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ESD Reviews : Climate feedbacks in the Earth system and prospects for their evaluation

Heinze, Christoph; Eyring, Veronika; Friedlingstein, Pierre; Jones, Colin; Balkanski, Yves; Collins, William; Fichefet, Thierry; Gao, Shuang; Hall, Alex and Ivanova, Detelina, et al. (2019) In Earth System Dynamics 10(3). p.379-452
Abstract

Earth system models (ESMs) are key tools for providing climate projections under different scenarios of human-induced forcing. ESMs include a large number of additional processes and feedbacks such as biogeochemical cycles that traditional physical climate models do not consider. Yet, some processes such as cloud dynamics and ecosystem functional response still have fairly high uncertainties. In this article, we present an overview of climate feedbacks for Earth system components currently included in state-of-the-art ESMs and discuss the challenges to evaluate and quantify them. Uncertainties in feedback quantification arise from the interdependencies of biogeochemical matter fluxes and physical properties, the spatial and temporal... (More)

Earth system models (ESMs) are key tools for providing climate projections under different scenarios of human-induced forcing. ESMs include a large number of additional processes and feedbacks such as biogeochemical cycles that traditional physical climate models do not consider. Yet, some processes such as cloud dynamics and ecosystem functional response still have fairly high uncertainties. In this article, we present an overview of climate feedbacks for Earth system components currently included in state-of-the-art ESMs and discuss the challenges to evaluate and quantify them. Uncertainties in feedback quantification arise from the interdependencies of biogeochemical matter fluxes and physical properties, the spatial and temporal heterogeneity of processes, and the lack of long-term continuous observational data to constrain them. We present an outlook for promising approaches that can help to quantify and to constrain the large number of feedbacks in ESMs in the future. The target group for this article includes generalists with a background in natural sciences and an interest in climate change as well as experts working in interdisciplinary climate research (researchers, lecturers, and students). This study updates and significantly expands upon the last comprehensive overview of climate feedbacks in ESMs, which was produced 15 years ago (NRC, 2003).

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published
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Earth System Dynamics
volume
10
issue
3
pages
74 pages
publisher
Copernicus Gesellschaft mbH
external identifiers
  • scopus:85068865710
ISSN
2190-4979
DOI
10.5194/esd-10-379-2019
language
English
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yes
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b2300328-b1ef-41cb-b273-96a6bd867b99
date added to LUP
2019-07-23 11:16:07
date last changed
2019-08-14 04:42:23
@article{b2300328-b1ef-41cb-b273-96a6bd867b99,
  abstract     = {<p>Earth system models (ESMs) are key tools for providing climate projections under different scenarios of human-induced forcing. ESMs include a large number of additional processes and feedbacks such as biogeochemical cycles that traditional physical climate models do not consider. Yet, some processes such as cloud dynamics and ecosystem functional response still have fairly high uncertainties. In this article, we present an overview of climate feedbacks for Earth system components currently included in state-of-the-art ESMs and discuss the challenges to evaluate and quantify them. Uncertainties in feedback quantification arise from the interdependencies of biogeochemical matter fluxes and physical properties, the spatial and temporal heterogeneity of processes, and the lack of long-term continuous observational data to constrain them. We present an outlook for promising approaches that can help to quantify and to constrain the large number of feedbacks in ESMs in the future. The target group for this article includes generalists with a background in natural sciences and an interest in climate change as well as experts working in interdisciplinary climate research (researchers, lecturers, and students). This study updates and significantly expands upon the last comprehensive overview of climate feedbacks in ESMs, which was produced 15 years ago (NRC, 2003).</p>},
  author       = {Heinze, Christoph and Eyring, Veronika and Friedlingstein, Pierre and Jones, Colin and Balkanski, Yves and Collins, William and Fichefet, Thierry and Gao, Shuang and Hall, Alex and Ivanova, Detelina and Knorr, Wolfgang and Knutti, Reto and Löw, Alexander and Ponater, Michael and Schultz, Martin and Schulz, Michael and Siebesma, Pier and Teixeira, Joao and Tselioudis, George and Vancoppenolle, Martin},
  issn         = {2190-4979},
  language     = {eng},
  month        = {07},
  number       = {3},
  pages        = {379--452},
  publisher    = {Copernicus Gesellschaft mbH},
  series       = {Earth System Dynamics},
  title        = {ESD Reviews : Climate feedbacks in the Earth system and prospects for their evaluation},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.5194/esd-10-379-2019},
  volume       = {10},
  year         = {2019},
}