Articles | Volume 9, issue 1
Earth Syst. Dynam., 9, 197–210, 2018

Special issue: The Earth system at a global warming of 1.5°C and 2.0°C

Earth Syst. Dynam., 9, 197–210, 2018
Research article
05 Mar 2018
Research article | 05 Mar 2018

Irreversible ocean thermal expansion under carbon dioxide removal

Dana Ehlert and Kirsten Zickfeld

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Cited articles

Armour, K. C., Marshall, J., Scott, J. R., Donohoe, A., and Newsom, E. R.: Southern Ocean warming delayed by circumpolar upwelling and equatorward transport, Nat. Geosci., 9, 549–554, 2016.
Boucher, O., Halloran, P. R., Burke, E. J., Doutriaux-Boucher, M., Jones, C. D., Lowe, J., Ringer, M. A., Robertson, E., and Wu, P.: Reversibility in an Earth System model in response to CO2 concentration changes, Environ. Res. Lett., 7, 024013,, 2012.
Bouttes, N., Gregory, J. M., and Lowe, J. A.: The Reversibility of Sea Level Rise, J. Climate, 26, 2502–2513,, 2013.
Bouttes, N., Good, P., Gregory, J. M., and Lowe, J. A.: Nonlinearity of ocean heat uptake during warming and cooling in the FAMOUS climate model, Geophys. Res. Lett., 42, 2409–2416,, 2015.
Bryan, K. and Lewis, L.: A water mass model of the world ocean, J. Geophys. Res., 84, 2503–2517, 1979.
Short summary
This study uses a global climate model to explore the extent to which sea level rise due to thermal expansion of the ocean is reversible if the atmospheric concentration of carbon dioxide (CO2) declines. It is found that sea level continues to rise for several decades after atmospheric CO2 starts to decline and does not return to the pre-industrial level for over thousand years after atmospheric CO2 is restored to the pre-industrial concentration.
Final-revised paper