Long-Term climate change commitment and reversibility: An EMIC intercomparison
Von Deimling, TS
Journal of Climate
American Meteorological Society
This paper summarizes the results of an intercomparison project with Earth System Models of Intermediate Complexity (EMICs) undertaken in support of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Fifth Assessment Report (AR5). The focus is on long-term climate projections designed to 1) quantify the climate change commitment of different radiative forcing trajectories and 2) explore the extent to which climate change is reversible on human time scales. All commitment simulations follow the four representative concentration pathways (RCPs) and their extensions to year 2300. MostEMICs simulate substantial surface air temperature and thermosteric sea level rise commitment following stabilization of the atmospheric composition at year-2300 levels. The meridional overturning circulation (MOC) is weakened temporarily and recovers to near-preindustrial values in most models for RCPs 2.6-6.0. The MOC weakening is more persistent for RCP8.5. Elimination of anthropogenic CO2 emissions after 2300 results in slowly decreasing atmospheric CO2 concentrations. At year 3000 atmospheric CO2 is still at more than half its year-2300 level in all EMICs forRCPs 4.5-8.5. Surface air temperature remains constant or decreases slightly and thermosteric sea level rise continues for centuries after elimination ofCO2 emissions in allEMICs.Restoration of atmosphericCO2 fromRCPto preindustrial levels over 100-1000 years requires large artificial removal of CO2 from the atmosphere and does not result in the simultaneous return to preindustrial climate conditions, as surface air temperature and sea level response exhibit a substantial time lag relative to atmospheric CO2. © 2013 American Meteorological Society.
KZ and AJW acknowledge support from the National Science and Engineering Research Council (NSERC) Discovery Grant Program. AJW acknowledges support from NSERC's G8 Research Councils Initiative on Multilateral Research Funding Program. AVE and IIM were supported by the President of Russia Grant 5467.2012.5, by the Russian Foundation for Basic Research, and by the programs of the Russian Academy of Sciences. EC, TF, HG, and GPB acknowledge support from the Belgian Federal Science Policy Office. FJ, RS, and MS acknowledge support by the Swiss National Science Foundation and by the European Project CARBOCHANGE (Grant 264879), which received funding from the European Commission's Seventh Framework Programme (FP7/2007–2013). PBH and NRE acknowledge support from EU FP7 Grant ERMITAGE 265170.
This is the final version of the article. Available from the American Meteorological Society via the DOI in this record.
Vol. 26 (16), pp. 5782 - 5809