Articles | Volume 5, issue 2
Earth Syst. Dynam., 5, 409–422, 2014
Earth Syst. Dynam., 5, 409–422, 2014

Research article 24 Nov 2014

Research article | 24 Nov 2014

Path independence of climate and carbon cycle response over a broad range of cumulative carbon emissions

T. Herrington and K. Zickfeld

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Cited articles

Allen, M., Frame, D., Huntingford, C., Jones, C. D., Lowe, J. A., Meinshausen, M., and Meinshausen, N.: Greenhouse-gas emission targets for limiting global warming to 2 °C, Nature, 458, 1163–1166, 2009.
Archer, D.: A data-driven model of the global calcite lysocline, Global Biogeochem. Cy., 10, 511–526, 1996.
Boden, T. A., Marland, G., and Andres, R. J.: Carbon Dioxide Information Analysis Center, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, U.S. Department of Energy, Oak Ridge, Tenn., USA available at:, last access: 30 September 2012.
Bouttes, N., Gregory, J. M., and Lowe, J. A.: The Reversibility of Sea Level Rise, J. Climate, 26, 2502–2513, 2013.
Short summary
Recent studies have identified an approximately proportional relationship between global warming and cumulative carbon emissions. This relationship – referred to as the transient climate response to cumulative carbon emissions (TCRE) – is useful for climate policy applications. We show that the TCRE is constant for cumulative emissions lower than ~1500GtC but declines for higher cumulative emissions. We also find the TCRE to decrease with increasing emission rate.
Final-revised paper