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Title: Seasonal climate change patterns due to cumulative CO 2 emissions

Cumulative CO 2 emissions are near linearly related to both global and regional changes in annual-mean surface temperature. These relationships are known as the transient climate response to cumulative CO 2 emissions (TCRE) and the regional TCRE (RTCRE), and have been shown to remain approximately constant over a wide range of cumulative emissions. Here, we assessed how well this relationship holds for seasonal patterns of temperature change, as well as for annual-mean and seasonal precipitation patterns. We analyzed an idealized scenario with CO 2 concentration growing at an annual rate of 1% using data from 12 Earth system models from the Coupled Model Intercomparison Project Phase 5 (CMIP5). Seasonal RTCRE values for temperature varied considerably, with the highest seasonal variation evident in the Arctic, where RTCRE was about 5.5 °C per Tt C for boreal winter and about 2.0 °C per Tt C for boreal summer. Also the precipitation response in the Arctic during boreal winter was stronger than during other seasons. We found that emission-normalized seasonal patterns of temperature change were relatively robust with respect to time, though they were sub-linear with respect to emissions particularly near the Arctic. Moreover, RTCRE patterns for precipitation could not be quantified robustlymore » due to the large internal variability of precipitation. Here, our results suggest that cumulative CO 2 emissions are a useful metric to predict regional and seasonal changes in precipitation and temperature. This extension of the TCRE framework to seasonal and regional climate change is helpful for communicating the link between emissions and climate change to policy-makers and the general public, and is well-suited for impact studies that could make use of estimated regional-scale climate changes that are consistent with the carbon budgets associated with global temperature targets.« less
 [1] ;  [2] ;  [3]
  1. Concordia Univ., Montreal, QC (Canada); Finnish Meteorological Inst., Helsinki (Finland)
  2. Ouranos, Montreal, QC (Canada)
  3. Concordia Univ., Montreal, QC (Canada)
Publication Date:
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Environmental Research Letters
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 12; Journal Issue: 7; Journal ID: ISSN 1748-9326
IOP Publishing
Research Org:
Concordia Univ., Montreal, QC (Canada). Dept. of Geography, Planning and Environment; Finnish Meterological Inst., Helsinki (Finland); Ouranos, Montreal, QC (Canada)
Sponsoring Org:
Country of Publication:
United States
54 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES; CMIP5; cumulative carbon emissions; seasonal climate change; pattern scaling; TCRE
OSTI Identifier: