A simple model of the anthropogenically forced CO2 cycle
W. Weber1,*,†, H.-J. Lüdecke2,*, and C. O. Weiss3,*1Technical University Dortmund, Institute of Physics, Dortmund, Germany 2HTW, University of Applied Sciences, Saarbrücken, Germany 3Physikalisch-Technische Bundesanstalt, Braunschweig, Germany *retired †deceased 2014
Received: 21 Sep 2015 – Accepted for review: 07 Oct 2015 – Discussion started: 20 Oct 2015
Abstract. From basic physical assumptions we derive a simple linear model of the global CO2 cycle without free parameters. It yields excellent agreement with the observations reported by the carbon dioxide information analysis center (CDIAC) as time series of atmospheric CO2 growth, of sinks in the ocean and of absorption by the biosphere. The agreement extends from the year 1850 until present (2013). Based on anthropogenic CO2 emission scenarios until 2150, future atmospheric CO2 concentrations are calculated. As the model shows, and depending on the emission scenario, the airborne fraction of CO2 begins to decrease in the year ~ 2050 and becomes negative at the latest in ~ 2130. At the same time the concentration of the atmospheric CO2 will reach a maximum between ~ 500 and ~ 900 ppm. As a consequence, increasing anthropogenic CO2 emissions will make the ocean and the biosphere the main reservoirs of anthropogenic CO2 in the long run. Latest in about 150 years, anthropogenic CO2 emission will no longer increase the CO2 content of the atmosphere.
Weber, W., Lüdecke, H.-J., and Weiss, C. O.: A simple model of the anthropogenically forced CO2 cycle, Earth Syst. Dynam. Discuss., 6, 2043-2062, doi:10.5194/esdd-6-2043-2015, 2015.