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Implications for Climate Sensitivity from the Response to Individual ForcingsClimate sensitivity to doubled CO2 is a widely-used metric of the large-scale response to external forcing. Climate models predict a wide range for two commonly used definitions: the transient climate response (TCR: the warming after 70 years of CO2 concentrations that riseat 1 per year), and the equilibrium climate sensitivity (ECS: the equilibrium temperature change following a doubling of CO2 concentrations). Many observational datasets have been used to constrain these values, including temperature trends over the recent past 16, inferences from paleo-climate and process-based constraints from the modern satellite eras. However, as the IPCC recently reported different classes of observational constraints produce somewhat incongruent ranges. Here we show that climate sensitivity estimates derived from recent observations must account for the efficacy of each forcing active during the historical period. When we use single forcing experiments to estimate these efficacies and calculate climate sensitivity from the observed twentieth-century warming, our estimates of both TCR and ECS are revised upward compared to previous studies, improving the consistency with independent constraints.
Document ID
Acquisition Source
Goddard Space Flight Center
Document Type
Accepted Manuscript (Version with final changes)
Kate Marvel
(Columbia University New York, New York, United States)
Gavin A Schmidt
(Goddard Institute for Space Studies New York, New York, United States)
Ron L Miller
(Goddard Institute for Space Studies New York, New York, United States)
Larissa Nazarenko
(Columbia University New York, New York, United States)
Date Acquired
October 27, 2016
Publication Date
December 14, 2015
Publication Information
Publication: Nature Climate Change
Publisher: Macmillan
Volume: 6
Issue Publication Date: January 1, 2016
e-ISSN: 1758-6798
Subject Category
Meteorology And Climatology
Report/Patent Number
Funding Number(s)
Distribution Limits
Public Use Permitted.
Carbon dioxide concentration
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