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Historical and idealized climate model experiments: an EMIC intercomparison

Historical and idealized climate model experiments: an EMIC intercomparison
Historical and idealized climate model experiments: an EMIC intercomparison
Both historical and idealized climate model experiments are performed with a variety of Earth System Models of Intermediate Complexity (EMICs) as part of a community contribution to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change Fifth Assessment Report. Historical simulations start at 850 CE and continue through to 2005. The standard simulations include changes in forcing from solar luminosity, Earth's orbital configuration, CO2, additional greenhouse gases, land-use, and sulphate and volcanic aerosols. In spite of very different modelled pre-industrial global surface air temperatures, overall 20th century trends in surface air temperature and carbon uptake are reasonably well simulated when compared to observed trends. Land carbon fluxes show much more variation between models than ocean carbon fluxes, and recent land fluxes seem to be underestimated. It is possible that recent modelled climate trends or climate-carbon feedbacks are overestimated resulting in too much land carbon loss or that carbon uptake due to CO2 and/or nitrogen fertilization is underestimated.

Several one thousand year long, idealized, 2x and 4x CO2 experiments are used to quantify standard model characteristics, including transient and equilibrium climate sensitivities, and climate-carbon feedbacks. The values from EMICs generally fall within the range given by General Circulation Models. Seven additional historical simulations, each including a single specified forcing, are used to assess the contributions of different climate forcings to the overall climate and carbon cycle response. The response of surface air temperature is the linear sum of the individual forcings, while the carbon cycle response shows considerable synergy between land-use change and CO2 forcings for some models. Finally, the preindustrial portions of the last millennium simulations are used to assess historical model carbon-climate feedbacks. Given the specified forcing, there is a tendency for the EMICs to underestimate the drop in surface air temperature and CO2 between the Medieval Climate Anomaly and the Little Ice Age estimated from paleoclimate reconstructions. This in turn could be a result of errors in the reconstructions of volcanic and/or solar radiative forcing used to drive the models or the incomplete representation of certain processes or variability within the models. Given the datasets used in this study, the models calculate significant land-use emissions over the pre-industrial. This implies that land-use emissions might need to be taken into account, when making estimates of climate-carbon feedbacks from paleoclimate reconstructions.
1814-9332
4121-4181
Eby, M.
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Weaver, A.J.
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Alexander, K.
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Zickfeld, K.
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Abe-Ouchi, A.
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Cimatoribus, A.A.
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Crespin, E.
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Drijfhout, S.S.
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Edwards, N.R.
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Eliseev, A.V.
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Feulner, G.
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Fichefet, T.
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Forest, C.E.
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Goosse, H.
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Holden, P.B.
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Joos, F.
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Kawamiya, M.
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Kicklighter, D.
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Kienert, H.
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Matsumoto, K.
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Mokhov, I.I.
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Monier, E.
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Olsen, S.M.
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Pedersen, J.O.P.
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Perrette, M.
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Philippon-Berthier, G.
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Ridgwell, A.
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Schlosser, A.
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Schneider von Deimling, T.
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Shaffer, G.
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Smith, R.S.
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Spahni, R.
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Sokolov, A.P.
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Steinacher, M.
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Tachiiri, K.
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Tokos, K.
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Yoshimori, M.
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Zeng, N.
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Zhao, F.
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Eby, M.
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Weaver, A.J.
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Alexander, K.
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Zickfeld, K.
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Abe-Ouchi, A.
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Cimatoribus, A.A.
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Crespin, E.
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Drijfhout, S.S.
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Edwards, N.R.
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Eliseev, A.V.
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Feulner, G.
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Fichefet, T.
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Forest, C.E.
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Goosse, H.
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Holden, P.B.
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Joos, F.
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Kawamiya, M.
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Matsumoto, K.
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Mokhov, I.I.
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Monier, E.
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Olsen, S.M.
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Pedersen, J.O.P.
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Perrette, M.
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Philippon-Berthier, G.
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Ridgwell, A.
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Schlosser, A.
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Schneider von Deimling, T.
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Shaffer, G.
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Smith, R.S.
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Spahni, R.
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Sokolov, A.P.
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Steinacher, M.
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Tachiiri, K.
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Tokos, K.
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Yoshimori, M.
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Zeng, N.
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Zhao, F.
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Eby, M., Weaver, A.J., Alexander, K., Zickfeld, K., Abe-Ouchi, A., Cimatoribus, A.A., Crespin, E., Drijfhout, S.S., Edwards, N.R., Eliseev, A.V., Feulner, G., Fichefet, T., Forest, C.E., Goosse, H., Holden, P.B., Joos, F., Kawamiya, M., Kicklighter, D., Kienert, H., Matsumoto, K., Mokhov, I.I., Monier, E., Olsen, S.M., Pedersen, J.O.P., Perrette, M., Philippon-Berthier, G., Ridgwell, A., Schlosser, A., Schneider von Deimling, T., Shaffer, G., Smith, R.S., Spahni, R., Sokolov, A.P., Steinacher, M., Tachiiri, K., Tokos, K., Yoshimori, M., Zeng, N. and Zhao, F. (2012) Historical and idealized climate model experiments: an EMIC intercomparison. [in special issue: Progress in paleoclimate modelling] Climate of the Past, 8 (4), 4121-4181. (doi:10.5194/cpd-8-4121-2012).

Record type: Article

Abstract

Both historical and idealized climate model experiments are performed with a variety of Earth System Models of Intermediate Complexity (EMICs) as part of a community contribution to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change Fifth Assessment Report. Historical simulations start at 850 CE and continue through to 2005. The standard simulations include changes in forcing from solar luminosity, Earth's orbital configuration, CO2, additional greenhouse gases, land-use, and sulphate and volcanic aerosols. In spite of very different modelled pre-industrial global surface air temperatures, overall 20th century trends in surface air temperature and carbon uptake are reasonably well simulated when compared to observed trends. Land carbon fluxes show much more variation between models than ocean carbon fluxes, and recent land fluxes seem to be underestimated. It is possible that recent modelled climate trends or climate-carbon feedbacks are overestimated resulting in too much land carbon loss or that carbon uptake due to CO2 and/or nitrogen fertilization is underestimated.

Several one thousand year long, idealized, 2x and 4x CO2 experiments are used to quantify standard model characteristics, including transient and equilibrium climate sensitivities, and climate-carbon feedbacks. The values from EMICs generally fall within the range given by General Circulation Models. Seven additional historical simulations, each including a single specified forcing, are used to assess the contributions of different climate forcings to the overall climate and carbon cycle response. The response of surface air temperature is the linear sum of the individual forcings, while the carbon cycle response shows considerable synergy between land-use change and CO2 forcings for some models. Finally, the preindustrial portions of the last millennium simulations are used to assess historical model carbon-climate feedbacks. Given the specified forcing, there is a tendency for the EMICs to underestimate the drop in surface air temperature and CO2 between the Medieval Climate Anomaly and the Little Ice Age estimated from paleoclimate reconstructions. This in turn could be a result of errors in the reconstructions of volcanic and/or solar radiative forcing used to drive the models or the incomplete representation of certain processes or variability within the models. Given the datasets used in this study, the models calculate significant land-use emissions over the pre-industrial. This implies that land-use emissions might need to be taken into account, when making estimates of climate-carbon feedbacks from paleoclimate reconstructions.

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Published date: 2012
Organisations: Ocean and Earth Science

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Local EPrints ID: 348346
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/348346
ISSN: 1814-9332
PURE UUID: 1413b9ad-7984-4be7-b092-fd8cd03e87f0

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Date deposited: 12 Feb 2013 12:13
Last modified: 11 Dec 2021 01:29

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Contributors

Author: M. Eby
Author: A.J. Weaver
Author: K. Alexander
Author: K. Zickfeld
Author: A. Abe-Ouchi
Author: A.A. Cimatoribus
Author: E. Crespin
Author: S.S. Drijfhout
Author: N.R. Edwards
Author: A.V. Eliseev
Author: G. Feulner
Author: T. Fichefet
Author: C.E. Forest
Author: H. Goosse
Author: P.B. Holden
Author: F. Joos
Author: M. Kawamiya
Author: D. Kicklighter
Author: H. Kienert
Author: K. Matsumoto
Author: I.I. Mokhov
Author: E. Monier
Author: S.M. Olsen
Author: J.O.P. Pedersen
Author: M. Perrette
Author: G. Philippon-Berthier
Author: A. Ridgwell
Author: A. Schlosser
Author: T. Schneider von Deimling
Author: G. Shaffer
Author: R.S. Smith
Author: R. Spahni
Author: A.P. Sokolov
Author: M. Steinacher
Author: K. Tachiiri
Author: K. Tokos
Author: M. Yoshimori
Author: N. Zeng
Author: F. Zhao

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