Preprints
https://doi.org/10.5194/esdd-2-211-2011
https://doi.org/10.5194/esdd-2-211-2011

  03 Mar 2011

03 Mar 2011

Review status: this preprint was under review for the journal ESD but the revision was not accepted.

Geologic constraints on earth system sensitivity to CO2 during the Cretaceous and early Paleogene

D. L. Royer1, M. Pagani2, and D. J. Beerling3 D. L. Royer et al.
  • 1Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences and College of the Environment, Wesleyan University, Middletown, Connecticut, 06459, USA
  • 2Department of Geology and Geophysics, Yale University, New Haven, Connecticut, 06520, USA
  • 3Department of Animal and Plant Sciences, University of Sheffield, Sheffield, S10 2TN, UK

Abstract. Earth system sensitivity (ESS) is the long-term (>103 yr) equilibrium temperature response to doubled CO2. ESS has climate policy implications because global temperatures are not expected to decline appreciably for at least 103 yr, even if anthropogenic greenhouse-gas emissions drop to zero. We report quantitative ESS estimates of 3 °C or higher for much of the Cretaceous and early Paleogene based on paleo-reconstructions of CO2 and temperature. These estimates are generally higher than climate sensitivities simulated from global climate models for the same ancient periods (~3 °C). We conclude that climate models do not capture the full suite of positive climate feedbacks during greenhouse worlds. These absent feedbacks are probably related to clouds, trace greenhouse gases, seasonal snow cover, and/or vegetation, especially in polar regions. Continued warming in the coming decades as anthropogenic greenhouse gases accumulate in the atmosphere ensures that characterizing and quantifying these positive climate feedbacks will become a scientific challenge of increasing priority.

D. L. Royer et al.

 
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Status: closed
AC: Author comment | RC: Referee comment | SC: Short comment | EC: Editor comment
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Status: closed
Status: closed
AC: Author comment | RC: Referee comment | SC: Short comment | EC: Editor comment
Printer-friendly Version - Printer-friendly version Supplement - Supplement

D. L. Royer et al.

D. L. Royer et al.

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