Climate sensitivity from both physical and carbon cycle feedbacks

Goodwin, Philip; Williams, Richard G.; Roussenov, Vassil M.; Katavouta, Anna ORCID: 2019 Climate sensitivity from both physical and carbon cycle feedbacks. Geophysical Research Letters, 46 (13). 7554-7564.

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The surface warming response to anthropogenic forcing is highly sensitive to the strength of feedbacks in both the physical climate and carbon cycle systems. However, the definitions of climate feedback, λClimate in W·m−2·K−1, and climate sensitivity, SClimate in K/(W/m2), explicitly exclude the impact of carbon cycle feedbacks. Here we provide a new framework to incorporate carbon feedback into the definitions of climate feedback and sensitivity. Applying our framework to the Global Carbon Budget reconstructions reveals a present‐day terrestrial carbon feedback of λCarbon = 0.31 ± 0.09 W·m−2·K−1 and an ocean carbon feedback of −0.06 to 0.015 W·m−2·K−1 in Earth system models. Observational constraints reveal a combined climate and carbon feedback of λClimate+Carbon = 1.48 W·m−2·K−1 with a 95% range of 0.76 to 2.32 W·m−2·K−1 on centennial time scales, corresponding to a combined climate and carbon sensitivity of SClimate+Carbon = 0.67 K/(W/m2) with a 95% range of 0.43 to 1.32 K/(W/m2).

Item Type: Publication - Article
Digital Object Identifier (DOI):
ISSN: 0094-8276
Date made live: 02 Oct 2020 12:32 +0 (UTC)

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