press , Cambridge , United Kingdom and New York, USA, 996pp.  

  18. Roe , G. and Baker , M. B . 2007 . Why is climate sensitivity so unpre-dictable? Science , 318 , 629 – 632 .  

  19. Stern , N . 2007. The Economics of Climate Change: The Stern Review. Cambridge University Press , Cambridge , United Kingdom and New York, USA, 712pp.  

comments powered by Disqus