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

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

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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: Publication - Article
Digital Object Identifier (DOI):
Programmes: NOC Programmes
ISSN: 0094-8276
Additional Keywords: anthropogenic warming, carbon emissions, ocean warming, surface warming
NORA Subject Terms: Marine Sciences
Date made live: 01 Nov 2012 09:36 +0 (UTC)

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