Estimating the timing of geophysical commitment to 1.5 and 2.0 °C of global warming

Dvorak, M.T., Armour, K.C., Frierson, D.M.W., Proistosescu, C., Baker, M.B., & Smith, C. ORCID: (2022). Estimating the timing of geophysical commitment to 1.5 and 2.0 °C of global warming. Nature Climate Change 10.1038/s41558-022-01372-y.

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Following abrupt cessation of anthropogenic emissions, decreases in short-lived aerosols would lead to a warming peak within a decade, followed by slow cooling as GHG concentrations decline. This implies a geophysical commitment to temporarily crossing warming levels before reaching them. Here we use an emissions-based climate model (FaIR) to estimate temperature change following cessation of emissions in 2021 and in every year thereafter until 2080 following eight Shared Socioeconomic Pathways (SSPs). Assuming a medium-emissions trajectory (SSP2–4.5), we find that we are already committed to peak warming greater than 1.5 °C with 42% probability, increasing to 66% by 2029 (340 GtCO2 relative to 2021). Probability of peak warming greater than 2.0 °C is currently 2%, increasing to 66% by 2057 (1,550 GtCO2 relative to 2021). Because climate will cool from peak warming as GHG concentrations decline, committed warming of 1.5 °C in 2100 will not occur with at least 66% probability until 2055.

Item Type: Article
Research Programs: Energy, Climate, and Environment (ECE)
Energy, Climate, and Environment (ECE) > Integrated Assessment and Climate Change (IACC)
Depositing User: Luke Kirwan
Date Deposited: 07 Jun 2022 07:14
Last Modified: 07 Jan 2023 03:00

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