, Volume 43, Issue 1, pp 1-14

Climate and carbon cycle variations in the 20th and 21st centuries in a model of intermediate complexity

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Abstract

The climate model of intermediate complexity developed at the Oboukhov Institute of Atmospheric Physics, Russian Academy of Sciences (IAP RAS CM), has been supplemented by a zero-dimensional carbon cycle model. With the carbon dioxide emissions prescribed for the second half of the 19th century and for the 20th century, the model satisfactorily reproduces characteristics of the carbon cycle over this period. However, with continued anthropogenic CO2 emissions (SRES scenarios A1B, A2, B1, and B2), the climate-carbon cycle feedback in the model leads to an additional atmospheric CO2 increase (in comparison with the case where the influence of climate changes on the carbon exchange between the atmosphere and the underlying surface is disregarded). This additional increase is varied in the range 67–90 ppmv depending on the scenario and is mainly due to the dynamics of soil carbon storage. The climate-carbon cycle feedback parameter varies nonmonotonically with time. Positions of its extremes separate characteristic periods of the change in the intensity of anthropogenic emissions and of climate variations. By the end of the 21st century, depending on the emission scenario, the carbon dioxide concentration is expected to increase to 615–875 ppmv and the global temperature will rise by 2.4–3.4 K relative to the preindustrial value. In the 20th–21st centuries, a general growth of the buildup of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere and ocean and its reduction in terrestrial ecosystems can be expected. In general, by the end of the 21st century, the more aggressive emission scenarios are characterized by a smaller climate-carbon cycle feedback parameter, a lower sensitivity of climate to a single increase in the atmospheric concentration of carbon dioxide, a larger fraction of anthropogenic emissions stored in the atmosphere and the ocean, and a smaller fraction of emissions in terrestrial ecosystems.

Original Russian Text © A.V. Eliseev, I.I. Mokhov, A.A. Karpenko, 2007, published in Izvestiya AN. Fizika Atmosfery i Okeana, 2007, Vol. 43, No. 1, pp. 3–17.