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Title: Persistent Polar Ocean Warming in a Strategically Geoengineered Climate

Abstract

A novel geoengineering approach designed to moderate the effects of continued greenhouse gas emissions is examined in a large ensemble of 21st century climate simulations. Stratospheric sulfur injections are imposed at discrete latitudes of 15° and 30° in both hemispheres with the aim of minimizing changes in surface temperature, both in the global mean and in its gradients between hemispheres and from equator to pole. The approach successfully accomplishes these goals and reduces several major adverse impacts found in earlier geoengineering applications, such as overcooling the tropics and weakening rainfall over land. Nonetheless, responses over ocean are identified that drive shifts in the global ocean circulation and structure. The responses result in an acceleration of the meridional overturning circulation in the Atlantic Ocean and continued warming of the deep and polar oceans, particularly in the vicinity of southern Greenland, with the potential to drive continued cryospheric melt and global sea level rise. Related changes in tropical rainfall are also identified. Despite a successful moderation of surface warming and reduction of the planetary energy imbalance, these simulations demonstrate the potential complexity of the coupled climate response to geoengineering implementations, highlighting the need for significant advances in our understanding of the coupledmore » climate system and the continued refinement of such strategies as a prerequisite to their successful implementation.« less

Authors:
 [1];  [2];  [1]; ORCiD logo [3];  [4];  [1];  [5]
  1. University Corporation for Atmospheric Research
  2. National Center for Atmospheric Research, PO Box 3000-80307,
  3. BATTELLE (PACIFIC NW LAB)
  4. Cornell University
  5. National Center for Atmospheric Research
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Pacific Northwest National Lab. (PNNL), Richland, WA (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE
OSTI Identifier:
1598877
Report Number(s):
PNNL-SA-132504
DOE Contract Number:  
AC05-76RL01830
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Journal Name:
Nature Geoscience
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 11; Journal Issue: 12
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English

Citation Formats

Fasullo, John, Tilmes, S, Richter, Jadwiga, Kravitz, Benjamin S., MacMartin, Douglas, Mills, Mike, and Simpson, Isla. Persistent Polar Ocean Warming in a Strategically Geoengineered Climate. United States: N. p., 2018. Web. doi:10.1038/s41561-018-0249-7.
Fasullo, John, Tilmes, S, Richter, Jadwiga, Kravitz, Benjamin S., MacMartin, Douglas, Mills, Mike, & Simpson, Isla. Persistent Polar Ocean Warming in a Strategically Geoengineered Climate. United States. doi:10.1038/s41561-018-0249-7.
Fasullo, John, Tilmes, S, Richter, Jadwiga, Kravitz, Benjamin S., MacMartin, Douglas, Mills, Mike, and Simpson, Isla. Sat . "Persistent Polar Ocean Warming in a Strategically Geoengineered Climate". United States. doi:10.1038/s41561-018-0249-7.
@article{osti_1598877,
title = {Persistent Polar Ocean Warming in a Strategically Geoengineered Climate},
author = {Fasullo, John and Tilmes, S and Richter, Jadwiga and Kravitz, Benjamin S. and MacMartin, Douglas and Mills, Mike and Simpson, Isla},
abstractNote = {A novel geoengineering approach designed to moderate the effects of continued greenhouse gas emissions is examined in a large ensemble of 21st century climate simulations. Stratospheric sulfur injections are imposed at discrete latitudes of 15° and 30° in both hemispheres with the aim of minimizing changes in surface temperature, both in the global mean and in its gradients between hemispheres and from equator to pole. The approach successfully accomplishes these goals and reduces several major adverse impacts found in earlier geoengineering applications, such as overcooling the tropics and weakening rainfall over land. Nonetheless, responses over ocean are identified that drive shifts in the global ocean circulation and structure. The responses result in an acceleration of the meridional overturning circulation in the Atlantic Ocean and continued warming of the deep and polar oceans, particularly in the vicinity of southern Greenland, with the potential to drive continued cryospheric melt and global sea level rise. Related changes in tropical rainfall are also identified. Despite a successful moderation of surface warming and reduction of the planetary energy imbalance, these simulations demonstrate the potential complexity of the coupled climate response to geoengineering implementations, highlighting the need for significant advances in our understanding of the coupled climate system and the continued refinement of such strategies as a prerequisite to their successful implementation.},
doi = {10.1038/s41561-018-0249-7},
journal = {Nature Geoscience},
number = 12,
volume = 11,
place = {United States},
year = {2018},
month = {12}
}

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