The University of Southampton
University of Southampton Institutional Repository

Plio-Pleistocene climate sensitivity evaluated using high-resolution CO2 records

Plio-Pleistocene climate sensitivity evaluated using high-resolution CO2 records
Plio-Pleistocene climate sensitivity evaluated using high-resolution CO2 records
Theory and climate modelling suggest that the sensitivity of Earth’s climate to changes in radiative forcing could depend on the background climate. However, palaeoclimate data have thus far been insufficient to provide a conclusive test of this prediction. Here we present atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2) reconstructions based on multi-site boron-isotope records from the late Pliocene epoch (3.3 to 2.3 million years ago). We find that Earth’s climate sensitivity to CO2-based radiative forcing (Earth system sensitivity) was half as strong during the warm Pliocene as during the cold late Pleistocene epoch (0.8 to 0.01 million years ago). We attribute this difference to the radiative impacts of continental ice-volume changes (the ice–albedo feedback) during the late Pleistocene, because equilibrium climate sensitivity is identical for the two intervals when we account for such impacts using sea-level reconstructions. We conclude that, on a global scale, no unexpected climate feedbacks operated during the warm Pliocene, and that predictions of equilibrium climate sensitivity (excluding long-term ice-albedo feedbacks) for our Pliocene-like future (with CO2 levels up to maximum Pliocene levels of 450 parts per million) are well described by the currently accepted range of an increase of 1.5 K to 4.5 K per doubling of CO2.
0028-0836
49-54
Martínez-Botí, M.A.
07f73c31-5e77-4224-a984-5bc7f5fa3d24
Foster, G.L.
fbaa7255-7267-4443-a55e-e2a791213022
Chalk, T.B.
0021bbe6-6ab1-4a30-8542-654d0f2d1a0a
Rohling, E.J.
a2a27ef2-fcce-4c71-907b-e692b5ecc685
Sexton, P.F.
8f381c3d-6181-4027-bc35-258780a1f383
Lunt, D.J.
5bfca8db-49a7-45dd-9855-43606a58788b
Pancost, R.D.
893ebd86-164b-437e-8d26-cfe0d5ed6b14
Badger, M.P.S.
8baae9f2-b957-4bdd-9219-1423ae0ec4ef
Schmidt, D.N.
1609ab5b-0a19-4fba-8511-a1ef7516d1a7
Martínez-Botí, M.A.
07f73c31-5e77-4224-a984-5bc7f5fa3d24
Foster, G.L.
fbaa7255-7267-4443-a55e-e2a791213022
Chalk, T.B.
0021bbe6-6ab1-4a30-8542-654d0f2d1a0a
Rohling, E.J.
a2a27ef2-fcce-4c71-907b-e692b5ecc685
Sexton, P.F.
8f381c3d-6181-4027-bc35-258780a1f383
Lunt, D.J.
5bfca8db-49a7-45dd-9855-43606a58788b
Pancost, R.D.
893ebd86-164b-437e-8d26-cfe0d5ed6b14
Badger, M.P.S.
8baae9f2-b957-4bdd-9219-1423ae0ec4ef
Schmidt, D.N.
1609ab5b-0a19-4fba-8511-a1ef7516d1a7

Martínez-Botí, M.A., Foster, G.L., Chalk, T.B., Rohling, E.J., Sexton, P.F., Lunt, D.J., Pancost, R.D., Badger, M.P.S. and Schmidt, D.N. (2015) Plio-Pleistocene climate sensitivity evaluated using high-resolution CO2 records. Nature, 518 (7537), 49-54. (doi:10.1038/nature14145).

Record type: Article

Abstract

Theory and climate modelling suggest that the sensitivity of Earth’s climate to changes in radiative forcing could depend on the background climate. However, palaeoclimate data have thus far been insufficient to provide a conclusive test of this prediction. Here we present atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2) reconstructions based on multi-site boron-isotope records from the late Pliocene epoch (3.3 to 2.3 million years ago). We find that Earth’s climate sensitivity to CO2-based radiative forcing (Earth system sensitivity) was half as strong during the warm Pliocene as during the cold late Pleistocene epoch (0.8 to 0.01 million years ago). We attribute this difference to the radiative impacts of continental ice-volume changes (the ice–albedo feedback) during the late Pleistocene, because equilibrium climate sensitivity is identical for the two intervals when we account for such impacts using sea-level reconstructions. We conclude that, on a global scale, no unexpected climate feedbacks operated during the warm Pliocene, and that predictions of equilibrium climate sensitivity (excluding long-term ice-albedo feedbacks) for our Pliocene-like future (with CO2 levels up to maximum Pliocene levels of 450 parts per million) are well described by the currently accepted range of an increase of 1.5 K to 4.5 K per doubling of CO2.

Full text not available from this repository.

More information

Published date: 5 February 2015
Organisations: Geochemistry

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 374213
URI: https://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/374213
ISSN: 0028-0836
PURE UUID: 4954e7f0-880a-4ce6-bd9d-dc3a073e61ef
ORCID for T.B. Chalk: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0002-2880-3847
ORCID for E.J. Rohling: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0001-5349-2158

Catalogue record

Date deposited: 09 Feb 2015 11:45
Last modified: 06 Jun 2018 13:06

Export record

Altmetrics

Download statistics

Downloads from ePrints over the past year. Other digital versions may also be available to download e.g. from the publisher's website.

View more statistics

Atom RSS 1.0 RSS 2.0

Contact ePrints Soton: eprints@soton.ac.uk

ePrints Soton supports OAI 2.0 with a base URL of https://eprints.soton.ac.uk/cgi/oai2

This repository has been built using EPrints software, developed at the University of Southampton, but available to everyone to use.

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you continue without changing your settings, we will assume that you are happy to receive cookies on the University of Southampton website.

×