How warming and steric sea level rise relate to cumulative carbon emissions

Williams, Richard G. and Goodwin, Philip and Ridgwell, Andy and Woodworth, Philip L. (2012) How warming and steric sea level rise relate to cumulative carbon emissions. Geophysical Research Letters, 39 (19). L19715. DOI 10.1029/2012GL052771.

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Abstract

Surface warming and steric sea level rise over the global ocean nearly linearly increase with cumulative carbon emissions for an atmosphere-ocean equilibrium, reached many centuries after emissions cease. Surface warming increases with cumulative emissions with a proportionality factor, ΔTsurface:2×CO2/(IB ln 2), ranging from 0.8 to 1.9 K (1000 PgC)−1 for surface air temperature, depending on the climate sensitivity ΔTsurface:2×CO2 and the buffered carbon inventory IB. Steric sea level rise similarly increases with cumulative emissions and depends on the climate sensitivity of the bulk ocean, ranging from 0.4 K to 2.7 K; a factor 0.4 ± 0.2 smaller than that for surface temperature based on diagnostics of two Earth System models. The implied steric sea level rise ranges from 0.7 m to 5 m for a cumulative emission of 5000 PgC, approached perhaps 500 years or more after emissions cease.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: 2012AREP; IA64;
Subjects: 01 - Climate Change and Earth-Ocean Atmosphere Systems
Divisions: 01 - Climate Change and Earth-Ocean Atmosphere Systems
Journal or Publication Title: Geophysical Research Letters
Volume: 39
Page Range: L19715
Identification Number: 10.1029/2012GL052771.
Depositing User: Sarah Humbert
Date Deposited: 21 Dec 2012 16:34
Last Modified: 23 Jul 2013 10:05
URI: http://eprints.esc.cam.ac.uk/id/eprint/2640

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