Journal article

Warming caused by cumulative carbon emissions towards the trillionth tonne

Myles R Allen, David J Frame, Chris Huntingford, Chris D Jones, Jason A Lowe, Malte Meinshausen, Nicolai Meinshausen

NATURE | NATURE PUBLISHING GROUP | Published : 2009

Abstract

Global efforts to mitigate climate change are guided by projections of future temperatures. But the eventual equilibrium global mean temperature associated with a given stabilization level of atmospheric greenhouse gas concentrations remains uncertain, complicating the setting of stabilization targets to avoid potentially dangerous levels of global warming. Similar problems apply to the carbon cycle: observations currently provide only a weak constraint on the response to future emissions. Here we use ensemble simulations of simple climate-carbon-cycle models constrained by observations and projections from more comprehensive models to simulate the temperature response to a broad range of ca..

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Grants

Awarded by Defra and MoD Integrated Climate Programme


Awarded by MoD


Awarded by Natural Environment Research Council


Funding Acknowledgements

We thank N. Gillett, K. Shine and T. Stocker for suggestions, P. Stott for estimates of twentieth-century-attributable warming, J. Welby for help calibrating the simple climate model. P. Friedlingstein and the C 4 MIP modelling community for model output and I. Tracey for help with the manuscript. M. R. A. and D. J. F. acknowledge support from NERC and the FP6 ENSEMBLES project. M. R. A. received additional support from the International Detection and Attribution Working Group (IDAG), supported by the DOE Office of Science, Office of Biological and Environmental Research and NOAA Climate Program Office, and from the British Council. C. H. acknowledges the CEH Science Budget Fund. C. D. J. and J. A. L. were supported by the Joint DECC, Defra and MoD Integrated Climate Programme (DECC/Defra GA01101; MoD CBC/2B/0417_Annex C5).