Observed vs. Modeled Climate Sensitivity

  • Title: Reconciled climate response estimates from climate models and the energy budget of Earth
  • Date: June 2016
  • Authors: Richardson et al.
  • Published by: Nature Climate Change

Naturally, there are always some gaps between the real world and the results from simulation models. In case of climate sensitivity, which refers to the temperature increase from doubling CO2, the real-world data that has been historically recorded gives us around 1.3 , while models gives us a little bit higher value. Climate skeptics often use this fact to support their argument; that global warming is not in fact that serious as scientists predict. However, a study published by Nature Climate Change this last June, Reconciled climate response estimates from climate models and the energy budget of Earth (Richardson et al., 2016), addresses why climate sensitivity is predicted differently from climate models and observed data.

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Carbon Budgets; Why So Many?

  • Title: Differences between carbon budget estimates unravelled
  • Author: Joeri Rogelj et al.
  • Published: Nature Climate Change (2015)

The famously debated 2-degree goal is set based on a carbon budget, which has not been presented as a single number. There are mainly three types of carbon budgets: a) budget for CO2-induced warming only, b) threshold exceedance budgets (to calculate multi-gas warming), and c) threshold avoidance budgets. These different approaches, coupled with various uncertainties accompanying model simulations under a number of scenarios, lead to the conclusion: the scientifically most robust number (a) is not be sufficient in the real world, and eventually non-CO2 gases should be addressed as well.

Terms: the transient climate response to cumulative emissions of carbon (TCRE), threshold exceedance budgets (TEBs), threshold avoidance budgets (TABs)