Articles | Volume 13, issue 4
Research article
23 Nov 2022
Research article |  | 23 Nov 2022

Emit now, mitigate later? Earth system reversibility under overshoots of different magnitudes and durations

Jörg Schwinger, Ali Asaadi, Norman Julius Steinert, and Hanna Lee

Data sets

Idealized overshoot experiments simulated with NorESM2-LM J. Schwinger and A. Asaadi

Model code and software

NorESM2 source code as used for CMIP6 simulations (includes additional experimental setups, extended model documentation, automated inputdata download, restructuring of BLOM/iHAMOCC input data) Ø. Seland, M. Bentsen, D. Olivié, T. Toniazzo, A. Gjermundsen, L. S. Graff, J. B. Debernard, A. K. Gupta, Y. He, A. Kirkevåg, J. Schwinger, J. Tjiputra, K. S. Aas, I. Bethke, Y. Fan, S. Gao, J. Griesfeller, A. Grini, C. Guo, M. Ilicak, I. H. H. Karset, O. Landgren, J. Liakka, A. Moree, K. O. Moseid, A. Nummelin, C. Spensberger, H. Tang, Z. Zhang, C. Heinze, T. Iversen, and M. Schulz

Short summary
We test whether climate change can be partially reversed if CO2 is removed from the atmosphere to compensate for too large past and near-term emissions by using idealized model simulations of overshoot pathways. On a timescale of 100 years, we find a high degree of reversibility if the overshoot size remains small, and we do not find tipping points even for intense overshoots. We caution that current Earth system models are most likely not able to skilfully model tipping points in ecosystems.
Final-revised paper