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The relationship between peak warming and cumulative CO 2 emissions, and its use to quantify vulnerabilities in the carbon-climate-human system

Abstract : Interactions between the carbon cycle, climate and human societies are subject to several major vulnerabilities, broadly defined as factors contributing to the risk of harm from human-induced climate change. We assess five vulnerabilities: (1) effects of increasing CO 2 on the partition of anthropogenic carbon between atmospheric, land and ocean reservoirs ; (2) effects of climate change (quantified by temperature) on CO 2 fluxes; (3) uncertainty in climate sensitivity; (4) non-CO 2 radiative forcing and (5) anthropogenic CO 2 emissions. Our analysis uses a physically based expression for T p (Q p), the peak warming T p associated with a cumulative anthropogenic CO 2 emission Q p to the time of peak warming. The approximations in this expression are evaluated using a non-linear box model of the carbon-climate system, forced with capped emissions trajectories described by an analytic form satisfying integral and smoothness constraints. The first four vulnerabilities appear as parameters that influence T p (Q p), whereas the last appears through the independent variable. In terms of likely implications for T p (Q p), the decreasing order of the first four vulnerabilities is: uncertainties in climate sensitivity, effects of non-CO 2 radiative forcing, effects of climate change on CO 2 fluxes and effects of increasing CO 2 on the partition of anthropogenic carbon.
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Michael Raupach, Josep Canadell, Philippe Ciais, Pierre Friedlingstein, Peter Rayner, et al.. The relationship between peak warming and cumulative CO 2 emissions, and its use to quantify vulnerabilities in the carbon-climate-human system. Tellus B - Chemical and Physical Meteorology, Taylor & Francis, 2017, 63 (2), pp.145-164. ⟨10.1111/j.1600-0889.2010.00521.x⟩. ⟨hal-02929059⟩

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