, Volume 43, Issue 2, pp 353-367

Long-Term Global Warming Scenarios Computed with an Efficient Coupled Climate Model

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We present global warming scenarios computed with an intermediate-complexity atmosphere-ocean-sea ice model which has been extensively validated for a range of past climates (e.g., the Last Glacial Maximum). Our simulations extend to the year 3000, beyond the expected peak of CO2 concentrations. The thermohaline ocean circulation declines strongly in all our scenarios over the next 50 years due to a thermal effect. Changes in the hydrological cycle determine whether the circulation recovers or collapses in the long run. Both outcomes are possible within present uncertainty limits. In case of a collapse, a substantial long-lasting cooling over the North Atlantic and a drying of Europe is simulated.