Long-Term climate change commitment and reversibility: An EMIC intercomparison

Kirsten Zickfeld, Michael Eby, Andrew J. Weaver, Kaitlin Alexander, Elisabeth Crespin, Neil R. Edwards, Alexey V. Eliseev, Georg Feulner, Thierry Fichefet, Chris E. Forest, Pierre Friedlingstein, Hugues Goosse, Philip B. Holden, Fortunat Joos, Michio Kawamiya, David Kicklighter, Hendrik Kienert, Katsumi Matsumoto, Igor I. Mokhov, Erwan MonierSteffen M. Olsen, Jens O.P. Pedersen, Mahe Perrette, Gwenaëlle Philippon-Berthier, Andy Ridgwell, Adam Schlosser, Thomas Schneider Von Deimling, Gary Shaffer, Andrei Sokolov, Renato Spahni, Marco Steinacher, Kaoru Tachiiri, Kathy S. Tokos, Masakazu Yoshimori, Ning Zeng, Fang Zhao

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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Abstract

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.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)5782-5809
Number of pages28
JournalJournal of Climate
Volume26
Issue number16
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 1 2013

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surface temperature
air temperature
meridional circulation
climate change
Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change
radiative forcing
climate conditions
stabilization
trajectory
sea level
timescale
atmosphere
climate
simulation
sea level rise
removal
project
restoration
atmospheric composition

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Atmospheric Science

Cite this

Zickfeld, K., Eby, M., Weaver, A. J., Alexander, K., Crespin, E., Edwards, N. R., ... Zhao, F. (2013). Long-Term climate change commitment and reversibility: An EMIC intercomparison. Journal of Climate, 26(16), 5782-5809. https://doi.org/10.1175/JCLI-D-12-00584.1
Zickfeld, Kirsten ; Eby, Michael ; Weaver, Andrew J. ; Alexander, Kaitlin ; Crespin, Elisabeth ; Edwards, Neil R. ; Eliseev, Alexey V. ; Feulner, Georg ; Fichefet, Thierry ; Forest, Chris E. ; Friedlingstein, Pierre ; Goosse, Hugues ; Holden, Philip B. ; Joos, Fortunat ; Kawamiya, Michio ; Kicklighter, David ; Kienert, Hendrik ; Matsumoto, Katsumi ; Mokhov, Igor I. ; Monier, Erwan ; Olsen, Steffen M. ; Pedersen, Jens O.P. ; Perrette, Mahe ; Philippon-Berthier, Gwenaëlle ; Ridgwell, Andy ; Schlosser, Adam ; Von Deimling, Thomas Schneider ; Shaffer, Gary ; Sokolov, Andrei ; Spahni, Renato ; Steinacher, Marco ; Tachiiri, Kaoru ; Tokos, Kathy S. ; Yoshimori, Masakazu ; Zeng, Ning ; Zhao, Fang. / Long-Term climate change commitment and reversibility : An EMIC intercomparison. In: Journal of Climate. 2013 ; Vol. 26, No. 16. pp. 5782-5809.
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Zickfeld, K, Eby, M, Weaver, AJ, Alexander, K, Crespin, E, Edwards, NR, Eliseev, AV, Feulner, G, Fichefet, T, Forest, CE, Friedlingstein, P, Goosse, H, Holden, PB, Joos, F, Kawamiya, M, Kicklighter, D, Kienert, H, Matsumoto, K, Mokhov, II, Monier, E, Olsen, SM, Pedersen, JOP, Perrette, M, Philippon-Berthier, G, Ridgwell, A, Schlosser, A, Von Deimling, TS, Shaffer, G, Sokolov, A, Spahni, R, Steinacher, M, Tachiiri, K, Tokos, KS, Yoshimori, M, Zeng, N & Zhao, F 2013, 'Long-Term climate change commitment and reversibility: An EMIC intercomparison', Journal of Climate, vol. 26, no. 16, pp. 5782-5809. https://doi.org/10.1175/JCLI-D-12-00584.1

Long-Term climate change commitment and reversibility : An EMIC intercomparison. / Zickfeld, Kirsten; Eby, Michael; Weaver, Andrew J.; Alexander, Kaitlin; Crespin, Elisabeth; Edwards, Neil R.; Eliseev, Alexey V.; Feulner, Georg; Fichefet, Thierry; Forest, Chris E.; Friedlingstein, Pierre; Goosse, Hugues; Holden, Philip B.; Joos, Fortunat; Kawamiya, Michio; Kicklighter, David; Kienert, Hendrik; Matsumoto, Katsumi; Mokhov, Igor I.; Monier, Erwan; Olsen, Steffen M.; Pedersen, Jens O.P.; Perrette, Mahe; Philippon-Berthier, Gwenaëlle; Ridgwell, Andy; Schlosser, Adam; Von Deimling, Thomas Schneider; Shaffer, Gary; Sokolov, Andrei; Spahni, Renato; Steinacher, Marco; Tachiiri, Kaoru; Tokos, Kathy S.; Yoshimori, Masakazu; Zeng, Ning; Zhao, Fang.

In: Journal of Climate, Vol. 26, No. 16, 01.08.2013, p. 5782-5809.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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T1 - Long-Term climate change commitment and reversibility

T2 - An EMIC intercomparison

AU - Zickfeld, Kirsten

AU - Eby, Michael

AU - Weaver, Andrew J.

AU - Alexander, Kaitlin

AU - Crespin, Elisabeth

AU - Edwards, Neil R.

AU - Eliseev, Alexey V.

AU - Feulner, Georg

AU - Fichefet, Thierry

AU - Forest, Chris E.

AU - Friedlingstein, Pierre

AU - Goosse, Hugues

AU - Holden, Philip B.

AU - Joos, Fortunat

AU - Kawamiya, Michio

AU - Kicklighter, David

AU - Kienert, Hendrik

AU - Matsumoto, Katsumi

AU - Mokhov, Igor I.

AU - Monier, Erwan

AU - Olsen, Steffen M.

AU - Pedersen, Jens O.P.

AU - Perrette, Mahe

AU - Philippon-Berthier, Gwenaëlle

AU - Ridgwell, Andy

AU - Schlosser, Adam

AU - Von Deimling, Thomas Schneider

AU - Shaffer, Gary

AU - Sokolov, Andrei

AU - Spahni, Renato

AU - Steinacher, Marco

AU - Tachiiri, Kaoru

AU - Tokos, Kathy S.

AU - Yoshimori, Masakazu

AU - Zeng, Ning

AU - Zhao, Fang

PY - 2013/8/1

Y1 - 2013/8/1

N2 - 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.

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Zickfeld K, Eby M, Weaver AJ, Alexander K, Crespin E, Edwards NR et al. Long-Term climate change commitment and reversibility: An EMIC intercomparison. Journal of Climate. 2013 Aug 1;26(16):5782-5809. https://doi.org/10.1175/JCLI-D-12-00584.1